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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. ...

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Forever in Scripture is Time, Place, and Lord's Plan Specific

You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever.

-Exodus 12:24 

When the Lord uses "forever" it means man has no right to stop something arbitrarily. But God is allowed to stop it. Those instructed must do it, but God can halt anything any time he wills. The feasts and blood sacrifices were "statutes forever," until God halted them for his purposes. In some cases, his "forever" was given to only a specific people (Israel, in the land, Exodus 12:25, etc.), not all mankind. Even in the land of Israel, the "forever" statutes were for circumcised Jews only. 

Even Paul had to get to Jerusalem for the Feast in the Acts.

I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus. 
-Acts 18:21

"Moses, say unto the children of Israel..." is how the Law reads, not to all men of all ages everywhere.

Even under the Law, Jonah did not go to Nineveh and preach the Book of Exodus and require them to build a tabernacle or institute a priesthood despite the "forever" verses. They couldn't "obey" anyway as they had no Levites or sons of Aaron. They had no temple, no altar, no holy of holies and the Law forbid them from participating anyway as uncircumcised gentiles. All they could do was listen to the prophet from Galilee (Jonah, the only one from Galilee before Christ) and repent.

Even the Gentiles ("strangers") living in Israel could do so in peace and blessing without participating in the feasts. They were FORBIDDEN from "obeying" SOME of the laws of the feasts unless they were circumcised. Some laws were given to Israel and also to "the strangers that sojourn among you." But there was always a distinction. And some were forbidden by the Law as well.

And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.

The Law was not about "eternal Life" (as we call it). Abraham was declared righteous by faith in uncircumcision. Adam, Abel, Enoch, Adam all knew nothing of circumcision or the Covenant of Sinai. Uncircumcised Gentiles were granted life in the Gospel age (Matthew 8) yet the "Gospel of the Kingdom" was forbidden to be preached to them (Matthew 4, 10, 15). The Law was about the land, Israel, and her role as priests for the nations. That is what the Old Covenant is about, Exodus 19:5-7 (and it will come to pass in a future age, Zechariah 8:23, etc.).

The nations will be judged as to how they treat the Jews in the tribulation. In Matthew 25, the nations that enter into blessings in the future Kingdom age are not entering because they kept the Law or merely by works of mercy alone, but because of how they treated "the least of [the Lord's] brethren." That is, how they treated the Jews.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations... Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

When Israel was in captivity in Babylon, Daniel never went to Jerusalem for the feasts. He never went to offer a sacrifice in the Temple. The Law required him to do so. These were "forever" things. While the temple was destroyed no Israelite entered the Holy of Holies or followed the "forever' statutes of the Law. A similar truth can be seen in the Greek texts with "forever and ever." The Greek reads "the eon of eons" or "the age and ages." We will live "forever" by God's will in the ages to come in resurrection, but we will not be following the "forever" statutes of the Law. God is the one who decides when a "forever" truth ends.

That some would try to impose selected parts of the Law on believers today (the parts that they choose, not all of it) is an abomination. The fact that they try to use the word "forever" in regard to something like the Sabbath laws and selectively not with other "forever" statutes reveals their hypocrisy. Those who claim that they obey "all scripture" or that "every verse is mine" are deceived. Worse than that, they try to impose their deception on others.

There is word for those who do not follow the "forever" statutes of the Law today (despite what they may pretend). There is a word for recognizing that what God demands in one age and for one people He does not demand in all ages or for all people. There is word for no longer bringing a sacrifice to the priest for the Holy of Holies (which gentiles didn't do anyway, even under the Law). That word is "dispensationalism." As much as some claim to despise the concept, by simply not building an ark and not bringing animals to sacrifice, they are declaring themselves "dispensationalists" (at least to some degree). 

If someone claims to follow the "forever" statutes of the Sabbath laws or claims to somehow be "spiritual Israel" (the Catholic Church calls itself "New Israel") yet fails to follow ALL the "forever" statutes, he is self-deceived. Why just the forever laws of the Sabbath and not all forever laws? He is making himself into a hypocrite.

Paul was in chains for the Hope of Israel in the Acts (Acts 28:20), and testified that he spoke nothing but that which was spoken by Moses and the Prophets (Acts 26:22). He preached circumcision for Jewish believers (Acts 21). The "necessary things" in Acts 15 and Acts 21 that Gentiles were bound to keep (approved by the Apostles and by the Holy Spirit) were derived from laws in Leviticus in regard to strangers [Gentiles, uncircumcized] living among Israel in the land. These were "sojourners" living among a believing Israel. 

How many "Acts Churches" 
  • distinguish Jewish believers from Gentile believers?
  • make Gentile believers obey the necessary things?
  • teach circumcision for Jewish believers (Acts 21)?

In Ephesians Paul reveals a hope not known to the Prophets but revealed to him alone . He preached truths "since" the foundation of the ages in the Acts, and a truth "hidden" from before the foundation of the ages post-Acts. He was now in chains for Gentiles and the middle wall of partition between Jew and Greek was down (Eph), making the two into one and equal. The hope was no longer the "restoration of all things" for the "Men of Israel" (Acts 3) or the "established Kingdom in Israel" (Acts 1), but a hope in the "far above the heavens where Christ sits at the right hand of the Father" (Eph, Col).

For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery...

We no longer have earthly ordinances. These are of the earth, part of an earthly plan or an earthly hope in this age (Col). Most "contradictions" people claim dispensational theology present (in terms of practice or doctrine) arise from a failure to "rightly divide [draw straight lines] the Word of Truth" (2 Tim 2:15).

One of the worst diseases that plagues so many pulpits is the need to try and work every verse and every instruction into a "saved/lost" dichotomy. So many blessings are missed.