Home Bible Study – Lutz, Florida
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(2 Timothy 2:15)
Follow up to Bible Question:
Is there more than one gospel in effect today?
I want to take the time to recognize those who may be relatively new to our Home Bible study and also those folks who may have just found us via an internet search.
Thank you for taking the time study God’s Word along with us.
All our previous Bible lessons are available for viewing @ HBSGroup.Blogspot.com
When we left off, we were at the beginning of Acts chapter 8 where Saul begins his persecution of these Messianic Jewish Believers. These Jews believed the message of the Covenant Gospel which is Jesus is the Son of God. Consequently these folks scattered. They ran for their lives and this occurred after the death of Stephen. (Acts 7)
As we begin Acts Chapter 8, God’s Prophetic Program has not changed.
The Creator God continues to minister to His covenant people only (the Jews).
Jesus directive to take the Gospel of the Kingdom (The Covenant Gospel) to “the lost sheep of Israel only is a command Jesus gave to His disciples at the start of His ministry (Matthew 10). This order has not been rescinded.
Therefore, Jesus’ disciples continue to obey this directive as we’ve seen, and history has shown. Why? The answer is quite simple.
Gentiles were not included in the covenant promises between the LORD God and the nation of Israel.
Since the LORD God instigated these Covenants with the Hebrew people, only God can alter/modify/or annul these covenants.
Man has no control over God’s covenants.
When you reach Acts chapter 8, you have tracked 7 years beyond the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ approximately.
Just so you are aware I don’t want you to get “hung up” on the time and the dates of these events. Instead I want you to concentrate on the historical events taking place.
Although the time frame we’ve been following in this teaching series is approximated, most Bible scholars agree with it.
Jesus’ Ascension 29 AD
Pentecost 29 AD
Stephen Martyred 36 AD
Saul’s Conversion 37 AD
I presented an opinion specifically concerning the martyrdom of Stephen. (Acts 7)
I said I would get back to it. That time has come.
False witnesses were “secretly induced” to come forth to testify against Stephen by men from the “Synagogue of the Freedmen” to say they heard him speak “blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” These antagonists stirred up the people against Stephen who had been performing “great wonders and signs among the people.” (Acts 6:10-15)
This mob dragged him before the Jewish Religious rulers and then these false witnesses testified against him before the council.
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
Stephen is present, at this particular time in history, to speak to these Jewish Religious leaders (not in his defense; he committed no crime) to remind them of their significant history beginning with Abram and their unique relationship with their Creator.
I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe in the providence of God.
You see God the Holy Spirit is working through Stephen for Israel’s good.
But the “stiff necked” and “uncircumcised in heart and ears” are resistant to the workings of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, when the Jewish Religious leaders rejected Stephens' Spirit-filled testimony and stoned him to death for reciting it, in truth they not only rejected him they also rejected the Son of God again.
I said that I thought this was an “important” moment in history and in Scripture and here’s why.
In my opinion, because of Israel’s continued stubbornness, it was at this mark in time that the Creator God began the process of “turning away” from the Jews in this era.
The Apostle Paul reaffirms this truth, “…a partial hardening has happened to Israel…” in his letter to the Romans. (Romans 11:25)
As I said previously, this is only my opinion.
But I base my view upon my knowledge of Scripture and the Acts timeline.
I won’t teach opinion. So you do what you will with this information.
But I hope that you will take the time to study it/research it for yourself before drawing any conclusions. At the very least, I pray this will cause you to spend a bit more time in the Word.
I’ve been asked, What if?
What might have happened IF these Jewish Religious Leaders LISTENED to Stephens’ testimony and BELIEVED the Gospel of the Covenant?
If these Religious Leaders had been won over by Stephens' testimony, then they could have repented of their sin of crucifying their Messiah, and been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they could have taken this Gospel (good news) of the Kingdom to the nation of Israel. The people would have responded to their religious leaders by believing, being obedient to the Law, and then Jesus would have returned and set up His kingdom here on earth. Israel would then have be a “light” to the gentiles as God planned.
This is what could have happened.
It was feasible, if only national Israel believed Jesus is the Christ.
(To be continued)
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