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Category Archives: Curt Crist: Notes, bible study videos

The fall/partial blindness of Israel (Paul’s 1st apostolic journey) [Curt Crist]

Curt Crist, pastor/teacher of ‘Welcome To Grace Ministries': Welcometograce.com

Source: #116 Jews, Paul and the Law 1 [Curt Crist] (28:39-43:25 min.):

PLAYLIST: 116-119 Understanding the book of Acts [Curt Crist]

What we have to understand about the book of Acts, is that Paul was trying to reach individual Jews and Gentiles, and the Jews were associated with those customs. The Jews had been God’s favored nation, the Jews were Paul’s kinsman after the flesh, he desired greatly to reach these folk. Paul himself was Jewish and it was the Jewish religious leadership that had the Jews dispersed in the first place, so Paul always went to Jews first and God intended him to do so. Not only would unbelieving Jews be given an opportunity to believe through grace, God would also prove through the acts account that for the most part the Jews would remain in unbelief. The book of acts is God’s everlasting account validating the partial blindness that had come upon that nation.

We want to look at Paul’s visit to the Jews during the acts account, and we want to watch God validate having set Israel aside nationally with the stoning of Stephen, while he now completes his program and plan for the body of Christ. Paul began the first of his apostolic journeys with the pronouncement of blindness on Barjesus. Paul was on his way to Asia, that was the area he would first visit, when he ran across what Scripture calls a false prophet, a Jew, so this is not a believing Jew, this is an unbelieving Jew. God could not give us a more clear picture of the blindness Paul tells us in the book of Romans that happened to Israel nationally. This is a picture of it.

Acts 13:11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.

Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

Now we are going to see God, through Paul’s acts ministry, validate the blindness upon unbelieving Jews as Paul goes to the Jews first, in every area he visits. This is area number one. From Pathos in Cyprus Paul sets sail for Asia, again this is his first apostolic journey, he enters Antioch and Pisidia, where he visits the Jewish synagogue:

Acts 13:38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man [Jesus Christ] is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

Acts 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Great news to these unbelieving Jews, wouldn’t you say? At least it should’ve been the greatest news they would ever hear, but here is the warning given in light of the fact that Israel nationally had already been set aside in blindness:

Acts 13:40 Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;

Acts 13:41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.

That’s precisely what had already come upon Israel nationally, earlier on. Would the Gentiles be interested in Paul’s message?

Acts 13:42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.

Sounds like the Gentiles were extremely interested in what Paul has to say to these Jews. Of course were the Gentiles not supposed to be coming to Israel to learn about God? They were! Were they not supposed to be coming through Israel’s rise as prophecy had proclaimed? Sure, they were, but Israel had not risen! Israel had fallen. Israel had been blinded in part.

Acts 13:43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

Ephesians 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Acts 13:44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.

Does it sound like everything is wonderful up to this point? Sounds pretty good to me, sounds like Paul should have great success, everything is going wonderfully so far. Gentiles are extremely interested. Paul’s continuing to try to persuade the Jews to stay with that message he’s preaching, but trouble is brewing in Antioch city. Starts with t, rhymes with p, stands for Paul. Notice the tempest in the teapot that is brewing here:

Acts 13:45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.

Were the Jews embracing Paul’s message? I think it is very easy to see they were not, and they were not embracing Paul either. Paul had gone to the Jews of Asia first, that was his intent, I believe that’s what he was instructed to do, and they didn’t like him or his message. They were envious of the attention the apostle Paul was getting, and that envy had led to a rejection of not only Paul, but of Paul’s message. That’s a profound truth to understand; that envy will lead to a rejection of not only you but your message. While some believe Paul’s message, the vast majority rejected it; a validation of why God had set Israel aside nationally in the first place, and why God had called this new apostle who would be sent to the Gentiles. Paul was free at this point in time. He had spoken to the Jews of Asia and they had rejected, he’s now free to encounter Gentiles in Asia separately, separate from the Jews. God called out this new apostle in order to complete his plan and program through the Gentiles, and he did it through an apostle of grace. Here is Paul’s response to the Jewish rejection of his message in Asia:

Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

Did Paul turn to the Gentiles in Asia at this point? You bet he did, because he had already gone to the Jews first in Asia before he went to anyone else. He held their unbelief up in front of them and he said “now I’m free to go to the Gentiles in Asia” and he did so. The rejection Paul and Barnabas faced here wasn’t about to get any better:

Acts 13:49 And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.

Acts 13:50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.

Did they want Paul or his message? They didn’t… Paul was certainly free to go to the Gentiles with his message of grace. That is precisely what Paul began to do because now he was free to do that in Asia. The Jews were proving themselves blind, perhaps it would go better for Paul at Iconium; Paul’s next stop in Asia.

Acts 14:1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they [Paul and Barnabas] went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.

It looks better in Iconium, does it not? This looks much better than where he was, again things are looking up, at least so far they are, but is there trouble brewing in Iconium?

Acts 14:2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.

Unbelieving Jews stirring up trouble all over again, and that trouble starts with T rhymes with P, stands for Paul.

Acts 14:3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

Signs for the folks of that nation that God had dealt with according to signs, isn’t that interesting? Would those signs do the trick when it came to these Jews of the dispersion?

Acts 14:4 But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.

So now we’ve got a teeter totter effect going on, this is a see-saw here. Which way will it go? Will go up or will it go down?

Acts 14:5 And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them,

Are they rejecting the Apostle of grace? You bet they are!

Acts 14:6 They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:

Acts 14:7 And there they preached the gospel.

Guess one of “the regions that lieth round about” Lystra and Lycaonia? Galatia!
Paul had already proven blindness when it came to the Jews in Asia, and rest assured he was indeed going to Gentiles as he was going to the regions that lieth round about Lycaonia. The assembly of Galatia was established during this time, and Paul had met young Timothy, his mother and his grandmother on this journey. It was by way of Paul’s ministry that Timothy came to faith in Christ, and the all sufficiency of the cross work of Jesus Christ, but as we stay with the story in acts 14, we find Paul healing a man in Lystra. The man that was impotent in his feet, he had been a cripple from his mother’s womb. With that healing, the people of that area thought the apostle Paul and Barnabas were Gods. ‘If they can do this, these guys are gods’. They couldn’t contain themselves they wanted to worship at the feet of Paul and Barnabas, because the feelings that had taken place. Seems like Paul should’ve been able to make great progress with his message of grace to these folks, wouldn’t it? If you were being worshiped as a god, don’t you think you would get your message across to those worshiping you as a god?

Acts 14:19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing [deeming, judging, fully believing] he had been dead.

Aren’t these people at Iconium supposed to be coming through Israel’s rise? She had fallen! She had not risen, she had already fallen. Paul had already pronounced blindness before he really got underway on this journey, and it’s simply being proven to us folks; no one’s coming through the Jews, that’s not happening.
Paul relates the same account in;

2 Corinthians 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

The unbelieving Jews were not happy campers, no matter where Paul went. When it came to Paul, they didn’t want him or his message. God is indeed validating the blindness that he had brought upon that nation nationally, with the salvation of Saul, and that Paul had declared with the blindness brought upon Barjesus. Here they’ve stoned the apostle Paul. He’s approaching the latter portion of this first journey to Asia. How many listening today would want to continue on if the same thing would happen to you? You moved into a town, and some folks said “we want to hear you out, we would like to hear what you have. Let’s meet at the community center next week” and you meet at the community center and these folks are really interested. Their ears are wide open and they’re listening, and in through the door comes some folks from the first, or second or third of whatever and they say, ‘no you’re preaching heresy, you’re preaching damnable heresy, let’s stone you to death’. Would you want to continue? Paul did! He’d make three additional journeys, if we include the Rome trip!

Curt Crist on Youtube:
Youtube.com/romansthruphilemon
Youtube.com/graceaboundedmore

e-Sword (free Bible software)

 

Present day Israel (UN-1948) [Curt Crist]

Curt Crist, pastor/teacher of ‘Welcome To Grace Ministries': Welcometograce.com

Source: #124 Peace of mind (51:07-54:21)

Present day Israel [.PDF]

How about Israel’s enemies? How about, would God deliver Israel from her enemies? Of course he will! Would Israel need someone to deal with her enemies? I think we all know the answer to that. We know for certain that God is not dealing with current day Israel as a special nation, he’s dealing with all alike today. When he deals with Israel as a special nation, when they’re re-gathered to that land, they’ll be re-gathered in belief, they’ll enter the land and given the totality of the land. Christ, their King, will be with them, and they will dwell safely according to scripture, and according to Matthew, that will take place after the tribulation of those days, at Christ’s second coming, when he sends his angels out to re-gather Israel to their land. With the earthly program being set aside, during this age of grace, no nationality enjoys special favor in the eyes of God; all must come alike to God today. Remember, God didn’t lift up the gentiles, who had been without God, and put them on an equal or higher plain, than belonged to Israel. He concluded Israel in unbelief, as he had previously concluded the gentiles in unbelief, both of them down on the same level, so that he might have mercy on all, and that’s where it is today, according to Paul:

Romans 11:32 KJV For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

There’s nothing special about those of Jewish heritage who are in that land today. I know this irks a lot of people, but they enjoy no higher status with God during this mystery dispensation, no matter what some may say or think, than any other nationality on the face of the earth. That land, and the people who were given it by UN-decree in 1948, are called Israel. Tell me, does the Israel of our day have an enemy problem? How many nations do you suppose oppose that people? Not all, but certainly the vast majority. Europe is full of them. The UN is full of them. We’re fighting terrorism today because of our support for present day Israel. I can tell you most assuredly, even present day Israel would rejoice if someone would come along and avenge their cause with their enemies. The fact is, when God resumes his program with that nation, when he’s ready to gather true Israel into their promised land, he will avenge his cause with those who oppose his people and their Messiah. Jesus Christ, and he’ll be called the Mighty God in connection with that, will oppose the Christ rejectors of this world.

Psalms 5:11 KJV But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

Think about that, in light of God’s judgment of her enemies, will Israel time future have great reason to rejoice in their defender; their Jehovah Nissi.”

Curt Crist on Youtube:
Youtube.com/romansthruphilemon
Youtube.com/graceaboundedmore

e-Sword (free Bible software)

 

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BitTorrent: Download Curt Crist’s Bible studies on Philippians. 94-95 + 108-134

Curt Crist is the pastor/teacher of ‘Welcome To Grace Ministries': Welcometograce.com. I’ve now made the DVD/video bible studies I have on Philippians (94-95, 108-134) available for download:

  • #94 Whine or shine.
  • #95 A departure from Paul
  • #108 Why 2 programs
  • #109 A program on hold
  • #110 A program in progress 1
  • #111 A program in progress 2
  • #112 Things that differ-Things that don’t 1
  • #113 Things that differ-things that don’t 2
  • #114 Things that differ, things that don’t 3
  • #115 Israel and the trees
  • #116 Jews, Paul and the Law. The book of Acts 1
  • #117 Jews, Paul and the Law. The book of Acts 2
  • #118 Following Paul; Acts overview
  • #119 Acts and the miraculous
  • #120 The Pauline Pattern
  • #121 An Appeal From Paul
  • #122 The Book Of Life
  • #123 Reconciliation
  • #124 Peace of mind
  • #125 Our labor of love
  • #126 The power of prayer 1
  • #127 The power of prayer 2
  • #128 The power of prayer 3
  • #129 The power of prayer time future
  • #130 The doctrine of thinking 1
  • #131 The doctrine of thinking 2
  • #132 The doctrine of thinking 3
  • #133 Grace communication
  • #134 Philippians finale

29 videos. Size: 13,6 GB. 400-600 MB/1 hour each. Format: AVI. Codec: XVID.

You can open them in most media players (I recommend VLC media player), and even dvd- or blu ray players, if they support XVID/DIVX. 1 file fits on a CD-R.

What is BitTorrent?

BitTorrent (often abbreviated to ‘BT’) is a protocol that allows you to download files quickly and efficiently. It is a peer to peer protocol, which means you download and upload to other people downloading the same file. BitTorrent is often used for distribution of large files or popular content as it is a cheap, fast, efficient way to distribute files to users like you. µTorrent is a BitTorrent client, so it speaks the BitTorrent protocol, much like a browser would speak HTTP. Just as there are multiple web browsers, there are multiple BitTorrent clients, and µTorrent is the most popular.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>DOWNLOAD<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Click the link above. You now have 3 choices:

  1. Clicking “Download now” will download the BitTorrent file, plus a BitTorrent client called µTorrent. Recommended if you do not already have a BitTorrent client installed.
  2. If you already have a BitTorrent client installed, you can use the magnet link, this loads the BitTorrent file directly to your BitTorrent client, or….
  3. …download the BitTorrent-file, and then open it in your BitTorrent client.

If you’re new to BitTorrent, read this first: http://www.utorrent.com/help/guides/beginners-guide and http://www.utorrent.com/help/faq.

How does it work? BitTorrent clients connect everyone who is downloading/uploading a file, and then shares the content between them. The small BitTorrent file (.torrent or the magnet link) gives you access to download the real content (in this case the 29 video files). You can stop/pause/resume whenever, and as many times as, you like. This is possible because BitTorrent works by only downloading and uploading small pieces of information at a time, typically a couple of kb each. Those who haven’t reached 100% yet are called peers or leechers, those who have reached 100% are called seeders.

µTorrent finished downloading, but now it says it’s Seeding. What does that mean?

Seeding is where you leave your BitTorrent client open after you’ve finished your download to help distribute it (you distribute the file while downloading, but it’s even more helpful if you continue to distribute the full file even after you have finished downloading). Chances are that most of the data you got was from seeds, so help give back to the community! It doesn’t require much – µTorrent will continue seeding until the torrent is removed (right click the torrent, then hit Remove).

I kindly ask you to help seed this BitTorrent, for as long as you can or want. Let’s keep this BitTorrent alive and healthy (fast!). Since the files aren’t located on any servers (they are located on the hard drives of everyone who is downloading or has downloaded them, so there aren’t any third-parties involved), the torrent will die if people stop seeding it. Sharing is caring! ;)

IMPORTANT:

Keep in mind that if you move the downloaded folder/files, the BitTorrent stops working until you tell your BitTorrent client where on the hard drive it’s located:

uTorrent: Move/Rename Folder and Keep Seeding

Renaming or altering the files in any way will also make the BitTorrent stop working! Simply check the index list above and rename the files to fix it. Please try this before re-downloading the whole BitTorrent.

Ephesians 3:9 KJV  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Questions? Post a comment below or contact me on e-mail or Youtube :) See “Contact” in the sidebar to the right. Enjoy!

 

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Paul’s gospel in 15 seconds!

Where was the SIN QUESTION settled? Calvary.

What was the verdict? Guilty.

What was the penalty? Death. (Separation from God; spiritual deadness, physical death etc.)

Who took it? Jesus Christ.

How much of it? All of it.

How much did he leave for you? None of it…not imputing the world’s sins unto them; “not imputing their trespasses unto them” (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)

Curt Crist, pastor/teacher of ‘Welcome To Grace Ministries': Welcometograce.com

Curt Crist on Youtube:
Youtube.com/romansthruphilemon
Youtube.com/graceaboundedmore

 

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Welcome to grace. June-12-2011 [Curt Crist]

Welcometograce.com

Justification. The body of Christ. The faith OF Christ: His faithfulness.
The difference between the Gospel of the kingdom (prophecy), the gospel of God (prophecy) and the gospel of Christ/the gospel of the grace of God (mystery).

Romans 1:16-17
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Romans 3:20-28
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Ephesians 2:11-12
11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

Exodus 34:5-7
5 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

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,

The gospel of the kingdom:

Matthew 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

+ Matthew 9:35, Matthew 10, Mark 6

The gospel (good news) of the kingdom (of heaven), Israel’s promised earthly kingdom being at hand:
The good news about the kingdom to be brought down from heaven to earth, when the King (Jesus Christ) returns and sets his kingdom up here.
Repent, and be baptized for the sending away of your sins.

Luke 9:6 And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.

Isaiah 33:24 And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.

Matthew 16:21-22
21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

John 20:9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

Luke 24:25-27
25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

Luke 24:44-47
44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Isaiah 53:4-8
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

The presence of the Lord: The 2nd coming of Christ.

Romans 11:26-27
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Only the people of Israel are referred to as God’s sheep:

Psalms 79:13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

John 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

A ransom for MANY:

Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Jeremiah 31:31-34
31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

The gospel (good news of God) of God, not the good news of the impending kingdom, not the gospel of the kingdom. That program had been pushed aside (Romans 11).
What was the gospel of God? Jesus Christ was alive; he had risen from the dead! They had crucified him, he had died, he was buried, he had risen from the dead. He was the Son of the living God. The deity of Jesus Christ. While it applies to both programs; the kingdom program and the body of Christ program, it is NOT the saving gospel for today (the dispensation of the grace of God/the age of grace).

The gospel (good news) of Christ: The good news that Jesus Christ (God’s only begotten Son, God in the flesh) died for the sins of the world (past, present, future, incl. everyone), was buried and rose again the third day (raised for our justification). Exclusively revealed to our Apostle; the Apostle Paul, by the ascended, glorified Christ. The saving gospel for today; the dispensation of the grace of God.

A ransom for ALL:

1 Timothy 2:3-7
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
7 Whereunto I [Paul] am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

1 Timothy 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

It’s no longer an issue for forgiveness of sins, the issue is what will we believe; what will those that have been told this good news that sin is no longer an issue with God, what will they believe about their sins no longer being an issue, with God almighty.

If they’re going to bed on their knees in the evening, asking God to forgive the sins that they’re supposed to be believing are no longer an issue because Christ took care of them at Calvary, what are they saying they believe about what Christ took care of at Calvary?

2 Corinthians 5:18-21
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Curt Crist on Youtube:

Daniel
Youtube.com/romansthruphilemon

Youtube.com/graceaboundedmore

 

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1 Corinthians 15:1-4? [Curt Crist]

Curt Crist, pastor/teacher of ‘Welcome To Grace Ministries':
Welcometograce.com

Source (34:36+):

If you prefer shorter clips (10 min.) + notes:
PLAYLIST #94 Whine or shine?

“Paul’s gospel must be accepted, it must be believed today, and you can be sure that confusion concerning that gospel through the use of a counterfeit gospel; a gospel that looks so much like Paul’s gospel that you’d not know the difference, if you didn’t clearly know Paul’s gospel, will be Satan’s focus in this age of grace. That’s Satan’s purpose in this age of grace, to confuse Paul’s gospel with a gospel so nearly to it, that we’d not recognize what was missing from it or added to it, and it looks just like Paul’s Gospel. There are many folks out there today, and I hear them all the time, and I hear them in grace circle’s all the time, saying ‘all you have to do is to believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and you’re saved’. How many people believe that today?!
Just about everybody in every assembly in our town believes that. They believe it in the baptist, catholic, pentecostal churches. They believe it in almost every church across the board that Christ died, was buried and rose again, but what do they believe was accomplished by that death, burial and resurrection? That’s the key point! Do they believe it was an all-sufficient reconciliation where the entirety of the world’s sin debt was concerned, or do they believe that they must obtain a new measure of reconciliation every time they sin, and that’s by seeking a new measure of forgiveness from God, that He might be reconciled to them. Who in the world are they asking for forgiveness from? From God, therefore the assumption is that he’s not reconciled when they sin. You see what was going on in their minds? In their minds they were separating themselves from God by their sin, and Paul is saying that he has already reconciled you where your sins are concerned. Who we are and what we have in the person of our Savior is incredible, and I’m using that word in the sense of overwhelmingly wonderful.”

1 Corinthians 15:1-4
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

2 Corinthians 5:18-21
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Colossians 1:21
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

1 Timothy 2:3-7
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for ALL, to be testified in due time.
7 Whereunto I [Paul] am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

A brother in Christ had these questions:

If you add anything, or do not understand the concept of reconciliation, does that mean they are lost? Is that how fine a line it is? Is that what Pastor Curt is saying that it is more than just believing 1 Corinthians 15;1-4?
1: If a person believes Peter and Paul’s gospel are the same, saved or lost? In fact, if they teach that the four gospels are the same as Paul’s gospels,saved or lost?
2. If a person says “they believe”, but add “BUT” we try to keep the big 10, we water baptize as testimony, we try and do the Sermon on the Mount, saved or lost?

…so I sent Curt Crist an e-mail, and this is his response:


Hey Daniel,
I sure do have a response. Merely saying the words ‘Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again’…is no more than a recitation of sounds…unless a person knows and believes what he is saying when he says those words. When a person says…’he died for our sins’…does he truly believe what he is saying? Recitation and belief are two different things. It is ‘believing the gospel’ that saves today according to Paul, not just reciting words. If I say ‘he died for my sins’…but I do not believe that his death for my sins accomplished anything where the sins he died for are concerned…I’m uttering words without attaching a meaning to them. For instance, the Pope says that Christ died for his sins, was buried and rose again. You’ll find this in the Catholic Bible. But, the Pope does not believe that the sins Christ died for…have been ‘put away forever’. The Pope would tell you that you need ‘further absolution’ in order to ‘make heaven’. What does that tell you he actually believes… when it comes to the words he has no problem uttering? Do you see the difference. He died for my sins is meaningless unless I know what it means that he died for my sins. That’s not ‘adding to the gospel’…that’s understanding the gospel we’re reciting.

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

Now, about the second part of the question your friend raises. A person doesn’t have to understand ‘right division’ in order to understand ‘the gospel’ Paul preached. I’m sure there are those who think Peter was preaching what Paul was preaching because they don’t understand ‘right division’. The question would be ‘does the person who does not understand right division’…understand Paul’s gospel? If they do and they believe it…they are saved regardless of what they believe about Peter or water baptism. However, if they think that water baptism saves….that’s another story! Right division doesn’t save, believing Paul’s gospel saves! Of course, spiritual growth (an issue of the Bema, or Judgment Seat of Christ) most certainly depends upon understanding the Bible rightly divided. A person can be saved and not spiritually mature. But ‘spiritual maturity’ is something believers are called to…according to Paul. Hope this answers your friends questions. Let me know how it works out.
Curt

Daniel/romansthruphilemon

Curt Crist on Youtube:
Youtube.com/romansthruphilemon
Youtube.com/graceaboundedmore

 

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PLAYLIST: #108 – # 134 [Curt Crist]

Curt Crist, pastor/teacher of ‘Welcome To Grace Ministries':
Welcometograce.com

Bible study #108 “Why two programs? Why planet earth?” to #134 “Philippians finale” on Philippians.

>>>CLICK HERE!<<<

27 videos
Total length: 26 hours

Enjoy!

Youtube.com/romansthruphilemon

For more: Youtube.com/graceaboundedmore

 

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to make the Gentiles obedient by word: THE faith [Curt Crist]

Curt Crist, pastor/teacher of ‘Welcome To Grace Ministries': http://www.welcometograce.com

Source: #119 Acts and the miraculous [Curt Crist] (21:58-27:51 min.)

PLAYLIST: #116-119: UNDERSTANDING THE BOOK OF ACTS

Complete notes:

http://romansthruphilemon.wordpress.com/2011/04/10/119-acts-and-the-miraculous-curt-crist/

E-SWORD (Bible application)

Daniel,

youtube.com/romansthruphilemon

“Now, in the last half of verse 18, Paul gives his goal and his mission. He’s telling us why Christ had wrought these things through him.

Romans 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,

“To make the Gentiles obedient”…now that’s an interesting statement. Obedient to what? What is it that Paul was trying to get the Gentiles to obey? Did you know that Paul identifies this very clearly for us here? Most folks would think “the law, he’s trying to get the Gentiles be obedient to the law”. Not at all! Paul explains very clearly what he wants them to believe and to be obedient to.
In Romans 1 and 16, Paul tells us what he wants the Gentiles to obey. It’s very important to see this, because there are a lot of folks, as I said, who would say “let’s obey the word of God”, but they don’t bother to identify what portion of the word of God is meant for their obedience. They just lump it all together, and they come out with some sort of convoluted conglomeration of two very different programs, mixed altogether. Paul doesn’t make a mistake here, he very clearly identifies what the Gentiles are to obey.

Romans 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

For obedience to what does it say here? For obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name. When you see the definite article “THE faith”, Paul has a specific belief system in place. He’s not talking about faith in general. He’s not talking about believing that there was a man named Jesus Christ. Paul identifies two things here “by whom we have received grace”. What kind of grace? We know from Paul’s other writings, he’s talking about the distinctive grace that was given him. What grace is it Paul?

Ephesians 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Not only was a special dispensation committed to Paul, he was given that unique and special apostleship concerning that special dispensing, that he was to be doing. He mentions both there in Romans 1! So what does he want the Gentiles to be obedient to? THE faith! What he’s telling us here, is that we Gentiles in this dispensation are to obey that message of grace that was given to Paul for us. We’re to obey the message of grace that Paul preached. That’s why Paul said numerous times “be ye followers together of me”. That’s what we’re to obey.

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,

This is the unique truth for this age! It’s called the mystery/ the secret.. Paul called it ‘the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery’.

Romans 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

It was always the obedience of faith! It was never anything other than the obedience of faith. It wasn’t obedience to the law of Moses, in order to get those folks saved. It was simply the obedience of faith; it was taking God at his word. It has always been taking God at his word, but if God told you to do something to prove that you are taking him at his word, you would definitely do that thing. Today he’s telling us;

Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

God is not giving you things today, in order for you to have an opportunity to prove or disprove that you’re taking him at his word. Today our service comes not out of apprehension to any of those things. Our service today comes based solely on our appreciation for what Christ has already done. Christ fulfilled the law for us, so we are identified with the righteousness of Christ the moment we take God at his word; obedient to the faith, concerning what Christ accomplished on our behalf. Paul called it the ministry of reconciliation. We should all understand what it is. God is reconciled where the sins of the world are concerned. Why? Because he imputed those sins to Christ, that all who would believe what he imputed to Christ, that that resolved the sin issue forever, would be joined to the person of his Son and have his righteousness freely counted to them, or imputed to their account. That’s what we are to obey today; the obedience of faith, the message committed to the apostle of the Gentiles, the apostle Paul. Paul was given that unique body of truth for the age of grace. So you see, when Paul talks about his task here, in chapter 15, as that of making the Gentiles obedient, he’s not talking about obedience to the law of Moses. He’s talking about obedience in regard to his special unique message and apostleship. He’s not talking about obedience to all the Old Testament rules and regulations, or obedience to the religious rituals and practices connected with God’s program with the nation Israel, in connection with their promise of the land. He’s talking about obedience to the Pauline Revelation.”

 

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#119 ACTS AND THE MIRACULOUS [CURT CRIST]

Hey.

This video is presented by Curt Crist, pastor/teacher of ‘Welcome To Grace Ministries': welcometograce.com

The Bible used is a King James Bible (KJV A.V. 1611). The King James Bible is NOT copy-right protected! It can be downloaded for free at: http://www.bibleprotector.com/KJB-PCE-MINION.pdf

E-SWORD (Bible application)

Complete notes below, watch the bible study and read along. Enjoy!

Daniel,

youtube.com/romansthruphilemon

PLAYLIST: #116-119: UNDERSTANDING THE BOOK OF ACTS

#119
ACTS AND THE MIRACULOUS [Curt Crist]

Join us for ‘Welcome to grace’, where we will discover together the distinctiveness of Paul’s Apostleship, through the rightly divided word of truth. Now, join pastor and Bible teacher Curt Crist, as we explore the unsearchable riches of Christ!

Our text for our study today will come from chapter 15, verses 15 through 23, in the book of Romans. We’re jumping away from Philippians and Acts. We’re in the book of Romans, we’ll read the entire passage to get the overall view and then we’ll start our study.

Romans 15:15-23
15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,
16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.
18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,
19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:
21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.
22 For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you.
23 But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you;

When we go through the epistle here, verse by verse, we come to those sections where it seems there’s so much detail, but this detail here pertains to what what Paul was doing in the book of Acts. It jumps out at us, because we see why some of the things are taking place in the Acts period.
How many have had the opportunity to help with put out a brush fire? I [Curt] remember those days (this was long ago for me, as I was growing up, about 10 years old, and we lived in a town called Zephyrhills, Florida. Brush fires were a common thing. Somebody would go out, and they would burn the garbage, and wind would come up…flat land and plenty of dead brush and before long it was out of hand and everybody was running to grab a broom, a towel, whatever they could find help to put out that brush fire. It would happen, and it would happen quite often, and then before long the fire trucks would come in, they would help also. Anything to keep that fire from spreading, because there was nothing in its way but dead brush. The interesting thing about trying to fight a brush fire, is that they would run along in front, the fire truck would arrive and they’d hit the patch in front of where all the men were lined up putting out the fire, but as soon as you moved on, just a little ways, what would happen? You would be looking back (I understand it’s the same thing that happens with large forest fires today) and what you thought was put out, has jumped up again, and now somebody is having to run back and put out a new brush fire and to get that fire under control. So it was always someone’s responsibility to keep an eye out behind them. What’s happening behind us? Is there a flare up that we need to take care of. Most pastors can tell you today, (I [Curt] can certainly attest today) that putting out hot spots, as we would call them, is one of the occupational hazards of the ministry that we have, as ambassadors of grace. There’s an occasional need to put out a brush fire too. One pastor said “I spend a lot of time putting out fires. I try to help solve a little problem here, or a little problem over there, and I think I’ve taking care of it. Well, back on track again and just when I began working in a different area, I find that the first problem I thought had been resolved has popped up all over again.” How does this play into what we’ve been looking at so far, in the study of the book of Acts and Paul’s statement…three times; ‘be followers of me’? Well, the Apostle Paul had his share of brush fires. When you go through an epistle (verse by verse) and you come to see those sections where it seems ‘you’ve already covered much of the detail, sitting in those sections’. Some folks say “well, have we not covered that already?” or “you’re repeating yourself here and there”. It’s because brush fires keep cropping up, when it comes to the people who hear our message, just as they did in Paul’s day. “What about this, what about that passage, what’s happening here, what’s happening there?” It’s interesting, and not only interesting, but crucial that we understand why things are happening and taking place in the book of Acts. Well, this is one of those passages we’re looking at today. We’ll try to glean all we can from the seven verses here, and see what’s happening. Paul is putting out what we might call hot spots. He’s back trying to get the blaze under control. Based upon what we’ve seen so far, he found it necessary to fight these brush fires, concerning his unique ministry and message in the age of grace, over and over again. God gave to Paul a special ministry and God is validating it, through Paul and the things that Paul is doing. Paul is having to repeat himself as to his unique role and ministry in the age of grace. Paul is grabbing what I call the doctrinal extinguisher, to challenge that had sprung up regarding the authority of his apostleship. God validated Paul’s apostleship. God made it easy for the folks to see, during that Acts period, the validity of Paul’s ministry and message, so Paul grabs the canister, he has got the canister in hand here; doubt quenching foam of the truth we might call it, and he’s ready to spray it on these hotspots that have come up.

Romans 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:

Jesus Christ came in relation to God’s program and plan with Israel, for the earth. He came confirming those promises to the fathers. He was a Jew under Law and he came in connection with the Jews under law, teaching them what they had not gained through their performance, which was righteousness. He was pushing them forward to understand that truth, and confess that they had never earned their righteousness through their performance. When we come to Romans 15:8 we see Paul saying “ Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers” . That goes hand-in-hand with Christ’s statement in;

Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

In contrast to that now, after the Jewish nation rejected their King (we’ve been watching it in Acts), God in his grace set that program on the shelf. He didn’t do away with it entirely, he just pushed it forward, he postponed it. He set it on the shelf for a time, and he reached out to the leader of the rebellion against him; Saul of Tarsus, and he saved him. He made him to be a minister, and he calls himself the minister of the uncircumcision (I should say the Holy Spirit called Paul that). Notice the contrast in verse 16, where Paul says;

Romans 15:16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

The gospel of God, not the good news of the impending kingdom, not the gospel of the kingdom. That program had been pushed aside.
What was the gospel of God? Jesus Christ was alive; he had risen from the dead! They had crucified him, he had died, he was buried, he had risen from the dead. He was the Son of the living God. The deity of Jesus Christ.

On the one hand, Christ ministered to the Jews. That was during his earthly ministry, but they rejected their land and the kingdom that was promised to them, and now God begins a brand-new program, with a brand-new apostle; the apostle Paul. That’s where we find ourselves in verse 16 here. Paul has begun to apply the canister of the truth of his unique and special Gentile apostleship, and he’s doing it in one of the epistles that he wrote during that Acts period. In the next three verses, 17 through 19, the doctrine that is going to come out of this fire extinguishing canister, we could say, is doctrine that concerns Paul’s power. Where did he get the power to perform his ministry?

Romans 15:16-18
16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.
18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,

Based on Paul’s special commission, which he described in verse 16, he now goes on to give the reason that he has to glory, or to boast. Verse 17; “I have whereof I may glory”, in other words; “I have something special to boast about, I have a reason to boast”, but what does he have to boast about?

17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which [“I have personally accomplished”. Is that what it says? Is Paul boasting about his own personal achievements here in this passage? Not what the verse states at all. Paul had a reason to boast alright, but notice why:] pertain to God.

You see, this has nothing to do with the power of Paul, but with the things which were accomplished through Paul, by someone else. Who was that someone else?

Romans 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,

So Paul is de-emphasizing himself here, believe it or not. We tend to hang on to Paul; his ministry and message, we hold fast to the form of sound words that he taught teaching us, the Gentiles in an age of grace, a new dispensing given him by the ascended Lord of glory. We got to be very careful, because we will be accused of this, of not elevating Paul the man, of not worshiping Paul the man, of not being more desirous of Paul the man, than we are of being desirous of knowing our Savior in heaven. A lot of people do that, they say “I wanna go where Paul was”, and I’ve thought that myself, you know, no desire really to go Israel where Jesus walked. “I want to go where Paul walked”, but Paul did nothing that the ascended Christ did not empower him to do, and give him to do, in his unique ministry among the Gentiles. So the elevation is still of our ascended Lord of glory; Jesus Christ. Paul is de-emphasizing himself here, but he’s emphasizing Christ. He’s pointing them to the power behind his ministry, that’s what he’s doing here. Since they’re questioning his apostolic authority, he’s redirecting them to the power source of his ministry. After all his ministry had not been his idea, it had come from Christ himself, and there’s something else sitting here as well;

Romans 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me [….“and the twelve before me”. Is that Paul's statement? No, he doesn't say that either.], to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,

Paul is distinguishing between what Christ had wrought through him, and what Christ had been accomplishing or had accomplished through the 12 before him. So in other words; “I’m not going to talk about the accomplishments of the other apostles. I’m not going to talk about what they were doing or why they were doing it. Why not? Because he’s emphasizing his own distinctive ministry and message; his apostleship. Now on what basis do we say that?

Romans 15:19
19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

2 Corinthians 12:11-12
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.
12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

In both passages Paul mentions mighty signs and wonders; the miraculous, but here in Romans 15 he says; “I’m not going to glory, or talk about the things that were wrought through others. Those mighty signs and wonders were different, they came from different people for a different purpose. I’m only going to glory in the things which Christ had wrought through me”. Because Paul is proud of himself? I think we all know better by now. Not because of that at all, but because he’s proud of the unique and special apostleship to which he had been called. A special office. Paul had a distinct ministry and he’s emphasizing his ministry in Romans.

Romans 15:20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:

The 12 had preached Christ according to his kingship over Israel, and in connection with that land; the promised kingdom where the king would be ruling and reigning. Paul was preaching Christ according to the revelation of the mystery. Two quite different things! Two totally distinct and unique aspects of the very same foundation, the foundation behind both of those things: Jesus Christ. Now understand though, one being Christ as King of the earthly kingdom, and in connection with the land promised Israel. The other being Christ as head of the body, head of those with a heavenly citizenship. That would be believers of the age of grace. Same foundation; Jesus Christ, the foundation of both programs, but two distinctive and special aspects of that same foundation. Paul’s point is the that he never built upon the foundation that the 12 before him had set forth. That had not been Paul’s commission. In other words, he never went to kingdom saints, trying to convert those who had accepted Christ as Messiah, trying to convert those who were part of that earthly kingdom promised in that land, over into body of Christ Saints. There’s a very real good reason why the body of Christ is never called the bride of Christ in scripture, why you never see the bride of Christ mentioned by the apostle Paul. There’s a difference, but that’s another study. Paul never went to try to convert believers, those who accepted Christ’s Messiah ship, and change them over to body of Christ Saints. You don’t see him going to synagogue for that purpose. Paul went there to find unbelieving Jews where he could lay his foundation; according to the revelation of the mystery.

1 Corinthians 7:17-18
17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.
18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.

This has to do with what was going on with those who were obeying the law, during the Acts period, who were part of Paul’s assemblies. It also has very much to do with kingdom saints not being converted over into the body of Christ assemblies.

1 Corinthians 7:19-20
19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

Why?

It was not Paul’s purpose to preach to circumcision saints. Keep in mind that folks of both programs were living at the time Paul was writing these things. People who had been born under that law program were still alive. People who had been part of the earthly kingdom program were still alive. The earthly kingdom saints marching in place, in a sense, because their program nationally had been put on the shelf. Paul was not interested in reaching the circumcision saints with his message, not at all. The unbelieving of Jewish heritage, those folks were up for grabs as far as Paul was concerned, so Paul could try to bring them to a point of belief, and he did that. It was the first group he always approached when he went on his office journeys, but never did he try to make kingdom saints out of these unbelieving Jews he ministered to during the Acts period.
His interest was that he might might save some of them, as he said, that’s what they wanted to find. He wanted to find unbelieving Jews, who he could convert into body of Christ saints. That they might become members of his program, the program he was commissioned to lead. That’s his point in Romans, he’s saying “I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ had not wrought through my ministry”. Now there was another point here that can be made. Not only was Paul only reaching unbelieving Jews, not Jews of another program, but the purpose was for winning some of these unbelieving Jews over through jealousy. Things were happening to the Gentiles that were supposed to be happening to the Jews. This had been part of Peter’s program with the Jews, now some of these things were not only validating who Paul was and his apostleship, the Gentiles were saying “we’ve got to follow Paul, because his apostleship is being validated by the Holy Spirit”, not only that, but Jews where these things were supposed to be occurring and were not any longer, in connection with them getting their land, could be jealous that the Gentiles were being given what rightly belonged to the Jews. Not their land or their promise of an earthly kingdom, but some of the spiritual benefits that had belonged to the Jewish program.

Now, in the last half of verse 18, Paul gives his goal and his mission. He’s telling us why Christ had wrought these things through him.

Romans 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,

“To make the Gentiles obedient”…now that’s an interesting statement. Obedient to what? What is it that Paul was trying to get the Gentiles to obey? Did you know that Paul identifies this very clearly for us here? Most folks would think “the law, he’s trying to get the Gentiles be obedient to the law”. Not at all! Paul explains very clearly what he wants them to believe and to be obedient to.
In Romans 1 and 16, Paul tells us what he wants the Gentiles to obey. It’s very important to see this, because there are a lot of folks, as I said, who would say “let’s obey the word of God”, but they don’t bother to identify what portion of the word of God is meant for their obedience. They just lump it all together, and they come out with some sort of convoluted conglomeration of two very different programs, mixed altogether. Paul doesn’t make a mistake here, he very clearly identifies what the Gentiles are to obey.

Romans 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

For obedience to what does it say here? For obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name. When you see the definite article “THE faith”, Paul has a specific belief system in place. He’s not talking about faith in general. He’s not talking about believing that there was a man named Jesus Christ. Paul identifies two things here “by whom we have received grace”. What kind of grace? We know from Paul’s other writings, he’s talking about the distinctive grace that was given him. What grace is it Paul?

Ephesians 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Not only was a special dispensation committed to Paul, he was given that unique and special apostleship concerning that special dispensing, that he was to be doing. He mentions both there in Romans 1! So what does he want the Gentiles to be obedient to? THE faith! What he’s telling us here, is that we Gentiles in this dispensation are to obey that message of grace that was given to Paul for us. We’re to obey the message of grace that Paul preached. That’s why Paul said numerous times “be ye followers together of me”. That’s what we’re to obey.

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,

This is the unique truth for this age! It’s called the mystery/ the secret.. Paul called it ‘the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery’.

Romans 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

It was always the obedience of faith! It was never anything other than the obedience of faith. It wasn’t obedience to the law of Moses, in order to get those folks saved. It was simply the obedience of faith; it was taking God at his word. It has always been taking God at his word, but if God told you to do something to prove that you are taking him at his word, you would definitely do that thing. Today he’s telling us;

Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

God is not giving you things today, in order for you to have an opportunity to prove or disprove that you’re taking him at his word. Today our service comes not out of apprehension to any of those things. Our service today comes based solely on our appreciation for what Christ has already done. Christ fulfilled the law for us, so we are identified with the righteousness of Christ the moment we take God at his word; obedient to the faith, concerning what Christ accomplished on our behalf. Paul called it the ministry of reconciliation. We should all understand what it is. God is reconciled where the sins of the world are concerned. Why? Because he imputed those sins to Christ, that all who would believe what he imputed to Christ, that that resolved the sin issue forever, would be joined to the person of his Son and have his righteousness freely counted to them, or imputed to their account. That’s what we are to obey today; the obedience of faith, the message committed to the apostle of the Gentiles, the apostle Paul. Paul was given that unique body of truth for the age of grace. So you see, when Paul talks about his task here, in chapter 15, as that of making the Gentiles obedient, he’s not talking about obedience to the law of Moses. He’s talking about obedience in regard to his special unique message and apostleship. He’s not talking about obedience to all the Old Testament rules and regulations, or obedience to the religious rituals and practices connected with God’s program with the nation Israel, in connection with their promise of the land. He’s talking about obedience to the Pauline Revelation. Now, in verse 18 and 19, Paul gives three methods that he used to lead the Gentiles to obedience; to believe in his unique apostleship and message.

Romans 15:18-19
18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,
19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

There they are, the three things the Holy Spirit, through Paul, used as validations of his ministry. First of all he said by word, now what would that mean? Well, this would have to do with Paul’s preaching, teaching and proclamation of the revelations he was receiving from the ascended Christ. See how Paul is extinguishing a possible brush fire here, as far as his unique apostolic authority is concerned. That’s his point. He went from town to town proclaiming the truth, that was committed to him by the ascended Lord of glory. Part of becoming obedient is hearing the word of God.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

That’s why I like to use a lot of scripture in my teaching. It’s the word of God, that does the work of God! It’s the word of God that effectually works in the believer, who takes it in and accepts it as true. The fact of the matter is, the more we’re exposed to the word of God rightly divided, the more we become established or built up in faith. That’s what Paul meant by making the Gentiles obedient by word. Now let’s say somebody receives the word, they understand Paul’s unique ministry and message. They begin to understand the truth of reconciliation, but then they return to the denomination, to whatever belief system that that they’ve grown up under, where they like maybe the building, people, friendships, programs or the music and they sit under that for a while. What does that do to their obedience to the faith? The more we sit under untruth, the more we gravitate naturally toward that, rather than staying with what we are supposed to remain with, which is Paul’s words!

2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

I used to think we can sit and filter, but I no longer believe that. I don’t believe you can sit and filter out. I believe their untruth is more likely to rub off on you over a period of time, than your truth will ever rub off on those folks.

Second thing Paul says here is “by deed”. First was “by word”, he proclaimed to them the message they were to believe, the second here he says “by deed”. Now, we’ve been watching that, have we not(?), during the past several lessons. Paul not only preached, they had his life to look at. Paul never injured their consciences. He never taught against the things those folks of his his program, of this dispensation; grace age believers, Paul never taught against the Jews among them, who had their consciences tied to those things of the Jewish law. Paul not only preached, they could look at his his life and they could see that he had integrity; “this man speaks the truth, he not only talks the talk, he walks the walk”. Paul never abandon those things which the Jews who were among him, had linked to their consciences, they were linked to Paul’s, but what did he teach? “You’ll never gain your righteousness through the doing of these things, that wasn’t the purpose of the law in the first place”, so Paul not only preached, they had his life to look at. Paul not only preached to the Gentiles, he practiced what he preached in front of the Gentiles. Paul backed up his words with his life.

Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

It’s one thing to say “here’s what you ought to do”, it’s quite another thing to do what you ought to be doing. That comes from what again? Back to the word, as that word transforms our thinking, and now we’re doing something, not because we have to do it, or were supposed to do it, or because the pastor pointed out a new nine, or ‘the faithful five’ for members of the age of grace. That’s being done all over the place today, but that’s not why we do them. We do them because God has changed our thinking about himself, ourselves and others, as we take in his word and dwell on that. Practicing and preaching agape/charity go hand-in-hand with having agape-type thinking, through the transformation of our minds. That comes through staying in the word, relating to God and others, as that word changes the way we think about them. Paul led by example in that area. That’s why Paul could say “be followers together of me”. Paul was following Christ in the sense of wanting to be related and conformed to the image of Christ’s death, on behalf of serving others. “Do it the way I do it” Paul tells us, that’s leading by deed. He even goes as far to say ‘mark them, or single those folks out, who lead by the deed. Single those folks out that you can see have transformed thinking, and that transformed thinking has affected their doing. Single these folks out, they’re following my pattern’ Paul said, so we’ve got by word and we’ve got by deed, and finally in verse 19 of 20, notice what he states here:

Romans 15:19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

This third method of validation of Paul’s unique Gentile apostleship, and the authority of that apostleship, is a critical one to understand! There are those today who are using this very passage, to say that God is working miracles in the church of this dispensation, and they point us back to what was happening at Pentecost. If you say the church the body of Christ did not begin at Pentecost, it began with Paul, they lead you back to this passage. “Here!” and they say “Paul did it, did he not?!”, just like they lead us back to the baptisms. “If Paul is the apostle for this age and he performed miracles, then miracles are a valid test of a valid ministry” these folks would say, therefore they tell us that speaking in tongues and miraculous healings are legitimate practices for the church of this dispensation; the age of grace.
They’re ready to jump on the bandwagon with everything that comes down the pike, and they claim that as being from God! The word “power”, you’ll hear it over and over in ministries that have to do with money. I call it miracles for money, and it’s out there, it’s implied of nothing else. “Step out on faith” they say, “give from what you do not have and God will give it back to you”, so we have investment believers out there. Investment Christians…. “We’re gonna give to God to see how he makes what we gave him grow back, as he gives back to us”. What’s the motivation for that? What’s the motivation for your giving there? Is it that others would come to know the gospel of the grace of God, or is it to enrich self through what God gives back to you, because you’ve thrown your seed faith his way? Isn’t it interesting that our apostle says “give from your abundance”, he doesn’t say “give from what you don’t have”?! He says “give from your abundance”, but the preachers out there saying give from what you don’t have; “Step out on faith, make a pledge. God will have to make it good if you make the pledge” are putting their address on the money you plant. The money goes to them and they’re enriching themselves, and we can see it over, and over, and over again. People believing everything that happens today comes from God, how do we answer that? When Paul began his Gentile apostleship, yes God did perform miraculous manifestations at the hand of our apostle, but two things are crucial for us to understand, if we’re not to fall into the heresy of much of current day religianity. We’re going to spend the balance of our time right here. What about Paul’s miracles? Well, first let’s take a quick look at the miracles of the kingdom program. Signs, mighty works and miracles were part and parcel of the kingdom program, and the promise of the land. That was the natural place for the miraculous. Why again? Because God had made a covenant with Israel to do those things. To look at that we need to go back to the book of Exodus, to sort of set the stage here. In this passage Moses was talking to God about Israel being a stiff necked people. He’s asking God to pardon their sin. Notice what God tells him here:

Exodus 34:10 And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the LORD: for it is a terrible [a literally awesome] thing that I will do with thee.

Here the nation Israel is having the miraculous performed. Why? So that the nations might see what’s happening to Israel, and would want what Israel has. What did Paul tell us was the reason that he was going to the Jews first? To provoke them to emulation, now so the Jews can see what’s being given to the Gentiles, and Paul is trying to save some of them. Not only is Paul’s ministry and message being validated as authentic by the Holy Spirit, but now Gentiles can see things happening among the Gentiles! The Jews might say “well, that’s part of our Old Testament promises”, and the Jews might be provoked to jealousy; to listen to the message the apostle Paul is preaching. The awesomeness of God would be manifest in both a positive and a negative way, in regards to his earthly people. We see the listing of blessings and cursings, sitting back in Leviticus 26. Israel had only to look at their present-day circumstances, and they could know whether or not they were in God’s favor. Tell me was Israel obedient or disobedient when it came to the covenant? They were disobedient! Over and over again they merited, not the blessings, but the curses. It’s interesting though, in spite of the clear promises of the covenant, they always cried out “Why me?! Why me?!” when calamity struck.

Judges 6:13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.

What miracles would that be Gideon?! Well, what had God promised them?

Exodus 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight [that's dealing with God according to the law contract], and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

What kind of diseases was he talking about, in relation to Israel’s covenant? It’s not a pretty picture!

Deuteronomy 28:27 The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.

How would you like to go to your doctor today, have that thorough examination; puts a stethoscope on, sticks a light in your throat, looks in your ears, feels around the lymph nodes, and says “well, I’m afraid you got the botch of Egypt!”. It’s not something I want to hear! I don’t know what was, but I wouldn’t like my physician say “Oh my, I believe you have the botch of Egypt!”. I don’t know what it is, but I know I don’t want it. Is that health, wealth and prosperity? It’s what folks are preaching today, is it not?! The health, wealth and prosperity message, in regards to your planted seed faith….with the ministers address written on it! They had had to be in obedience to the contract, not partial obedience or lukewarm obedience, but solid obedience to how many of the commandments? All of them, if they’ve broken one, they’ve broken them all. How much health, wealth and prosperity did those folks earn or deserve, under their covenant?

Deuteronomy 28:59 Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful [or a wonderment, not good! ], and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.

You see how important obedience to the contract was, and what God was showing them? “You’ll never be that obedient Israel! You swore falsely when you said you could do all these commandments, and that I could count you righteous according to your performance!” God is showing them their performance would never cut it. Disobedience to the covenant brought calamity upon calamity, when it came to human wealth and health. The best doctors around wouldn’t be able to cure them, according to verse 27, not even the best holistic physicians. No cure according to verse 27; “whereof thou canst not be healed”. The only one who could help these folks would be God himself, and in order for God to help them, they’d have to do what Leviticus 26:40 called for.

Leviticus 26:40 If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;

They would have to confess that they had never lived up to the contract in the first place. They would have to confess the fathers before them had not lived up to the contract. Nowhere are they called upon, in connection with this confession, to list the sins they and the fathers before them did on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday. I suppose they probably didn’t know all the individual sins the fathers before them had committed. I certainly don’t know mine. They were to confess that they had not lived up to the contract for righteousness, and neither had any one of the nation Israel obeyed that contract sufficiently, to merit the blessing side of the contract, nor to get their land. When they made that confession, God would have mercy and grace on them, when it came to that land. They would have to confess their iniquity. God gave them opportunity to do that, over and over again. When Christ came to minister to Israel, God gave them an opportunity to make that confession.
He had given them that opportunity when John came, prior to Christ. “Make that confession. Get back to the contract if you think you’re living up to it, be perfect under it!”. Were they perfect? No!

Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

…he kept injecting mercy and grace.

Paul comes along and what is he doing?

2 Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

The same thing, not the same thing he was doing with Israel, but he was validating Paul’s ministry, message and apostleship, through the things that Paul was able to do, so that was reason number one; a validation of Paul’s ministry. With Israel’s rejection of the messengers, God set that program aside. He began a brand-new program through brand-new apostle, Paul, but here’s the thing; The Jews required a sign. Did they not always require a sign?

1 Corinthians 1:23-24
23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

God dealt with those folks according to signs. The kingdom program put on the shelf, and now God is dealing with individual unbelieving Jews, through Paul, having set his program with Israel aside. What were those individual Jews being given to see? Signs, and they can believe that Paul is indeed telling them the truth when he talks about his ministry, his message. We need to understand that as long as those folks were alive, and they were alive during that 30 year Acts period, Kingdom saints and Jewish folks who had been born under that law contract, who would’ve known about those promises, but had previously thought they were living up to them, they could see that God was doing something unique through a new man/person. I think for Peter to see the Holy Spirit fall on Cornelius, before anything was said about the remission of sins at all, or any confession, Peter could see the miraculous taking place at the house of Cornelius, but other things took place in regard Paul and his ministry. The kingdom program was on hold, but Jews who had yet to believe that Christ what had risen from the dead, much less that he was the son of the living God; Israel’s promised Messiah, were still alive. Paul was trying to reach these folks, and God was dealing with these folks through Paul, and as these folks began to see these things were happening among Gentiles, they might be provoked to jealousy or emulation, to believe Paul and his message and to follow after. This is why Acts is called a transition period.
Some folks think it is a transition in the sense that that program is alive and well in God’s mind until Acts 28, but that program was set on the shelf when we come to chapter 9; the conversion of Saul/Paul. God is still reaching individual folks, who had been part of that sign program.

Paul went to the Jews who had a familiarity with and in most cases were steeped in that law program, they could see the promises and now these things were happening to Gentiles around them, through Paul no less. It was during this period, and only during this period, that the miraculous was evident in Paul’s program. You see, God’s word to the Gentiles concerning his mystery program had not yet been written. Paul had not written, at this point, his epistles. These folks couldn’t open their scriptures and read about their new apostle, or about the mystery, because Paul had not written his epistles yet. They couldn’t turn to Romans through Philemon, and see what what God had in store for them. They were going to need something, would they not? Wouldn’t they need to be able to prophesy, prior to the revelation through Paul’s writings, of what was happening in their day? They were given that gift, we see it in operation in Corinth, while folks who had been born under that (kingdom) program were still living. God validated his new messenger and the message. He validated Paul’s apostleship in the same manner that he validated the ministry of the other apostles, through the miraculous. He was not only validating the message of a new and unique apostle, he was sending information regarding this new program, to the assemblies of that new program, before Paul’s letters were written. We’ve got to understand some of these things, if our doctrine is to be be correct. It’s crucial that we understand that the manifestation of the miraculous was time-limited, and didn’t go on forever. The folks who’ve been born under that law program, and the promises of the miraculous, were dying out. It lasted no longer than the time during which the Jews who had been born under that program, were still alive, and no longer the time it took Paul to complete his letters to the church, which was Christ’s body. You see, those miracles ceased after that period of time. How do we know that? Well, we have the scriptural evidence to prove it! Let me show you the contrast here. Consider Paul during the time when those folks, who had been born under the that program, were still living. If you want to picture this, you might think of the mystery program as being in the embryonic state, kinda like the caterpillar before the butterfly emerges. The walk of faith program is alive and well, but it’s operating in a cocooned stage of its existence. The mystery scriptures are not yet available, that’s why I say it is in a cocooned stage of its existence.

Acts 9: Paul is saved.
Acts 14: He’s together with Barnabas, at Iconium.

Acts 14:1-3
1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they [Paul and Barnabas] went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
3 Long time therefore abode they [Paul and Barnabas] speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

Paul and the miraculous! A testimony of the authenticity of Paul’s apostleship, not only to the unbelieving Jews of the region, but also, as it says here, to the unbelieving Greeks. You see, during that time period Paul had the ability, through the Holy Spirit, to speak in previously unlearned languages (tongues), and also to heal the sick.

Acts 14:6-10
6 They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:
7 And there they preached the gospel.
8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked:
9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,
10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.

Authentication of Paul’s apostleship, message and ministry. The mystery program is in a “walk by faith, not by sight” cocoon, as this new program’s messenger is being validated by the Holy Spirit.

Acts 19:11-12
11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.

Paul always went to unbelieving Jews first. His ministry and his message is being validated, but you see Gentiles were having the same things happen to them. When we come to the end of Paul’s ministry time, where Jews who had been born of that program and under the promises that program, were no longer there, were no longer living, what do we see Paul say? What does he tell Timothy, in 1 Timothy, as that period is winding down and those people are dying off.

1 Timothy 5:23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.

No prayer cloth! The cocoon is gone.

2 Timothy 4:20 Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.

We now have the completed word of God, for the dispensation in which we live; we have Paul’s epistles for the age of grace. The apostle makes it clear to us that for as long as this dispensation of God’s long-suffering and grace is in effect, we’re now subject to the sufferings of this present time. We have that in his epistles. In fact, to put it bluntly, because of the bondage of corruption, the status of our physical health is going to constantly vary. There are going to be times when we’re healthy. There are going to be times when we’re exactly the opposite. We’re going to be in and out of sicknesses, weaknesses and infirmities, according to Paul. Doesn’t sound anything at all like the time period prior to the completion of his epistles, to the age of grace.

Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

How many folks who are sick, and in their minds it’s worse perhaps than the botch of Egypt, how many folks have gone to the doctor, have heard the diagnosis, are suffering today, how many of those folks do you suppose are resting in 2 Corinthians 4:17 and Romans 8:18?
How many of us are looking to that hope, and not hope of recovering from a present-day circumstance? “For our light affliction”, what we’re going through in these 70 years; nothing! Most of us don’t go through anything until we’re in the latter years.

2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Paul’s apostleship, ministry and message validated at the entrance of his ministry, during a period of time while people who were connected to that program, in their minds and by having been born under it, but had not accepted Christ as Messiah, were seeing that things were happening, not only among the Jews, but among the Gentiles at the hands of this new apostle. Certainly a validation of his ministry and his message, but likewise they, these Jews who had not accepted Paul’s message, could say “what’s happening to them, and why is it not happening to us?” Paul was in hopes of reaching some of these people, with the new message that God had given him. That’s why we see the things that are happening are happening, during that Acts period.
We’re not to go back to the beggarly elements, we’re not to go back and try to walk by sight, when Paul say you’re walking by faith.

2 Corinthians 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

Thank you for joining with us in your endeavor to discover the truths in God’s Word. Pastor and teacher Curt Crist and the entire fellowship of Welcome to Grace Ministries, would like to thank you for your support of this ministry of Grace. If you’re enjoying the teachings and want to share with others, please write us at: Welcome to Grace Ministries, P.O. Box 90, Penrose, North Carolina 28766. You may call us toll free at 877-770-7098 or visit us on the web at http://www.welcometograce.com. Again, thank you for joining us, and we look forward to hearing from you.

 

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#118 Following Paul; Acts overview [Curt Crist]

Hey.

This video is presented by Curt Crist, pastor/teacher of ‘Welcome To Grace Ministries': welcometograce.com

The Bible used is a King James Bible (KJV A.V. 1611). The King James Bible is NOT copy-right protected! It can be downloaded for free at: http://www.bibleprotector.com/KJB-PCE-MINION.pdf

Complete notes below, watch the bible study and read along. Enjoy!

Daniel,

youtube.com/romansthruphilemon

#118 Following Paul; Acts overview [Curt Crist] .PDF

#118 Following Paul; Acts overview [Curt Crist] Open Office; .ODT

#118 Following Paul; Acts overview [Curt Crist] Microsoft Word; .DOC

E-SWORD (Bible application)

 


We’ve been looking at the book of Acts in light of Paul’s statement; that believers ought to be following him today. We see that statement made more than once, we actually see it three times. Two appear in first Corinthians and we find the third in Paul’s letter to the saints in Philippi:

1 Corinthians 4:16  Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

1 Corinthians 11:1  Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Philippians 3:17  Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

Paul wants us to follow him, but for very good reason, he is the apostle of the Gentiles. He said he magnifies his office, called out by the ascended Lord of glory who continues the ministry after his ascension, to the apostle Paul for the Gentiles. Each of Paul’s statements is made within a specific context, so there’s a specific context that points to the way we’re to be following Paul. We cannot take all of these passages together and say they all point to Paul’s special or unique Gentile apostleship. Context must decide in what manner Paul would have us be followers together of him.

Philippians 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

This statement is made within a specific context; Paul would have every grace age believer follow him in the particular quest he mentions here; “pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”. Paul is not talking about his unique Gentile apostleship, in verse 17. He’s not speaking of the mystery, revealed to him for grace  age saints. That is not the context of Philippians  3:17, that context has nothing at all to do with magnifying Paul’s office as the apostle of the Gentiles or about the truth that had been hidden from ages and generations, until it was revealed to this new apostle Paul to proclaim it to us. Philippians 3:17 is not about making all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, and it’s not about the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery. The context of Philippians 3:17 leads us in an entirely different direction. When Paul speaks of pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus, we find the context to be the words that he spoke back in verse 10:

Philippians 3:10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

It’s important we understand that when Paul states “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample (or pattern)” in verse 17, it’s within the context of verses 10 and 14; Christ sacrificed self for the sake of others. That’s what his death at Calvary was all about. Paul’s talking about being made conformable unto Christ’s death in Philippians 3:10.

Closely related passage to the type of sacrifice Paul has in mind in this passage sits in Romans 12:

Romans 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with gaining salvation, or maintaining salvation. You couldn’t affect either of those with all reasonable servers you could render. Romans 12:1 has to do with the reasonable service of the believer, in light of the the service that Christ performed on everyone in the world’s behalf. It’s simply been given to man to either accept or reject what Christ has already accomplished at Calvary. The service of the believer today then, is to be based upon appreciation of what Christ has already done, and the security that we have in him, rather than apprehension based upon a supposition of what God may or may not do in the future for us. It doesn’t come as a surprise to us who understand rightly dividing the word of truth, in what Christ has accomplished for us, that many people involved in religion’s domain are dealing with God on the basis of probation, rather than salvation. Satan’s ministers of righteousness are continually offering people probation. Listen to this definition of the word probation and you tell me if religious folk, are not dealing with God on the basis of probation.
A period during which somebody’s suitability for the job or other role, perhaps heaven when it comes to religion, is being tested. Have u ever thought about God testing your suitability, to see whether or not to take you to heaven? We’ve all grown up in religion, and that’s been the idea with most of us. What do Satan’s ministers of righteousness want people to think? The idea being set forth by most, is that God is making a list and checking it twice. Where have we heard that expression before? Not just to see who has been naughty or nice, but to see who can muster sufficiently sincere sorrow for sin, that they pledge devotion to God by dedicating themselves to turn away from all sin and never commit sin again. Then God must make a decision in their minds, whether or not to save that individual. Their suitability for heaven, we might say, depends upon their turning away from all of their sins. If we will simply dedicate ourselves to no longer to sin, that’s the idea. God testing over and over again the validity of that dedication. He’ll know if we’re truly devoted to him, then God will be able to finally make a decision as to whether or not we’re heaven worthy. That’s the idea in and in most folks mind; it’s the idea being promoted by ministers of righteousness.
That’s probation, not salvation.
Your devotion to God is not what saves you and your dedication to turn from sin will not accomplish your salvation either. Nothing wrong with either one of those things, but neither will save anyone. Your heaven worthiness does not come from your devotion to God. It doesn’t come from your devotion to turn away from your sin. It comes from the all sufficient devotion of Jesus Christ on your on your behalf, when he bore your sins at Calvary, died for those sins, was buried and rose again the third day. Jesus Christ, our Savior, took the sins of the world upon himself and he was judged for those sins; past, present, future and rose from the dead, as God the Father guaranteed that his Son’s cross work satisfied his justice for all the sins Christ died for. Some will try to convince you that the word “world” there, simply means the world of some….that he only really died for some. Now, that’s great theology if you feel like you’re the one, two or the elect some.

1 Timothy 2:6  Who gave himself a ransom for ALL, to be testified in due time.

He didn’t use the word “world” there, he used the word “all”, so while that’s a belief system it has no validity in Scripture. God is not testing or proving people today, in order to make a final decision as to whether or not to save them, or to keep them saved. All of the saving work that God could possibly do, he’s already done through the cross work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He now holds forth the reconciliation that Christ’s cross work accomplished, in his mind, offering man the choice to either accept or reject that gift of salvation. Again the reasonable service of the saved today, comes from an attitude of appreciation, not apprehension. Appreciation based on the reality of salvation, not apprehension based on religion’s message of probation. Presenting our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God has nothing to do with getting saved or staying saved. It has everything to do with dying to self, in order to serve those who are  already saved. It’s a judgment seat of Christ/Bema of Christ issue. It’s an issue for either the reward or a loss of reward, that will be available for believers at the judgment seat of Christ. Believers today need to understand the extent to which we serve others, is the same extent to which we serve our Savior today. It’s the same thing. In our union with Jesus Christ, God’s Son, we are the body of Christ.

Ephesians 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

All who take God at his word concerning the all sufficiency of the cross work of his Son, are joined to the Savior, at the very point of their belief. Corporately and individually, we are the body of Christ.

Romans 12:5  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

We like to think of ourselves as being in union with Christ and the members of Christ’s body. and all that means for us, but we’re equally members one of another if we’re in the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:25  That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

If you want to serve Christ today, you’ve got to serve his body. You serve Christ today to no greater degree, than your service to the members of his body, to the member actually that you like the least, in my opinion.

Romans 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Let me show you that very same Greek word translated “service” in Romans 12:1, in two other passages and you get the flavor of what Paul telling you here. First look with me at Hebrews  10:2,  where the very same word is used. The context here in Hebrews, is the sacrifices offered in Israel’s day, in their year-to-year Temple worship to God, otherwise known as the divine service of the Jews.

Hebrews 10:2  For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

The word translated “service” in Romans 12:1 is from the same word translated “worshippers” in Hebrews 10:2. That’s because the word “service”  in Romans 12:1 means “divine service”, which is what the word “worship” in Scripture is all about. “Oh, I thought that was about going some place, singing and putting your hands up in the air?!” That’s not what it’s about in scripture. Your reasonable service is your reasonable worship today, and your reasonable worship to God comes to the degree that you serve his body; wherever they are. This is no “once a day-one hour-two hour” type of thing. This an is an “everyday-all day long” type of thing, as we serve one another.

In Romans 12:1, the sacrifice of self on behalf of others, is translated “service”; the same word translated “worship” elsewhere in Scripture, so if you want to worship the Lord, you must serve his body. That’s what he considers worship.

Philippians 3:3  For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

What’s the word again? Translated “worship”, the same word translated service in Romans 12:1, in connection with presenting our bodies a living sacrifice.

Romans 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service/WORSHIP.

Must you be in a building on Sunday morning or any other morning, to do that? You can be anywhere at all times and worship God, because it has to do with your service to his body. If you want to worship God, you must serve the body of Christ. That’s what worship is all about in the age of Grace. God wants our worship to be horizontally oriented in this dispensation. That’s our reasonable worship today according to our apostle; the apostle Paul, and all the while the religiously oriented suppose it has to do with that make self; feel good about self. “While we’ve gone to church, we’ve raised our hands high in the air, or at least lifted them chest high, with palms raised upward for the more modestly minded, and we sung all about how we love Jesus….and we come out feeling all smug and smitten as we carry our Bibles to our cars.” All the while avoiding some of the ones who stepped on our toes, perhaps the previous week, or that we are not particularly comfortable being around. We’ve sung songs that have lifted us to the rafters, but when it comes to serving others in the body of Christ, we hang onto our druthers.
If Satan has ministers of righteousness, and Paul tells us that he does. If Satan, with his desire to be just like the most high God (not different from, but just like), is working in a realm called religion, and Paul tells us that he is. If Satan has his own gospel, a counterfeit so cleverly contrived that people link their righteousness to their religious practice, then do you not suppose that Satan would misdirect the word “worship”, to that which satisfies the emotions and self, rather than serves the brethren? I believe so! We go in needing a touch, we sing until we tingle and all under that banner labeled “worship”. The people are swaying, the bands are playing….God must really get the picture that he’s the prize package of our mind….at least today, because it’s the day that we come to worship him. Perhaps he’ll remain satisfied until next Sunday, when we return to do it all over again, and it goes on and on and on, all across the country. Understand that I’m not trying to rain on anybody’s grave, not trying to denounce folks across the land. We’re definitely not condemning music or singing (I happen to enjoy both music and singing), I just want you to understand that the concept of worship from the pen of Paul, is not how religion paints it today. I don’t believe dying to self, in order to serve another, which Paul calls are reasonable worship in the age of Grace, and which is to be conducted on a daily basis in our lives, is what some are calling worship today. If you don’t think worship, as that word is used in “religianity”, is all about serving emotions, rather than serving men, cease to singing for a time, and see if you can begin to count the empty pews. Again this is not a condemnation of music or singing, it’s about understanding worship as it comes from the pen of Paul.
Someone recently pointed me to 1 Timothy 2:8;

1 Timothy 2:8  I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

This individual said “there it is, you can read it for yourself, we’re to sing with our hands held high upward. That’s what changed my life” The the context of this passage is not singing, it’s praying, and there’s something else you might find interesting about 1 Timothy 2:8; William MacDonald points out that in the Greek there are two words which may be translated “men”. One word means ‘mankind in general’, whereas the other word means ‘men in contrast to women’. It is the second word used here, isn’t that interesting? Paul speaking specifically about men and prayer in this passage, although women can certainly pray. He’s not talking about singing at all in this passage. Isn’t it interesting that he doesn’t have to remind the women to pray?! His focus is on the men here, and understand that when Paul talks about lifting up holy hands, he isn’t telling men that they should have their hands lifted towards the ceiling, while they’re praying. That’s not his point at all. If that’s if that’s what you’ve taken from this passage, you are taking something that isn’t sitting in this passage. Paul isn’t talking about physical posture while you’re praying, he’s talking about the manner of life of the man who’s praying, when he talked about lifting up holy hands. He’s not saying “get your body in a certain position, and make sure the hands are pointed upward….and then the current can run all the way to God”. That’s not Paul’s intent here. Holy hands is used in a figurative sense in this passage with the emphasis being placed on the character of the person doing the praying, not the holiness of the of the soft tissue, the muscle, the fat, the bones, the ligaments; that form that which lies beyond our wrists.

Philippians 3:17  Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

The context is Paul’s desire to be made conformable to Christ’s death. That’s the manner which we’re to follow Paul. Christ wasn’t singing on the cross of Calvary, Christ was dieing there, there’s a very real difference…

Christ was willingly giving himself on behalf of others. That’s our reasonable worship Paul tells us. He was sacrificing self for the sake of others. How often do we do that? That’s what the believer’s labor of love is all about in this dispensation, according to our apostle. It’s a BEMA-seat/judgment seat of Christ issue. You see his “follow me” statement in Philippians 3, is not about his unique and special Gentile apostleship and the mystery committed his trust for us, although it’s related in that we are to serve Christ’s body, which is our reasonable worship today. The body of Christ is indeed a part of the mystery, but Paul is not pointing out the uniqueness of his Gentile apostleship or the mystery of the a creation called the body of Christ. He’s pointing out the reasonable service of the grace age believer in this passage. The sacrifice of self in Philippians 3, is closely connected with the “sacrifice of self”-statements Paul makes in Romans 12, and that’s the context of Philippians 3, where he says “be ye followers together of me”.

Romans 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

How many of us do that? Everything’s about self, it’s all about “how this makes me feel”, “how this satisfies my need”, “this fills my want” and do we not all want our want satisfied?
Measure of faith; Faith’s standard, that we put others on the throne and we take self off the throne of our lives. We see how the saints in Philippi need to become followers of Paul, in being made conformable into Christ’s death. Philippians is a rebuke epistle, gentle rebuke, but a rebuke epistle, based upon love and body truth doctrine. Let love be without dissimulation or hypocrisy. We say we love others, we tell folks “we love you”, but do we really love them when it comes to the demand that each of us make for satisfaction of self?

Romans 12:9-21
9  Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
11  Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12  Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
13  Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
14  Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
15  Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
16  Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
17  Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Philippians 2:4  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Paul is not pointing to his unique Gentile apostleship, with his statement in Philippians 3:17, as he tells his readers to be followers together of him. He’s talking about his quest, to be made conformable unto Christ’s death; a living sacrifice for the sake of others, that unbelievers might come to understand the gospel of the grace of God, and that believers might be edified as we take self off the pedestal of our thinking, and live in service to the others, the body of Christ, around us while we’re here on planet Earth.

1 Corinthians 11:1  Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Context:

1 Corinthians 10:32  Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

You see these mixed bag assemblies, in Paul’s day? There was offence being taken by some.

1 Corinthians 10:33  Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

So again, Paul is not pointing us here, to his unique Gentile apostleship, but to his service on behalf of the body of Christ. I find it interesting that two times of the three where Paul says “be followers of me”, it has to do with service to the body of Christ. We all know that the body of Christ is a part of the mystery revealed to Paul, but the point here is not Paul’s unique apostleship, or the mystery, it’s service to the body. Am I telling you that none of Paul’s statements as to following him, are related directly to Paul being the unique apostle of the Gentiles in a previously unprophesied age of grace?

1 Corinthians 4:16  Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

Context:

1 Corinthians 4:1-2
1  Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
2  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Here it is! This is the context of Paul’s unique Gentile apostleship, and the mystery committed his trust, for us today.

1 Corinthians 4:15  For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

What gospel would that be, Paul? The gospel that Paul calls “my gospel” in Romans 16:25. Not the same body of good news taught to Israel. This is Paul’s unique good news message for the age of grace.

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,

Not according to prophecy or the searchable riches of Christ, but according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world. Paul did not preach the gospel of the kingdom during his earthly ministry. What did Paul preach? Christ died, was buried, and rose again from the dead, but that wasn’t the gospel of the kingdom. That wasn’t the gospel of the kingdom of heaven. What was that good news? The kingdom of heaven is at hand, repent and be baptized; “change your minds Israel, you’ve never gained your righteousness through that contract (the law). Change you minds about that and confess you’ve not done that! The kingdom is within your reach.” That’s the gospel of the kingdom, and Paul didn’t preach that. Paul taught that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day, and that would be common to both programs. If you want to see where your gospel is, if you want to take people to what the Bible presents to them as the good news from God to them, take them to 2 Corinthians 5:18-19. You couldn’t take them to better two verses. This is the two verses to always begin with, when you’re dealing with people that you don’t know whether or not they’ve accepted what Christ accomplished for them at Calvary:

2 Corinthians 5:18-19
18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19  To wit, that God was in Christ [at Calvary, God was God and is God], reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them [Why not? Because he imputed them to his Son.]; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Is reconciliation past tense, present tense or future tense in that passage? I think it’s obvious to all of us that had any English here, it’s past tense. The vast majority of Christendom so called today, thinks he is imputing their trespasses unto them and they hope that that time will come in their lives, when the good things will outweigh the bad, and possibly they’ll make heaven. If they could just get God to forgive the sin in their life, if they could just get God to forgive the new sin in their life, they could keep in good stead with God, but the fact is God is imputing how many sins of the world today?! If you believe what the Bible tells you, he’s imputing no sin to anyone today! Why? He imputed all sin to the person of his Son. The issue is not your sin, the issue is whether or not you will accept what Jesus Christ, the Son, accomplished for you at Calvary. That’s the issue on the table of God’s justice today.

SUMMARY REVIEW OF THE BOOK OF Acts (starting at 32 minutes)

Acts is an account that covers a period of some 30 to 32 years, not written about the events on specific day, or month, or even one-year. It covers a span of 30 to 32 years. Dr. Luke wrote around the close of Paul’s ministry, somewhere around A.D. 65. He has previously written the gospel bearing his name, around A.D. 63, according to Usher’s dating. Keep in mind, because this is a point that’s often forgotten; Luke was not a member of the 12 apostles, as most want to believe. We see Matthew-Mark-Luke-John, so we assume that he is. It’s often taught that he was a Gentile, but other scholars say that he was just like Paul; Jewish. We are not told when Luke came to believe, but it really doesn’t matter. Luke was a traveling companion of our apostle Paul and when Paul wrote the last of his epistles; his second letter to Timothy (that finished off his writings), Paul said “only Luke is with me” (2 Timothy 4:11) I think it’s very fitting; Luke was a medical doctor, and with all the apostle to the Gentiles had to undergo, that the Lord afforded Paul with a doctor as a traveling companion. It’s interesting that we find the parable of the fig tree, in the gospel bearing Luke’s name. In that parable we know that God was giving Israel a one-year extension of mercy, to produce the righteousness that the law contract called for, indeed that Israel had sworn they would do. According to Usher, that parable was given in A.D. 33, at the close of Christ’s earthly ministry. It really makes no difference when you date the close of Christ’s earthly ministry, you’ll find chronology all over the board today, with everyone trying their hand at it. Understand if you push back the date of the close of Christ’s ministry, you have to push or pull everything else back accordingly. If we go by Usher’s dating, Israel’s one-year extension of mercy to be dealt with on a national level; as a holy nation, as a kingdom of priests, that extension of mercy came to completion at or shortly after the stoning of Stephen. I for one believe Paul was on his way to Damascus, from that stoning, when the ascended Christ encountered him on that road. According to Usher, Saul was saved the very same year that Stephen was stoned; A.D. 34. This validates Paul’s statement in

1 Timothy 1:16  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.

We’ve used the culmination of that one-year extension of mercy to Israel nationally; the parable the fig tree in the book of Luke. We held that alongside Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 weeks of years, the time remaining in that program where God would deal with Israel as a nation. We tied that with the Leviticus 26 curses promised Israel. We put all of those things alongside Paul’s statement in 1 Timothy 1:16, and we concluded that the body of Christ program, which God planned before the foundation of the world, began with the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, on his journey to Damascus. There are those who say the body of Christ program didn’t begin until Acts 13;

Acts 13:2  As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

The only problem that I find with that view, is Usher’s dating. If Usher is correct, this separation in Acts 13 took place around A.D. 44, some 10 years after Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. We have a problem with the one-year extension of mercy do we not? That certainly changes the one-year extension to Israel nationally, in Luke 13. It changes Daniel’s 70 weeks of years; Which would have to mean that Daniel lied; Which would have to mean that Gabriel lied to Daniel; Which would have to mean that God lied to Gabriel. I don’t think any of that took place! I think when he said “let it alone this year also”, it went that year also, and it concluded with Paul’s journey on the road to Damascus, when the ascended Christ called out Paul and converted Paul. Paul took Christ at his words there, on the road to Damascus, and something brand-new began, called the body of Christ. God dealing with all men alike today on the same footing. Makes no difference where you’re from, nationality, whether you are male or female. All must come alike today, according to belief in what Paul calls his gospel; that God was in Christ reconciling the entire world to himself, not counting men’s sins against them. Why again? He counted them against his Son, and he’s given us that message to take to the world. The world thinks he is counting their sins against them. They say “well, if you don’t lose your salvation, you lose your fellowship, and you don’t wanna lose your fellowship because if you do you’ll lose your fellowship, you might lose your blessings, and if you lose your blessings, you might even get some spankings”…..
My fellowship was not established with God Almighty based on my performance, commitment, abstentions and promises. My fellowship with God Almighty was based on my union with his Son, that took place the moment I took God at his word concerning what his Son accomplish for me, at Calvary. I’m joined to his Son. The Bible tells me I’m complete in him, could I lose my fellowship being complete and hid in Christ?! I think not. The only thing I could lose would be my understanding of that, if I got into some false teaching, but I couldn’t lose the fellowship, because my understanding doesn’t take me away from Christ. I’m in Christ according to having previously believed Paul’s gospel, so I cannot lose my fellowship. If he’s not counting sins against me, I cannot lose my fellowship for another sin. Not only that, I cannot lose my blessings, because God has already poured them all. How many blessings do we have according to the apostle Paul?

Ephesians 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with ALL spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

We’ve been blessed with ALL spiritual blessings in heavenly places; in the place of our citizenship which is heaven. We’ve already been blessed with all those blessings, we’ve simply not, in most cases, come to learn what they’re all about, but we’ve been blessed with them already, according to Paul. Now, if I’ve been blessed with all spiritual blessings, how many do I stand to lose? None! See how all of that collapses, when I accept this idea of conditional forgiveness/forgiveness on the installment plan; a little forgiveness here, a little forgiveness there, the need for new forgiveness for new sin. That’s the atonement program of Israel, not the reconciliation program of the body of Christ! We need to understand that forgiveness was all upfront and all-inclusive. It took place when Christ said that it is finished. God knows about it, and he wants us/humankind to know about it, because they think he’s alienated from them, in his mind, when they sin. He put all that sin on his Son long before those people were ever born, and now he wants them to accept that reconciliation. God is not holding or charging that sin to their account.

If I were in a depression and I was hungry, and I came to you and you owned a grocery store, and I said “I know you love me and my family, we would go way back and I need some groceries because I’m hungry, would you keep a tab for me?” If you said “I’ll keep a tab for you….a small tab for you”, and I brought you my bag of groceries and my little grocery list. You began to fill the groceries from the shelf; the flour, sugar and maybe some eggs, whatever you put in the bag, and you’d send me on my way, but you were keeping a tab for me…and would I one day to be expected to pay that tab?! This is how religion paints how God’s dealing with men today, but 1 Corinthians 5:18-19 says he’s not reckoning it to your account. God is not keeping a tab! If someone else came into your store and said “don’t keep a tab for [your name] any longer, give him everything free, shower him with whatever he wants, put it in the bag, here’s all the money up front”. Would you be just in charging me with that tab later on? Is that not how religion thinks God is dealing with them?!

God is keeping a record of every word, thought and deed to hold against those who refuse to believe him?! I say that’s not the case. I don’t see that Scripture. He cannot be keeping a record of every thought, word and deed, if he’s not reckoning it to your account. Why? Because every thought, word and deed that was miss word, thought and deed went on to his Son. His Son paid for it, satisfied his justice for it, died for it, put that out of God’s sight forever and rose again. If you want God to view you today, you got to be in his Son. How can you get into his Son, and have all of his righteousness freely imputed to your account? By simply taking God at his his word, concerning what his Son accomplished for you at Calvary. It’s as simple as that, and it requires nothing more than that you saying “I’m taking my stand where God takes his”. When he says he’s satisfied with what Christ did for my sins, when Christ died for them all your sins were all future. When God says he took all of your sins, and placed them on his Son, when you say “I’m going to take my stand there” = Saved! Not only saved from all those sins, you’ve already been saved from (Son issue, not sin issue), you’ve accepted your salvation at that point. At that very point, he’s not going to allow anything to mess with your mind and change your thinking. He seals you with the Holy Spirit of promise, until that day when you get your new body. You are sealed with the Holy Spirit, you won’t break God’s seal.
You’re maybe familiar with men breaking seals that were performed by man. You’ll never break God’s seal; you’re saved forever when you take God at his word, concerning what Christ did for you at Calvary.

Ephesians 1:12-14
12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 4:30  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

So if we go to A.D 34, the 1-year extension where God was dealing with the nation Israel, promising them a land and a piece of real estate, Israel as a nation is off the table. Now God can deal with Jews and Gentiles alike, all on the same level, Israel not sitting at the head any longer. One day in the future she will be, we’ll be out of here before that takes place, but right now in the age of Grace, God is dealing with everybody alike. If we go beyond A.D 34, we’ve done a terrible injustice to many scriptures; to those four accounts that have much involved with them: Leviticus 26, Daniel 9, Luke 13 (the parable of the fig tree) and Paul’s statement in 1 Timothy 1:16.

Nothing new began at Pentecost, where the body of Christ is concerned, because the body of Christ wasn’t in existence. When did Pentecost take place? Acts 2. Where was Paul converted when Israel’s program was finally put on the shelf, in A.D 34? Acts  9, you’ll read about the conversion of Paul, so don’t go to Pentecost to start something new, called the body of Christ. Why would folks go there for the beginning of the body of Christ? Because the Holy Spirit was promised and came at Pentecost, but did he come within or upon at Pentecost? Always it’s up on at Pentecost; empowering those folks to go through the next thing on their prophetic calendar, which was the tribulation and entrance to their promised earthly kingdom. The Holy Spirit came upon those folks.

John 14:17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

The Holy Spirit shall be in those kingdom saints day future, but today he’s in us, so that didn’t begin at Pentecost; Israel’s high holy feast day. That began later at another time, so at Pentecost Israel was still the focus nationally. Read through Acts 2, and you’ll see that as a nation Israel was at the head. The issue was still that earthly kingdom promised those folks, and the land promised to that nation, who would become a holy nation and a kingdom of priests. In Acts 2 you’ll see devout men, meaning Jews and Gentile proselytes to Judaism, from every nation under heaven, dwelling at Jerusalem for Israel’s high holy feast day; that feast day known as Pentecost. After Pentecost, in Acts 3, Peter is speaking to those same men; the men of Israel and of Judea, telling them if they only change their minds (repent) about the source of their righteousness. What had they sworn again? They could earn their righteousness through their performance, when God put them under a law contract.

Deuteronomy 6:25  And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.

God was teaching them through their history “you’ll never earn your righteousness through your performance, you must cast yourselves upon me, not upon yourself”. Place no confidence in your flesh. How much confidence did Paul place in his? Not one bit. The issue at Pentecost is still Israel in Acts 3. Peter tells Israel; “if you’ll change your minds” (and he’s talking about the source of their righteousness never being the law) “if you change your minds about that, God will send your Messiah back to you, and the times of refreshing; the millennial reign can be yours. It could be in your grasp once again, if you’ll change your mind” Peter was in a very real sense digging and dunking, trying to get Israel to change their minds in Acts 3. Israel’s national and her religious leadership were one and the same, and that entire year from the parable that Christ gave in Luke 13, Israel had to change their minds about the identity of their Messiah, which takes us to the indictment delivered in Acts 7 by Stephen, as he surveys that nation;

Acts 7:51  Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

He wasn’t talking to a new body of Christ; a new church; the church for the age of Grace. He was still talking to Israel in Acts 7. Saul did not know, at the time of his conversion on that road to Damascus, just what he would be dispensing, because those revelations would begin to come to Paul. Remember he was given a thorn in the flesh, lest he be lifted up with over abundant pride at these revelations that Christ was giving him, to relate to the Gentiles;

2 Corinthians 12:7  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.

Paul spent a number of years (most scholars say three years) in Arabia, after he was converted;

Acts 9:31  Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

What churches?! The kingdom churches, that were now meeting publicly, and walking in fear of the Lord. These folks could come out of hiding now. They had to hide when Saul was persecuting them, searching them out, going with letters from the high priesthood of Israel to have them sought out and whipped and stoned. Dragged out of their places of worship, taken to Jerusalem. Some of them to be put to death. You wouldn’t be sitting in a sanctuary, as a Jewish believer in Paul’s day, before he was converted on the road to Damascus. You’d have to hide to do what you were doing, because Paul was searching them out, and having them either whipped or slain. They were in hiding, now they could come out of hiding. The kingdom saints could now worship openly, as that word was used in their religion. They could meet publicly without fear of Saul searching them out, for the purpose of having them hailed as the Bible says. Thrown in jail/prison or worse; put to death. God is through striving with Israel nationally, at this point in time. He’s through striving with their religious leadership, but he’s not through with individual Jews He’s going to try to reach them to become members of the body of Christ. Individual non believing, but very religious/devoutly religious Jews that had not accepted their Messiah. Now he’s going to go after these folks, through the apostle Paul, and those who take God at his word through Paul will become members of the body of Christ.

We see Peter, while Paul is in Arabia, healing a man called Aeneas;

Acts 9:34-43
34  And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately.
35  And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him [Aeneas], and turned to the Lord.

It’s interesting that nothing at all is said here, about being baptized for the remission of their sins, and nothing is said here as to Peter
preaching to these folks either. No preaching of salvation or baptism!

36  Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.
37  And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.
38  And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.

Where was Paul?! He was still in Arabia at this point in time.

39  Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.
40  But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
41  And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.

Look closely, see if you can find any mention whatsoever of anyone being baptized for the remission of their sins, in this account, or if Peter is preaching a message of salvation to anyone at all?!

42  And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord. [Peter had to do it.]

Do you see any mention about being baptized for the remission of their sins? Do you see any mention of Peter preaching the message of salvation; that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not counting their sins against them? You do not because it is not sitting there. You simply find people turning to the Lord, in response to a miraculous event. The fact in both instances of Aeneas and Tabitha, is that the story relates nothing of Peter’s preaching a salvation message to Jews and Gentiles proselytes to Judaism. You find nothing of Peter preaching salvation to anyone at all! That doesn’t come until Acts 10, when Peter receives the vision teaching him not to call unclean, that which God had already cleansed.

Acts 10:15  And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

Where does God send Peter? To the house of Cornelius, to the man named Cornelius.

Acts 10:28  And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

It’s here that the apostle Peter is given the sign necessary for the apostles at Jerusalem, to confirm the ministry of the apostle Paul. Peter was a kingdom saint; a member of that land promise, and God gave that kingdom saint a sign, that he was dealing differently with men at that period of time. Don’t look at Peter and say “it’s Peter so it has to be a kingdom program salvation” or “it’s a message that we don’t hear from Paul, so it has to be a kingdom program salvation”. Not so! God was dealing differently among men and Peter was simply given to see that. Evidence that God is working differently among men, and that Cornelius event proves that to the apostle Peter. In Acts 11 we find those who were scattered abroad, preaching the word to none but under the Jews only. The account says they were preaching the Lord Jesus. Obviously they knew nothing of the mystery, but does that really matter to become a member of the body of Christ? What were they preaching about the Lord Jesus? That he had died, was buried and rose again, and that’s all men were called upon to believe, prior to Paul getting the revelations from the ascended Christ to further that message, concerning the age of Grace.

We see Paul visiting three different areas: Asia first, then Greece and Macedonia, and finally Rome. In each area he goes to unbelieving, but devoutly religious, Jews. He preaches his message, the majority of the Jews chasing him away, and he he says “lo, I turn to the Gentiles” (a statement he made three times; Acts 13, 17 and 28) and he then preaches to Gentiles his saving message, and they all become members of the body of Christ assemblies, in those three areas.

Thank you for joining with us in your endeavor to discover the truths in God’s Word. Pastor and teacher Curt Crist and the entire fellowship of Welcome to Grace Ministries, would like to thank you for your support of this ministry of Grace. If you’re enjoying the teachings and want to share with others, please write us at: Welcome to Grace Ministries, P.O. Box 90, Penrose, North Carolina 28766. You may call us toll free at 877-770-7098 or visit us on the web at http://www.welcometograce.com. Again, thank you for joining us, and we look forward to hearing from you.

 

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