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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, November 29, 2022

Unimaginable Evil

Cain said to Abel his brother, “Let us go out to the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand...

-Gen 4:8-11

When we visit this account in Genesis 4, we look to the previous chapters to try and find a "law" against murder. We find no such law. Before we continue, let us dismiss the argument posited by some that the law was given, just not yet in writing. This argument should be dismissed with prejudice for many reasons, but we can simply point to two obvious reasons.  

  • There was no Israel at this point as specifically denoted in the Law of Sinai
  • Paul's argument for grace states unequivocally that the Law was given 430 years after Abraham

Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

-Galatians 3:16-18

We have covered the place of the Law in previous studies. We now return to Cain. It is clear from the passage in Genesis 4 that the taking of Abel's life was clearly wrong. It was clearly sin. Cain brought a curse upon himself. He knew in his conscience that he had done wickedly despite attempts to sear that conscience.

In the previous chapter, Adam and Eve violated the only Law they had at the time, "Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" The Lord had "commanded" them not to eat from a specific tree. Is this a "law" for this age? No. It makes no sense in this age. The economy is quite different today.

But let us not miss another aspect of God's words to Adam.


But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked?..."

At this point, being naked was natural and good. This was not so afterward. Of course, the only people at that time were Adam and Eve (husband and wife) and nakedness is no sin in that relationship. But we must note that the Lord clothed them before the birth of Cain ("And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them" Gen 3:21). This may have been in preparation for the birth of Cain, but regardless, conditions and expectations (economies, dispensations) and rules changed.

What did not change with the birth of Cain was the understanding that murder was wrong. Some things are inherently wrong. The act of the Serpent to deceive Eve was counted as wickedness despite no specific law being violated. Adam and Even were essentially Gentiles. Paul notes that even Gentiles without the law understand certain things are wrong and/or evil.

For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

-Romans 2:12-16

What "law" do they have written in their hearts? Check virgins for purity? Do not wear clothes of mixed fabrics? Pay 50 shekels for a defiled daughter? The law have we all have written in our hearts tells us stealing is wrong. Murder is wrong. Lying is wrong. Cain needed no written law. The inward law is confirmed in the conscience.

The conscience can be seared, however. Refusing the witness of the conscience or simply caving to the desires of the flesh can quench any voice within (for both the believer and for the unbeliever). This will be especially true in the last days.

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron...

-1 Tim 4:1-2

It is for the seared in heart and mind to whom the law is concerned. The Gentile does not need the law to tell him murder or sexual depravity is wrong. Romans 1 lays out the decay of the Gentile mind from conscience to wickedness. It is only here that we might introduce the law, solely to, perhaps, revive the conscience. 

But we know that the law is good if one uses it according to the rules, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers...

-1 Timothy 1:8-10

AC Gaebelein notes of 1 Timothy, "To use the law is for the believer a denial of grace." The believer may sear the conscience in his old nature, but he has a new nature (holy spirit) to which we can appeal. We do not need the law. In his Roman epistle Paul speaks of the believer being dead to the law. We will examine that further in our next entry.

The immediate context of the 1 Timothy 4 passage above is those who speak lies with no pang of conscience left in themselves. This passage goes on to state that while these have internally seared consciences, they will impose external laws and expectations on others (particularly in a religious context, but we can see a greater application). We have seen some of the greatest wickedness over the centuries from those within a religious context (as we are careful to note atrocities also arising out of atheistic philosophies). 

forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth

Imposing an external set of laws on others gives one a sense of righteousness not found in the darkened heart. This is why some of the most Draconian laws and the loudest voices against perceived and manmade evils come from those involved in true wickedness.

Crimes against children are heinous and clearly wicked. Yet, in our day, children suffer unimaginable horror at the hands of many who seek to impose manmade measures of "righteousness" upon the rest of us. They practice wicked ritual involving children and other vulnerable and they signal their self-defined virtue to the world about them. They hold up banners of heroism in themselves as they commit acts that we dare not eve mention the level of wickedness is so high. 

It is often the sexual deviant who screams the loudest about popular movements of the day. It is the supporter of torturing and murdering children in the womb who often carry the banner of "love" and "acceptance," pitting themselves against imagined windmills of perceived evil.

I believe this is partly because of the searing process for the conscience and a manifestation of the fallen nature which exalts itself above all that is of God. Do not be fooled when this external virtue comes in the cloak of religion. It is in this context that itcan the most deceptive and attractive. Paul warns us that this tactic will be the case. We must recognize that Satan presents himself as an Angel of Light and his ministers as the ministers of righteousness (2 Cor 11). This is a powerful warning.

It has often been unfathomable to me how anyone who comes in the name of the Lord can "celebrate" the torture and murder of babies in the womb (and now some are calling for legalizing this slaughter in the birth canal). Similarly, it seems unfathomable that millions would turn a blind eye to the exploitation and horrible abuse of children.

The pattern has been the same with many evils.

  1. Deny the evil exists and that it is only a conspiracy theory
  2. Exposure
  3. Embrace the evil as good
We saw this with Planned Parenthood selling baby body parts. First, they claimed "doctored video," but after the unedited video was released revealing the truth, the use of baby body parts was deemed a net "good" for society.

This is why trying to convince certain people with facts is useless. They are deluded in self-righteousness. The move from "That is a Lie!" to "Of course it's true and it's good" pattern works in the mind convinced it is inherently good. Of course, this "goodness" is filtered through the eyes of men and not through the eyes of God.

In John's gospel he recounts the Lord's words for his greater flock:

They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me.

-John 16:2-3

These are people doing things in the name of God. They think they are the righteous ones.

In the religious world (even in the Evangelical world) even the holy and good Law can be misused by those determined to enslave others to a Law that could neither cleanse nor save. The only hope is walking in the New Nature granted by grace through faith. This is the "holy spirit" spoken of in scripture. There is a Holy Spirit which is God and a holy spirit which is the new nature in the believer.

But even in the believer the voice of the New Nature can be quenched if one chooses to walk according to the old nature. We must remember that ALL men have the old nature. Unbelievers have only the old nature with its faulty conscience while believers have both and old and a new nature. We are still in danger of walking in the latter. We have discussed the two natures in previous studies.

Let me close by saying that I think the unimaginable evil being practiced today will only get worse and that the imposition and use of religious terminology will accompany some of the wickedness as the self-declared "virtuous" ones will present themselves as Angels of Lights like their father does.

This sickness has even infected the company of believers as Paul warn us. And why is this? This is nothing new. Wickedness and sin from Adam to the worshippers of Moloch to the Pharisees to the Popes has come in the name of virtue and religion and righteousness. When wickedness is exposed, it often becomes virtuous and this transformation is often done in the cloak of religion.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Law-Keepers - The Enemy Within

Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?

-Galatians 4:21

We have recently touched on the sacramentalist element of greater Christendom in my entry,  Grace Alone that Purifies Now and Later. We've noted there and elsewhere how these elements have tried to make inroads into Evangelical communities for the sake of proselytizing. But I believe there exists a greater danger to the young Evangelical believer.  

We have looked at the Gentile Twelve Tribes Heresy and other similar heresies which constitute a Judaizing infiltration among believers. But even these, although quite dangerous, come with a label that may not appeal to the Evangelical. That is, there already exists a general sense of error when "Hebrew Israelite" teachers or sacramentalist teachers come among us.  The greatest danger, in my opinion, to the young believer (or the untaught) comes from the law-keeping element among Evangelicals.

There are some who have done some good work on behalf of God's word and the message of Christ who have fallen into the delusion of law-keeping or Sabbath-keeping. I will refrain from naming any of these as I don't want to divert from this short message and warning by getting into details about certain teachers. I will say this, some of them have materials that I have enjoyed. But I believe I am squarely established in my commitment to right division that their external doctrines pose no thereat to me (and I do not recommend them to the weaker brethren).

A the end of this short post, I will list a few related entries and a couple of podcasts for those interested in further study.

The basic problem with supposed law-keepers (or those who quote from the Mosaic law as binding on believers in this age) is that while accusing some of us neglecting the law, they themselves pick and choose what they believe as binding. I know of no professing Christian believer who also claims the law for himself who suggests we should be taking animals to the temple in Jerusalem for sacrifice. So, on that obvious point, they are (whether they like it or not) dispensationalists. Neither do I see any claiming the promises of the land promised to Abraham from the Nile to the Euphrates. They recognize a change in stewardship, a change in practice, and a change in hope. That is dispensationalism.

I know a supposed law-keeper who will not use his computer on the Sabbath as the computer heats up with use and thus it is the equivalent of starting a fire on the Sabbath. I know other Sabbath-keepers who tap away on their keyboards without a second thought. And what of a Sabbath-keeper in one time zone who is communicating with a Sabbath-keeper in another time zone? These are some of the manmade issues that arise when we extract the Law from its place in God's plan and use it as we see fit.  

I could list many many parts of the law that the law-keepers tend to ignore. Similarly, I can point to many things the Lord himself taught in his earthly ministry that those who claim his words are their gospel ignore. Is it worse to try to be obedient to the calling of this age as taught by Paul while not following the letter of the law (or all the words of Christ) or to claim the law and the words of Christ as both binding and applicable today? There is a hypocrisy alive in anyone who believes he is truly keeping the Law.

Let's look at a small sample of some the commands and teachings ignored:

You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard. 
-Leviticus 19:27


You shall not wear a garment of different sorts, such as wool and linen mixed together. You shall make tassels on the four corners of the clothing with which you cover yourself. 
-Deuteronomy 22:11-12


If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and detests her, and charges her with shameful conduct, and brings a bad name on her, and says, ‘I took this woman, and when I came to her I found she was not a virgin,’ then the father and mother of the young woman shall take and bring out the evidence of the young woman’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate... “I found your daughter was not a virgin,” and yet these are the evidences of my daughter’s virginity.’ And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. Then the elders of that city shall take that man and punish him; and they shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver and give them to the father of the young woman... 
-Deuteronomy 22


Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms... 
-Luke 12:32


Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. 
-Matthew 5:42

We see the Kabbalistic Hasidic Jews seeking to follow Leviticus 19 more than we see the supposed Law-keeper in Christendom. 

I could go on and choose command and teaching after command and teaching from the Law and the Lord's earthly ministry that "law-keepers" and "red letter Christians" generally ignore. That last one from Matthew 5 (the Sermon on the Mount) I have used for years with those who claim that sermon as their truth. I have asked many times for help with medical bills, etc. To date, I have seen exactly zero dollars. 

The excuse given is the guiding sermon of their life is reduced to "guidelines." Similarly, just as the Lord teaches to "sell what you have and give alms" in Luke 12, the Pentecostal church sold all they had and gave to the apostles and lived communally (Acts 2, 4). Further, after Gentiles were grafted into the promises of Israel, Paul taught that it was the duty of Gentile believers to send money to Jewish believers in Jerusalem. We have covered the many differences in the Acts Age assemblies and the current age, but it seems as though no one cares. The differences are chalked up to things like "transitional truths" to "accommodation," or worse, to Apostolic error!

If you have not followed our studies on Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth, and in your heart you know that there are differences in scripture which need explanation, please look through this blog or check out my podcast on Spotify (or any of the major podcast services), "Brooklyn's Dad Talks About Everything."   

My style is conversational and I believe in the liberty of the believer. All who claim Christ alone as their only hope are my brothers and sisters, I offer explanations and an understanding of the Word that, hopefully, will free some from the bondage of the law and the bondage to the flesh. 

The law was weak through the flesh. The law was part of a covenant to expose sin and failure in God's earthly, chosen people who were and are to be "a royal priesthood," "a kingdom of priests" for the nations in a coming age under the New Covenant. Both the Old and the New Covenants are for Israel. They are earthly. The First failed through the flesh, the second shall succeed as God himself with give them the ability to succeed in the new, spiritual nature.

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

-1 Cor 15:55-56


There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

-Romans 8:1-8

Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

-Galatians 3:21-22

And many more. 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

The Heavenly Places Where the Principalities and Powers Currently Reside

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 
-Ephesians 6:12

The principalities and powers are said to be in "high places" here in Eph 6:12. The Greek word translated "high places" in the KJV is epouránios. This word means "heavenly." It is used of the "heavenly [epouránios] Father" by the Lord (Matthew 18:35). Paul uses it 13 times in his epistles. 

Ephesians 6:12 use of epouránios is the same as the other 4 uses in Ephesians. 

1. Blessings in HEAVENLY PLACES (1:3) 
2. Christ in HEAVENLY PLACES (1:20) 
3. Believers in HEAVNELY PLACES (2:6) 

And, 4, Ephesians 3:10

to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places...

Ephesians 3:10 uses the same Greek words for principalities, powers, and heavenly places as Ephesians 6:12. Christ is in the heavenly places, but "far above" the principalities and powers (1:20-21) and "far above" that level of the heavens (4:10).

  • Principlaities = archḗ
  • Powers = exousía
  • High Places = epouránios = Heavenly Places

This is truth for the current age. From the beginning, Satan has always presented himself as an "Angel of Light" as we saw in the Garden and as Paul reminds us in 2 Cor 11. Paul then adds that since this is true, it is no wonder that Satan's ministers are "the ministers of righteousness." Peter tells us Satan roams about like a lion "seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8).

We note these things for a couple of reasons. First, to point us back to the "full armor of God" of Ephesians 6 necessary to defeat the attacks from these powers and secondly to remind us that Satan is not sitting on some throne in a fiery place of torture as tradition teaches.

We have very powerful enemies, but we have even more powerful armor. However, that armor is powered by the Lord. Unbelievers do not have access to this armor and believers can diminish our ability to be properly prepared by allowing sin into our lives or by failing to make our stand.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints...

 Just a small note while we're here. Note Paul's encouragement in that last verse (Eph 6:18). Paul asks us to "watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." The word "supplication" is the Greek word "déēsis" which means "prayer, request, petition" [Mounce]. The context of the verse is prayer, but even this last urging by Paul, on its own, teaches that we are to pary for the "saints[Gk: hágios].

The word translated "for" is the word "perí" which means "in regard to" or "concerning." There is no idea here of praying to some group of the dead called "Saints." Paul uses the word 15 times in this epistles. He is clearly references those alive at the time in Ephesus. There may be some debate as to whether the word is singular to those who are part of the Body, but it certainly does not mean some exalted class of believer who has achieved his immediate salvation through his own merits (as taught by many).

And it certainly does not pertain to the dead who can perform miracles on our behalf. We do not pray to either living or dead "saints." We are to pray FOR living saints as Paul teaches here in Eph 6:18. Saints are being perfected while living. 

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints [hágios], for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ...

That is all we will say on this subject. 


Thursday, November 10, 2022

Israel Was and Will Be a Chosen Race, Not the Body

But because of false brethren secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy out our freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage— to them we did not yield submission even for a moment, that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. And from those who were reputed to be something (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who were of repute added nothing to me; but on the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter for the mission to the circumcised worked through me also for the Gentiles), and when they perceived the grace that was given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised; only they would have us remember the poor, which very thing I was eager to do.

Galatians 2:4-10

We have covered a number of times the distinction made between Israel and the nations (Gentiles0 in regard to both unbelievers and believers during the Acts Age. We can see that separation in unity here in Galatians. But we don't want to miss the calling of the 12 outside the narrative of the Acts or outside of Paul's epistles. Just as we have to understand Paul's epistles based on the dispensation he is under and his calling to go to the Gentiles, we must see Peter's calling to go to Israel. We just note here that Peter's entire biblical mission was to the twelve tribes (save once). After the Acts Age ended, Peter is nowhere to be seen. 

So let us turn to Peter's epitsles and just look at a few simple things to help us in our goal of rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappado′cia, Asia, and Bithyn′ia, chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood...

- 1 Peter 1:1

As we see in Paul's letter to the Galatians, Peter was sent to the circumcised. Here in Peter's epistle, he addresses the Jewish "dispersion." These are the same believers that James writes to in his epistle addressed to "the twelve tribes scattered abroad" (James 1:1). James is unambiguous. In his epistle, he references these believers meeting in synagogues (James 2:10).

The Greek word for "dispersion" is diasporá. It is used only three times: once by Peter, once spoken of the Lord in the Gospel of John, and by James.  James 1:1 literally addresses, "the twelve tribes of the Dispersion."

James, of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ a servant, to the Twelve Tribes who are in the dispersion: Hail!

-James 1:1 (Young's Literal Translation)

The Lord still recognized Israel and the Acts Age was still a time of grafting in of Gentiles to Israel's blessings for the stated reason to "make Israel jealous." Not "make the Church jealous." That makes no sense. In that age, the promises and covenants were said to still "pertain to Israel"  (Rom 9)

Again I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,
“I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”

-Romans 10:19

So I ask, have they stumbled so as to fall? By no means! But through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.

-Romans 11:11

In this short study, we turn back to Peter's first epistle, understanding its audience and the hope before them.

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

-1 Peter 2:4-5

Peter, in his mission and calling to go to the circumcision, reminds these believers of the their calling in the covenant at Sinai. 


And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.  Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

-Exodus 19:3-6

When teachers today want to apply this to believers in this current age, they must assume we are "the House of Jacob and the children of Israel."  But they must also assume that we are a "kingdom of priests... above all people." What people? The lost? Are we priests for the lost? If not the lost, for whom? I have heard some say a father is a priest for his family. Really? If my wife and kids are redeemed are they not also priests?

Israel is to be a kingdom of priests for the nations (Gentiles). God has chosen them for his own purposes because of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel). He has declared that a believing and obedient Israel is to be "above all other people (nations)." 

This is the true Israel Paul speaks about. Not all Israel is Israel, but believing Israel, under the future New Covenant, will be as a cleansed virgin and restored to he place in God's plan for the earth. The Body is not Israel. Israel is the chaste virgin bride of scripture.

Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded [Isaiah 28:16]. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner [Ps 118:22],  and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar [private possession] people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

-1 Peter 2:6-10

Peter lays down the conditions for the Israelites to whom he writes. That condition is that they must believe. This is always the condition for God to grant Life and for God to use anyone or any group.

We again see the reference to Israel covenant with the Lord from Exodus 19. The "royal priesthood" is akin to "a kingdom of priests."  In the Acts age, the Apostle to the Circumcision is calling on Israel to believe so the Lord might restore the Kingdom in Israel.

Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go... Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began... Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

-Peter in Acts 3

This is after Pentecost. This is after the Risen Lord taught his disciples (who had their understanding opened by the Holy Spirit)  about the Kingdom. That teaching was about the restoration of the Kingdom in a believing Israel. Peter refeneces the prophets here as well as the Lord's covenant with Israel. Again, they were chosen to be a blessing to "all the kindreds of the earth." A blessing to unbelievers? No, to serve as a royal priesthood for the nations in an age to come. 

after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: to whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God...  When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

-Acts 1

Israel role in the earth was spoken of by Moses and the Prophets. This is the Gospel of the Kingdom taught by the Lord in Matthew 4 and 9 and by the Apostles when they were sent out in Matthew 10. We have looked at this in previous studies. This is "the hope of Israel" for which was in chains as he told the Roman Jews in Acts 28.  This is the truth from Moses and the prophets to which Paul testified at his trial in Acts 26. Like Peter, Paul referenced what had been preached to Israel already by the Prophets. Paul testifies that he preached "no other thing" other than what had been revealed in the Hebrew texts "since the world began" as Peter preached. 

This is the message of the Acts Age and of Peter's ministry in his epistles. This was the expectation. Peter notes that Israel, in unbelief, is not a nation, but in faith they who were not chosen became the chosen people again. We see this in Hosea.

And she conceived again and bore a daughter. 
Then God said to him: Call her name Lo-Ruhamah [No Mercy],
For I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel,
But I will utterly take them away.

-Hos 1:6

Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah [No Mercy],
she conceived and bore a son.
Then God said:
“Call his name Lo-Ammi [Not My People],
For you are not My people,
And I will not be your God.

-Hos 1:-9

Yet the number of the children of Israel
Shall be as the sand of the sea,
Which cannot be measured or numbered.
And it shall come to pass
In the place where it was said to them,
‘You are not My people,’
There it shall be said to them,
You are sons of the living God.’
Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel
Shall be gathered together,
And appoint for themselves one head;
And they shall come up out of the land,
For great will be the day of Jezreel!

-Hos 1:10-11

Say to your brethren, ‘My people,’ [Ammi]
And to your sisters, ‘Mercy is shown.’ [Ruhamah]

-Hos 2:1

Israel has not "sinned away the day of grace" nor has the plan for Israel been replaced by the "church." This what men do when they come to the Bible and filter everything through "heaven/hell" and "saved/lost." And men refuse to see the clear words in both the Covenant of Sinai (Old) and the future New Covenant (Jeremiah 31, Hebrews 8) and ignore the clear promises to Israel so they may insert themselves. 

Israel is part of God's plan for the promised land and for the earth. We have no stake in these promises. Paul reveals in Ephesians (Post-Acts-Age) a new plan God has hidden in himself since BEFORE the world began. It is was NOT revealed to Moses and the Prophets. It was revealed ONLY to Paul. It's hope and blessings are "in the far above the heavens" with Christ at the right hand of the Father. Paul was no longer in chains for the hope of Israel, but "for you Gentiles." 

God reaching out to the Circumcision in the Acts Age (as Peter promised in Acts 3) shows that God was still offering his Kingdom plan in the Acts Age. Peter was still preaching the promises to the Fathers (of Israel) and the promises of God through His prophets in the Acts Age. Peter was still ministering to the "Dispersion" and James to "the twelve tribes scattered abroad." That message was put on hold at the end of the Acts.

But this current age  and its message does not negate God's plans or promises for Israel. God is a God who keeps to his word. Even if he placed Israel aside for a time, he will cleanse a believing Israel and restore her Kingdom. The New Jerusalem with the names of the twelve tribes and the twelve apostles to the Circumcision will come down to earth. As Zechariah prophesied, one day Gentiles will grab the shirt of a Jew and say "take me to God!" [Zech 8] because Israel will have taken her place as priests for the nations [Gentiles].

The cleansing for Israel will come with the prophesied Great Tribulation (the Time of Jacob's Trouble). The parables of Matthew 24-25 are for Israel. We can see the Lord's judgment of the gentile nations after the Tribulation based on how they treated the Jews ("the least of these My brethren") during that horrific time. All these things start to make sense when we recognize God's plans and mark the differences between them. 

As they wait for the restoration and the promises, Peter gives advice to his believing brethren in the flesh. 

Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

-1 Peter 2:11-12


Visitation = epiakope, επίσκεψη  (Greek) = inspection, judgment, oversight. The same word Peter uses in verse 12, is used in the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrews texts) in Isaiah 10:3.

What will you do on the day of visitation [punishment],
in the calamity that will come from far away?
To whom will you flee for help,
and where will you leave your wealth

-Isaiah 10:3

We cannot post all of it here, but the context for Isaiah 10 is back in Isaiah 9. You will recognize what is going on:

The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined...
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever [to the ages].
This is the government of the promised Son. As part of this government, we have judgment of the obedient and the disobedient [works for position, never works for the free gift of Life] at his coming. Despite many today claiming this passage, it speaks specifically of the land and God's plans for the earth and for his people, both good and bad. The section including Isaiah 10:3 begins, "The Lord sent a word against Jacob."

Peter, as he did in Acts 3 when he made his offer to "Ye Men of Israel," makes reference to the prophets in his epistles. He assumes a general knowledge of the promises to Israel. In Paul's seven post Acts epistles, references to the Hebrew scriptures almost completely dry up.

We can see that the coming of the Lord in Bethlehem (the City of David) and the return of the King are part of the same story. This is the setting of the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) and of the Acts Age and the Acts Age epistles. What is before us are the plans for the earth, the Kingdom in Israel, and the Nations as revealed by Moses and the Prophets.

Peter was faithful to his calling to go to the Circumcision with the Gospel to the Circumcision.  

when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me [Paul], 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)...

-Galatians 2:7
Peter speaking to his audience as "sojourners and pilgrims" brings to mind Israel's captivity in Egypt. Abraham had been promised the land over 400 years before they entered Sinai. When the LORD rescued Israel from captivity, and took them into the promised land, you'll note that only those that believed were allowed to enter (note, only two of the 12 spies). Moses himself, representing the Law, was forbidden to enter. Israel has never fully taken control of all that was promised Abraham and his Seed.
As often happens when we rightly divide the teachings for Israel, surely will come the charge that we seek to avoid the admonitions to purity found there. But we teach no such thing. First, all scripture is profitable and for our learning and, secondly, Paul is clear in this age.

This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

-Ephesians 4 

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

-Colossians 3 

Our calling is much higher and there are greater rewards to be sought.

So, we are not a priesthood. We are not a kingdom. We do not seek a land. We are not awaiting a time of cleansing and trouble. There is a much higher calling the the far above the heavens, unsearchable riches, for those who will acknowledge these things.

Just a couple of podcasts for your consideration. 
These and many more, are available at Spotify.

The Church is Not Israel, Day Trip to Romans 9

The Gospel for the Current Age

A PowerPoint presentation on how to Rightly Divide the Epistles.

The Bible from 30,000 feet: The Epistles

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

How Do People Come to Support the Killing of Children for Convenience?

 My father used to wonder how the German people could be swayed by the speeches of Hitler. He thought if he understood German, he could better understand the man's ability to garner such support and admiration. What would be missing, even if my father could understand German, are the conditions in Germany post World War I. Those terrible economic conditions contributed greatly to the willingness of people to find hope in any clear voice. Their defenses would be down.

We can almost understand how a desperate people, suffering under the terms of an oppressive postwar treaty that emasculated a proud people with a proud history, could be disheartened enough in their daily lives to be easily moved a positive, promising, affirming message. We do not relieve them of the responsibility of turning a blind eye to the fate of their Jewish (etc.) friends and neighbors that came with that message, but we must be careful not to assume we would act differently under the same conditions. Most of us have never lived in such desperate conditions. We are careful to not speak in absolutes. And, remember, they were lied to. 

We cannot deny that in some ways life did improve in Germany under Hitler's policies. Again, that is no excuse for the acceptance of or cooperation with evil, but we can see, at least to some degree, how a desperate people, often concerned about the bleak future their children were facing, could refuse to acknowledge other things going on in their communities. This same reasoning (personal economic inconvenience) is still used as an excuse to accept evil even in our day.

Surely, some in Germany were predisposed to approving wickedness. There is no excuse or any degree of understanding for this group. There is no "trying to understand" the source of their selfishness and hate. The answer is found in the flesh (as it usually is). These walked according to the lusts of their flesh and the longer they walked in the flesh the deeper their wickedness grew and the greater their sense of self-righteousness. Evil often calls it self good as it calls good evil.

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

-Isaiah 5:20

My father wondered how so many could accept the wicked policies of Herr Hitler. As conditions improved (he had delivered on many of his promises) we can start to see their blindness even as we still question how it happened. 

We may still wonder at the average German citizen's decisions. What we do not spend time trying to understand is the open hatred a section of that population had for what they deemed "inferior" people who were deemed a "hindrance" to their success or the cause of their failures. There is a legitimate reason to separate the Germans who were trying to balance many different emotions in a difficult time from those who gleefully embraced evil for their selfish desires.

Some of the NAZI policies were so wicked that even a megalomaniac like Mussolini showed apprehension. Some of the Fascists in Italy could not go as far as the National Socialists in Germany. It was when Hitler invited Mussolini to review the German military that Mussolini knew Italy was in no position to question its northern neighbor. But even in alliance with Germany, many Italians did what they could to protect at least some of their Jewish neighbors.

As horrible as it is to think of innocent men and women being put into labor camps, the more terrible it is to think of children facing that fate. I could only watch the film "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" (2008) once. This brings me to my sense of wonder at how some could, often militantly, promote, encourage, and even celebrate the torture and slaughter of the unborn in abortion. 

Europe has historically had some of the most liberal abortion policies in the world (in terms of choice, outside of communist countries with forced abortions). Yet even European abortion policies acknowledge that there is a point at which slaughtering a baby is unfathomable and simply wrong. 

 The vast majority of European nations do not allow abortion after 12 weeks (30% into a pregnancy). The most liberal policy is in the UK which allows abortion up to 24 weeks (60% into a pregnancy). I am openly pro-Life and cannot imagine actively taking the life of my own child in the womb at any point (and we still mourn my wife's two early miscarriages), but I can almost understand how a single mother or young girl, scared of facing the future alone with a child to look after contemplating the act. I can almost understand how some could accept the ending of a life in the early stages in a culture that tells them these children are "not yet human." That sounds familiar. As with the German people just trying to survive, we are careful not to assume how we might act or what bad decisions our circumstances might engender if we found ourselves in the same straits. We can remember this level of empathy while simultaneously decrying the act as inherently wrong.

The loudest voices for abortion in our day, in our nation, have moved on from the "rare and safe" mantra and have moved on to "do it for your wallet and career." There is a celebration of abortion. Some women proudly brag of their many abortions. I cannot have any sympathy for these women or for their enablers. There is no room to understand a difficult decision they may have faced that led them to make a difficult decision if they are proud of that decision. Their consciences are seared and they glory in their deed.

We witnessed the abomination of Planned Parenthood selling the body parts of murdered babies. We watched them laugh with glee at the idea. When confronted with the evidence, they first denied it. They tried to blame "deceptive editing." But when the facts were clear, their true hearts were also made clear. They went from denial to the celebration of the "good" they were doing by selling baby body parts. As the German government sold the bones of murdered Jews, so too does Planned Parenthood sells the flesh and bones of the most defenseless among us.

And as we look back at the chart on European law, some American politicians are pushing for abortion up to the killing of babies in the birth canal! Horrible wickedness. Have these ever watched an abortion? The burning and dismembering of babies in earlier weeks is horrible enough to witness, but a fully developed child in the birth canal? Abominable wickedness. 

And if you can believe it, there are some who are pushing for post-birth murder. Some have suggested up to one month old! Starving a baby for convenience sake! Even more horrible when there are so many waiting to adopt. This is where compromise with evil leads. 

How have we come to this point, then?

As my father wondered how the German people could hand over their neighbors to the state police,  I used to wonder how those people in scripture could sacrifice their children to the fires of Moloch. But we're seeing what false gods can do to the unenlightened and/or unredeemed mind. God gives the the stubborn over to a depraved hearts. 

We might try to understand how a desperate people could accept certain laws, whether in Germany or in regard to abortion law, it would be impossible to understand those who gleefully embrace wicked laws. How could some "celebrate" the mass murder of "undesirables?" How could parents sacrifice  their children to Moloch?

We have the answer in scripture. We are all born with an old nature that seeks its own, but to reach the depths of wickedness and callous attitude towards the torture and murder of children, one has to feed the flesh and have such a high opinion of oneself that he sears any conscience God may have given him.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen (Romans 1)

The followers of Moloch were "religious." In fact, they were fervently religious. The children of Israel who worshipped in the high places against God's will were devoutly religious. Those who built the golden calf did it to honor the God who brought them out of Egyptian slavery. They danced and sang with all their might. The prophets of Baal cried out all night. Religious fervor is not what he Lord desires, he desires faithfulness, selflessness, and righteousness according to our calling. All of these lead to a worship of that which is seen. 

Whether atheists or occultists or scripture-denying professed Christians, we see this worship of the Creation laid out in Romans 1. We see the worship of the temporal. We see the exaltation of financial gain and security over the life of a child. Again, we have some sympathy for the young girl, scared, confused, impressionable, who may make a tragic decision to end a pregnancy for those reasons. We can never, however, have sympathy (apart from a general sympathy for the state of their minds and their eternal fates) for those who celebrate and glorify the torture and death of babies (especially the unfathomable celebration of the killing of babies in the birth canal or even after).

Some of these death worshipers eventually infiltrate the true faith. This was true from Cain through Israel through Judas through the abandonment of Paul through our day. All were counted among the faithful, yet they abandoned the true for a lie. They abandoned the spiritual for the carnal. They appeal to personal greed and the promise of someone else's wealth without the effort. Those in power play on their jealousies and hatreds, teaching them that such jealousies and hatreds are actually signs of personal virtue.

The principle is seen in Jude.

But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; 7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. 9 Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

12 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; 13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

How can we understand how professed "devout" Catholics like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi support abortion, suggesting even up to birth? An abortion at any point in the pregnancy is considered a "grave sin" in Catholic theology. A grave sin, unconfessed and unforgiven, damns the Catholic soul to hell, no matter anything else.

And professed Catholics are not alone in their compromise with wickedness. We have professed Christian "reverends" and active members who teach that abortion is actually a good thing. 

Now, as readers of this blog know, I do not hold to the traditional doctrine of fiery torment nor to the idea of "sinning away" what Christ has put on our account by his perfect sacrifice. So, my answer for how so many active Catholic politicians (and even priests and nuns) can support the murder of a child is partly explained by the weakness of any "law-keeping." Even the holy and good Law of God given at Sinai is deficient. How much more deficient the laws of men?

What the Law can do is show us that what is we might acknowledge as wrong is exceedingly wicked. It is a mirror to show us our true selves. But one does not use the mirror to try and clean the dirt from his face.  

If one has deluded himself into thinking he can fully keep all (or even any) of the Law, he has deceived himself and finds a righteousness in himself and a virtue in his flesh that is not there. He has exchanged the truth for a lie. He has refused to see the function of the Law. And these are those deluded into thinking they are "good" in themsleves, how much more deceived are those who discard all knowledge of God?

We could do a whole study on examining how the Law becomes "the power of sin," but the simple answer is that while the Law of God is spiritual, it applies to the flesh. And men in the flesh will fail it. We must walk in the new nature

That being said, we come back to the main idea: how could some men and women celebrate the ending of the life of a child in her mother's womb? How did we possibly get to this point? Dismembering a baby in the birth canal? Unimaginable just a few years ago.

The woman who celebrates her 8 abortions almost certainly did not celebrate the first one. Her conscience has become seared over time with each new act of selfish murder, aided and abetted by politicians and preachers who saw power and money (and self virtue) in her acts of selfishness. 

We are reminded that the scripture teaches us to put no faith in the flesh. No Law can tame the flesh. The flesh is prone to evil while at the same time it sees itself as virtuous. Combine this exaltation of the carnal in this age with the spiritual war against all of us from principalities and power in heavenly places (Ephesians) and we start to understand levels of wickedness some of us thought we'd never see. And as the end times approach, even the little restraint some men have will be lifted to reveal the true depravity of the person outside of truth.

I leave with two thoughts:

  • Believers need to walk in the new nature from above, recommit to the finished work of the Savior alone, abandoning all hope in the flesh.
  • Recommit to speaking for the most vulnerable among us. 

Many Germans would not speak up for their Jewish and Gypsy and other "undesirable" (deplorable) neighbors as they were carted off to the death camps, let us not take the same silence as our government glorifies women as they cart their babies off to their horrible deaths.

Even if we cannot win the legal battle, we must still speak up for those who have no voice. 

For those interested in walking according to the new nature, I have a 6-part series on the topic starting here: