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Introduction to Personal Bible Study - Videos (2007)

4 short introductory video studies First recorded in 2007, posted to GodTube in 2010  These short videos were made nearly 14 years ago. ...

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Different Hopes, Different Callings, Different Commands

Are Jesus' commands and examples for our calling today?

Simple answer: No.

Some make the argument  "If Jesus said it, we should obey it." Let's examine this claim.

First, we draw a distinction between doctrinal truths and stewardship truths. "God is Love" is an eternal principle (an unchanging doctrinal truth), "build an ark" is a stewardship truth limited to a time and condition and promise and hope. 

We must understand our unique calling for the current present age. We must be careful not to choose a calling given to another people, for a specific purpose, 2400 years after ("from" "since") the foundation of the ages. Our calling is from "before the foundation of the ages." It is not subject to either the Law or the Covenants. We are not called to be priests for the nations on earth, in a kingdom as was Israel.

We can see in this distinction as separation of God's plans for the earth and God's plan for the far above the heavens. There are different spheres of God's blessings and these callings have different practices and goals. 

Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

Has the "Jesus follower" done this?

Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

I have medical bills. I've asked proponents of the "following Jesus' words" to help me pay my bills for over 20 years now. To date, I have received $0 and 0¢. We looked at this idea in our examination of the Red Letter Christians. But beyond the RLC, there is a growing number of "Law-Keepers" imposing their yokes on fellow believers. Not satisfied with their own misguided idea of obedience, they make it their goal to ensnare others.

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe

Good luck.

The irony here is that many of them argue that all the references to the law (such as in Acts) refer to the Pharisees corrupting the true Law. While it is true that they did add to the law, we still have this admonition from the Lord and the specific application to Pharisaical law does not always fit.  

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom

Is this what we preach today? If so, this gospel has no cross, no death, no tomb, no resurrection.

These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

This passage is in Matthew 10 (this would be after Matthew 5). Are the law-keepers obeying this too?

Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.

The centurion here is a Non-Sabbath-Keeping, Non-Law-Keeping Gentile. In this passage in Mathew 8, Gentiles are juxtaposed against the "sons of the kingdom" (i.e. Jews); Matthew 8:11-12. The Lord Jesus called Jews "children" and Gentiles "little dogs" in Matthew 15. Do we still do this? Just the distinction the Lord draws between Jews and Gentiles in his earthly ministry, is that the pattern for this hour?

But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Putting his all these limited commands together from Matthew: Should we not preach to Gentile dogs because the gospel of the kingdom was to be preached to Israel alone? All this after we've sold everything we own? Binding on us today or no? If not, what not?

Let's keep this in mind as we examine other verses in Matthew. We are trying to be consistent in our interpretation. We want to be workmen who handle the word of truth carefully. We want to "rightly divide the word of truth." We want to "cut straight lines." 

Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven

The proponents of the law and/or taking the Lord's ministry to Israel for themselves argue that they break no commandments, ever, and you preach the Gospel of the Kingdom?

I'm guessing the answer is "no" on both counts. If so, they'd better go to Israel, refuse to preach to Gentiles. Stop talking about his death and resurrection, get circumcised, and head to Jerusalem for the feasts.

Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.
Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to the Lord your God, for in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night.

Did the Lord bring us out of the land of Egypt? We must recognize the specific promise and goal of the Covenant of Sanai. We need only read it to see it has no place today. Read Ex 19:3-6. So, are we "the house of Jacob" or one among of the nations? 

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 on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.


Some will point to Peter's words in his first epistle. But this should cause us to ask to whom is Peter writing? To whom was his ministry?

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light... 
-1 Peter 2:9
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the choice sojourners of the dispersion of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
-1 Peter 1:1 (Young's Literal)
But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles), and when James, Cephas [Peter], and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

-Galatians 2:7-9 

Moses was not to speak the words of the Covenant unto all nations. How could all people be a "kingdom of priests and a holy nation?" And if the argument is that by faith one becomes part of that kingdom, for whom are they priests? Unbelievers? And why does anyone need a priest today?

Then the king commanded all the people, saying, “Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.”

-2 Kings 23:21 

Was this true during the Lord's ministry? Were they still slaughtering sheep or no? Yes they were. Why don't "Jesus followers" still do this? It's in Matthew.

Now on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.” ’ ”

-Matthew 26:17-18

Now, if the Lord was not keeping the Passover as laid out in the Law, then would the Law-Keepers accuse him of disobedience? So, either the Lord (who came under the Law) was obedient under the Law and observed the Passover as dictated in the Law (we still must ask if Adam, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, or even Daniel observed it as in the Law), or was the Lord "disobedient" to the Law?

If the Lord was obedient to the Law and the Passover, then why not the "I follow Jesus" believers? And if he was not obedient to the Law, then they must answer why not? These are their issues, not for those who rightly divide the Word of Truth. 

Therefore you shall sacrifice the Passover to the Lord your God, from the flock and the herd, in the place where the Lord chooses to put His name.

Still relevant in Matthew, in the Lord's ministry? If so, are we obeying? If not, was the Lord in disobedience?

“You may not sacrifice the Passover within any of your gates which the Lord your God gives you; but at the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide, there you shall sacrifice the Passover at twilight, at the going down of the sun, at the time you came out of Egypt. And you shall roast and eat it in the place which the Lord your God chooses, and in the morning you shall turn and go to your tent.s

Are we headed to Jerusalem for Passover? If not, why not?

“Let the children of Israel [not ALL people] keep the Passover at its appointed time. On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time. According to all its rites and ceremonies you shall keep it.”

Optional for Gentiles even under the Law in the Land. Not mandatory for ALL PEOPLE. The Passover was specific to Israel. If we want to equate that to today, and we are Israel, then who are these strangers among us who have this option?

“Speak to the children of Israel, saying:... the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and ceases to keep the Passover, that same person shall be cut off from among his people, because he did not bring the offering of the Lord at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin. ‘And if a stranger [Gentile] dwells among you, and would [desires to] keep the Lord’s Passover, he must do so according to the rite of the Passover and according to its ceremony; you shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger and the native of the land.’ ”

Animal sacrifice was still mandated of Jews in Israel at the time the Lord spoke to Israel in Matthew 5.

Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth [land].
-Matthew 5:5

Is that our hope? Inherit the earth (land)?

Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

This is our hope? The kingdom on earth?

So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

-Colossians 2:16-19

Before it is argued that Paul is somehow talking about the doctrines of the Pharisees, let's go back to Matthew (if that is truth for today):

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do...

-Matthew 23:1-3

These are things FROM the foundation of the ages. These are things found in Moses and the Prophets. This is the preaching of the Kingdom ON EARTH as promises to Abraham, Moses, and David. That is for an EARTHLY calling. We have seen in other studies that there are blessings in the earth and blessings in the far above the heavens (Ephesians). We have seen there are truths spoken by the prophets since the foundation of the ages and truths revealed only to Paul (Eph 3) that were hidden from before the foundation of the ages. we must "rightly divide" these truths. 

Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come ... To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope’s sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews.

-Acts 26:22
For this reason therefore I have called for you, to see you and speak with you, because for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.”

-Acts 28:20

That was the gospel of the hope of Israel, a kingdom on earth, in the land. This will come to pass, on the earth, in the land. The 12 Apostles to the Circumcision will sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes (Matthew 19:28). That is not for Gentiles unless they are invited guests who come to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob IN THE KINGDOM on earth, not in heavenly places (Matthew 8:11).

We are to try to walk worthy the calling to which we have been called (Eph 4:1). Not a calling 2400 YEARS after or SINCE the foundation of the ages. This calling is HEAVENLY (in the "far above the heavens" in "heavenly places where Christ sits"), it is not OF THE EARTH. We must discern the different hopes. Abraham discerned the difference between the hope of the land and the hope of the New Jerusalem (which comes down to EARTH) (Heb 11:10; Rev 21:2; etc.)

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... raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus [Holy Spirit's choice: Christos Ieseus]

-Ephesians 2:6 

This was NOT revealed in Matthew or in the Acts Age. Paul preached NOTHING that was not revealed by Moses and the Prophets. The Lord and his disciples preached the kingdom to no one but to Jews only. This was the hope of Israel. This was the hope of the twelve tribes. And EARTHLY hope of an EARTHLY Kingdom, in the LAND, as priests for the nations (Ex 19:3-6). All this proclaimed FROM the foundation of the ages.

When Paul attends the synagogue in the Acts age, he preaches from Moses and the Prophets. When Paul meets with the Gentiles on Mars' Hill (Acts 17) he knows nothing of Moses and the Prophets and takes them back to creation and the "common blood" of all men. Scripture witnesses that in the Acts age, Paul went to "Jews first" in every town that had a synagogue. 

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: and Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures [Moses and the Prophets]...

-Acts 17:1-2

We have a HEAVENLY calling and hope separate from Israel. It was HIDDEN from the prophets and is from BEFORE the foundation of the Ages. Before the Law. Before the Covenants. It is a witness in HEAVENLY PLACES.

which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power. To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the [dispensation/stewardship] of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord [Holy Spirit's choice: Christos Ieseus kyrios], in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.

-Ephesians 3:5-12 

Before the foundation of the world. Before the Law. Before the Covenants. Not subject to the Law (Gentiles outside the land never were anyway).

We've looked the "grafted in" argument [Romans 11] in other studies. I won't go over it all again. But if that is the go-to for everything in scripture (including late in the Book of Acts) all for today is built on that, I refer us all again to the warning given only to Gentile believers in Romans 11 that they alone [Gentiles] may be "cut off" from that root. Their sin? Being haughty against the root [Israel]. Is that still true today? Do you still separate Jewish and Gentile believers? If they were all one, why did Paul make that distinction? Why are only Gentile believers warned? What does it mean to be "cut off" from the root? Loss of the free gift Paul so diligently lays out in the opening chapters of the same epistle? If we are all "the commonwealth of Israel" today, how can Israel be cut off from Israel?

We must remember to "compare the things that differ" (Phil 1:10). And differentiate the different hopes and blessings in scripture. Otherwise, I refer you to the command in Matthew to give to those of ask and help me pay my medical bills (and anything else going forward)... among all the other commands in Matthew and beyond.

I'm already holy and blameless in Christ. Apparently some think they are holy and blameless by keeping the Law.

Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

-Galatians 4:21

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

-Galatians 3:1-6

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

-Galatians 5:4

This age was determined before the foundation of the ages. Its blessings are from before the foundation of the ages, before the Law. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ [kyrios Iēsoûs Christós], 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. 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, 4 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.

Note Paul is writing to BELIEVERS.

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus... Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Some are wallowing in the Law and the things and hopes of the Earth. Yes, Israel shall have her New Covenant in the future. She shall have ALL the blessings promised SINCE the foundation of the world. But our calling in the present age is from BEFORE the foundation of ages. Long before the Law was given (which was not even given until 400 after Abraham and 2400 years after Adam).

The Law cannot nullify the promises to Abraham on earth (Gal 3:16-18) nor to me in the heavenly places. The gift of life by grace cannot be annulled for Abraham nor for us. The Law has no bearing on the free gift.

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

We must rightly divide the earthly from the heavenly; that which is since the foundation of the ages from that which is before the foundation of the ages; that which is for an earthly people from that which is for a heavenly people.