Featured

[Featured][bsummary]

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth



Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
- 2 Timothy 2:15

"Right Division"

It breaks my heart to see these two words tearing the prophecy watching community apart. I genuinely feel a heaviness deep within my spirit. Tears spring forth to my eyes as friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, face off in literal division over this phrase. The body of Christ is being torn apart, limb by limb.

Now guys, I love theology. I love studying the bible, I love sound doctrine, I love prophecy, and I love "right division". What I do not love is debate and conflict. Some are gifted in this area, but I am not. I try my best to "always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks [me] for a reason for the hope that is in [me]; yet do it with gentleness and respect..." (1 Peter 3:15). But I am not a master with words. They do not come quickly to me; I must ponder and digest and write and edit. And often, I must apologize—as sometimes my intentions are misunderstood. There are many in this so-called "right division" debate who could beat me with their pinkie finger in a war with words. But is this what we want? A war with our brothers and sisters?

Our true battle is the one with the spiritual realm.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
- Ephesians 6:12–18




What's This All About?

Let me back up a few steps. In the post-Rev12-sign-days, I have noticed a shifted focus in the prophecy watching community to what has been termed "Right Division". Now, I would like to think that all followers of Christ try to understand the Bible correctly. It is, after all, the very word of God. According to 2 Timothy 2, we are indeed to rightly divide the word of truth.

For those who study the scriptures, there are different interpretation methods. I personally believe that a literal, cultural, historical, grammatical approach produces the most reliably correct interpretation of any given verse/passage. It is the method most commonly used in conservative evangelical circles, and is the one that results in a dispensational view of prophecy. It also leads to a literal pretribulation, premillennial rapture view. An excellent summary on this Bible interpretation method can be found here: How to Interpret the Bible.

When the plain sense of scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise. 
- Dr. D.L. Cooper


So far, so good, right? Noble motives, reliable methods. Well, what seems to have occurred is that there are now clusters of believers who call themselves "Right Dividers" as a label, or title. I will refer to it as the "RD Doctrine" here, to distinguish it from believers who "rightly divide" but do not agree with the conclusions of this doctrine. There are a few variations within the view, but I will highlight what I see as some of the main features that distinguish it from other denominations:

  • There are two gospels—one revealed by Jesus/Peter; another revealed by Paul. The Church Age corresponds to "Paul's Gospel of Grace".
  • Repentance is a "work", so we are not to repent, as that would be trying to add "works" to salvation.
  • Water baptism is not an ordinance for believers in the church age.
  • They are dispensational. Classical dispensationalism places the division of law/grace at Acts 2, at the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. RD Doctrine disagrees with this placement of the start of the Age of Grace (Church Age). Some place the division of the Church Age at Acts 9 (Paul's conversion), some at Acts 13 (Paul's first missionary journey)—both of these views are termed Mid-Acts Dispensationalism. Some place the division of the Church Age at Acts 28—this is called Post-Acts Dispensationalism, Ultra-dispensationalism, or Hyper-dispensationalism. (I have noted that they vehemently disagree with these labels, but that is what the views are called for reference sake).
  • There is a strong focus on the Pauline epistles. Most suggest these are the only books of the Bible applicable to believers today.
  • The Gospels, and the Old Testament, were written for, and are applicable to, Jews only. Some concede that the gospel of Luke was written for Gentiles.
  • There is disagreement over whether the following books were written for, and are applicable to, both Jewish and Gentile believers: Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation. All would agree they are for Jewish believers; most would state they do not apply to Gentiles.
  • The following books were written for, and are applicable to, the Jew first and then the Gentiles: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, 1 Thessalonians, and 2 Thessalonians.
  • The following books were written for, and are applicable to, all believers: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.

There are a few troublesome aspects of this doctrine that I wish to discuss below. One of the most alarming features is that while this doctrine focuses heavily on preaching "grace", it is incredibly divisive and offers little to no grace towards those who dissent. Those who call themselves "Right Dividers" as a title, by definition accuse anyone who disagrees with them of being a "wrong divider". Frequently, those who disagree (including such prophecy giants as Chuck Missler, John MacArthur, Jack Kelley, Thomas Ice, Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Clarence Larkin—!?!) are accused of being "in the milk stage", "unwilling to open their eyes", "blindly following denominations", and "refusing truth". I have seen this with my own eyes and have personally been called an unbeliever and unsaved, multiple times, for suggesting there are serious concerns with this view.

I am not here to sway you with wise words or convincing speech. There are many wiser than I, more studied, more eloquent. However, I am here because this phrase—"right division"—keeps coming up again and again in our community, bringing further division within the body of Christ each time. It wrenches my heart and grieves me deeply. Thus, I am here to speak from my heart to yours on this matter, and ask only for your consideration.

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
- 1 Corinthians 2:1–5


The view is indeed very divisive, but is it right?



The Gospel of Grace

Oh, you guys. It's all about Jesus. There is nothing on earth that can compare. He is our hope, our strength, our joy, our light, our song, our salvation. Jesus is our everything. Let's keep Jesus at the forefront of this discussion.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
- Colossians 3:12–17


I hope one thing we can all agree upon is that it's critical to get the gospel right. The first thing to ask when disagreements in doctrine come up—is this a salvation issue?

Let's start with where we agree, using Paul's books alone:

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
- Romans 3:23


For the wages of sin is death.
- Romans 6:23


But God demonstrates His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- Romans 5:8


If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord", and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
- Romans 10:9–10


For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
- Romans 10:13


For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast.
- Ephesians 2:8–9


...the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
- Romans 6:23


There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
- Romans 8:1


For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…
- 1 Corinthians 15:3–4


Can we agree that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, completely apart from human works, lest any man should boast? How are we saved, if not by the grace of God? How are we saved if not by the blood of the Lamb, and bearing the word of His testimony? We confess with our mouths Jesus is Lord, and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead—then we are saved.

This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.
- John 6:29



So what's the big deal?

Well, as I mentioned above, I am frequently called an unbeliever for disagreeing—not with right division—but with "Right Division". Clearly, those who ascribe to this doctrine see it as a salvation issue. I cannot and will not judge anyone's salvation—this is a heart issue between each individual and God. What I can judge is that the gospel is being divided, and this seems very serious to me indeed.


One Gospel, Not Two

In his article, A Different Gospel?, Jack Kelley addresses the two-gospel view much better than I can:

Did Peter and Paul teach the same gospel, or was the message Peter preached to Israel different from the one that Paul carried to the Gentiles?

This “Two Gospel” view, like several other opinions critical of the Bible’s authenticity, originally came from Germany through the writings of Ferdinand Baur of the Tubingen School of Theology. Mr. Baur couldn’t find very much at all to accept in the New Testament as it was written, even disputing the authorship of several of Paul’s letters, accepting only Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Romans as genuine. He also claimed that the Paul of Acts was a different person than the one who wrote these Epistles.

As it was explained to me in one of the emails I received,

"The Twelve taught that Jesus was the Messiah and to repent and be baptized. Everything they taught was under the law, and all of this is true (for the Jews.)

Paul, however, taught the Grace of God and revelation that the ascended Lord gave him, which says we are saved by grace through faith, not of works. If you read the Bible carefully you will see that the Gospels and the letters written by The Twelve are written to and for Jews, not that we can’t learn from them, but our doctrine comes from the Apostle Paul (given by The Ascended Lord) to Jews and Gentiles."

I can’t tell you how many times folks who believe differently than I do have advised me to just read the Bible carefully and I’ll embrace their position, but that’s another story.

Supporters of this view point to Peter’s message to the Jews of "repent and be baptized" while the Gentiles were never told such a thing, only that we’re saved by grace through faith. They claim that Paul received this gospel that had been hidden through out the ages by direct revelation from God, using Galatians 1:11–12 as their authority. If true, this would mean that the Jews were given a different path to salvation, one that combined faith and works, rather than the grace through faith path offered to the Gentiles.

When Baur published his opinions, in the 1830’s and 40’s, even his fellow German critics thought it was too big a departure from traditional thinking, by and large rejecting it. But it has gained popularity again in some circles partly due to Hyam Maccoby, a British scholar of Jewish background, whose book, "The Myth Maker, Paul and the Invention of Christianity", relies heavily on Baur’s work. Surprisingly, Baur’s two-gospel view has also been embraced by the followers of Islam, who use it to support their view that Jesus was the Messiah for the Jews only. And there is at least one TV preacher that teaches this view, basing it on an interpretation of Galatians 2:7–9 that I think is taken out of context.

But we’re interested in everything the Bible says, not just a couple of verses. Was the doctrine of salvation by grace a secret hidden through the ages and revealed only to Paul? Did Peter and Paul preach a different message? Did the Jews receive a different path to salvation than the Gentiles? Were the Gospels and the non-Pauline epistles written only to them?

Was the doctrine of grace unknown in Old Testament times? Over 1,000 years before Paul began preaching, King David had this to say after sinning with Bathsheba:

"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." (Psalm 51:1–2, 16–17)

See how David made no attempt to restore himself to righteousness through his own works. According to the Law both he and Bathsheba should have immediately been put to death. David humbled himself before God, confessed his sin, asked to be forgiven, and was. (2 Samuel 12:13)

Seven centuries before Christ, Micah offered two of the most eloquent descriptions of God’s grace to be found anywhere in the Old Testament:

"With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:6–8)

These and dozens of other references throughout the Old Testament clearly show that the underlying message was one of God’s grace right from the beginning. The sacrifices they offered were required as evidence of their faith in the coming Redeemer, allowing God to set their sins aside until He came. Offering them in the absence of this faith was actually repulsive to God (Isaiah 29:13–14 and 66:2–4). Once the Redeemer arrived on the scene, their sacrifices were not only not required, they were considered blasphemy. The entire letter to the Hebrews is devoted to this idea, (Hebrews 4:9–11; 10:1, 4, 14, 18) and was written, by the way, to Jews in Israel.

Speaking of the similarity of his message to that of the other disciples, Paul had this to say, "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed." (1 Cor. 15:3–4,11)

The confusion here lies not in the Bible, but in our misunderstanding of two words; repent and baptize.

The reason that Jews were told to repent and be baptized is that in spite of the passages I cited above, many had been taught that their salvation came from their works of righteousness. The Greek word translated repent applies to the way one thinks, not to the way one acts. It is perhaps the most misunderstood word in the Bible. When Peter told the Jews to repent and be baptized, as in Acts 2:38, he wasn’t telling them to re-double their efforts to behave more like the Law required, he was telling them to change their minds about their need for a Savior, stop relying on their efforts to keep the Law for their salvation, and receive the gift of grace that had been extended in the Lord’s death on their behalf.

Since Gentiles didn’t have this preconceived notion of a works-based salvation, there was no need to persuade them from it. That’s why there’s no mention of repentance for Gentiles in the Book of Acts. It certainly isn’t because they weren’t sinners in need of a Savior.

When the people asked Jesus, "What must we do to do the work that God requires?" they gave Him the clearest opportunity of His ministry to hand them a list. Here He was, a Jewish rabbi, standing in Israel speaking primarily to Jewish people who wanted to know what God required of them. He could have referred them to the Ten Commandments, or the Sermon on the Mount, or the 613 laws of the Torah. But how did He respond?

"The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent." (John 6:28–29)

Then He said that it was God’s will that everyone who looked to the Son and believed in Him would have Eternal life (John 6:40). Their salvation was based on their belief that He had come to save them, not on their behavior. Just like ours.

The idea that the Gospels were written only to the Jews and teach a faith plus works gospel won’t stand up to scrutiny. There is but one gospel and one path to salvation.

For those desiring further study on the Sermon on the Mount and how we can only "be perfect, as our heavenly Father is perfect" through the imputed righteousness of Christ, I highly recommend Jack Kelley's article series Be Perfect, As Your Heavenly Father is Perfect Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

There's only one gospel—one redemption plan. It's all about Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The Old Testament and the Gospels pointed forward to the cross. The New Testament points backwards to the cross. We would do well to heed the warning given by Jesus through the Apostle Paul:

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
- Galatians 1:6–10




Repentance

As Jack Kelley mentioned in the article quoted above, repentance is not about the way we act, but about the way we think. It's not what we "do" (a work), it's what we "believe" (not a work). We chose to sin and Jesus chose to be a "sin-bearer" and take God’s wrath for us. God offers an all-inclusive "forgiveness slip" to every human on earth. If we believe what God has said about us (we are totally lost and have no hope of saving ourselves), and what He has done to fix it (Jesus is the only way as a Savior), this is repentance. Seeing yourself as lost and wanting to do something about it, is called “repenting”.


Repentance is clearly biblical, and was even mentioned by Paul. Thus I must disagree with the RD Doctrine that repentance is not for the body of Christ.

And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth...
- 2 Timothy 2:24–25


We can ask God for Jesus’ blood payment to be applied to our account. This allows us to be declared innocent and sin-free in God’s eyes—the debt we owed for our crimes is paid. Salvation is a change in legal standing before God—from "guilty" to "not guilty". Jesus didn’t just pay part of our debt, or even most of it, leaving some on the tab for us. He paid our entire debt. We cannot contribute in any way to our salvation (or to maintaining it). If you are not sure if you are saved, I would encourage you to read through What Must I Do to Be Saved?

The RD Doctrine seems to also teach against daily repentance, calling that a "work" as well. They teach that these verses are not for you and I, because they were not penned by Paul:

Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out...
- Acts 3:19


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- 1 John 1:9


Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
- James 5:16


As followers of Christ, we are saved by grace through faith. We have a change of heart and mind (repent) about who we are (sinners) and who Christ is (a Savior). We experience a heart transformation from spiritually dead in our sins to spiritually alive in Christ, being "born again". Because we are a new creation, we are changed. The Holy Spirit seals us and dwells within us as His temple. He comforts us, counsels us, and leads us into truth. He also convicts us and prompts us to grow in our relationship with God. For the difference between our salvation (union with God) and our sanctification (fellowship with God), I highly recommend this article: Union and Fellowship.


Dispensations

With the gospel discussed, let's move on to the topic of dispensations. Once again, let's start with points of agreement.

I believe that dispensationalism is the closest representative way to understand God's dynamic revelation to, and dealings with, humanity. As a human construct it's not going to be perfect, but it helps us grasp how God has progressively revealed Himself and His redemption plan to humanity.


Dispensationalism is the most common method of Bible prophecy interpretation in conservative evangelical circles. It is the major view which explains the literal rebirth of modern-day Israel and the aliyah, or regathering, of Jews that we can observe and track. It explains the prophetic line up of nations and wars we watch in the headlines. It explains the current social and political climate. It sees the Church and Israel as distinct entities, and understands that God has separate plans for each. It is the prophecy interpretation method most consistent with a literal, cultural, historical, contextual study of scripture.

Many of you are likely familiar with this view, and it's not my purpose to discuss it fully here. Suffice it to say, I consider dispensationalism to be as close to "rightly dividing the Word of truth" as human interpretations get. The details of how many dispensations, how they overlap, and how rigid their division should be is where there is room for discussion. (I remind you that it is a man-made model, and as such must be continually tested against Scripture). What is agreed upon by all, is that we are currently in the Age of Grace, or the "Church Age".

Where the controversy has come in with RD Doctrine, is where to draw dispensational lines, and how thick and black to draw them.

Clarence Larkin is highly regarded as the father of dispensationalism. His work "Dispensational Truth" in 1918 is foundational teaching for this interpretation method, as is the Scofield Reference Bible (published in 1909). Interestingly, Larkin's dispensation overview chart is entitled "Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth". The whole of this amazing work is available for free online here: Dispensational Truth.


Where does Clarence Larkin place "right division"? If you zoom in, and look at his other charts, he clearly places "right division" at Acts 2:1–4, the coming of the Holy Spirit.


I understand that we must examine all teachings of man with the scriptures, to see if these things are so. Is an Acts 2 division appropriate, or should the line be drawn somewhere else?


Dispensations, Wrongly Divided

While we all easily agree on dispensationalism and the distinction between Israel and the Church, self-proclaimed "Right Dividers" reject Classical Dispensationalism in favor of either a Mid-Acts or Post-Acts view. The Mid-Acts view places a dividing line at Acts 9 or 13, instead of at Acts 2. The Post-Acts, Ultra-Dispensational, Hyper-Dispensational view, places a dividing line at Acts 28, instead of at Acts 2. How much does this matter, or does it matter? I'm going to draw upon GotQuestions as a resource here:

Mid-Acts Dispensationalism:

According to mid-Acts dispensationalism or the Grace Movement, the apostles Peter, James, John, and the rest were still operating under the Old Covenant in Acts 1–8. They were still dutifully keeping the Law and still meeting as a Jewish body in Jerusalem. Peter and the other apostles preached repentance to Israel, but there was no church until Paul. It was Paul, the "apostle to the Gentiles" (Romans 11:13), to whom the doctrine of the church—and the doctrine of grace—was revealed. It was only after Paul began to minister that the church actually began. Thus, the only parts of the New Testament that are applicable to believers today are the Pauline Epistles. The rest of the Bible was written for Israel.

There are some other problems with mid-Acts dispensationalism. In particular, its views on salvation, water baptism, and the church’s origin are based on misunderstandings of some points of Scripture. Here are some of the difficulties inherent in the teaching that the church began with Paul:

To Paul were revealed the details of the church, which had been a "mystery" in the Old Testament (Colossians 1:25–27). Mid-Acts dispensationalism wrongly assumes that Paul’s revelation about the church equals the beginning of the church itself.

Mid-Acts dispensationalism misinterprets Galatians 2:7, "I [Paul] had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised." The mid-Acts dispensationalist makes a distinction between a "gospel of circumcision," taught by Peter, and a "gospel of uncircumcision," taught by Paul. In reality, Paul is referring to different audiences, not different gospels. The Jews whom Peter ministered to were saved by grace through faith, just as the Gentiles to whom Paul ministered.

Mid-Acts dispensationalism or the Grace Movement denies the need for water baptism for believers, thus ignoring Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:19. They exclude water baptism on the basis that the baptism of the Spirit, which occurs at salvation, has replaced water baptism.

Mid-Acts dispensationalism overlooks the fact that Gentiles were part of the early church before Paul was converted. Acts 2:10–11 makes it clear that the crowd listening to Peter preach on the Day of Pentecost included Gentile proselytes to Judaism. And Acts 8 shows how Samaritans and an Ethiopian were baptized into Christ before Paul ever started preaching the doctrine of the church or of grace. Thus there was a joint church body of Jews and Gentiles before Paul began his ministry.

Most importantly, mid-Acts dispensationalism or the Grace Movement claims there are "different gospels," one taught by Peter and one taught by Paul. But the Old Testament (and the first part of the New Testament) does not teach salvation by works; the Jews in Galilee were not saved a different way from the Gentiles in Achaia.

Mid-Acts dispensationalism is opposed to several elements of orthodoxy. Its downplaying of half of the New Testament, its unwarranted exclusion of early Jewish believers from the body of Christ, its disregard of water baptism, and its allowance for a faith-plus-works gospel make the Grace Movement an unbiblical view.

Ultra-Dispensationalism:

Ultra-dispensationalism, also known as hyper-dispensationalism/hyperdispensationalism (although some theologians draw fine distinctions between these terms), is the teaching that Paul’s message was unique from the other apostles’ and that the church did not begin until Acts 28 or later. For this reason, ultra-dispensationalism is sometimes called "post-Acts dispensationalism."

Instead of recognizing that the church began in Acts 2 when the disciples received the promised Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, the ultra-dispensationalist inserts another dispensation and holds that the church did not begin until Paul’s imprisonment in Rome. Specifically, the seed of the church is found in Acts 28:28 when Paul says to the Jews in Rome who rejected the gospel, "I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!" This was the view of one of the first ultra-dispensationalists, Ethelbert W. Bullinger of the Church of England.

Because ultra-dispensationalists believe in a late start to the church, they view the church in Acts as a "Hebrew" or "Jewish" church, separate from the "mystery" church to which Paul wrote his Prison Epistles. They believe that the books of Peter, James, Jude, Hebrews, and the epistles of John are all addressed to the Hebrew church, which is different from the "body of Christ." This Jewish church, which was built on Kingdom promises, will be reestablished during the millennium and will worship at the rebuilt temple with atoning sacrifices.

According to ultra-dispensationalism, the four Gospels are for Jews only and have no bearing on the church. The Book of Acts deals with a different "church" and not the body of Christ. Only the Prison Epistles of Paul are directed to the body of Christ or "mystery" church. Not even the book of Revelation addresses the church—the letters to the seven churches are written to the "Jewish" church of the tribulation. Also, most ultra-dispensationalists reject the ordinances of the church: water baptism and the Lord’s Supper were for the "Hebrew" church.

The greatest problem with ultra-dispensationalism is not its teaching about when the church began but the many other errors that come from its approach to Scripture. For example, at the heart of most forms of ultra-dispensationalism is the belief that Paul preached a different gospel from what the other apostles taught. Other false doctrines common in some forms of ultra-dispensationalism include soul sleep and annihilationism. Still others proclaim a brand of universalism that grants salvation even to Satan himself. Without a doubt, whatever name ultra-dispensationalism goes by, it is a dangerous error that almost always leads to other, even worse errors.

H. A. Ironside, a strong dispensationalist himself, wrote a good booklet outlining some of the dangers of ultra-dispensationalism. In it he says that he has "no hesitancy in saying that [ultra-dispensationalism’s] fruits are evil. It has produced a tremendous crop of heresies throughout the length and breadth of this and other lands; it has divided Christians and wrecked churches and assemblies without number; it has lifted up its votaries in intellectual and spiritual pride to an appalling extent, so that they look with supreme contempt upon Christians who do not accept their peculiar views; and in most instances where it has been long tolerated, it has absolutely throttled Gospel effort at home and sown discord on missionary fields abroad. So true are these things of this system that I have no hesitancy in saying it is an absolutely Satanic perversion of the truth." (Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth, chapter 1, Loizeaux Brothers, 1938).

I hope you can see that where the dividing line for the Age of Grace is positioned affects more than just a flexible start point. It affects the gospel itself.


The Mystery Revealed

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
- Colossians 1:24–27


The article from GotQuestions above introduced the concept of the mystery of God which has now been revealed. Is this mystery a new gospel, revealed by Paul?

Paul M. Elliott writes in his article on dispensationalism:

The Greek word is musterion, from which we obviously get our English word "mystery." Paul speaks of "the mystery that was hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints."

What is a "mystery" in Scripture? A mystery, according to the word of God, is some aspect of God's plan that was hidden at one point in time, but is later revealed. And what is the mystery of which Paul is speaking here? Some commentators try to say that the mystery is that the Gentiles would partake of salvation along with Israel. But that was no mystery. That was never anything hidden. God told Abraham in Genesis chapter 12 that in the Messiah who would come through Abraham's descendants, "all the nations of the earth will be blessed"—not just Israel. And in Isaiah 49 verse 6, God says of the coming Messiah, through Him I will restore the preserved ones of Israel, and, "I will also give Messiah as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth." And although most of God's Old Testament saints were Jews, we read in the Old Testament record of many occasions of individual Gentiles, and even whole Gentile cities, like Nineveh, repenting and turning to the Redeemer.

So the salvation of the Gentiles itself is not the mystery spoken of here. What, then, is the mystery? We have the answer at the end of verse 27: "Christ in you, the hope of glory." The mystery of God's plan that has now been revealed is that the Messiah not only would come to earth, not only would die, not only would be buried, not only would rise from the dead—the Messiah would actually live in each member of His redeemed people under the New Covenant. "Christ in you, the hope of glory."

We find this confirmed in other passages. In John 14:23 Jesus says, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him." In Galatians 2:20 Paul says, "I have been crucified with Christ; yet it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me."

"Christ in you, the hope of glory"—or to translate it more directly, "Christ in you, the guaranteed expectation of glory." That is the mystery that was hidden and is now revealed. In times past, under the Old Covenant, Christ did not dwell within believers. The Holy Spirit did not dwell within believers in the Old Testament, except in specific cases for specific purposes. That is why David prayed in Psalm 51, after his great sin, "Do not take Your Holy Spirit from me." That is a prayer that no believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, Jew or Gentile, needs to pray under the New Covenant. Paul says in Ephesians chapter one that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the down-payment, or guarantee, of our final redemption—when we will not only have Christ living within these mortal, sinful bodies, but we will be like Christ forever, when we will have glorified bodies like His for eternity. That is the "hope of glory."

The mystery of God revealed in the church age, is the indwelling Holy Spirit—Christ in us. When did the Holy Spirit come down to indwell believers? On Pentecost, in Acts 2. In its fullest sense, the "mystery of God" is God's complete redemption plan through Jesus Christ. (For more on this please see: What is the Mystery of God Referred to in the Bible? and Paul's Mystery)


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
- Ephesians 1:3–14


And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
- Ephesians 4:30


Is that not mind-blowing?! Only God could write hundreds of thousands of words that could carry such pregnant meaning. Not until the revelation after His ascension could they be fully comprehended. What mystery! What majesty!


Pauline Epistles VS. The Whole Word

If you remember what we talked about above, the RD Denomination has a strong focus on the Pauline epistles. Most would suggest that these are the only books of the Bible applicable to believers today. Let's review:

  • The Gospels, and the Old Testament, were written for, and are applicable to, Jews only. Some concede that the gospel of Luke was written for Gentiles.
  • There is disagreement upon whether the following books were written for, and are applicable to, both Jewish and Gentile believers: Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation. All would agree they are for Jewish believers; most would state they do not apply to Gentiles.
  • The following books were written for, and are applicable to, the Jew first and then the Gentiles: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, 1 Thessalonians, and 2 Thessalonians.
  • The following books were written for, and are applicable to, all believers: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.

While I agree that Paul's letters are very applicable to the church today, I wholeheartedly disagree that other passages in the Bible do not apply to us. Why?

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  
- Hebrews 4:12



I can personally testify that the Word of God is living and active. Not all Scripture was written to me, but all Scripture was written for me and is profitable for me to study and apply to my life.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
- 2 Timothy 3:16–17


It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."
- Matthew 4:4


Do we believe this? Do we live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God? Why is there so much resistance to the words in red versus the words in black? Do not the words in red pierce you to your very soul? Do you remember who the Word of God is?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it... The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
- John 1:1–5, 9–14


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
- John 3:16


Here I am in tears again. In this season (despite the fact that Jesus was born in either the Spring or Fall, I know, I know...), we are celebrating Jesus, the Word, becoming flesh and dwelling among us. What greater love than to leave His heavenly home of perfection to come and be persecuted and suffer down here with His groaning creation? It is unfathomable to me, the love of Christ. To all who receive Him, who believe in His Name, He gives the right to become children of God. This passage is for you, for me.

Children of God. Us. Whoever believes in Him. Who can truly comprehend this?!

We cannot divide the word, for the Word is God. God's word is one cohesive whole, because it was divinely authored from start to finish by one Spirit. The scarlet thread of God's redemption plan runs from Genesis through Revelation.

...knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
- 2 Peter 1:20–21


When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 
- John 16:13


But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
- John 14:26


God is not man, that he should lie,

   or a son of man, that he should change his mind.

Has he said, and will he not do it?

  Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
- Numbers 23:19


Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
- Hebrews 13:8



What, Then, is "Right Division"?


I want us to look again at the verse which contains the phrase "right division". Let us look at it in the context of the entire passage:

Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene.... So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
- 2 Timothy 2:14–17, 22–26


The interlinear of 2 Timothy 2:15 reads:

Hasten yourself approved to present to God a workman not ashamed accurately handling the word of truth.

"Hasten yourself"
Σπούδασον - Strong's #4704 - to make haste, hence to give diligence. Usage includes "I hasten, am eager, am zealous".

"approved"
δόκιμον - Strong's #1384 - approved, acceptable, tried. Helps word studies states that dokimos is an adjective that carries the meaning "to receive, welcome properly, what passes the necessary test (scrutiny); hence acceptable because genuine (validated, verified). Dokimos was used for proving (testing) of coins, i.e. confirming they were genuine (not counterfeit, corrupted)."

"not ashamed"
ἀνεπαίσχυντος, ον - Strong's #422 - not to be put to shame; having no cause to be ashamed

"accurately handling"
ὀρθοτομέω - Strong's #3718 - to cut straight; handle correctly; teach rightly

As believers, we are clearly to handle the Word of God rightly. We are to be eager and zealous, in both presenting ourselves to God as proven and tried, and in our handling the Word of Truth. We are to show ourselves as tested and tried, confirmed to be genuine, in our handling of God's word. Not only are we to handle it correctly, we are to teach the truth rightly.

Paul M. Elliott looks into the original language of 2 Timothy 2:15:

We find that the word that is translated "rightly dividing" in the Old and New King James Bibles, and in several others, is a single word in the Greek. It is a form of the Greek verb orthotomeo. This is a very interesting word.

In New Testament times, orthotomeo was primarily a civil engineering term. It was used, for example, as a road building term. The idea of the word was "to cut straight," or "to guide on a straight path." The idea was to cut a roadway in such a manner that people who would travel over that road would arrive at their destination directly, without deviation. Orthotomeo was also used as a mining term. It meant to drill a straight mine shaft so that the miners could get quickly and safely to the "mother lode."

There is another word in Greek, katatomeo, which means "to cut into sections." But that is not the word that the Apostle Paul, under divine inspiration, uses in 2nd Timothy 2:15. Paul is not talking about "rightly dividing" in terms of dissecting the Word of God, or cutting it into sections based on Jew and Gentile, or Israel and Church, or any other criterion. It is interesting that the Apostle Paul does use that other word—katatomeo, cutting up—in Philippians 3:2, where he says, literally, "beware of those who would divide you up" - in other words, beware of those who would try to make a difference among believers between Jews and Gentiles.

What, then, is the proper meaning of orthotomeo—"rightly dividing" the Word of truth? What is intended is not the arbitrary dissection of Scripture, but reading, teaching, and preaching Scripture accurately, without being turned aside by false teaching or man-made agendas. This, indeed, is the context of 2 Timothy 2:15. In the verses preceding, Paul emphasizes the unity of all believers, and instructs Timothy to solemnly warn the church "not to strive about words to no profit".


What "Rightly Dividing" is NOT

"Rightly dividing the word of truth" does not mean dissecting God's Word like a cadaver. It does not mean butchering it apart, casting aside anything not written by the Apostle Paul. It does not mean tearing apart the body of Christ into the "right dividers" and the "wrong dividers". Rightly dividing is not proclaiming a "second" gospel. How do we know? Let's examine the words of Paul himself:

I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, "I follow Paul," or "I follow Apollos," or "I follow Cephas," or "I follow Christ". Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
- 1 Corinthians 1:10–17


For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 3:4–11


I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
- Galatians 1:6–10


One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
- Ephesians 4:5–6


Paul follows Jesus. We are to follow Jesus, as he does. Not just "heavenly Jesus" or "spiritual Jesus", but the Word of God Himself, who was, and is, and is to come. The unchanging One.

Remember, brothers and sisters, it's all about Jesus.



Conclusion

I hope I have done some justice to this very complicated discussion, and have not introduced further controversy or division. It is my heart to bring peace to the watching community that I have grown to love so dearly. This is not a personal attack against any particular individual, nor am I questioning anyone's salvation or intentions.

I understand that with prophecy we see dimly, as in a cloudy mirror. There are things we can agree to disagree on. Some details we just aren't going to know on this side of the rapture, and that's ok. We just can't compromise on the gospel. We can't allow an ultra-division of scripture. It is the enemy who seeks to divide and conquer the body of Christ. He knows his time has just about come to an end, and he is getting desperate.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
- 1 Peter 5:8


Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
- Matthew 12:25–26


As Gary wrote in his article This is War:

We spend so much time focusing on ourselves and our shortcomings and wallowing in our self-doubt that we effectively remove ourselves from the fight. That is exactly what the enemy wants. Once you realize that Christ has completely eliminated the penalty for your sin and all you must do is believe then you are freed and empowered to help others. Those stuck in works-righteousness can never see the forest for the trees because they still don't understand that the Gospel has decisively solved the sin problem. We are free. And now that we are free we can engage in the broader war and help our brothers and sisters in this bloody fight while we try to snatch more from the fire.

God's grace is found in the fullness of Christ.

For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
- John 1:16


I love all you watching brothers and sisters in Christ dearly. I understand it's exhausting waiting for Jesus to call us home. I'm tired, too. But we must remember to keep our eyes upon Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. We must press on, occupying until He comes.

He will come.

The Spirit and the bride say, "Come".

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.




So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
- 2 Timothy 2:22–24


Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus.

Post A Comment

87 comments :

  1. Thanks Stephanie. You made some excellent points. God is good!

    www.itwasaplan.com - it was a plan dot com / it was a plan and not a coincidence -

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. Absolutely well done Stephanie! :)

      Delete
    2. I can't look at a grape the same way anymore.

      Delete
  3. Thank you Stephanie very much.
    I started hearing of this RD group just a few months ago when SClark started posting videos on it. I couldn't listen too much past the statement "without Paul's letters there would be no salvation for the Gentiles" uggh I was already disturbed by the name "Right Dividers'. Even if the position was correct, that is still an arrogant title which can only cause division. Our King chose the humblest of names "The Son of Man". You would think this RD club would try to be humble like our King, and perhaps adopt a more humble name like the TRHTRD club. "Trying Really Hard to Rightly Divide" As it is, I think we have a bunch of folks that have very little authority over them who are exploring a new idea and desperately want to feel special and unique. Of course, as long as they have their trust in Jesus, our Lord will welcome all of us kids onto his lap and his hug and smile will erase all this strife and confusion. Let's all find our specialness and uniqueness not in our doctrine, but in the fact that Jesus Christ, King of Kings, knows our name, and will call us home soon. Oh, how my soul longs for that day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good points, Jeff. I believe you are correct that those who hold to these peculiarly rigid views that Steph has labeled "RD" are those who don't submit themselves to authority and turn their nose up at the local church today as if all are in rampant apostasy.

      Thank you for putting this together, Stephanie. I am so glad that you emphasized 2 Timothy 2:22-24, where Paul explicitly mentions repentance in context of those who are caught in Satan's trap. Also, I will add to your awesome compilation a mid-Acts verse where the self-same apostle to the Gentiles address the Men of Athens:

      "Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God now commands ALL PEOPLE everywhere to REPENT" (Acts 17:30).

      There goes mid-Acts and post-Acts dispensationalism...

      Delete
    2. Dear brother @Jeff P, couldn't have said it better myself! ;-) Me too, I first ever heard of this strange kind of exegesis from Scott Clarke only recently and had at first to find out how this 'Mid Acts' doctrine already existed some time ago not really being new. I wouldn't even name the RD movement a 'doctrine' but rather some real CULT / SECT. Blessings to you, MARANATHA!

      Delete
  4. Thank you so much Stephanie. I know this study was a MONUMENTAL effort and it shows. Very well done and well articulated.


    HRM - One extreme


    Mid-/Post-Acts Dispensationalism - the other extreme

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can find the thread of atonement and sola fide ALL THROUGHOUT the OT and the synoptics.

      The Law was given to CONDEMN ALL under sin and then to lead ALL to grace.


      From Adam until the very last person born in the Millennial Kingdom, salvation will always be found in Christ ALONE, via His atoning sacrifice, though the mechanics may slightly differ (e.g. those in the Trib must NOT take the mark or worship the beast).

      Delete
  5. Great study Stephanie. This was so needed and I hope everyone who comes across this article will take the time to read it. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow, sister, wow! You just fed us a full plate of the word! I appreciate all of your hard work, in this. Like Gary said, it shows. Thank you and Maranatha!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Most excellent!! Thank you Stephanie.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think, if I were to summarize the gospel and correctly dividing Scripture as simply as I could:

    The gospel has always been the same - 1. Christ died for our sins, 2. Was buried, 3. Rose again.

    That same gospel, though veiled, was still the gospel all the way back in Genesis when God promised a Redeemer who would be injured.

    Thus salvation has always, in every dispensation, been sola fide, ALTHOUGH the mechanics differed slightly because of a lack of divine revelation (e.g. Abraham trusted God and his faith was counted as righteousness, but he didn't fully understand the fullness of the mystery; and in the Tribulation, you must not take the mark or worship the beast, yet salvation itself is still through Christ's atoning sacrifice in the Trib - see Rev. 7:14).

    Lastly, the Church began on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given as a permanent indwelling gift.

    And "repentance" is fundamentally misunderstood when people think it, by itself, means "turn from sin."

    When translated literally, metanoia means "to change one's mind" or "convert". God changed His mind (metanoia according to the LXX) in the OT on several occasions.

    In the NT the general idea of metanoia is to change one's mind concerning dead works for salvation, and to turn to Christ for forgiveness of sins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although not a salvation issue, one of the most unfortunate effects of "RD Doctrine" (besides causing quarreling in the body) is that it puts blinders on believers regarding a treasure-trove of Old Testament and synoptic scriptures that 1. point to Christ's atoning sacrifice and the gospel of grace, and 2. point to the Church and specific promises to the Church, including the pre-trib rapture (e.g. Deut. 32:21; Isa. 26:17-21; 66:7-9).

      Delete
    2. Amen! You know this has been my bread-and-butter since the Rev12 sign, brother!

      I don't buy for a second the idea that there is no mention of the Church whatsoever in the OT. It's simply not true for anyone who digs into the details. Veiled, sure. Hidden from view until the appointed time, definitely. No Church at all until mid-Acts, nonsense.

      Delete
    3. I've always thought that by repenting it means to own up to your sins by saying you're sorry. When God destroyed the earth by water, the verse there said that it "repented God that He had created man". That doesn't mean that He had to remember sin and confess it; it meant He was sorry He'd ever made man. When we sin, we should go to God in prayer and say we're sorry and mean it. Since we are not perfect, there will be times we'll even forget to do that, but once we've accepted Christ as our Savior and know He has given us remission for those sins---past, present, and future---and He's given us His Holy Spirit to seal us as belonging to Him, God promises that no thing in heaven or earth can pluck us out of His hand, as we've turned from (repented from) a lifestyle of sin at the time of being born again. Our souls have been born again, but our sinful bodies are still waiting to be changed from the sinful fleshly bodies to glorified ones just like Christ's at the time of the rapture. So until then, even ones indwelt with the Holy Spirit will still sin; yet Christ said He will throw them as far as the east is from the west and will remember them no more once we are under His blood. God will look at us and He will only see His Son, and will not see our sin anymore because we've been washed as white as snow by the blood of His Son. This is all while we are still living lives here on earth. Christ did state in Matthew 15:24 when a Gentile woman came to Him and asked for help: 24 "But He answered and said, 'I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'" Prior to the Church being established, there were many things that the Jews would not have understood if Christ had said some things that He had Paul teach to the Gentiles, so I do agree that people now have to also be alert to whom Christ was referring to when He taught.

      Delete
    4. @cascader, you would have certainly to look into the original language to get an understanding of what "repent" means in context for man or for God. As God is 100% sinless this kind of translation cannot mean He would "repent" in a way that 1 John 1:8-9 speaks of. If God "repents" of doing sth it rather means in the sense of "regret" but also not in the way He would ever have to correct Himself as His plans are always perfect from the beginning and His thoughts are always so much higher as our most academic reasoning can ever be. Isaiah 55:8-9

      Delete
    5. I always look for Jesus on every page because I think he is there (John 1) as THE WORD. So, learning the typologies of scripture go a long way toward learning how Jesus is on every page. Just one tactic that helps me...there are others.

      Delete
  9. Just the devil at it, continuing to cause strife and turmoil and DIVISION.
    It's always something.
    And, Unfortunately, there are always those among us who will go along with it.
    The gist of it is that there are always folks who are more concerned with the seeming exclusivity of their salvation than they are with 1) helping others' to grow in relationship with Christ and 2) bringing other's to the Lord.
    KISS - Keep It Simple Saints!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ok I'm going to change the subject for just a second. I just saw some posters for Godzilla:King if the monsters. I was absolutely shocked at the text that goes with them. You can find the posters at cinemablend.com the fact that they are using scripture for this movie is...well I don't have the words. All I know is that the Lord is very close to coming back for His Church. Come quickly Lord, we are so ready.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Stellar! Thank you so much. For many days I've been despondent for the rampant false teaching I see on the wild, wild west (WWW). You-Tube and social media are overflowing with anti-grace messengers teaching a "repentance" of works...i.e. "turning from sin" rather than the true repentance of changing our minds to believe and receive what Christ has accomplished for us and resting in His finished work. Amen.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Stephanie, An important topic delivered just in time! But that is all too often the way the LORD works isn't it?!

    Thank you for pouring your heart into this and blessing us through your tenacious love of the truth. Such work comes at great cost, not the least of which is time, a commodity we often have all too little of.

    Blessings,


    PR

    ReplyDelete
  13. after reading this post along w/ the comments that followed, i am left w/ the understanding that, "All is well with my soul",....sincerely i give thanks* Father, amen

    ReplyDelete
  14. Beautifully done Stephanie and spot on. I have been guilty of using the phrase "a different gospel" when referring to the Tribulation because of the requirement not to take the mark. I now understand how even that seemingly innocuous reference might confuse and I will carefully avoid it in future. I clicked on a link of a Hyper-Divider someone had provided on Facebook about a year ago and spent about 36 to 48 hours down the rabbit hole chasing my cotton tail looking for the truth in their tale and through a herculean effort Holy Spirit jerked me up with the sheer audacious assertions and departure from scripture (about 80% of it) to such a degree He was able to catch me up short and let me see it right away. How very disturbing and its quite sneaky and insidious - as are most work's related doctrines. Obviously, these topics are on the front of Abba's radar screen with these heavy lifting articles from Stephanie and from Hillary. It seems these two subjects will never be "put to sleep" on this earth. What a sad thought, but probably true. Thank you again Stephanie - diligent effort and study and well worth it. Blessings - Sherry

    ReplyDelete
  15. So well studied and communicated, Stephanie, and a wonderful example of speaking the truth in love. I first heard of this “rightly dividing” mess a month or so ago and within minutes of watching a video by one of its new advocates, a watchman who had previously been a source of encouragement to me, I knew it was off base. It renders the majority of Scripture irrelevant and, at best, a history book for the church. Thanks for putting yourself out there to prevent others from being dragged into this theological ditch.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great job~ I can imagine Stephanie that when one writes an article they wonder what personal effects it can have on some. I had to stop near the ending when the Holy Spirit squeezed my heart, and took my breath away then tears came out. He/God through His Holy Spirit was giving me a confirmation. If I can just shut my mouth,and mind,and learn to listen when the Holy Spirit that's in me speaks I/we would be more at peace.

    I have been so humbled, and content nine years now I can't be divided by the dividers. The confirmation I received was, the physical spiritual sealing I received nine years ago when the Holy Spirit entered my back to heal two crushed vertebrae while I was in prayer for this healing that the Holy Spirit had told me to do with 100% faith that I would be healed.
    I felt the heat enter my back, and when it left me the pain went with it...I was healed, even though three years ago I had a MRI that the doctor told me I had a broken back, and I saw on the MRI that part of my L3 had a half circle missing from it.
    A few days after the healing I found these three letters on the side of my jaw that we couldn't read for three years. They look like burn scars from the inside out, and my face is smooth on the outside. While doing some bible study of the Torah I was looking at an old page in Hebrew that I can't read. That was when the Holy Spirit said what I was looking at was on my face (Hebrew). I have had several Yeshua believing Jews tell me it is the name of our Father, then the mystery! none of the Orthodox Jews I have witness to can make any sense of the letters.

    Zechariah 13 9And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
    This was the confirmation, sealed by the fire of the Holy Spirit (burn scar) when I surrendered at my lowest point with 100% faith.By the way one year after the healing I started reading the bible for the first time, then a year later I got a call revealing a old family secret that I was Jewish from my mother's side. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013623758357
    God our Father is so good...thank you Yeshua!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you unknown for showing UP!,....Shalom brother, see you there!

      Delete
    2. Overcome by Your presence LORD! thank you James - that trip to your fb page was a gift from Jesus as is this post. Thank You Lord, You made it right^

      Delete
    3. I, too a blessed beyond measure by your testimony James. You are so right, if we would just learn to listen to that prompting form within, the Still Small Voice (which often isn't a voice, but a prompting) we would be at peace. Love it - and so true. Sent you a Friend Request on Facebook and I'm with Ozark - Overcome by His Presence! Blessings - Sherry - Again, Way to go Stephanie!

      Delete
  17. “... we live by every word that comes from the mouth of God” - amen, Sister! Note that Matt. 28:19-20, 1 Tim. 6:3-5, & Col. 3:16 reveal ALL words of Christ are to be taught to ALL believers, and ALL are to obey them: His accountability teachings and strong warnings in the Gospels DO apply to US! Our flesh wants to put warnings which pertain to us upon anyone BUT us. Do not let anyone deceive you (Matt. 24:4)...

    Now, behold another key warning of Christ: Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:36). May all reading this have eyes to see this means not all believers will be able to escape the Tribulation and/or stand before and endure the fire emanating from the Judge’s mouth on Judgment Day.

    Of course, ABSOLUTELY all who believe upon Christ have the free gift of ETERNAL SALVATION (e.g. John 6:39-40), however detailed study of the Scriptures reveals that only those believers of overcoming Philadelphian character (Rev. 3:10) or godly Thessalonian character (2 Thess. 1:5; 2 Thess. 2:13) with Holy Spirit-empowered deeds (not of the flesh!) will be raptured pre-Trib as first-fruits - the barley harvest. The rest (such as most believers of Sardian or Laodicea character) must mature during the heat of the Tribulation, and will be the Trib. saints who “come out of” it (Rev. 7:14) as the wheat harvest or the gleanings. Praise God, so long as they don’t take the mark of the beast, they ALL will be part of the first resurrection (Rev 20:4-6).

    Regarding Christians who die before the Tribulation, please pause to re-study Paul’s words in 1 Cor. 3:13-17 now. Do you see that this means that disobedient Christians who die pre-Trib must mature “through the flames” outside the Millennial Kingdom, just as those disobedient Christians who are alive at the time must mature “through the flames” of the Tribulation? (See dozens of Scriptures such as Prov. 23:13-14, Matt. 10:26-28, & Mark 9:47-48 in a new light now...) The former WILL be resurrected on “the last day” per John 6:39-40 - the last day of the Millennium, the second resurrection of Rev. 20:11-15, when heaven and earth will be destroyed and replaced with the new heaven and earth. THEN all who believed in Christ will be together for eternity as the New Jerusalem, the eternal kingdom (Rev. 21:1). Hallelujah!

    See, the first resurrection of Rev. 20:4-6 is the “prize” which Paul, assured of his salvation, raced for (Phil. 3:10-14; 1 Cor. 9-24)! It is the “better resurrection” that many Christians chose martyrdom for (Heb. 11:35)! It is the “resurrection of the righteous” Jesus said some would be “considered worthy to share” in (Luke 14:14 and Luke 20:35).

    DO NOT LET ANYONE DECEIVE YOU! The ear-tickling false doctrine of a single “rapture of the Church” taught the past few centuries (which I also believed and taught until this past year!) denies God’s accountability teachings for ALL believers; they’re not just for Jews! It is dangerous false doctrine, a stronghold which IS demolished by studying the omnipotent word itself with the Holy Spirit as our Teacher.

    Rightly dividing the word requires searching for ourselves matters God concealed in His word (Prov. 25:2) - searching for them as for silver and hidden treasure (Prov. 2:1-5)!

    Please, do as I did: STUDY THE SCRIPTURES ADDRESSING THIS VITAL MATTER YOURSELVES! FIVE LISTS OF MANY OF THE PERTINENT SCRIPTURES ARE PROVIDED AT THE END of the first article in this series: https://thelordiswithus.com/resurrection-rapture-judgment-and-millennium/ For those whose schedules truly do not permit this at present, the Lord has led me to write a series about this vital matter (same link).

    Great blessings are always in store to all valuing truth and obedience over comfort!

    Your sister in Christ,
    deanna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We had this discussion on Rev12daily.blogspot under the recent 'Todd Hampson' thread (12/13/2018) already and I sternly REBUKE this "partial rapture" belief. Anyone interested in the biblical refutations can read the arguments there. No need to further divide the body of Christ on this here and no need to get into it as some sort of refinement of a part of the (true) church during the tribulation is flatout WRONG from 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 alone. MARANATHA!

      Delete
    2. My exact thoughts, Annabel. I heard the words rebuke, dissension, division, and delusion. I bind it in Jesus name!

      Delete
    3. God’s word is omnipotent and eternal - it does not respond to rebukes (EVEN those of Annabel) and it is not bound (I haven’t met you yet, Andrea, so I won’t tease you yet 😉).
      In love, dear sisters (and everyone who said “Amen” to their rebukes and bindings), please reread my first posting herein, and realize I simply requested you do not let anyone deceive you, and that you study this vital matter out for yourselves; I then directed you to five listings of such Scriptures posted at the end of the “Overview and Scriptures for Self-Study” herein: https://thelordiswithus.com/resurrection-rapture-judgment-and-millennium/
      This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and trembles at my word. (Isaiah 66:2b).
      Love you! deanna

      Delete
    4. Well you just want to tease the brethren on this site with all your falsehood when you were already banned for doing so on rev12daily. You may see how this turns out for you eventually before God. Galatians 1:8-9 MARANATHA!

      Delete
    5. Dear Annabel, the word of God is not "falsehood". As pointed out in Stephanie's article, man is to live by EVERY word that comes from the mouth of God, AND we are to discern via our indwelling Teacher, the Holy Spirit, how to rightly divide the word of God. May you and all the Lord has led to read this have eyes to see and ears to hear these words of our Lord to ALL His disciples (see Matt. 28:18-20):

      Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matt. 10:28)

      I tell you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear the One who, after you have been killed, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him! (Luke 12:4-5)

      The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers (Luke 12:46) This reinforces that “that servant” of the master is a believer in Christ, not an unbeliever.

      And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God [Millennial Kingdom] with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell (Mark 9:47) Note how this dovetails with OT Scriptures such as: Do not withhold discipline from a child; although you strike him with a rod, he will not die. Strike him with a rod, and you will deliver his soul from death (Hebrew:Sheol) (Prov. 23:13-14)

      If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. (John 15:6) Note that “do not remain in me” means that such persons were in Christ at one time! They left – apostatized – and so will be burned by fire temporarily in hell; other Scriptures reveal this disciplining will occur during the Millennial Age, so that, on the last day, such restored Christians may be resurrected unto life (second resurrection, concealed yet revealed to those with ears to hear in Rev Ch. 20) as Christ promised they would be (i.e. John 6:39-40) and join those who were awarded the better first resurrection to become the new Jerusalem, the eternal state. (see Heb. 11:35; Phil. 3:10-14; Rev, 2:23,etc.)

      Once again, five listings of such Scriptures for the HUMBLE to re-study are presented here
      https://thelordiswithus.com/resurrection-rapture-judgment-and-millennium/ under "Overview and Scriptures for Self-Study"

      I continue to encourage you, dear Annabel, value God's word over your doctrine and comfort.

      Love in Christ, your sister deanna





      Delete
    6. I'm 100% with Annabelle on this one
      The passage from Luke which talks about being worthy to escape these things is absolutely not written to the body of Christ. None of us would be worthy except through the blood of Jesus. Our Salvation is not based on us being Worthy, our Salvation is not based on our performance, not during the age of Grace, not in being saved by grace through faith. It's those living through the Great Tribulation that will have to be found worthy common it's them that we'll have to endure to the end, not us

      Delete
  18. Dear Stephanie, thank you very much indeed for this excellent and most helpful exhortation and study! I hardly find words to express my joy about your humble steadfastness and agape love for our brethren. All glory to God who inspired this brilliant article through His Holy Spirit!

    As a German myself, I was not really astonished to read about the origins of this kind of "cult" (as I would myself name the followers of this heretic doctrine) but yet I didn't know about Ferdinand Baur and looked it up at Wikipedia here:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Christian_Baur

    The Germans had Martin Luther to come out of the satanic Roman Catholic claws 500 years ago but they were also quick to dismiss biblical truth again after the Renaissance era through their vast number of ungodly philosophers (Colossians 2:8) who slowly would change any sound form of biblical truth into some theological disputation and bible critique over the years until today. My people now are in general mindset completely separated from God again by this practice (once ago, Germany would be named as "the land of poets and thinkers" but that was long before the migration crisis LOL!).

    I found it interesting though how Baur would be strongly influenced by the German philosopher G. HEGELs "Dialectic" which is also interestingly the exact method the NWO elite operates in politics today. No way Ferdinand Baur was called to be a true brother in Christ. Germany is full of theologians all of them keen on high level academic philosophical discourse but in fact none of them is truly saved. MARANATHA, dear sister, praise be to God having had mercy on us! Much love and Blessings to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true Annabel. The damage the so-called "German Higher Criticism" has done is incalculable. They will all answer directly to Yahweh for a concerted effort to destroy the veracity and trustworthiness of the Word. Blessings - Sherry

      Delete
  19. What a thorough and organized presentation. I remember when I first discovered what is called "right division" (before it "exploded" as it has now) and dispensationalism, I felt like my heart burst open. It taught me how to read scripture in context. Never diminishing or elevating one verse over another, but showing how each passage wove together to create the glorious message of salvation and revelation of Jesus the Messiah. While rich and prophetically layered, there is also a "common-senseness" to Scripture (when read with the Holy Spirit) and a simplicity that can be read by the humble of mind and heart. This is how I began to fall back in love with Scripture again after many complicated years of unraveling some past distortions. I thank God for this journey. I know that I do not have it down perfectly as I continue to learn and pray for wisdom here, and I believe a humble, Spirit-led, common-sense, in-context reading does lead to certain messages applying to certain groups of people at certain times.

    But now that "RD" has "blown up" (for lack of a better word) I cringe when I hear the term and want to dis-associate myself from it completely. "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." 1 Cor. 13:1-2

    My body literally cannot handle conflict and I grieve over what is happening in the Church and in the world in these last days. Even more so if / when I have contributed to it.

    For those of us who believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross for our sins and gave us eternal life, love is what matters the most. Love. Humility. Gentleness. Patience. Walking in the Spirit. Abiding in the vine. Sharing the gospel. Grace.

    Doctrine matters, of course. But if our doctrine du jour comes at the expense of love, then what does it profit? Asking for myself as much as anybody.

    “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me." John 17:20-23

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hillary, my sentiments exactly. The alarm bells should begin to ring when we hear ridicule for others who do not agree. They did for me. As I mentioned earlier, I spent about 36 hours down that rabbit hole feeling completely bereft and found myself praying just to be allowed to sweep the streets of Heaven, when suddenly it dawned on me - "This is really nasty fruit. Jesus never makes me feel this way. Holy Spirit does not uplift by taking away peace, security and eternal assurance." It was literally as though He had just stopped and shined a light on those thoughts. I laughed aloud, with no one else around, kicked that garbage to the curb and never looked back. Blessings - Sherry

      Delete
  20. OFF TOPIC SOMEWHAT BUT I DO DECLARE J.D. FARAQ HAS DONE AS GOOD A JOB ON HIS DEC 16 VIDEO ON HUMILITY AS STEPHANIE HAS DONE HERE WITH HER WORK OF GREAT BRILLIANCE

    ReplyDelete

  21. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.

    26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

    27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

    28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

    29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

    30 I and my Father are one.

    John 10

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, 888! Praise God, that word and every blessed word in our Holy Bible is TRUE!

      It is only by spending time with the Lord Himself, searching the Scriptures for hidden treasure under His tutelage, day after day, month after month, that the Lord pulls His truths together for us - connecting the dots. THAT’S how matters in His word which appear to conflict (but don’t, of course) finally are integrated for us. THAT is how the matter of eternal salvation by grace through faith is integrated with salvation of our souls during the Millennial Age by faith and Holy Spirit-empowered works (the old John 6:39-40 vs. Matt. 7:21-23 OR the Eph. 2:8-9 vs. James 2:14-26 apparent (but not actual) conflict).

      The Lord blesses all whom take Prov. 2:1-5 to heart - the noble Bereans who value searching out truth enough to do so for themselves.

      Delete
  22. Hi Gary, I understand that you wrote this with good intent as there is a lot of contention within the body of Christ regarding this issue. However what you’ve just wrote is incorrect. Grace is mentioned within the Old Testament however it’s not the same grace in which we are saved by today. The bible is clear that the grace in which we are saved by today was a “Mystery” only revealed to Paul.

    Ephesians 3 3-5

    how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.


    The reason it is referred to as a mystery is because it’s something that has never been prophecied of nor foreshadowed in scripture. Apart from this age no one has ever been saved by grace thru faith and works always had to accompany it. They went hand in hand. Works was merely not just evidence of ones faith as some make out but it was deterimental to the individuals salvation and James makes that clear.

    James 2:14-26

    Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made [d]perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

    Fortunately for us today we are saved by grace void of works, as we have the spirit of promise securing our salvation until the day of redemption (rapture), however after the rapture this will no longer be the case.

    The body of Christ began with Paul, when the the gospel of grace was revealed to him by God. Not Pentecost.


    The body of Christ did not begin until Paul received the revelation of the gospel of grace from Jesus Christ. If Paul is the first member of the body, who will also actually present us to Christ at the day of judgment (2 Corinthians 11:2). The how could the body have started at Pentecost ?

    Paul states that he is the first member of the body of Christ.

    1 Timothy 1:15-16: “15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am CHIEF (first). 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me FIRST Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

    This shows that Paul was the first person to be saved by the gospel of grace which Jesus Christ revealed to him so therefore he is the Chief (first) member of the body.

    I’m stating all of this because all believers in this age will on be judged and rewarded according to the gospel that was given to Paul. This is why numerous times in scripture he refers to it as MY gospel.

    Romans 2:16

    In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to MY gospel.

    Romans 16:25

    Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to MY gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.

    2 Timothy 5:8

    Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to MY gospel.


    This is not a salvation issue, and anybody who claims to rightly divide the word and says so is arrogant. But it is a reward issue. If people are going outside of Paul’s epistles and to create doctrine, it will get burned up at the judgement seat of Christ.

    Here is a excellent video that explains it in further detail.

    https://youtu.be/9MxxRxrY1SE

    https://youtu.be/siXd7QuNkj0

    Much love

    God bless

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Cannon Ball, may I just clarify that "grace through faith" already was the very characteristic of EVERY of Jesus' healing miracles so Paul indeed was NOT the first person to be saved exclusively under "grace alone". Think about the blind man in John 9, he didn't even know who Jesus was and yet he followed his command to wash his eyes by FAITH. Matthew would leave his job by FAITH, the same Andrew, Peter, John and James etc. Zaccheus received Jesus in his house by FAITH and repayed his debtors AFTER he was saved as an evidence but not as the cause of it. The Roman soldier got his servant healed by FAITH without doing anything but believe. None of all these who Jesus met with were saved by faith + works as in the OT even when the Holy Spirit wasn't yet poured out. Jesus Himself supplied his disciples with the Spirit before Pentecost (John 20,22). The book of Acts is a book of church age TRANSITION but the church age principle of "grace through faith ALONE" already was a feature during Jesus' ministry.

      Delete
    2. Cannon Ball,
      You misread this passage. Paul isn't the first saved by grace, he's saying he's the worst sinner of them all!
      1 Timothy 1:15-16: “15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save SINNERS; of whom I am CHIEF (CHIEF SINNER- Paul murdered Christian Believers... because they were Christian...! Pretty bad in my book.). 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me FIRST Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    4. I agree with some of what you are presenting. I also agree with what the site admin, brother Gary expounds on and what Stephanie has presented as well. I do not agree entirerly with those whom are grieved because of this discussion. I think it is great. And edifying to the Body. To search the Word. If we can agree on salvation by faith, grace, and His blood. While warning those unable to accept this now. To not under any circumstwnces take the mark of the beast or deny the testimony of Jesus. Than we should be at peace. With such exercises of further learning and dialog.

      Such as was Paul the first? I do not know. But in my opinion, no. That does exclude, well all of the Apostles and those saved during and after Jesus, but before Paul. And so when Philip was drawn to the Gentile man, possibly the first saved. That tends to exclude that supposition for me.

      Delete
  23. With all due respect i’m not talking about healings I’m talking about eternal salvation past present and future. The woman at the well and the blind man only had sins forgiven up until the point they actually encountered Christ. They only had their past sins forgiven. Hence why he tells them to go sin no more.

    Believers before the age of grace could receive the Holy Spirit, but he would only come Upon them. There are many examples of the spirit actually leaving people when they committed certain sins, He would not permantley Indwell believers like he does today. This is something that is only exclusive to the body of Christ. Today our bodies are the temple of God. Back in the previous ages this was not the case as God dwelt in a physical temple made with materials.


    Also James O. Paul is not stating that he is the worst of sinners as most think. The word Chief in Greek really does mean FIRST or foremost. Nothing to do with being the worst sinner of all.

    He is stating that he is the first to be saved ETERNALLY in this particular manner. Grace thru faith void of works.


    https://biblehub.com/greek/4413.htm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Um. It's sinner.
      Call it First Sinner if you want... in a very long line of sinners.
      He's just saying he's the foremost Sinner.

      It's also obvious how he feels when you read his other letters. He feels pretty bad about it, but he also very much argues how forgiven he is through faith.

      Delete
    2. The Scriptures support James O on this, Cannon Ball. Furthermore, they also reveal that Paul, this mighty sinner saved by grace through faith in Christ alone, absolutely assured of his eternal salvation, nevertheless pressed on to win the prize of the “out-resurrection” from the dead (see meaning of the unique Greek word he used in Phil. 3:10-14, Strong’s G1814, in Vine’s Expository Dictionary). In 1 Cor. 9:24 - 10:12 (please study it today) Paul taught that we must learn from the Israelites and obey God and not test him, lest we lose the inheritance of entering His rest as virtually a whole generation of Israelites did (except Caleb and Joshua). Of course, this is also the urgent message of Hebrews Ch 3-4, and so many other Scriptures: Christ’s Millennial Kingdom IS the glorious rest that CAN be entered into one thousand years earlier (as a reward, the prize) than most believers will enter the eternal kingdom/state (see 2 Peter 1:3-11 esp. vv. 10-11 now in a new light!).

      Rev. 20:4-6 and 11-15 reveal much about the First and Second Resurrections once we have eyes to see what God - in His wisdom - has concealed therein from those who don’t make time to search it out (see. Prov. 25:2).

      Oh, God’s treasure trove is sooo rich! If only we, His children, would prioritize studying it out directly for ourselves with the Holy Spirit, and not spend time opining and chasing all which we do... Realize all of Matt. 10 was said to Jesus’ disciples (and hence to us per the great commission), and He warned them therein not to be afraid of men as they flog them and betray them: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy [not annihilate!] both soul and body in hell [which is temporary per Rev. 20:14].” (Matt. 10:28)

      Being part of the First Resurrection is indeed “blessed and holy”! Absolutely assured of our eternal salvation on the “last day” (John 6:39-40), let’s press on as Paul and Peter etc. did to win that prize!

      Delete
    3. @Cannon Ball well I know for sure ALL my past, present and future sins are covered by the blood of Jesus at the cross. I have to confess them 1 John 1:8-9 allright but they are already covered and forgiven by being adopted in Gods family. Psalms 19:12-13 + 25:18 / Micah 7:18-19 / Isaiah 38:17 already tell about this in the OT. Hidden or unknown sins are covered as well just as past and future alike.

      Delete
  24. Here we go again, Scott Clarke being a prominent solve in sheeps clothing again preaching "Right Division" (of the flock!) and leading the little ones and immatures astray: https://youtu.be/O9PiAfb9PNM

    BEWARE!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Annabel. On BIN article today, 12/21/18, "Scottie Clarke Breaks YouTube Silence - Comes Out as 'Changed Man' " we get these alleged bullets from Scotties interview:
      ...you will hear Scott say..."I'm embarrassed that a lot of my videos have this Hebrew Bible garbage in it." Genesis through the first part of Acts is not about you. Hebrews through Revelation is not about you. There is NO SALVATION for this world apart from the books written by Paul.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  25. Wow. That was some work. Thank you. I think much of what was presented is a splash of cold water. And appreciated. However, I think you missed the gospel of the kingdom aspect. A little at least. I did not see it addressed. Also. Matthew 24 is addressed to the Church? No. It is addressed to future believers in Jesus. In my opinion. Here during the Tribulaton. Specifically Jews.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Chris, please take your bible and prove for yourself along with this read:

      http://www.solagroup.org/articles/endtimes/ep_0009.html

      You can see Matthew 24 adressed to the church as well from the times of Noah (37-39) and rapture verses (40-41) alone as the period of Jacobs trouble is not characterized by these but the time before. And who else are 'future believers in Christ' from a historical Matthew 24 perspective but the church?

      During tribulation period, there will be NO preaching of Christ as a Saviour on the cross but the 'eternal gospel' of Revelation 14:6-12 and God as creator and judge. There will be believers and martyrs but they will not be called 'Christians' like during church age. If they were, there wouldn't be the survivors in the judgement of the living asking their questions in Matthew 25:37-39. They would have KNOWN and recognized the 'brethren of Jesus' but here they wouldn't.

      Delete
    2. No. I disagree. And this is where the gospel of the kingdom truely comes into play. Stated also by Jesus in Matt 24:14.
      This description cannot be the rapture of the church, if I am understanding you correctly. Not if you believe in a pre-Trib repture. Matt 24:31-31 does not describe that. It does desctibe a rapture in my opinion. Just not of the church but of Tribulation saints. Of whom many will physically die before yes this second rapture. In my opinion. 1 Cor 15:51-52 does not describe this event in Matt 24. Or are you suggesting Matt 24 is Christ's second coming described in Rev 19:11-16? Possible but not likely in my opinion.
      As concerning the everlasting gospel, Rev 14:6, I see no problem with grace,faith and works in those coming to Jesus during the great Tribulation, namely Jews and also many Gentiles. As described also in Rev 14:12-13. These are Tribulation saints. And not Christians, perhaps. But they plainly live and reign during the Millinium with Jesus. As well as this everlasting gospel, being preached in their absence.
      My intent is not to wax cold than hot and risk, if such be possible, this rebuke of Rev 3:14-19. But to be an edifying member of the Body of Christ Jesus. Beholden yes to my brothers and sisters but following where the Spirit or Holy Ghost leads.
      We are saved by grace, by faith, and by the blood of Jesus. Praise God!

      Delete
    3. Dear Chris, just from logic now WHEN the resurrection / rapture has happened, people will notice what they DIDN'T according to Matthew 24:39 so these "days of Noah" (to which none other era than CHURCH AGE can be compared to) then have ENDED with introducing JUDGEMENT for the next 7 years. Did you check the linked article I sent by using your bible or did you just stubbornly deny anything I said because you somehow feel to remain disagreeing?

      Delete
  26. Read through your article again today, Stephanie. I just want to commend you again for a thorough, well-researched, and heartfelt response to the RD movement.

    I noticed this time around that you had quoted 1 Corinthians 1:10-17, which is absolutely perfect. If anyone is subscribing or thinking about diving into what the self-proclaimed Right Dividers are saying, then why not start with the assumption that water baptism should not be practiced during this current dispensation? The apostle Paul explicitly states in this opening chapter that he baptized a "Crispus" and one named "Gaius" (1 Cor. 1:14).

    To me, if I were a Scott Clarke (btw, one whom I sincerely believe is a brother who is also trusting in the imputed righteousness of Christ alone), then I would at least concede this point about water baptism being excluded from "Paul's gospel." Then that might hopefully lead to addressing the other concerns. However, since I'm sure Steph has already attempted to reach Scott, I guess it's going to be wishful thinking on my part.

    Grace and peace to the body of Christ, anyway. Maranatha!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I look at "rightly dividing" this way:
    From Genesis to the end of Revelation, the Word of God is written for everyone, and contains wisdom for everyone. It also contains salvation for everyone.
    *However*, not everyone is living at the same time. There are those who lived before Jesus came to earth. There are people who lived while He was here. There are people now, and there are a few yet to be born.
    I have spent *decades* analyzing and dissecting scripture in order to find the truth about salvation. I have been down many paths, and often times I have burned out from confusion or lack of understanding. Why does Paul say one thing, yet James says another, and do on.
    Then I discovered the "age of Grace". Things became a little more clear when someone said "Paul is the apostle for the gentiles".
    (a small side note: It is difficult to navigate certain things because while there is *one* gospel, churches have, for a very long time, spoken of "the gospel of John", "the gospel of Matthew", "the gospel of Luke", and so on. Even with that, I balked when I heard someone say "the gospel of Paul").
    For me, through understanding of dispensations, rightly dividing (as a method, not a denomination), and understanding who wrote what book to whom and why, I have the clearest view of the Bible that I have ever had. As if a veil has been lifted from my eyes, so very many seeming contradictions and confusing things between the books of the new testament now make absolute and *simple* sense.
    No longer is it "What does that mean, it seems like it contradicts what the other book said?"
    It is now "Well, that seems to contradict what the other book said, who is this one written to? Which dispensation? Oh, it's not written *to* me directly here in the Age of Grace, so if it *appears* to say that works are required for salvation, it's because it's not talking to me, but I should see if there is something I can learn from it anyway."
    Every book in the Word of God is for everyone to read, but starting with the Old Testament, it is quite clear that while it's written for everyone, it's not necessarily relative to our current times. We don't go about stoning adulterers, etc.
    Likewise, while we are quite zealous to understand what is coming, there are portions of the Word that are written *for* us, but written *to* people during the tribulation. We can speculate and predict about the rapture all we want, but there are going to be a number of people after the rapture that will need to understand clearly how *they* can grasp at that one last very difficult uphill battle of a chance that they can avoid eternal condemnation. I believe, personally, that there *are* books of the Bible written for those people, just as Paul's letters were written to those of us in the age of Grace. That would be, as one Youtube channel has pointed out, Hebrews through Revelation.
    I'm sure that probably just threw some peoples blood pressure through the ceiling, but for me, that is an accurate "dividing" of the Bible when it comes to who those books are written *to* specifically. In fact, when I sit and read from the different books from this perspective, the simplicity of it is just so plain to me. When I look at holding the entire New Testament together as one set of books that applies to everyone across the board, things get confusing and highly complicated, requiring many hour long expositions on how works and grace work together and so on.
    Yes, there are people making an entire religion, as it were, out of "rightly dividing", but that is how the devil make sure that people miss the truth sometimes. By blowing things so out of proportion that people just ignore it and miss the simple truth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Neural, you might finally have caught the main focus of Stephanies article by adressing the "RD *RELIGION*" that people have made from what you describe. She's not saying that dispensationalism is wrong. Unlike you I have never had 'decades of analyzing and dissecting scripture' to get to the point God was telling ME and adressing ME (!) through scripture, be it OT or NT it was EVERY book that had enough information and advice adressed to ME personally even if not written TO me. Could it be you weren't really born again yet while struggling such a long time especially with SALVATION but only discovering 'grace' later? Because 'dissecting' scripture is not necessary at all IMO if someone is led to true understanding by the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27). So the real cause for being confused by different authors might not have come from 'not rightly dividing' scripture but from being incapable of reading the books in the Spirit in the first place (Isaiah 29:11-12 please note the context). Nevertheless, the true titles of the four gospel books mustn't be translated like "OF Matthew, Mark, Luke, John" but rather "ACCORDING TO" the same like the book of Revelation is not "of John" but "OF Jesus Christ TO John". Blessings to you!

      Delete
    2. Neural, I absolutely 100% agree with you

      Delete
    3. Annabelle, you really need to be more loving to fellow believers. I sense a lot of anger toward other believers that seems to come right from your heart.
      Christ does not want that from us.

      Delete
    4. Isaiah I appreciate your comment but I have to tell you that you're utterly wrong about my attitude. As a German child of God, it is not my nature nor my habit to beat around the bush making more words than needed. I'm sorry not to meet your taste but that's just who I am. I won't change how God has made me and given me a sober character neither for you nor for anyone who needs more flatteries. Look how Jesus was judged by his followers already and did He not have the greatest love of all for them? John 6:60 Blessings to you! ;-)

      Delete
    5. You know what I am German also, being German gives you no excuse not to speak or write with love

      Delete
    6. Isaiah I got a good one for you from a secular news page, very fitting indeed:

      https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-19/2018-summed-one-picture

      Calm down and get some more extra humour gift along with Christmas! :-)

      Delete
  28. I would by no means call myself a Right Divider, but I have some thoughts on this this article. Please note that I do not offer this with any sort of ill will for anyone.

    A few paragraphs into What's This All About?, the author says:

    "One of the most alarming features is that while this doctrine focuses heavily on preaching "grace", it is incredibly divisive and offers little to no grace towards those who dissent."

    This is then followed up with a report of RDers telling her she is "wrongly dividing", unsaved, immature, etc. I'm confused, because that's pretty much exactly what the people commenting in support of this article are saying, calling RDers immature, cultists, etc. Maybe what's good for the goose isn't always good for the gander, but it doesn't seem either side is exactly taking the high road here. I guess what I'm saying is, is this an indication of a doctrinal problem? Or of a heart problem? If so, then I would say maybe take a look closer to home. I'll refrain from mentioning splinters in eyes.

    It's important, because this leads directly to this statement in The Gospel of Grace:

    "Clearly, those who ascribe to this doctrine see it as a salvation issue."

    Maybe, maybe not. It may be that the author was having a discussion on the internet, where EVERYTHING is a salvation issue (please see sub heading: Internet Trolls). In my admittedly limited experience of this, I haven't heard anyone teach that if you believe the wrong thing about it you aren't saved. I can easily believe that such an accusation took place, but I don't think this is evidence that its part of RD doctrine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interestingly, it appears that believing in RD is enough to have someone's salvation questioned. Though as I mentioned, we are on the internet here, so...

      Delete
    2. None of us have the right to question anyone else's salvation. Also I seem to remember that the focus of unsealed is to encourage each other as we see the day approaching. It is to be expected that there is going to be this bickering in the body, but these things should not be. How about we practice loving each other knowing that we are going to spend eternity together. I've had my salvation questions for no good reason at all by people that I will spend eternity with. It's no fun it's very hurtful.

      Delete
  29. My thoughts on the next few sections can pretty much be summed up to say that it seems to me that the author is scandalized by this doctrine more than she understands it. I don't say that harshly, or in a spirit of accusation, so please don't take it that way. But she describes that she is literally in tears because of the RD teaching that certain books of the Bible are to different audiences- some to Israel, some to the Church, and some to post-Church Jews. She is upset because the whole Word is applicable to everyone. Well, sure. But again, I haven't heard any RD preacher disagree that whole word isn't profitable for teaching, correction etc, just that different parts are there for different audiences and different purposes.


    It seems to me that one could be just as logically be moved to tears by someone teaching that we didn't need to worry about mixing fabrics anymore- what's wrong with you, don't you love the Word?! It all applies to you! I kid (perhaps inappropriately), but I think the point is a valid one. We understand (er, rightly divide) that the mixed fabric passages aren't talking to the Church. Sure, we can learn valuable lessons from it- it's still the Word of God- but parts of it are for us but not TO us. That's what the RDers are saying, at least as far as I understand it.

    What rightly dividing is NOT

    I'm not certain what this section's indictment of denominationalism has to do with the subject at hand. It starts off well, explaining that you shouldn't reject parts of the Bible (which no RDer would admit to), and that the body of Christ shouldn't be "torn apart" into "right dividers" and "wrong dividers", but the scripture offered after doesn't really seem to apply, exactly. It might apply to 2000 years of denominational infighting, sure, but it's immediately followed in the conclusion by a call for unity unless we disagree about something important. I'm getting some mixed signals here.

    This article is introduced as the response to one or more personal disagreements, and it certainly reads that way. Maybe I just haven't encountered the right RDers, and the ones I have read have been the exception- reasonable, measured, and interested in the integrity and meaning of the Word, just like everyone here. I want to re-emphasize that I don't consider myself one, and I mean nothing above in anything but good faith. Grace, peace and blessing to you all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep.
      Rightly Dividing is my preferred method of understanding the Word of God.
      Letters have destinations with specific audiences.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. Julian, thank you for your comments. I had many of the same challenges when reading this article. In my opinion, it would be great if Stephanie responded and clarified and improved some of her points. The article was overall confusing, over-emotional, and too generalized in its analysis, in my opinion, but I do love Stephanie; I read her articles well before she was on Unsealed. Merry Christmas and Maranatha!

      Delete
  30. I so enjoyed all the comments about Stephanie's excellent post. Wow! What a gift, what insight, and what a display of hard work. There was something not mentioned in all the comments I would like to briefly address. I am an evangelist and have had the privilege of leading hundreds to Christ (one person at a time) for over 40 years. This may be a subtle point but certainly relevant with all the "RD" discussion. I currently do not believe in "Lordship Salvation" but have been in both camps down through the years. I will not go into detail about this now but to say that when I read an excellent book called: "Evangelism: A Biblical Approach" by pastor Michael Cocoris he opened my eyes about the biblical meaning of "repentance". Lordship Salvation comes dangerously close to salvation by works since one must be willing to turn everything over to the Lord before coming to Him. No believer can even meet that standard completely so why do we lay that burden on the un-believer. They need Jesus as their Savior "first". He will take things from there and change the heart that will result in a change of lifestyle. This aspect of "RD" might have roots that penetrate far deeper in Evangelical circles than most realize. Just thought I would give my unique (but certainly not novel) perspective. ps. Seeing SClarks U-Tube presentation where He "comes out of the closet" in his views about RD just broke my heart and I could feel a cult like chemistry coming from Him and his RD brother. Please come home Scotty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear @Unknown, as you mentioned 'Lordship Salvation' I had understood this term years ago (and from the very start of my own salvation in Christ) as describing the process of SANCTIFICATION but not salvation according to the GTY definition of John MacArthur. Therefore, I couldn't quite understand how people make a salvation issue / belief system from it as it in fact doesn't describe the act of salvation at all!

      It's the same thing with "Rightly Dividing" probably. Most RD'ers aren't truly saved and sealed anyway so they do not posess the Holy Spirit guiding and navigating them through scriptures. They must all fail by carving themselves some man-made instruments of navigation without ever letting Gods Spirit open up the scripture to them in context.

      Delete
    2. Annabel,
      Are you God?

      "Most RD'ers aren't truly saved and sealed anyway so they do not posess the Holy Spirit guiding and navigating them through scriptures. "

      This is quite upsetting to see from a Christian.
      The Gospel that saves both Jews and gentiles was written in Paul's first letter to the Corinthians in Chapter 15.

      Delete
    3. Annabelle! Seriously?

      I'm going to say this again, none of us have the right to question someone else's salvation especially someone that you don't know

      Delete
  31. I do agree with both of you gentlemen (Isaiah & James). I was surprised my original comment went that direction. That was not its intent. Although I don't believe in Lordship Salvation, I do know people like Billy Graham and John MacArthur do, and that causes me to hold my position with somewhat of an open hand. Someday soon I pray, we will all get our theology from the Master Himself. Praise God!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear @Unknown you may check Robert Breakers very well done examination of Billy Graham here to learn more about his doctrine that you may not know yet:

      https://youtu.be/lUcMg0PyvxY

      About John MacArthur you may check his recent spiritual development by applying 2 John 9-11 which is quite disturbing:

      https://youtu.be/uY9fmUgkRLk

      He even partners with Rick Warren today:

      https://youtu.be/2Q7lUWUIwN8

      To get the FULL picture it is necessary to indeed "rightly divide" ALL scripture, but in such a way Stephanie describes it here in the very meaning of the term as CUT STRAIGHT and not as 'dissecting' and 'butchering around'. Greetings your way.

      Delete
    2. Annabel,
      Thanks for the info. I have come to realize over the years in battle with Satan and involved in evangelism for such a long time, that my focus needs to be on fighting the enemy and not other believers. I agree that we much "contend earnestly for the faith", but also that all of us are flawed to one degree or another, both in character and theology, yet God somehow uses us all anyway for His purposes. I learned over the years (usually by doing things wrongly) that I have to pick my battles and they usually don't involve matters of doctrine. Even Paul when hearing that there were those who were preaching Christ out of wrong motives did not criticize the preachers but praised God that Christ was preached. I would grow to be a nervous wreak and frankly bitter if I chose to focus on those who didn't get everything right. As Christ's return nears, let us recommit ourselves to winning souls, fighting the enemy and not shooting our own wounded. God Bless sister!

      Delete
  32. Gary, you are exactly right, salvation has always been and always will be by grace through faith in Jesus Christ ... for the OT Saints it was faith in the promised Christ to come (Genesis 3:15) and for the NT Saints it is faith in the Christ who has come as promised (John 3:16)!

    As a young born again Christian my eyes where opened to the deeper things of God and the way God worked to reveal His Son to the world during different periods of time by the Clarence Larkin book "Dispensational Truth". In fact Clarence Larkin predicted that the rapture would occur in the year 5993 AM (since creation) ... then there would be 7 years of Tribulation, then the 1,000 year Millennium, then the Eternal Age (as the charts in this article indicate) .

    In 2015 I undertook a Bible timeline search (as millions of others have done) to determine if we are living in the year 5993 AM. I even have a web site for this sign: http://the5993sign.com/

    But I realize that God has left the exact date of creation a mystery so we will walk by faith (not by sight) and use the other signs that He is giving us, such as the Revelation 12 sign and the signs of Noah and Lot. We are so close to Christ's return. There will be a Dispensation change in the way God uses the Tribulation Saints, the two witnesses and the 144,000 Jews to preach the gospel during Tribulation period but salvation is only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ!

    We are witnessing a transition to this end-times Dispensation today, as the Jews are being awakened and the Church is being shaken over issues like Rightly Dividing, Dominion Theology, Replacement Theology and Hebrews Roots movement.

    Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. - Revelation 3:11

    - Blessings and Maranatha! ... Roger

    ReplyDelete
  33. Great article. Thanks for bringing the truth to this attempt to divide the body. I knew something was going on with SClark, but I could not put my finger on it exactly. Now the issue is clear. Keep up the good work

    ReplyDelete
  34. AMEN! Neural very well said.

    Simply put...the entire Word of God is for me but not all is to me.

    2 Corinthians 12:7-11
    7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
    8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
    9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
    10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
    11 I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.

    We are to rightly divide the Word of Truth...Not the body of Christ.

    With the Love of Jesus. Your sister in Christ,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  35. I don't know about you but all this "Rightly Dividing" seems like an awful lot of work when it is very simple, "Believe on Him!" Now, maybe a month ago, I watched Scottie Clark's video on this very subject. My Gut kept shouting "CHAOS!" I do believe in Discernment and I do pray for understanding and yet I feel that The Father is NOT about chaos or confusion. Thusly, as I want to be pleasing in His sight, I try to learn all things, short of changing The Word or cherry picking, our greatest adversary, I do think this is causing divisiveness and wrong division amongst the Brethren. As well, something inside tells me to stand clear.

    Stephanie, this is a brilliant Thesis. Surely our Father is pleased? I vote; YES!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I think this is a great article and presentation concerning rightly dividing scripture. Specifically regarding salvation issues. There is one Gospel.
    I think rightly dividing is more applicable to other topics such as prophecy. Prophecy is much more in need of RD.

    ReplyDelete


Recommended

[Top Post][grids]

World News

[Top World News][bleft]

Highlights

[Highlights][twocolumns]

Bible Study

[Bible Study][list]

Astronomy

[Astronomy][bleft]

Greg's Thoughts

[Top Greg][bsummary]

Jeff's Musings

[Top Jeff][twocolumns]

Hillary's Corner

[Top Hillary][bsummary]

Birth Pangs

[Birth Pangs][bleft]

Politics

[Political][twocolumns]

Wolf Watch

[Wolves][bsummary]

In-Depth Articles

[In-Depth][bleft]

Archaeology

[Archaeology][twocolumns]

Science

[Top Science][list]