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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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Friday, June 8, 2012

The Covenant Gospel and Paul's Gospel of Grace - Part IV

 Home Bible Study – Lutz, Florida
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(II Timothy 2:15)

Part IV

Follow up to Bible Question:
Is there more than one gospel in effect today?

We’re going to begin right where we left on in the previous lesson.
For those of you who are new to our Home Bible Study all our previous Bible lessons are available for you to review @ HBSGroup.Blogspot.com

We’re going to be reviewing certain events that took place in the book of Acts (chapters 2 thru 8) in this Bible lesson.  What we find here is a continuation of what we’ve witnessed in the four gospels.  And this is God working primarily with His chosen people (the Jews).  
God’s Prophetic Program has not changed.

More to the point Jesus command to His disciples to take the “Gospel of the Kingdom” to Jew only has not been revoked.

For those of you who may be new to this Bible study I have chosen to rename the Gospel of the Kingdom the Covenant Gospel.  I did this because it links it directly with the Abrahamic Covenant.  (Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 15)

The Covenant Gospel message is this: believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

In order for Jesus to become Israel’s King, and set up His Kingdom here on earth, the nation of Israel had to believe that Jesus was the “Righteous One” or the Messiah.  The Old Testament prophets wrote and spoke to God’s people about His coming.

Isaiah 9

6: For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will be upon His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

7: There will no end to the increase of His government or of peace.  On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore…

However, you cannot exclude the authority of the Mosaic Law as a part of God’s Prophetic Plan.  There was more involved here than just faith in His name.  Obedience to the Law was absolutely essential in order to be “just” and in a place of “right standing” with the Creator God.  
But what does the book say?

Ezekiel 18

5:  “But if a man is righteous (right standing before God) and practices justice and righteousness…

Skip to verse 9 please.

9: if he walks in My (what) statutes and My ordinances so as to deal faithfully – he is (what) righteous and will surely live, declares the LORD GOD.

And:

Leviticus 18
5: ‘So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments (the Mosaic Law), by which a man may live if (this is a conditional statement) he does them; I am the LORD.

Did you know that there are 613 commandments that a Hebrew has to obey each and every day of their lives?  Most people today can’t remember the Ten Commandments!

When the rich young ruler approached Jesus and asked Him, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?”  How did Jesus respond?  Jesus said, “…if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”  (Matthew 19:16-22)

But the Covenant Gospel the disciples continued to preach to the “lost sheep of Israel” only was this truth.  Jesus was the Christ.  But I prefer to let Scripture do the talking.

Please open your Bible to Acts chapter 3.  Peter and John go up to the Jewish temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer.  They encounter a man there who has been lame since birth and heal him in the name of Jesus Christ.

After this miracle, these Jews in attendance were “filled with wonder.”
This is about the year 32 AD, which would be 4 years after Jesus’ Ascension.

Acts 3

12: “…Men of Israel (Take note – who is Peter addressing?  His Jewish brethren of course, therefore, Peter is not speaking to gentiles.) …why are you amazed at this (miracle), or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?

13: “The God of (who exactly) Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers,
(Do you see how strictly Jewish this is?  Not one gentile can claim Abraham or any one of these gentlemen as one of his ancestors and that is a fact), has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and (what’s the next word) disowned (now what’s another word for disowned.  How about rejected) in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him.

14: “But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One (The Messiah) and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,

15: but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.  (Peter did mention Jesus’ resurrection but take note the salvation message which follows doesn’t mention this– read carefully.)

16: And on the basis of faith (in what) in His name, (faith yes; but not in the shed blood of Jesus or in His death, burial, and resurrection, but on the basis of faith in His name) which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the (what) faith which comes through him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.

The only gospel being preached throughout the region (not the world) in this era is the Covenant Gospel and salvation was obtained, “on the basis of faith in His (Jesus) name.

But Peter doesn’t stop there God love him.  He continues speaking to these devout Jewish men about Bible truths I’ve been teaching on for weeks now.

Peter’s uses Scripture to remind these men that the prophets foretold of Jesus coming and that the Righteous One will not return to set up His earthly Kingdom UNTIL each and every Jewish man, woman, and child has repented of their sin of UNBELIEF!   (Read: Acts 3:17-26)

Once again it is now 32 AD and the apostles are still PREACHING THE COVENANT GOSPEL TO THE JEW ONLY.  And there is no other gospel in existence.

In 36 AD, Stephen is martyred (Acts 7).  This is about 7 years after Jesus’ Ascension.

In my opinion, when Israel’s religious leaders rejected Stephen’s “Spirit-filled” testimony re: Jesus being the “Righteous One” or the Messiah, in truth not only did Israel reject the Son of God again it was a defining moment in Scripture.

We’ll cover this point in greater detail later in this series.

As I’ve said many times before, I don’t teach opinion.
So you can take my comment for what it’s worth.

Please open your Bible at Acts chapter 8.

Acts 8

1: Saul (a ranking religious Jew working in the service of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) was in hearty agreement with putting him (Stephen) to death.  And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem and, (be careful – these were not gentile believers.  These were Messianic Jews.  They believed that Jesus was the Son of God and because of this) they were all (scattered – they ran for their lives.  Why?  Because Saul and his band had but one goal; eradicate any and all who dared believe in this man Jesus) throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except (who?) the apostles.

I brought you to this chapter and verse for two reasons.

#1: This begins Saul’s persecution of these Jewish believers throughout the region.

#2: this historical event occurred about 7 years after Pentecost.

It is 7 years after Pentecost and where does where does Scripture place the apostles?
They are still in Jerusalem.   Therefore, this begs the question.

What about the Great Commission?  (Matthew 28:16-20)

In 7 years time, they could have made their way through much of the known world preaching and teaching the “good news” to “all nations” as Jesus commanded them.

Were they lazy?  Were they being derelict in their responsibilities?
Absolutely not!  So, what gives?

The apostles knew their Scripture and the Mosaic Law.
The apostles knew they could NOT go beyond the boundaries of Israel with the Covenant Gospel UNTIL Israel had their KING.   
Please review the Abrahamic Covenant – Genesis 12:1-3.

AND HERE’s THE THING -

Israel could NOT have their King UNTIL the ENTIRE NATION OF ISRAEL – every Israelite (man, woman, and child) BELIEVED that Jesus was the Christ, and then repented of their sin of having CRUCIFIED their MESSIAH.  Baptism was required too.

What did Peter say to his brethren in Acts 2?  Let’s review.
It’s always best to let Scripture speak for itself.

Acts 2

36: “Therefore, let (how many) all the house of Israel (All means all.  It doesn’t mean a few hundred or a few thousand.  It means what it says all.  Every Israelite man, woman, and child) know for certain (believe) that God has made Him both Lord and Christ – this Jesus whom you (what) crucified.”

37: Now when (these devout Jewish men who had gathered from many nations to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost according to Jewish Law) heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”

38: Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of (who) Jesus Christ (why) for the forgiveness of your sins (Peter isn’t speaking about their sins of lying,stealing, and cheating on their taxes to Caesar.  The specific sin Peter is referring to and is informing them they must repent of is that of crucifying their Messiah – do this) and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

This is why the twelve apostles remained in Jerusalem.
The apostles’ mission was incomplete so long as a single Israelite remained an unbeliever.  The apostles knew Jesus would not return to set up His kingdom until every Israelite believed in Him and then repented of their national sin of rejecting Him.


(To be continued)

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GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
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