Archive for January 2009

Israel’s Signs

January 31, 2009

With the setting aside of Israel, God turned from His “sign” program, and brought in the present dispensation of grace, which is a “signless” dispensation.

As long as the message was being proclaimed to Israel as a nation, signs were in evidence, “For the Jews require a sign” (I Corinthians 1:22). They required a sign because their Old Testament Scriptures had foretold the fact that when Messiah came and the kingdom was established, signs, visions, etc. would be the order of the day. See Isaiah 35:5-6 and Joel 2:28-31. The miracles of Christ were thus His credentials to Israel, as stated by Peter on the day of Pentecost: “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know” (Acts 2:22).

During the Book of Acts the Jew is being given another opportunity to repent and receive the blessing of God. It is true that there is a gradual turning away from Israel, the apostle of the circumcision giving place to the apostle of the Gentiles, yet during all this period, and in every place, the Jew is still accorded a priority in the offer of blessing. Paul said, “It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you” (Acts 13:46), and it is not until, in every place from Jerusalem to Rome, that the blessing had been despised and rejected by the Jew, that solemn words of Acts 28:28 are spoken to that once highly favored nation: “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.”

During the time that Israel was first, miracles, signs, healings and visions were the common order of things. … However, after the setting aside of Israel, and the solemn pronouncement of Acts 28:28, the Scriptures will be searched in vain to find the record of even one such miracle.

The following, which is so clearly stated, is from the pen of Sir Robert Anderson:

The purpose of the miracles was to accredit the Messiah to Israel, and not, as generally supposed, to accredit Christianity to the heathen, and therefore, as Scripture plainly indicates, they continued so long as the testimony was addressed to the Jew, but ceased when, the Jew being set aside, the Gospel went out to the Gentile world.

Mr. Anderson also wrote:

We shall be prepared to find that so long as the kingdom was being preached to the Jews, miracles abounded, but that when the gospel appealed to the heathen world, miracles lost their prominence, and soon entirely ceased.

There were three periods in Israel’s history which were characterized by miracles; the days of Moses and Joshua, the days of Elijah and Elisha, and the days of Christ and the apostles. Each one of these periods was also characterized by great apostasy on the part of God’s people. The next time that miracles are in evidence will be during the most apostate days of all, when the man of sin shall be revealed, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (II Thessalonians 2:9) …

During this present age “the just shall live by faith” (Galatians 3:11). “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7). We are not to look for signs, but to walk by faith alone in the written Word of God. The Lord rebuked those of His day, and said, “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe” (John 4:48). Later on He said, “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

John LaVier (1906-2005)

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Religious Drunkards

January 22, 2009

When a man thinks he sees two light poles where there is only one, or drives his car back and forth across the center line on the highway, he is usually judged to be drunk – intoxicated with liquor.

What about denominational preachers who think they see two (or more) churches? They tell us that “there is one, true, spiritual, invisible church but there are many local visible Christian churches.” Part of the time these clergymen profess to walk “in the Spirit,” and part of the time as visible Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterian, “Assemblies of God,” “Christian,” “Church of Christ,” Roman Catholic, or Fundamentalists, etc.

“… They are drunken; but not with wine (Isaiah 29:9).

“… Drunk with the wine of her fornication” (Revelation 17:2).

If there is only “one, true, spiritual church” then, of course, the so-called “visible” churches are not “true” and they are not “spiritual.” … Who but a “drunk” could think He is building any one of these man-made, local “churches?”

If you think sectarian preachers are not drunk with Rome’s Babylonish brew, get one to explain Acts 17:24 “the Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.” He will say he agrees perfectly with that, but he will turn right around and contend that his … steeple house is “a house of God” or a “sanctuary.” Then, when faced with the clear revelation as to exactly where God does dwell (on earth) today, namely, in the hearts of [the] saved … (II Corinthians 13:5) the reeling cleric will lunge into that lane as though he were actually driving there.

The cure for those who have become intoxicated on the “aged” liquors of “the mother of harlots” and her older daughters, – the sole cure of those addicted to “the wine of her fornication” is to go to “the pure blood of the grape” (Deuteronomy 32:14). This is the wine that is “without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1). The Lord Jesus Christ is “the true vine” (John 15:1) from which this life-giving and life-sustaining “drink” comes. “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). The name of this true church is “Christ” (I Corinthains12:12).

According to God’s clear Word there is but one, true spiritual church [today]; but to contend that it is only invisible is either dishonest or inexcusably ignorant. The … new creation in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17) makes us a living member of the one, true, spiritual church. “For by one Spirit are we ALL baptized into one body …” (I Corinthians 12:13; see also Ephesians 1:22-23).

Maurice Johnson
Religious Drunkards (1940)

Christianity’s Gross Conformity

January 22, 2009

Every society in the world, including Israel, had its specialized holy seasons, holy places, and holy people. In Christianity, all three were abolished … They had no holy buildings, but met in private houses – the incarnation of God had made the secular sacred. As for holy people, why, all believers were called to be that holy people … There is no priestly body within Christianity. It is a one-class society – though you would never guess as much, so grossly has conformity to pagan and Old-Testament models distorted this unique facet of Christ’s community.

 Edward M.B. Green
Mission and Ministry

Freedom from Judaism

January 22, 2009

Judaism, in the Old Testament, was characterized by: (1) sacrifices, (2) laws and regulations, (3) a special priesthood, and (4) buildings, i.e., the Tabernacle in the wilderness, and, later, the Temple in Jerusalem. Jesus came to set God’s people free from all four!

Nate Krupp
God’s Simple Plan for His Church (1993)

Doctrinal Dearth

January 15, 2009

The question remains: What of the great liberating, positional truths have you learned “at church” – whether it be through your “local Bible church,” or elsewhere?

From fifty years of close observation, I would say that your chances are just about one in a thousand. If the leadership in the doctrinally sound “church” realized WHO and WHERE they are in the glorified Lord Jesus, would they stop at Romans 5:11, and not enter into Romans 5:12 and beyond? Would they be Old Testament and Synoptic oriented, holding the Church to the earthly level of Israel and her Law?

Miles Stanford (1914-1999)
Pauline Dispensationalism

Law and Grace

January 15, 2009

The most obvious and striking division of the Word of Truth is that between Law and Grace. It is vital to observe that Scripture never mingles these two principles.

Law is God prohibiting and requiring

Grace is God beseeching and bestowing.

Law is a ministry of condemnation;

Grace, of forgiveness.

Law curses;

Grace redeems from that curse.

Law kills;

Grace makes alive.

Law shuts every mouth before God;

Grace opens every mouth to praise Him.

Law puts a great and guilty distance between man and God;

Grace makes guilty man nigh to God.

Law says “do and live”

Grace, “believe and live.”

Law never had a missionary;

Grace is to be preached to every creature.

Law utterly condemns the best man;

Grace freely justifies the worst.

Law is a system of probation;

Grace, of favour.

Under Law the sheep dies at the hand of the shepherd;

Under Grace the Shepherd dies for the sheep.

C.I. Scofield (1843-1921)
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

Identification

January 15, 2009

“Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] SIN entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned [in Adam](Romans 5:12).

Unlike its product sins, SIN could not be forgiven, for it would be sin still. A forgiven thief is still a thief. Hence SIN had to be CONDEMNED to death. “… God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for SIN, CONDEMNED SIN IN THE FLESH” (Romans 8:3). Our SINS were forgiven via the principle of SUBSTITUTION, i.e., “Christ died for our SINS according to the Scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:3).

But our SIN was condemned via the principle of IDENTIFICATION, i.e., “For He hath made Him to be SIN for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Corinthians 5:21).The Savior did not die for sin, but for SINS. Being made sin, our sin, He was judged, condemned and crucified. He, in Himself being the sinless One, died UNTO SIN – out of the realm of sin – having paid the price in full. Hence He was free to raise from among the dead into newness of life – heavenly, glorified, “new creature” life.

Miles Stanford (1914-1999)
Pauline Dispensationalism


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