Home Bible Study

"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 helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible might not 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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Saturday, August 25, 2012

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

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

Is there more than one gospel in effect today?

Part IX

I want to extend a hearty welcome to those of you who have decided to join our Bible study.  Even though you’re not physically here with us on class night, please know we are aware of you.  And there are many of you.  We give the Holy Spirit the credit and the praise for the work He is doing in that area.  Thank you for taking the time to study God’s Word with us.  We pray you’ll find this home Bible study to be a blessing and become a regular visitor.

FYI: archived Bible lessons are located at: HBSGroup.blogspot.com

Before I begin lesson nine, I think it’s best to review the reason why I chose to teach on this subject and bring it into the light. 

A few months ago, after one of our Bible studies here in Florida, this question was brought up before the class.

“Does it really matter what we believe (pertaining to our salvation) so long as we believe in Jesus?” 

My response was immediate and absolutely, “YES!”
Why, because the Bible says so. 

I believe God, which means a whole lot more than just believing in God…
You see, even the devil believes IN God. 
The problem is the devil does NOT believe God. 
The majority of people on this planet have the same problem today.
They believe in (a) god but they do NOT believe God.
More to the point they do not believe in what God has said. 
Read your Bible.  Man has always experienced this problem.   …Nothing new here.

I believe the Bible is 100% accurate in its original form. 

There are certain things in Scripture that God has chosen not to reveal to mankind.
That’s His prerogative.  He is God.  We humans need to accept this, and trust God.
Those things which God has chosen to reveal to us (See Deuteronomy 29:29) belong to us Believers.  We need to believe and act on them accordingly. 
Having said that please know this.

I believe that God says what He means and means what He says. 

There are no “grey areas,” when it comes to your SALVATION or mine.
There are no Bible “mysteries” to be found surrounding this subject material.
The Lord Jesus Christ has spoken and His message is quite simple and it’s quite clear.
Consequently, we must follow His plan.  It’s as simple as that.

I’ve read this book.  Nowhere in it does it give us leeway to freelance.  We cannot change the Lord’s salvation plan to suit us or because we think we have a better one.

I find it remarkable that humans have taken this process (salvation) which God has made so simple a small child can comprehend it and complicated it to such a degree that almost no one understands it.  In fact, they have people wondering if they are good enough to make it into God’s heaven.

Here’s an example.  I’m not going to get too specific.  I try not to attack people or organizations.  There’s nothing to be gained from such behavior.  We Believers should strive to build up the Body of Christ and not diminish it in any way.  Amen.

I worked with an RN for a number of years.  This individual was very intelligent.
He was a professional.  We had much in common, which is why we sort of hit it off from the start.  We were both raised in the same faith.  We both went to the same faith-based school.  We were both altar boys, etc.  I had changed denominations. 
He remained faithful to his.  He had been a member of this faith for over 50 years.

This man knew I taught a Bible class and yet we never talked about such things.
In fact, he avoided the topic.  I’m not one to hit people over the head with the Bible.
The Holy Spirit opens doors.  I’m prepared when that happens.

One day a patient was at the reception desk, checking out, and we were discussing life after death.  I did not bring the subject up the patient did.  When you work in a hospital, the subject of life and death come up often.  This patient asked me my opinion about life after death and I gave it freely.  At that exact moment this RN arrived at the front desk to assist this patient.  The patient asked the RN did he believe in life after death and did he think he was going to heaven.  The RN said he believed that there was life after death.  But he wasn’t sure he was going to heaven.  He said, “I hope so.” 

I hope so?”  Fifty years a Believer and he isn’t sure he is going to heaven?
Who failed this man?  It wasn’t the Scriptures?

I know I’m going to see my Lord and Savior one day.
I know this for a fact!  

God said, “For by grace you have (that’s past tense) been saved (how is that accomplished these days) through faith; and that not of yourselves, (there isn’t anything we can do to earn salvation) it is the gift of God; not as a result of works (works = anything you think you have to do to earn God’s favor), so that no one may boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9

You may want to read those Bible verses again.  They are telling you that salvation is a gift from God to anyone who believes that Jesus Christ shed His blood on that Roman cross for their sins, was buried, and rose again on the 3rd day, according to the Scriptures.                     

If you believe the Gospel of Grace, the Apostle Paul’s gospel, and this is where you stand, in other words, you have no intention of changing your mind, or waiting for the day when some man or woman approaches you with a better deal, then you are truly saved, and then immediately baptized with the Holy Spirit.

You do not need to join a particular church group, be baptized with water, tithe a certain amount “religiously, climb the highest mountain, swim the deepest sea, walk a thousand miles barefoot, or fast for a thousand days.  These things are works!

If people truly understood the Lord Jesus Christ’s plan of Salvation, believe me, they would stop trying to EARN salvation.
The twelve apostles, chosen by Jesus, were sent out by Jesus to preach only to the Jews, “that the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  This is in accordance with the Covenant Gospel in keeping with the covenant promises God made to Abram in the Abrahamic Covenant.  (See Genesis chapters 12; 15). 

Jesus came to fulfill the promises made to the fathers.  (See Romans 15:8).

The nation of Israel rejected this gospel and its Messenger.
Therefore, God chose a man named Saul to be His apostle to the gentiles and the gospel message changed as well.  Saul became Paul and Paul preached Jesus Crucified.
God has not forsaken His Covenant people.  Remember this.

I want you to open your Bible, and search the four gospels for anything, even a hint, that salvation was dependent upon believing that Jesus Christ shed His blood for their sins.  I can save you some time.  It’s not in there. 

But people put it in there…all the time.
It doesn’t belong in there. 

This is why I keep saying you must learn to, “Rightly Divide the Word of Truth. 
You already do that, partially, when you proclaim that you must separate Law from Grace.  I want to know why you stop there. 

The risen Lord Jesus Christ gave The Gospel of Grace by revelation to the apostle Paul and commanded him to preach it to the gentiles and the Jews because NOW there is no DIFFERENCE.  Before this there was a difference. 

Our Grace Age Doctrines come from the Apostle Paul and NO WHERE else.                            I cannot understand why people choose to ignore his teachings or his writings.                     

These are the Apostle’s Peter’s words, not mine.

 Acts 9

Saul Begins to Preach Christ

19b: Now for several days he was with the disciples (these were not the apostles) who were at Damascus. 

20: and immediately he (Saul) began to proclaim (who) Jesus (where exactly) in the synagogues, (note the plurality) saying, (read carefully) “He is the Son of God.” 

Now the casual Bible reader will reach verse 20 above and skim right on over it. 
There’s quite a bit going on so we’re going to park here for a minute or two.

You read that Saul immediately began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues. 
You’re not going to find gentiles in any synagogue.  That’s one. 
Another thing you should understand is this.  Saul preached “Jesus is the Son of God.”
This is the message of the Covenant Gospel. 

What gives?
Saul was saved under the Covenant Gospel program.
How do we know this to be true?  The message of this gospel was believe in Jesus. 
And who is Jesus?  He is the Son of God.”
Saul Knew His Old Testament.  He’s familiar with the prophets and the prophecies concerning the Promised One.  But this is all the information Saul has to work with.
God hasn’t revealed anything else to him yet.

One more thing about Saul’s conversion you should know.
When does a Grace Age Believer receive the gift of the Holy Spirit once he or she becomes a Believer?  The answer is immediately.  I Corinthians 12:13.

When did Saul receive the Holy Spirit?
Remember, the Lord Jesus Christ sent Ananias to the house of Judas (not that Judas) to lay his hands on Saul so that would regain his sight.  But that’s not all.

Acts 9

17: So Ananias departed (as the Lord commanded him) and entered the house, and (read carefully) after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and (what) be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 

Saul did not receive the gift of the Holy Spirit until a disciple of the Lord, living at Damascus, laid his hands on Saul.  We see this marvel over and over again taking place in the book of Acts.  Phillip in Samaria is one occasion.   Phillip preached Jesus Christ to these folks but they did not receive the Holy Spirit until Peter and John left Jerusalem and began to pray that they would receive the Holy Spirit.  Until this, after professing their faith, and believing that Jesus is the Christ, they had simply been baptized.
It wasn't until Peter and John actually laid their hands on them in Samaria that they received the gift of the Holy Spirit.  (See Acts 8: 13-17)
18: And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he (Saul) regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized (by Ananias);

The Covenant Gospel is still the law of the land. 
Let’s return to the Bible text.

Acts 9

 21: All those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, “Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name (Jesus), and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?”

22: But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by (doing what) proving (that Jesus died on the cross for their sins?  NO! What does the book say?  Saul proved to these Jews that) this Jesus is the Christ. 

And consider this no small feat.  Saul had built up a reputation as a persecutor of anyone who confessed to believe in what he was now preaching.   

23: When many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him,

24: but their plot became known to Saul.  They were also watching the gates day and night so that they might put him to death;

(To be continued)

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 13, 2012

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

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

Is there more than one gospel in effect today?


“There are two great revelators, or unfolders of Divine Truth in the Bible—Moses in the Old Testament, and Paul in the New.”  William R. Newell

Before we begin let’s review the historical backdrop of this era. 
To get the most out of your Bible study it’s a good idea to review the events taking place at that time, the politics, the religions, and the stresses these people encountered in their day-to-day. 

It is now the year 37 AD.  Eight years after the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

·         The Roman Emperor Tiberius is dead after a long illness.  It is rumored that he was smothered with a pillow while lying in bed.  Evidently, he wasn’t dying fast enough.
·         Caligula is now emperor of Rome.
·         Pontius Pilate commits suicide.
·         The future Roman emperor Nero is born.
·         It has been a year since Stephen was martyred for his faith in Jesus Christ.
·         The members of the Jewish Council who were responsible for this act had hoped that Stephen’s death would weaken others faith in Christ, if not destroy it altogether, but it had the opposite effect.  Faith in “the Way” or in Jesus Christ continued to spread throughout Judea and Samaria. 
·         Saul, a Pharisee, and believing he was working in the service of God, persecuted these believers.  Facing imprisonment and/or death for their faith, eventually these Messianic Believers fled beyond their homeland.  
·         Saul sought permission from the Jewish High Priest to search for these Believers in the city of Damascus in Syria.  If any were found, he would capture them, and return them to Jerusalem to be judged and martyred. 

 Acts 9

1: Now Saul, still breathing threats and (what’s the next word) murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,

2: and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

3: As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus (Damascus is gentile ground even though Jewish synagogues are located there), and suddenly a light from (where) heaven flashed around him; 

4: and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

5: And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”  (Now I believe Saul had a pretty good idea who this was.  A light from heaven just knocked him off his horse.  A disembodied voice called him by name.  Think about it.  But I also believe he thinks its Jehovah (God) because his response reveals this.  A God-fearing Jew will not utter the name of God instead they will use the name Lord) And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.”

There’s a kick in the head.  The very person’s memory he had been trying to erase from the planet and anyone who confesses faith in Him is the very One he worshiped!

FYI: since Genesis 2:4, God the Son and Jehovah are One and the same. 
Jesus is Jehovah.

[Question: when Saul encountered Jesus Christ on the Damascus road, do you recall where He spoke from?  Jesus speaks from heaven.  See Psalms 110:1; Acts 1:9-11.]

Acts 9

6: but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.”
(This isn’t a request.  It’s a command.)

7: The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.

8: Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; (Saul who was fanatical  in his efforts to eradicate any and all who believed in Jesus Christ, with his “eyes” wide open, was in all actuality blind as a bat spiritually) and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus.

Jesus and Saul were contemporaries.   In other words, they existed at the same time and in the same place but more than that.  It’s quite likely that Saul had heard Jesus preach.  Hearing is not the same as seeing, and seeing is not the same as believing.  Although it’s more than likely Saul heard Jesus teach, he was obviously not a follower.  

Today we have the Word of Truth and the Lord Jesus Christ is the Author.
The risen Lord has given us sound doctrine through the Apostle Paul, and yet many
Christians, with their “eyes” wide open, choose to go their own way. 

Lest you think this is only my opinion, please allow me.  Scripture reveals truth.

II Timothy 4

2: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

3: For the time will come when they (Christians) will not endure (what) sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own (what’s the next word) desires, (you could substitute the word lusts without harming the text.)

4: and will turn away their ears from the (what) truth and will turn aside to myths (myth = a widely held but mistaken belief).

 Who doesn’t believe we are seeing this activity taking place in our homes, in our communities, in the workplace, and in our churches?  Open your eyes.

o   There are gay and lesbian pastors preaching in the church.  
o   Homosexual marriage is approved by many church denominations.
o   Contraception devices are being given to children as young as eight years old with parent approval.    
o   The divorce rate among Christians is greater than 50%.  Our children look at this figure and we question why they are disillusioned about marriage.  Consequently, they choose to live together out of wedlock because they believe that separation at some point is inevitable.  “Try it before you buy it” is their motto.
o   Many churches have “drifted” away from the doctrinal teachings of the New Testament.  Some of these churches have even denied the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, and salvation by grace alone through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
o   Many Christians have a “liberal” perspective on abortion.  What does this mean?

Every conception creates a human life and God loves and honors that human life and wants it to develop to its full potential.  Every abortion is tragic insofar as it ends a human life.
Every woman's life is dear to God as well.  God loves the mother as much as the child and wants childbearing to be a joy for her.  God never values the child above the mother (as most anti-choice advocates do) nor the mother above the child.

In some circumstances, bearing a child would bring great hardship to the mother and to others in her family.  In such a case, one may have to weigh whether the cost of bringing a new life into the world is justified when the impacts on other lives are considered.   This is a never a judgment to be made lightly, nor is there a simple rule one can follow, as the circumstances vary so much from one situation to another.  All things considered, in some circumstances it is better not to continue the pregnancy.  (Just as, in some circumstances it is better not to continue a marriage.)
Abortion A Liberal Christian Perspective

  • Four out of ten Christians surveyed believe that Satan is only a “symbol” for evil.         He does not exist.
  • 25% of the Christians polled believe that Jesus was a sinner
  • 40% of Christians surveyed believe the Holy Spirit is only a symbol for good.                 He does not exist
  • One out of five Christians denies the accuracy of the Bible.                                          Another 5% aren’t sure what they believe.

These folks have rejected “sound doctrine.”  They accept and believe “myths” instead.

Saul was an intelligent man.  He had the Old Testament; the prophecies included.
Saul also had the benefit of witnessing Jesus teach in public.  If he did not see the miracles firsthand, I know he heard about them. 

But Saul was blind to the truth as many are today.

2 Corinthians 4

3: And even if our gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,

4: in whose case the god of this world (Satan) has (what) blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.  (Satan does exist.)

Acts 9
9: And he (Saul) was three days (There’s the number 3 again.  Jonah was a rebel.             How much time did Jonah spend in the great fish’s belly…three days is the answer.   For those 3 days Saul was) without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

10: Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.”  And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”

11: And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying,

12: and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.”
13: But Ananias answered, “Lord I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem;

14: and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”

15: But the Lord said to him, “Go, (In other words, stop right there!  Do not question My authority) for he is a (what) chosen instrument of Mine, (Saul was selected by the risen Lord as He did the other apostles for His service.  The one important fact to bear in mind about Saul’s ministry is this.  Saul was chosen beyond Israel’s territory on gentile ground.  Where were the 12 apostles chosen?  I’ll let you research this one.)
to bear My name before the Gentiles (If you know you’re Bible, then you understand that this is a significant change in God’s program.  Salvation has not been preached or offered to the gentiles) and kings (this was fulfilled - Acts 25:23; 26:32; 27:24) and the sons of Israel;

16: for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
(Saul would suffer.  Some say to make up for all the harm he caused to those he persecuted.  In any case, he would eventually be martyred)

17: So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be (what) filled with the Holy Spirit.”

18: And (how soon) immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized;

19: and he took food and was strengthened.

 (to be continued)

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved

Sunday, August 5, 2012

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

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

Is there more than one gospel in effect today?

Part VII

Welcome back.  We’re here to study the Word of Truth so let’s get to it.
Please open your Bible to Acts chapter 8.

Acts 8

1: Saul (a Pharisee) was in hearty agreement with putting him (Stephen) to death. (Why?  Because Stephen confessed his belief in Jesus as the Son of God and these Jewish Religious Leaders declared him guilty of blasphemy.  It was illegal according to Roman law for the Jews to execute anyone but sometimes they permitted it.  When a Jew was executed by their brethren, they often chose to stone them to death.) And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

The Church, as we know it today, did not exist at this time in history.
The word “church,” as it’s used here, in the Greek, translates to ekklesia.
Ekklesia means – a called out assembly.

Word Origin

In our English Bible the Greek word, "ekklesia" is translated in most places "church." The word "ekklesia" is found in one hundred and fifteen places in the New Testament.     It is translated in English one hundred and thirteen times "church" and the remaining times it is translated "assembly."   In classical Greek the word "ekklesia" meant "an assembly of citizens summoned by the crier, the legislative assembly."

The word as used in the New Testament is taken from the root of this word, which simply means to "call out."  In New Testament times the word was exclusively used to represent a group of people assembled together for a particular cause or purpose. 

It was never used exclusively to refer to a religious meeting or group.

When the Bible was first translated into English the concept of a universal church was already in existence in the form of the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches of that day.  The word "church" was first used by Theodore Beza in 1556, a Protestant, who followed John Calvin at Geneva, Switzerland.  

As a Presbyterian, Beza believed in the idea of a catholic church and its hierarchal form of government and therefore chose to support this false concept by using the word “church" instead of "assembly."   The reason is obvious in that the use of the word "congregation" or "assembly" would not support his church's hierarchical form of church government.

William Whittingham's Testament of 1557 followed Beza's usage of "church" and was actually the first edition of the Geneva Bible and was a revision of the Tyndale New Testament.

The first English Bible translated from Greek did not translate the word "ekklesia" as church.

Tyndale's translation was the first English Bible to draw directly from Hebrew and Greek texts, the first English one to take advantage of the printing press, and first of the new English Bibles of the Reformation. 

William Tyndale's translation (1526) correctly used the term "congregation."               

Tyndale completed the translation of the New Testament and part of the Old Testament before he was martyred. 

John Rogers, an assistant and friend of William Tyndale, completed the translation of the Old Testament using some work from Coverdale and published the first entire Tyndale Bible under the pen name "Thomas Matthew.”  This Bible was called the Matthew's Bible (1537) and also used the term "congregation."

The next English Bible, the Great Bible (1539), also used the term "congregation." However, in 1557 the Geneva New Testament, produced by William Whittingham, was the first to translate "ekklesia" as "church."  It is important to note the Protestant source of this translation.

Because the Geneva Bible was printed in Europe and not in England the English people desired a Bible published in their native country.  This was the reason for the next English Bible, the Bishops Bible (1568) which was a revision of the Geneva Bible and this translation continued the use of the term "church" as has all subsequence English translations including the King James Version.  

This shows that the use of the word "church" instead of "assembly" or "congregation" came from those who had a bias towards a hierarchical and unscriptural form of church government.   To have translated the word "ekklesia" accurately into "assembly" or congregation" would have exposed their form of church government as being in error.         By Cooper P. Abrams, III

FYI: as I’ve said before, history must be considered when you study your Bible.

Saul began his persecution of these Messianic believers about the year 36AD; which was seven years after the Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Acts 8

3: But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison.

4: Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.

The only “word” or gospel available to preach was the Old Testament.
People assume wrongly that the New Testament writings were available at this time.
The books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were not written until shortly before 70 AD.

Since the O.T. is all they had to work with, then it stands to reason the gospel they          went about preaching” was the Gospel of the Covenant, or “Jesus is the Christ!”

For those of you who know me understand that I don’t rely on common sense as a teaching tool.  I go by what this book says.  Skip down to verse 5.

Acts 8

5: Phillip went down to Samaria and began proclaiming (who) Christ to them
(Samaritans are more Jew than Gentile; they were half-breeds).

6: The crowds with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Phillip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing (Even though these are not full-blooded Jews in Samaria we see the same Jewish program as witnessed in the four gospels.  Jews required a “sign” before they would believe; however, they seldom followed through.  Jesus’ ministry is one example of this truth.  He spoke and performed countless miracles and signs yet few believed in Him).

7: For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed.

Let’s go to verse 12.  I said earlier the only gospel available at this time was the Gospel of the Covenant and this is exactly what the book says.

12: (Read your Bible carefully) But when they believed Phillip preaching the good news about (Jesus crucified and dying for their sins?  No!  What does the book say) the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike.

Clearly Phillip is not preaching salvation to these Samaritans based upon their belief that Jesus Christ shed His blood for their sins. 

The Covenant gospel goes all the way back to John the Baptist’s message in the book of Matthew.  Do you recall what it was?  “The kingdom of heaven is at hand, repent and be baptized.”  This was the Jewish message.   Why?  Their promised King had come.

You need to know what your Bible says; but it is just as important to appreciate what your Bible DOES NOT SAY, especially in this age.  Amen

Before we leave Acts chapter 8 there is one more example I want to direct your attention to.  It’s the account of the Ethiopian eunuch.  This Ethiopian was reading a passage from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 53:8) but he did not grasp its meaning.  Phillip was sent to help him understand what he was reading.   Let’s drop in at Verse 34.

Acts 8

30: Phillip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

31: And he said, “Well, how could I unless someone guides me?”

Skip to verse 34.

34: The eunuch answered Phillip and said, “Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this?  Of himself or of someone else?

35: Then Phillip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached (Who) Jesus to him.

36: As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look!   Water!  What prevents me from being baptized?”

37: [And Phillip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”  And he answered and said, (I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, was buried, and rose again on the 3rd day, according to the Scriptures?  No!  What does the book say?)
I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”]

This is the only gospel message they had to work with folks.
I pray after all this time that you see this truth.
There wasn’t a separate gospel for Jews and then one for gentiles at this time.
There was no gospel message going out to gentiles in this era. 

The Covenant Gospel is linked to God’s Prophetic Program, which in turn is linked to the Abrahamic Covenant.  (Genesis 12; 15)

Those of you who have been with me these past few years have heard me say this, but for those of you who are new it bears repeating.  Bible prophecy is directed to the nation of Israel in almost every case and these prophecies are usually given in a time frame.

God’s Prophetic Program is laid out for all to see in the book of Psalms.

Psalms 2

1: Why are the nations (gentiles) in an uproar And the peoples (Jews) devising a vain thing?

2: The (gentile) kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers (Israel’s Religious Leaders) take counsel together (See Acts 4:27) Against the LORD and against His Anointed (God the Father sent His Son to be King of Israel, to set up His Kingdom on earth, and to bring salvation to the gentiles.  But for this to come about the nation of Israel had to believe as one that Jesus was the Christ.  But the leaders met) saying,

3: “Let us (Jew and Gentile) tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!”
(The rebels reveal the reason for their opposition.  They view God’s Law as oppressive.  They say.  We will not have God or His Son rule over us!  We have no king but Caesar!)

4: He who sits in heavens laughs, The LORD scoffs at them (God shows His contempt for man’s rebellion by laughing.  Man’s conspiracies against God are foolish and doomed to failure.   See Psalm 37:12-13)

5: Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying (this points to the coming tribulation period.  See Matthew 25:21-2),

6: But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, (Jerusalem) My holy mountain (this speaks of the King and the Kingdom here on earth which the Old Testament prophets preached about and John the Baptist heralded).

I’m trying to help you understand what your Bible says.  The only program the Jews and Jesus’ disciples were aware of is God’s Prophetic Program concerning the nation of Israel. 

They knew nothing about the Church Age or salvation apart from the Law. 
There’s not a hint of any of that either in the Old Testament or the four gospels.  
And Jesus never spoke of it.

The Church Age was something God kept secret until He decided it was time to reveal it.  This is just one of the “mystery’s” God revealed to the apostle Paul. 

Turn to the book of Deuteronomy chapter 29.
Deuteronomy 29

29: “The (what) secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons (how long) forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

God is sovereign.  If He chooses to withhold information from His creation, that is His prerogative.

(To be continued)

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GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
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