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"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is both helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible often doesn't tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Covenant Gospel and Paul's Gospel of Grace

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

Revelation 20: 7-10

Bible Question – Follow up
Is there more than one gospel today?

Greetings:
Why are we “parked” on the topic of which gospel is applicable today?
Answer:  it’s a salvation issue so it’s essential.

First, there is NOT more than one gospel in existence today.

At one time the Gospel of the Kingdom was preached to the Jew only.
But this gospel and the preaching of it have been set aside for a time.

The gospel by which an individual is saved today is called the Gospel of Grace.
And they are NOT the same.

I’m going to begin with the Covenant Gospel simply because it came first.

The Covenant Gospel or the Gospel of the Kingdom
The Apostle Paul writes:

Romans 15
8: For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision (the Israelites were the only people employing the act of circumcision) on behalf of the truth of God to (what’s the next word) confirm the promises given to the fathers (who were Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob),

The Apostle Paul is referring to the “promises” given to the Jewish patriarchs by the LORD God in the Abrahamic Covenant.  There are three basic components in this Unilateral Covenant:
1.      From Abraham God would make a great nation (Israel)
2.      God would place them in a specific geographical area
3.      They would have their own government

Much later the LORD God established a covenant with David.
This is another unilateral covenant.
Which means it cannot be broken by man or nation irrespective of what they do.
This Davidic Covenant had to do with a “sphere of rule,” “a throne,” “a royal reign over a kingdom,” that would be established forever.

God’s Covenant with David
I Samuel 7
12: “When your (David) days are complete and you lie down with your father, (note the “I will’s please) I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his (what’s the next word) kingdom.”

13: “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom (for how long) forever.”  (How long is forever?  Forever is never ending.  So who is the LORD God speaking of?  He’s referring to the coming Messiah and the future millennial Kingdom here on earth.)

So from this point onward in time what did every God-fearing Jew understand and look forward to?  The coming Messiah and the Kingdom!

The prophets foretold of His coming.  They did not know the hour of His arrival but the Israelites knew one day this would happen.  God is faithful.  He keeps His word!

Now let’s go to the book of Matthew.
Matthew writes primarily to a Jewish audience.  The overall theme of his gospel presents Jesus Christ to his audience as the Messianic King of the Jews.

The Preaching of John the Baptist
Matthew 3
1: Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, (Don’t just read Scripture – pay close attention to what you are reading.
This will help you.) “Repent, for the (what) kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

John the Baptist’s arrival was foretold by the prophet Isaiah.
By the way the Israelites were aware of this too, especially the religious leaders.

Isaiah 40
3: A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.

Please skip to Matthew chapter 4.
Here we have Jesus at the onset of His ministry to His people.

Ministry in Galilee
Matthew 4
23: Jesus was going about throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues (by the way how many gentiles will you find in a Jewish synagogue?  Not one.) and proclaiming (read carefully) the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.
What is the message of the Gospel of the Kingdom?  It is this.

THE ONE WHOM THE PROPHETS PROCLAIMED, HAD SPOKEN AND WRITTEN OF, WAS STANDING AT THE DOOR.  THE SON OF DAVID THE KING OF ISRAEL HAD COME.  REPENT AND BE BAPTIZED ACCORDING TO JEWISH LAW AND BELIEVE.

What were they to believe?
I prefer to let Scripture explain.  Please turn to John chapter 1.

John 1

11: He (Jesus) came to His own, and those who were His own (the Israelites) did not receive Him.

12: But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who (believed that He died for their sins, that He was crucified, buried in a tomb, and yet rose to life again on the 3rd day according to the Scriptures.  No.  Please read what it the book says) believe in His name. 

This was one third of the requirement for salvation at the time of Jesus ministry on the earth.  Repentance and water baptism were to follow belief to complete the process.

Earlier in this lesson, I reminded you of what the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans in chapter 15.  Jesus Christ became a “servant” to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers.”

This is why He could not have a ministry to any other than the Israelites.
The LORD God’s promise to Abraham was to His seed (the Jews) not to everyone.
Jesus came (was sent) to fulfill the promises made to the fathers.
I cannot overstate this important truth enough.
This is what the book says.

I’m going to show you some verses in Scripture that I dare say many are not aware of.
I honestly do not recall ever hearing them myself while sitting in a church pew.
But these verses are in your Bible so you have to deal with them.

I need to make you aware because they support this teaching.
Jesus did NOT have a ministry to the Gentiles while He was here on earth.

Please skip to Matthew chapter 10.

Here we have Jesus, after He has summoned the twelve disciples, gave them authority over unclean spirits, the power to cast them out, and the ability to heal every kind of disease and sickness, and He is now prepping them for their first missionary journey.

Now read carefully Jesus’ words – not mine!

Matthew 10

5: These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: Do not go in the way of the (whom?) Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; (these are non-Jews as well.)

6:But rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

7: “And as you go, preach saying, (read carefully) The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

This preaching was meant only for the nation of Israel.  Gentiles were not included.

Now, honestly, do you believe this instruction from Jesus to the twelve was a command or a suggestion?  Read it again, if you are unsure.

But “do not” is a command.  It is not a suggestion.  The twelve were obedient.
Scripture reveals truth.  You just have to study the book.
Please go to Matthew chapter 15.

The Syrophoenician Woman
Matthew 15
21: Jesus went away from there, and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon.

22: And a Canaanite (here’s the first thing that should pop into your thought process.  Canaanite = non-Jew) woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon possessed.”  (Now picture this please.  We have a gentile woman.  We have been told that Jesus Christ ministered to EVERYONE during His earthly ministry.  Jew or Gentile makes no difference.  All will be saved!  All will be helped.  Correct?  She’s in distress.  She’s crying out, calling Jesus by name, declaring him publicly as Lord, Son of David.  That’s a demonstration of faith folks.  How does Jesus respond?  Read on.

23: But He did not answer her a word.  (What about His disciples?  Surely they will come to her aid.  Here’s a poor unfortunate.  She needs help.  They are trained to help.
That’s their mission.  How do they respond?) And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, “Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us.”

24: But He (Jesus) answered and said, (pay attention) “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”   Only means only.   Jesus was sent to the nation of Israel.  Why? “To fulfill the promises made to the fathers…”  Remember the Abrahamic Covenant!

So this is the Gospel of the Kingdom.  It was “good news” for the nation of Israel only.

Remember this: whenever you read the words of the Peter, James, John, Matthew, Mark, Luke, etc., you need to always remember they speak and write from COVENANT GROUND.

This is what I’m referring to when I say, “Rightly divide the Word of Truth.”

The Apostle to the Gentiles writes:

Romans 3

1: Then what advantage has the Jew?  Or what is the benefit of circumcision?

2: Great in every respect.  First of all, they (the Israelites) were entrusted with the oracles of God.

The Law was established between the LORD God, Moses, and the sons of Israel.

Leviticus 27

46: These are the statutes and ordinances and laws which the LORD established between Himself and the sons of Israel (how many gentiles will you find among the “sons of Israel” at this juncture?  Not one.) through Moses at Mount Sinai.

And once these statutes and ordinances from God to His chosen people, the Jews, had been established, God commanded that the fathers teach them to the children of the generations to come.

Psalms 78

5: For He (the LORD God) established a testimony in Jacob (the nation of Israel) And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers That they should teach them to their children, (See Psalm 19:7)

6: That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, That they may arise and tell them to their children,

7: That they should put their confidence (what’s another word for confidence?  Faith!) And not forget the works of God,

Once again, no other nation on earth has had a partnership in the statutes and ordinances (the Oracles) God gave to His elect the Jew.

This is a Bible truth you must learn.  This Bible verse explains this quite clearly.

Psalms 147

19: He (the LORD God) declares His words to Jacob (the nation of Israel), His statutes and His ordinances to Israel (Scripture interprets Scripture).

20: He has not dealt thus with any nation; And as for His ordinances, they (nations other than Israel) have (what’s the next word folks) not known them.  Praise the LORD!

These Bible verses say what it means and means what it says.  
Non-Jews (Gentiles) were ungodly pagans and clearly outside the covenant promises made to the Jewish patriarchs i.e. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

You may NOT arbitrarily add gentiles to these covenant promises.
The Creator God did not; therefore, we may not.

When this book says that Jesus Christ came to His own, to fulfill the promises made to the fathers, under the Abrahamic Covenant, that is exactly what it means.

We’ll examine Paul’s Gospel in the next lesson.

(To be continued)


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