is granted by the copyright owner, the author, that this material may be
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laws of the United States."
The following article is
in no way an exhaustive study concerning Rightly Dividing The Word of Truth.
This is just a chip in the ice. If you would like a full in depth study
concerning Rightly Dividing, I suggest to you Dr. Douglas D. Stauffer’s book
titled, "One Book Rightly Divided…..The Key to Understanding the
Dr. Staffer currently
serves as president of Victory Bible Institute and Theological Seminary in
Millbrook, Alabama; president of Faith Rescue Mission in Montgomery, Alabama;
and is on the pastoral staff of Victory Baptist Church. He has thousands
of hours teaching experience and ten years serving in pastoral ministries.
His book is a must! I assure you, you will not be disappointed.
It’s a hard cover, 257 page book.
If you wish to order
this book, you may write to:
P.O. Box 203
Millbrook, Al 36054 (McCowen
Bro. Doug Stauffer
All Scripture quotations
are from the text of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible. Any
deviations are not intentional.
Dividing The Word Of Truth.
(By Sandy Hooper)
I want to share a verse that you will not find in any Bible
except one, the Authorized Version, commonly known at the King James
Bible. It’s a verse which tells us what to do with Scripture and how
to handle it.
"Study to shew thyself approved unto
God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the
word of truth." (2 Tim. 2:15)
The Bible is to be studied and rightly
divided. In the following I’m going to show how some people get
confused where it concerns the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, and
Salvation. These are the three major differences of doctrine. When these
issues are confused, then the Bible appears to contradict itself, but
that is not the case, for God is not the author of confusion. Confusion
and so-called contradictions are dispelled when the word of God is studied
and rightly divided.
Let’s take for example the issue of eternal life
(Salvation), how it is attained, and how Scripture appears to contradict.
Imagine yourself listening to a conversation of two people. One of them
is telling the other that the only way to get to heaven is by doing good deeds
(works). To prove his case he quotes Matt. 24:13 which states:
"But he that
shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."
He then quotes another Scripture.
"For it is impossible for
those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and
were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word
of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away,
to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the
Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." (Heb. 6:4-6)
The other person jumps in and says that salvation is not
gained by works, but by faith. To prove his case he quotes Ephesians
"For by grace are ye
saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not
of works, lest any man should boast."
To further prove his case, he quotes another passage of
"Not by works of righteousness
which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing
of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;" (Titus 3:5)
Each person above is quoting Scripture correctly, but
one of them has failed to apply the passages to whom it belongs.
It is often said that anyone can make the Bible say
anything. This is so true, only because the person ignores the context.
The Bible says:
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction
in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16)
Doctrine is primarily why the Scriptures were
written. The first thing God says about Scripture is that it is
profitable for "doctrine." We need to be
careful of those people or churches who do not stress doctrine. In the Bible
we are told to "heed it " (1 Tim. 4:16), and we are
told to "give attendance" to it. (1 Tim. 4:13)
It Is Important To
Know To Whom God Is Speaking And To Whom It Applies.
The first thing we must consider when we read the Bible is
to ask ourselves, "To whom does it apply?" Now that is
where there is so much confusion! We have to find out to whom God is
speaking, and what specifically applies to us or someone else. Now remember, "All
Scripture is given by inspiration of God…." That doesn’t
mean just because a certain doctrine doesn’t apply to us, that we can’t learn
something from it. Keep in mind that all verses of Scripture have three
Historical: Something that has
happened in history.
Doctrinal: Verses in the Bible that
are aimed at a specific person, for a specific reason, to teach a specific
Inspirational: All Scripture is profitable for
doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness, then every
verse has a spiritual application which can be used to instruct or correct
Though a verse may have a primary doctrinal application, we
need to know it also has a spiritual application. The problem
arises when one tries to take a spiritual truth and force it as Christian
doctrine. Not everything in the Bible is Christian doctrine. For
example: Jesus told the twelve apostles to minister to Israel only; Christians
do not minister to Israel only. God told Moses and the people of Israel not to
eat pork; There are plenty of Christians who do. Jesus told the twelve
apostles to raise the dead; Christians don’t. I think you get the idea.
An irate person wrote an email who didn’t believe in OSAS
(once saved always saved). He quoted such Scriptures as Hebrews 3:12; 6:15,
Matthew 10:22 to prove one is not always saved. He ended by saying, "No
need for dispensationalists to tell me that Hebrews and Matthew are for the
Jews. All the word is for me."
This person is correct, but he fails to understand that
even though the Bible was written "for" him, not all of it is
written "to" him. The entire Bible was written for
you, but not all of it is written to you. To illustrate this truth,
let’s read the following Scripture.
"For if ye forgive men
their trespasses, your heavenly
Father will also forgive you: But
if ye forgive not men their
trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath
forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:32)
Notice in the first Scripture quoted (Matt. 6:14,15),
forgiveness is conditional. One is only forgiven IF he forgives
the other. A person will not be forgiven by God if he does not forgive the
other person. However, in the second passage quoted from Ephesians we see that
God HATH (which is past tense) forgiven us. We are to forgive others
because we have been forgiven. No Christian is forgiven on the basis of
forgiving others. The Bible says he is forgiven and his sins cleansed by the
blood of Christ (Eph.1:7, Col. 1:14).
If a Christian’s forgiveness is conditional, then what Christ did on the
cross is insufficient. However, the Bible says that "forgiveness and
remission" of sins is part of the finished work of Christ (Eph. 1:7, Col.
1:14, Acts 13:38-40).
So though both passages say what they say, and mean what
they mean, both passages do not apply to all people.
In 1 Corinthians 10:32 we see where God divides people into
We need to find out to whom God is speaking. As seen
above, the gentleman above is confused because he thinks everything in the
Bible applies to him. If he believes all of it applies to him, then he needs
to be obeying every command in the Bible, which would be spiritual suicide. He
would be out there doing everything from building an Ark to bringing animal
sacrifices to make atonement for sins, etc., etc.
God Chose Certain
Throughout history God has used certain people, during
certain times, to get His message conveyed to other human beings. He used
people like Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, etc. Now we certainly would not pick
up the Bible and start building an Ark. It was a message given to Noah.
Noah was God’s spokesman at that particular time to warn people of the coming
flood. Today Noah’s message would not apply to us, but we certainly could
learn something from it.
Another example would be Moses. God used Moses to speak
unto the children of Israel .
"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak
unto the children of Israel, saying,…." (Lev. 4:1)
And this is what God said for the children of Israel to do:
"And he shall do with the bullock as he did
with the bullock for a sin offering, so shall he do with this: and the
priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven
them." (Lev. 4:20)
In the Old Testament, it was the Levitical priesthood (not
Roman Catholic priests) who functioned to make atonement for sin. Moses was
God’s spokesman at that particular time to instruct the children of Israel. If
they failed to obey the commands given, it required an animal sacrifice (Lev.
4:26). That message doesn’t apply to us today. We know we have the
Lord Jesus Christ, our High Priest (Hebrews 3:1), who made the final
5:11) . Since Jesus Christ, there is no necessity to continue
sacrifices for sins, it’s been done. (Hebrews 10:11-12).
This is just a small sample of how God chose certain people
to give His message during a particular period of time. He chose people such
as Noah, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Samuel, David, Daniel, Jonah, Isaiah,
etc. etc. etc. The only time when there wasn’t a spokesman was in the
time of Judges. There were also consequences because of no spokesman.
The result is that they did what they thought was right in their own eyes.
"In those days there
was no king in Israel: every man did
that which was right in his own eyes." (Judges 21:25)
God’s Spokesmen In
The New Testament.
Now when we go over into the New Testament, we find other
spokesmen for God. We have John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the
apostles, Throughout the four gospels we have revealed to us the Lord’s
earthly ministry. After the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts
chapter one), Peter becomes God’s main spokesman. Peter fades
from the scene as God chooses Paul to be the main spokesman.
God isn’t finished yet. We still have more spokesmen to be
revealed in the future. They will appear during the Tribulation. God will have
a specific message for people during the Tribulation via two witnesses:
"And I will give power unto my two
witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore
days, clothed in sackcloth."" (Rev. 11:3)
According to the verse, these two main witnesses will be
preaching for three and one half years. Not only will there be the two
witnesses, we will have a group set aside, a 144,000 Jewish males, who will be
God’s spokesmen. God is going to seal them.
"And I heard the number of them which were
sealed: and there were seals an hundred and forty and four thousand
of all the tribes of the children of Israel."
Notice the verse doesn’t say a 144,000 "Jehovah
Witnesses." They are Jews. They will come from each tribe.
The last spokesman will be during the time of the
Millennium. This Spokesman will be Jesus Christ Himself. He will reign as King
for one thousand years on this earth.
So we have seen that God has, and does use certain
spokesmen to relay His message at certain people, during certain times. Now
let’s dig a little deeper into the New Testament.
Where Does The New
When you read your Bible you find that the book of Malachi
concludes the Old Testament. Why do we get that idea? Because on
the next page is written "The New Testament." " This can
be very misleading to some people. Why? Because the New Testament is
not set forth until Matthew 26, and was not in put into effect until the death
of Christ. The new covenant could not be in effect until the death of the
"For where a testament is, there must also of
necessity be the death of the testator." (Heb. 9:16)
"For a testament is of force after men are
dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth."
So in reality, everything in Matthew
1-25 has to do with the culmination of God’s dealings with man under
the Old Testament. Those who are seeking heaven on the basis of the Sermon
on the Mount, will end up in Hell. They are practicing those things which do
not have anything to do with with a person in the church age.
No matter who refuses to believe it, the book of Matthew
was written by a Jew and the message to the Jews (no
"Christians" in the book of Matthew. You won’t find that word until
you get to Acts 26:28, after the resurrection of Jesus Christ). It is full of
Old Testament quotations. There are twenty-three quotations and seventy-six
references to the Old Testament. Most cults are born from the book of Matthew
(along with the Book of Acts). Again, I’m not saying we can’t learn anything
from it, because "ALL SCRIPTURE is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness." But there simply are passages that cannot be doctrinally
applied to the Christian. Watch out for "doctrine."
The Kingdom of God
versus the Kingdom of Heaven.
At the time of the first coming of Christ, the kingdom of
heaven was said to be "at hand."
Another thing a person must understand is that there is a
difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven.
The two should not be confused.
In the Bible the "Kingdom of God" is a spiritual
kingdom. It is entered once a person trusts Jesus Christ as his personal
Saviour. The kingdom of God is not a place.
"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Romans
The kingdom of God is also explained to be within a person.
"And when he was demanded of the Pharisees,
when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom
of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo
there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20-21).
Where it concerns the kingdom of Heaven, it is the literal
physical kingdom which will exist for one thousand years on this earth
(Rev. 20:4-5), and will proceed on into eternity (2 Peter 1:10). When
Christ was upon this earth, both kingdoms were present.
When Jesus walked upon this earth, He began to preach about
the kingdom of heaven.
"From that time Jesus began to preach, and to
say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
A major part of the book of Matthew was dedicated to
preaching about the kingdom of heaven. It’s mentioned at least thirty-two
times. Jesus called it the "gospel of the kingdom." It was
HIS kingdom he was speaking of, His literal reign here on earth. It was
Speaking of the gospel. There is another interesting thing
we come across when we rightly divide the word of truth. In the Bible
there are four forms of the gospel.
The gospel of the kingdom of Heaven, given
The gospel of the grace of God, given to the
Paul’s gospel given to the church, the Body
The everlasting gospel given to Tribulation Gentiles.
Let’s go over each one.
The gospel of "the Kingdom." This
is the gospel, as mentioned earlier, preached to Israel (the book of
Matthew). It is the literal reign of Jesus Christ.
"The gospel of the grace of God" deals with the good news
since the time of the crucifixion, to our present time (2,000 years now)
that God will save any sinner simply by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ
by faith. This is the good news of Romans 4:5 and Romans chapter 10. It is
during this time that a person does not have to work for his salvation.
"But to him that worketh not, but
believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for
righteousness."" (Rom. 4:5)
The "gospel of the grace of God,"
which Paul calls "my gospel." (Rom.
2:16). It includes the greater revelation of the one, true Body of
Christ, the Church, the body which consists of only born again people.
"The everlasting gospel" (Rev.
14:6) This has nothing to do with the previous three gospels. This is a
message of repentance to Gentile in the near future.
Even though the Bible refers to more than one gospel, we
must clarify, and what the Bible declares, is that from the time of Adam and
through the Millennium, no one gets to heaven apart from the shed blood of the
Lord Jesus Christ. Those who died prior to the cross had to await the
sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 16:26, 23:43).
Getting back to the gospel of the kingdom, "At hand"
means within reach. The kingdom of heaven could have been, but instead the
Lord was crucified, and thus the kingdom was postponed. Without failure, the
kingdom will begin at the 1,000 year reign of Christ on this earth. (Rev.
However, let’s go over a little bit of history so there is
a better understanding of the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Heaven. But
first let’s get a couple of definitions out of the way. The first one has to
do with the word "king." It means, "A male sovereign." It
is "One that is supreme or preeminent in a particular group, category, or
sphere." Then there’s the word, "Throne." It means "A
chair occupied by an exalted personage."
The Bible speaks of such a King and a throne. The Bible is
all about a kingdom and who is going to rule it. If you will look at Gen. 1:1
, it simply says:
"In the beginning God created the heaven and
It doesn’t say how long God took to create it, but He
created it, but something happened between verses 1 and 2. I believe the
answer is found in Isaiah 14. There was somebody who wanted to exalt what he
called "my throne."
"For thou hast said in thine heart, I will
ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I
will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the
north:" (Isaiah 14:13)
From the very beginning there is a fight over a throne.
The subject is about a kingdom. The whole Bible concerns the issue of a
throne, and it ends with the matter of the throne.
"And there shall be no more curse: but the
throne of God and
of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:" (Rev.
God’s throne is from generation to generation.
"Thou, O LORD, remainest for ever; thy throne
from generation to generation." (Lam. 5:19)
Let’s go back to Gen.
1:1. "God created the heaven.…"
The Scriptures speak of this heaven as being the space between the earth and
the clouds (Job 35:5, Acts 1:9,10). This heaven is filled with material things
such as birds, a sun, the moon, nebular, star clusters, etc.. God is not
heaven. The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven are not the same. When
people see the expression "the kingdom of heaven," they immediately
think about something "spiritual." Heaven is not spiritual. As
noted above, it is filled with material things. The kingdom of heaven is an earthly,
physical, literal, visible kingdom. Think about it. The earth sits in mist
of this heaven….the kingdom of heaven!
The "kingdom of heaven" is not the same as
"the kingdom of God." The Bible defines what the Kingdom of God is.
We noted that above. It’s not meat or drink. It’s a spiritual, righteous, and
"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Rom. 14:17)
Anyway, it appears Lucifer was king over this physical
domain (earth). He was in the Garden of Eden (Eze. 28:13-15). But he thought
he could ascend higher than God. Somewhere between Genesis 1:1 and verse 2,
something happened. God had boot Lucifer out. Something happened to the earth,
it was not the same.
Then God created Adam. Adam became king over all the earth.
He now became the king over the kingdom of heaven. He had dominion over
everything on this earth and the fowls of the air. God told Adam to replenish
the earth. "Replenish" is the restoration of a previous condition.
However, there is something else you might find
interesting. Besides Adam having dominion over the whole earth (the kingdom of
heaven), he also had the kingdom of God (Rom. 14:17).
God created Adam, and Adam is said to be made in the IMAGE
OF GOD. But something happened. Satan was able to talk Eve into eating the
fruit. He told her she wouldn’t die. She ate it and she died. She died
spiritually. Adam, who was not deceived (1
Tim. 2:14), ate the fruit also. He died. Right there both crowns
were lost, the kingdom of heaven, and the kingdom of God is gone. Both didn’t
show up again until Jesus Christ came at the first advent. So from Adam
to Christ, there is no perfect ruler for the kingdom of Heaven.
Speaking of Adam, there is another misconception that must
be put aside. Nobody after Adam was made in the image of God, no matter how
many times people try to enforce it. Only Adam was made in the image of God
and this includes Eve. God named man and woman "Adam."
"Male and female created he them; and blessed
them, and called their name
Adam, in the day when they were
created." (Gen. 5:2)
We are Adam. However, all of us are not made in the
image of God, but in the image of Adam.
"And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years,
and begat a son in his own likeness,
after his image; and called his name Seth:" (Gen. 5:3)
When man sinned, he lost the image of God. If
we are led to believe that we are made in the image of God, then God has a
dead spirit. He doesn’t. Adam lost the image of God when he sinned.
We need to have that image restored (Rom. 8:29). Adam began begetting people "in
his own likeness….after his image"
We need to be born again. (John 3:3,6).
Look at Gen. 5:5
"….and all the days that Adam lived were
nine hundred and thirty years: and he died."
The spiritual death caught up with Adam through physical
death. This is the first natural physical death. It is also
interesting that the word death is found in verse FIVE. There is something
that should convince you that God has His hand in the King James Bible. Many
people associate the number five with "grace." However, there is
good evidence in the Bible that it could be associated with death. As a
dear Pastor has pointed out, look at the following and you be the judge.
There is someone who has power over life and
death. The word death has five letters. The devil has this power.
The word "devil" has five letters.
Benjamin’s mom DIES (death), and he
gets FIVE times. the normal amount of food and clothing as his
siblings (Gen. 43:34, 45:22, 35:18,19)
While Jesus is dying on the cross, his five
pieces of garments are distributed (John 19:23).
David’s five stones kills four men
who were born to the giant in Gath (3 Sam. 21:22).
5:5,10, two people drop dead because they lied.
Romans 5 expounds the death of Adam
In Rev. 5 the lamb appears "as
Then there’s the brazen altar. On that altar was slain and offered more
than 1,000 animal carcasses a year for 500 years, and the altar was 5 by 5
So in Gen. 5:5, there is the first physical death. Adam
lost both kingdoms. He lost it when he sinned.
God sets up another man.. His name is Noah. It doesn’t say
Noah was a king, but again, look at the definition of King given a little
earlier. God raised special men for a special purpose. God had different
spokesmen to relay His message. So here God chooses Noah. After that flood,
Noah has all the land as far as the eye can see. He sends Ham to Africa, Shem
to Asia, and Japheth to Europe.
God chooses another man. He calls Abram. Abraham is
promised a physical, literal, piece of earth. (Rom. 4) The
Lord said to Abraham,
"And I will make of thee a great nation,
and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a
blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth
thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Gen.
Then came Isaac and the covenant goes with him.
Then there’s Jacob. The blessings continue to Jacob. They
are promised land, a physical , visible piece of land.
Next comes Judah. Eventually God is going to have a King
to rule the earth from the line of Judah. The Bible also says:
"The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor
a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the
gathering of the people be." (Gen. 49:10)
Then there’s Moses, and he is called a king
Moses finally gets the people to the land of promise and he
dies. The Jews end up in apostasy. Eventually they cry for a king. God gives
them a king, but he from the tribe Benjamin (1 Sam. 9:21). He is supposed to
be from Judah! So Israel ends up with the wrong king. If you read the
genealogy in Matthew, God does not recognize Saul as king. The first King God
does recognize is David.
"And Jesse begat David the king;" (Matt.
David is the first king of the Jews, and he reigns over a
literal, physical, visible kingdom.
Are you understanding? We see men used of God and kings who
rule over a "kingdom." It is a kingdom here on earth. The world will
one day soon be met with the King of Kings! He is going to rule on this earth
for 1,000 years! He’s not going to foul it up as did the prior kings.
The Bible from the beginning talks about a kingdom.
It has to do with the earth which sits in heaven. Read what Jeremiah
writes in 22:29 and take note:
"O earth, earth, earth, hear the word
of the LORD."
That is addressed to the world!
The last king is Jeconiah, and his name shortened. God
calls him "Coniah" and makes him childless.
"Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man
childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his
seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in
Judah." (Jer. 22:30)
So this is the last king, and God doesn’t even acknowledge
him. The kingdom is gone. There’s no more kingdom to rule, no more king. The
Jews are taken into captivity when Nebuchadnezzar comes along. Lamentations
"The crown is fallen from us; but thy throne,
O Lord, endures forever."
In the captivity God raises Daniel who interprets a dream
for Nebuchadnezzar. It has to do with, you guessed it, kingdoms. Daniel
tells him about four great Empires, and are to succeed each other in the
government of the world, from Nebuchadnezzar to the "Second Coming"
of Christ. (Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian, and Roman). It’s all earthly
and political. The Antichrist shall arise, and is going to set up his kingdom.
However, the God of heaven will destroy it. The Kingdom of God is going to
come down to earth, and will be given the throne of David (Luke 1:32). The
kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God will shortly come to pass.
Jesus Speaks About
The Kingdom Of God.
In Matthew 6:33,34 Christ speaks about the "kingdom of
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matt. 6:33)
This is the first time in Matthew which the term
"kingdom of God" is used. Right here Jesus is talking about another
kingdom. Some will be confused because when they get to Mark 1:15, they think
it contradicts. It doesn’t contradict if one understands they do not mean the
The kingdom of God is spiritual and related to the moral
righteousness of God Himself (Rom. 14:17). We can see three times
where the two kingdoms meet. Two in the past, and one yet future:
With Adam before the fall
With Jesus Christ at the first coming
And with Jesus Christ at the second coming
So the forerunner John says the "kingdom of
heaven" is at hand, and the "kingdom of God" is at hand. And it
was! We have the dual presence of a Man. He is the Son of man who is
earthly and experiences what every human experiences; hunger, thirst,
exhaustion, suffers, etc., etc., and dies. Though He was earthly, He was
also God "manifest
in the flesh." (1
Tim. 3:16). In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. He
is King over the kingdom of God, and He is King over the kingdom of heaven. When
Christ is present, so are both kingdoms! During the Millennium both
kingdoms will be present. The Lord is going to set up a literal, physical,
visible kingdom (kingdom of Heaven)
that is also a spiritual, righteous, and moral kingdom (kingdom
of God). If you have a grip knowing the difference between
the two kingdoms, there will be less confusion.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matt. 6:33)
Notice the verse says to seek "his
righteousness." This means seek "God’s righteousness." In both
the Old and New Testaments, God’s righteousness (Mic. 6:5, Rom. 10:1-4) is
defined as being separate from the self merits and works of man. Take note
that a person can have his own righteousness (see Matt. 5:20,
2 Sam. 22:25, Phil. 3:9). However, if a person is going to seek
"God’s righteousness," he must find it outside his own
righteousness. There will be many souls destroyed by misapplication of
the Sermon on the Mount. You will find a "SELF-righteous" person
trying to live that Sermon. It is generally the people who have not come to
the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ who try to live by applying themselves to
the Sermon on the Mount thinking it will save them. They are standing in this
age, but applying Scriptures directed at different people, at a future time.
Today we don’t need to "earn" our way into heaven by good works, we
are in a time (Praise God!) when eternal life is a gift.
One earning his way to salvation by his own good works and
strength will not get one to heaven. However, God works in the person
once he is saved. Salvation is a gift which must be received..
"For the wages of sin is
death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our
Lord." (Rom. 6:23)
Once you have the gift of eternal, it is God Who works in
you to do what is right. You are not doing good deeds because you need
to earn heaven, but you are doing it because you have assurance of going to
Heaven. God works in you.
"For it is God which worketh in you both to
will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).
People are being deceived. They are listening to others who
are telling them they must work for their salvation. They are not rightly
dividing the word of truth. The only time we find works and commandments
connected, as far as salvation is concerned, are passages that deal with
people during the tribulation (Rev. 12:17; 14:12; 22:14), and the
"kingdom age" (Matt. 5-7). However, because one does not rightly
divide the word, he still insists that good works are necessary for
salvation when glaring off the pages of the Bible exists Acts 15:9-11, Eph.
2:8,9 and Rom. 10:9,10, etc.
So even though the two kingdoms are associated, they are
not the same. (For a thorough study see "The Kingdom of God Versus The
Kingdom of Heaven," by Peter S. Ruckman 1969).
In summary of Matt. 6:33, Jesus is leaning toward a spiritual
standard. The kingdom of God is related to the moral righteousness of
God Himself (Rom. 14:17). The person is to obtain the moral
righteousness of God first ("Seek ye first
the kingdom of God…"), then the literal, Messianic
Kingdom will follow (see verse 33). We must also not forget that Jesus is
speaking to Jews who are still under the Old Covenant.
Who Speaks To Us Today?
Now let us deal with our time. Who is our spokesman at this present moment?
Turn to the book of Acts. Here Peter is the main spokesman
until we get to Acts chapter 12. After chapter 12, Peter practically
disappears. From Acts 13 it is Paul who is the main spokesman. God led Paul to
write the next 13 books, whose name you will find:
In these letters God uses Paul to declare unto us the
Gospel (a major portion which can be found in the book of Romans). God uses
Paul to tell us who we are, about our lost condition, how we can be saved, how
to live for God, where we stand in Christ, about our future, and much more.
Paul is the minister of Christ to the Gentiles (Romans
15:16). We are to receive his instructions as how to live (Phil. 4:9). We are
to walk and please God (1 Thess. 4:1). He even goes so far as to tell us to be
followers of him (1 Cor. 4:16, 11:1).
However, there is one thing I’d like to mention since we
are to rightly divide the word of truth. Out of Paul’s thirteen Church
Epistles, we can divide it in half. From Romans through Galatians, we have his
Missionary Epistles. From Ephesians – Philemon, we have his Prison Epistles.
Okay. Let’s look at the timing of Romans. Paul was to
present the gospel not only to the Gentiles, but also to the children of
Israel. He was to reach the Jewish remnant (Acts 9:15). He talks about going
to the Jews first (Rom. 1:16). So when Paul was on his missionary journeys, he
tried to reach the Jews (Acts 13:14, 17:1, 18:4, 19:8). He went into every
synagogue he could and presented the gospel to the Jews. In the early part of
Paul’s ministry, God still gave the opportunity for the Jews to be reached
first, and the opportunity to accept that gospel message before the breaking
off of the Nation of Israel (Rom. 11:20). Before the breaking off had begun,
the signs were beginning to cease. During the early part of Paul’s ministry,
God was using signs to reach the Jews, because the Jews required a sign (1
Cor. 1:22). So even though Paul started off with signs, just as the other
apostles, at some point in time, they began to fade away (see the "Tongues"
Now a lot of people will look at the first part of Romans,
and think we must preach to the Jews first. However, this is not the
case when rightly dividing the word of truth. There is a transition taking
place just as it did from Peter being the main spokesman to Paul being the
main spokesman. It’s a time sensitive area. In the book of Acts,
this too is a time sensitive area. God is dealing with people
differently and He is gradually changing the way He wants things to work.
For instance, throughout the Old Testament and into the New Testament, God
dealt most exclusively with the Jewish nation. The Gentiles could
only have access to God through God’s chosen people, the Jews. In the
Book of Acts God moves from the Jews to the Gentiles, which moves from
the law to grace. We had Peter and the apostles to the apostle
Paul. There was a gradual change, and the way one was saved was also
gradually changing in God’s plan. The way a person was saved in
Acts 2 was no longer that way when we arrive at Acts 10. Water was no
longer contingent for receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. It took
Peter sometime to see it God’s way. Peter’s ministry was to the Jews.
The way of Salvation he knew was not the way of Salvation that God revealed to
His chosen servant, Paul. Peter finally acknowledges this in Acts
chapter 15 where the issue of Salvation is concerned among the Gentiles..
In Acts 15 there was a certain sect of the Pharisees who believed that the
Gentiles should be circumcised and commanded to keep the law of Moses.
In Acts 15:5-9 Peter says,
"Men and brethren, ye know
how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my
mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which
knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as
he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying
their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon
the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to
we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be
saved, even as they."
Peter had come to accept the way things were changing and
how God was beginning to deal with people other than the Jews. He had
first hand experience with this in Acts 10. So when we look at Paul in
the beginning of the book of Romans, we are still looking at something that is
time sensitive. In the beginning of his ministry, he tried to reach the
Jews first. In the book of Acts we see how he tried to reach the Jews.
He tried to reach that remnant. By the time we get to Acts 18, the Jews
blasphemed. We see where Paul says,
"And when Silas and
Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and
testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. And when they opposed
themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, You
blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the
Gentiles." (Acts 18:5)
This is Paul’s final turning point. He ran his course
and tried to reach the remnant. They would not listen. The results
are recorded in Acts 28:26.
"Saying, Go unto this
people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and
seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people
is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have
they closed; lest they should see with their own eyes, and hear with their
ears, and understand with their heart, and should
He had gone to every
synagogue preaching the gospel. If a Christian wants to adhere to the
"preaching to the Jews" first, then they must stop what they are
doing and start visiting every synagogue in their town. There was a
point when Paul stopped visiting the synagogues preaching to the Jews first.
There came a time when his full mission was now to the Gentiles. When we
get through with his Missionary Epistles (Romans – Galatians), we then find
his prison Epistles (Ephesians – Philemon), in which the Gospel was no longer
to the Jews first.
We Need To Follow The Person
God Chose For Us.
There is a church today (Roman Catholic) who claim to
follow Peter. Following Peter is the wrong person to follow. God’s
chosen vessel, Paul, said the following,
"Wherefore I beseech you,
be ye followers of me. (1 Cor. 4:16)."
Peter was a spokesman for the JEWS,
"…..as the gospel of the
circumcision was unto Peter;" (Gal. 2:7)
Paul for the Gentiles,
Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and
an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. (2 Tim. 1:11)
So we are to follow Paul, not Peter. Paul says:
"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of
Christ." (1 Cor. 11:1)
"Wherefore I beseech you, be ye
followers of me." (1 Cor. 4:16)
We should be listening to Paul who is our spokesman. When
we follow the instructions of God’s chosen vessel, and consider what he has
said (2 Tim. 2:7), then we can begin to practice what is stated in 1 Cor.1:10.
What about the rest
of the Books of the Bible, like Hebrews and so forth?
Notice the title of the Book. It is addressed to the
HEBREWS. The book of Hebrews begins by referring to "the fathers"
and "the prophets." This is dealing with the nation of Israel.
"God, who at sundry times and in divers
manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets."
Now why the message of Hebrews addressed to the nation of
Israel when we just had thirteen chapters addressed to the Gentiles? Because
there was a time (in the book of Acts) when the nation of Israel was cast away
(Romans 11:15) because of their unbelief. They did not accept their
Messiah at His first coming. The Bible says the Gentiles were grafted in, and
as evidenced in the Bible, God ended His dealings exclusively with the Jews.
However, when God is through dealing with the Church, this will be at the
Rapture, God will once again use the Hebrews (Jews) to evangelize the world
again (this is clearly seen in the Book of Revelation).
From Hebrews on, these books are considered Tribulational
Doctrine. We have the 144,000 Hebrews who will preach during the
Tribulation period. There are warnings and instructions to follow during the
time of the Tribulation. Let me give you an example why we cannot push Hebrews
into the Church Age doctrine.
We can discuss the matter of eternal security. In the book
of Ephesians we are told we are eternally secure. The moment a person accepts
Jesus Christ as his Saviour, he is sealed with the Holy Spirit of God "unto
the day of redemption" (Ephesians
4:30). However, those living during
the Tribulation, they must "endure to the
end " (Revelation
14:9-11, Matthew 24:13, and Hebrews 10:26). They are not eternally
secure. A convert in the Tribulation can lose his salvation, and he can lose
it by taking the mark of the Beast. He must "endure
to the end."
Now we’ve got people out there who will confuse other
Christians, and even baby Christians, by saying they can lose their salvation
if they do not "endure to the end."
This can be pretty scary for the person who is not well
versed in his Bible. However, I know enough to come back and say the verse
doesn’t apply to me. Why? Because I am going to "endure
to the end" no matter what! Listen to what Paul,
whom we are to follow, says,
"Who shall also confirm you unto the end,
that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 1:8)
The Bible is not full of contradictions. It’s simply the
fault of the person who is not rightly dividing the word of truth.
Let’s take another example.
"And ye know that he was
manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in
him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is
righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the
devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of
God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him:
and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (1 John 3:6)
Those are verses pertaining to tribulation saints.
Some preachers use these verses to prove that one can lose his or her
salvation. They are not rightly dividing the word of truth. We are
to consider what Paul says, and what did he say?
"Who shall separate us from
the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or
famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy
sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the
slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things
to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able
to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our
Lord." (Rom. 8:35-39)
The above says that there is absolutely nothing that could
separate us from the love of Christ. It’s easy to understand why 1 John
3:6 and Rom. 8:35-39 would seem to "contradict" each other.
Again, we must rightly divide the word of truth.
Rightly Dividing The
Word Of Truth.
As you can see above, not only is there confusion as to the
application of the Scriptures, there is also confusion because the person
reads more into it than there really is. "Enduring to the end" (as
seen above) is a classic example. People will often quote Matt. 24:13 which is
supposed to prove a person isn’t saved if he doesn’t endure to the end.
However, if one will carefully read the chapter, it has nothing to do with the
end of individual’s life, but rather it has to do with a PERIOD OF TIME.
The verse immediately following locates the "end," not to mention
the fact that Jesus is talking about the "gospel of the kingdom,
not the "gospel of the grace of God" (1 Cor. 15:1-6, Rom. 2:16)
given to Christians by an Apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15). In Matt. 24:13;
Hebrews 3:6; Hebrews 3:14; Hebrews 6:1-5, the context is someone holding out
to the end of a period of time, and works will be connected with it.
So Matthew 24 is dealing with law-abiding Jews in
Palestine, immediately preceding the Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ. The
"gospel of the kingdom" will be preached and "…THEN
SHALL THE END COME."
Our gospel, the gospel of the grace of God,
has been preached throughout the world, but the "gospel of the
kingdom," so many know little about, has not. The world, at this moment,
knows nothing about the "gospel of the kingdom," and this includes
Christians and so-called Christians except for those who take their King James
Bible seriously and study it. Would this include you? I hope it does. Already
God is revealing truth to people who will believe their Bible instead of
throwing kisses at it before they tear it apart because they just don’t get
it. They see what seems to be a "contradiction," and start to
spiritualize passages away. God has 2 Tim. 2:15 for a very clear reason. We
have to rightly divide the word of truth, and this can only be done if
we study it.
There are none. People who are claiming there are
contradictions are those who are not rightly dividing the word of God. What
they do is read somebody else’s mail and apply it to everybody. The book of
Hebrews is written to the Hebrews, just as the book of James is written to the
twelve tribes of Israel, and Matthew, the first twenty-six chapters, to the
Jews under the law before the New Testament is in effect.
I’m going to give you a classic example of how one confuses
the issue of eternal security by misapplying the Scriptures to the wrong
I first want to start with an e-mail a Christian received
concerning the matter of eternal security. This person (whether saved or not
saved, I don’t know) was mentioned in the very beginning of this article when
arguing about once saved always saved. He didn’t believe it. Why? Because he
was applying such passages as Heb. 3:12; 6:15; Matt. 10:22 to prove one is not
always saved. Did you notice what passages he pulled out? He pulled out
passages that deal with a period of time, not an individual’s life. I
hope I can hear a sigh of relief now that you have some understanding of the
Scriptures and to whom it should apply.
It’s dangerous ground to try and prove something out of the
wrong books and apply it to the wrong people. Though books like Hebrews,
First & Second Peter, First, Second, and Third John, etc., may
have "Pauline grounds," be careful. As long as a verse in either
Testament doesn’t contradict a verse in the Pauline
epistles, it can have an application to a person in the "Church
Let’s Rightly Divide.
I am now going to take you through just about all the
passages people like to use to try and prove a person in this age can lose his
salvation. The following is taken by a person defending the "Roman
Catholic" faith. He begins by saying:
Questions: "Are you born-again?;"
"Do you have assurance of salvation?;" "If you die now, do
you know if you will go to heaven?"
These are all difficult questions Catholics are
confronted with from time to time by "Born-again" Christians. In
the face of these questions Catholic are often left dumb-founded, confused,
bemused or even renounce their faith.
Fundamentalists believe they are "born
again" by simply accepting Jesus Christ as their personal "Lord
and Savior." Once Christ is accepted in this way one is saved, or
"born again" (St. John 3,3). However, Christ specifically tells us
that we are "born again" through Baptism:
He then goes on to quote John 3:5.
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of
water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)
He further says,
Fundamentalists regard Baptism as only an ordinance
and not necessary for salvation. Contrary to this, the Catholic Church
basing itself on the following texts teaches that Baptism is necessary for
This person refuses to acknowledge the Bible. Baptism is an
ordinance to be followed.
"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of
Christ. now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and
keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you." (1 Cor. 11:1)
What are those ordinances? There are only two of them, and
he gives them in the same book. The Corinthians were arguing about baptism and
Paul straightened them out in the matter. (1 Cor. 1:14-17), and the other
ordinance is the Lord’s supper (1 Cor. 11:23-24).
Another interesting note is that if baptism is
"necessary for salvation," as stated by the gentleman above, how
does he explain what Paul said?
"For Christ sent me not to baptize, but
to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ
should be made of none effect. (1 Cor. 1:17)
That kind of puts a damper on everything. Paul can only
remember baptizing a few people. That’s a pretty low record for such a great
Apostle if baptism is necessary for salvation!
Contrary to what "man" says, the Bible lets us
know that baptism in water follows salvation, it is not necessary
for salvation! He is basing that assumption from Acts chapter 2.
Read that chapter carefully, Peter is dealing with the "Nation of
Israel," Jews. (see Tongues Article).
Furthermore, this gentleman will have to tell us where he
sees the word "baptism" in that whole chapter. The word is not
there! Jesus said nothing about "being baptized." As soon as
some people see the word "water," they automatically assume it has
to do with baptism. This is not the case in John 3:5. Let’s look at the
Scripture in its context.
"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily,
verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the
kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is
old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus
answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and
of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born
of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth
where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell
whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the
Spirit." (John 3:3-8)
Look closely and take note. In reality of those verses, a
man is born of the Spirit. The man’s spirit (see
small "s") experiences rebirth by the Spirit of God (see the capital
A person must be born of water
(which is the first birth) and of
Nicodemus thought Jesus was speaking about physically being
born again from the mother’s womb, thus the question, "Can
he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?"
No. Born of water has to do with our first birth.
Every infant in a mother’s womb at this moment is suspended
in water. We are born of water. Verse 5 states:
"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto
thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into
the kingdom of God." (John 3:5)
Verse 6 explains
That which is born of the flesh is flesh;
[there it is, physical birth] and that which is born of the Spirit is
spirit. (Jn. 3:6)
Notice where it says "born of
the flesh is flesh." Nowhere is it talking about
"baptism." As said, the word "baptism" is not even in the
whole chapter. No spiritual birth can take place until one is born physically.
Every person born in this world in born in sin. He is
spiritually dead. That spiritual death traces back to the time of Adam and Eve
when they sinned in the garden by disobeying God. Because of their
disobedience, every person born thereafter (except for Jesus Christ) is born
spiritually dead. The Bible says:
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the
world, and death by sin and so death passes upon all men, for that all have
sinned. (Romans 5:12)
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God
is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom. 6:23)
The Bible says that we are all children of wrath.
However, when a person is born of the Spirit by believing on the
Lord Jesus Christ, he is no longer under the wrath of God.
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting
life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of
God abideth on him." (John 3:36).
The wrath of God is removed when a person believeth
on the Son.
Another Scripture verse used by this person to prove
baptism saves is taken from 1 Peter 3:21.
"The like figure whereunto even baptism
doth also now save us."
The gentleman only quoted verse 21. What he failed to
realize is that the last half of verse 21 makes everything clear. Now let’s
quote in its context.
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins,
the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death
in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and
preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when
once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was
a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like
figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of
the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by
the resurrection of Jesus Christ:" ( 1Peter 3:18-21)
Peter is the man who formerly preached water baptism as a
means of obtaining the Holy Spirit (see
Acts 2). He is now stating that water baptism is just a FIGURE
of Salvation. It is not Salvation in itself. The only time a man
can answer God with a "good conscience" is after he is saved. (Titus
Baptism in the Bible is not a requirement for
salvation. What do we need to do to be saved?
"…And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what
must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." (Acts 16:30,31)
Notice it doesn’t say one must receive the Sacraments of
the Catholic church, go to Mass every Sunday and Holy day, make confessions to
a priest, receive the last rights, etc., and maybe you will be saved.
No, it says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and thou shalt be saved."
It would also be worthy to note, in the context of
baptism, that it was Noah and his family who were dry and stayed alive; the wet
ones drowned outside the protection of the ark.
On the matter of "baptism," take note that the
Bible speaks about seven of them! Suffice to say, there is:
The baptism of Moses (1 Cor. 10:1-5)
The baptism of John (John 1:31),
The baptism of suffering (Matt.20:22)
The baptism for the nation of Israel Jews
The Gentiles (Acts 10)
The baptism of the Holy Spirit (Eph.
The baptism of fire (Matt. 3:11-12)
The baptism by fire has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit,
it has to do with the fires of hell (v. 12). It’s an immersion in fire,
what the Bible calls the Lake of Fire.
The deceived souls who pray and shout "let the fire
fall," are shouting and praying for the fire of Hell! The word of God
says "….but will BURN the chaff with
UNQUENCHABLE FIRE." (Matt. 3:11,12)
Yes, Jesus does baptize with the Holy Ghost and with FIRE. I
prefer the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Out of the seven baptisms mentioned above, only ONE
is the saving Baptism. Ephesians 4:5-6 speaks of this ONE saving
"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye
are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one
Which is Spirit baptism.
"For by one Spirit are we all
baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be
bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." (1 Cor.
When a person receives Jesus Christ, it is the baptism of
the Holy Spirit he gets. Notice again it doesn’t say by "water" we
are all baptized into one body:
"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into
one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or
free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." (1 Cor. 12:13)
Which puts him in Jesus Christ:
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized
into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with
him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead
by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall
be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man
is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that
henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no
more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in
that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be
dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
According to Romans 6:3-11,
Buried into His death (vs. 3)
Baptized into His resurrection (vs. 5)
Baptized into His resurrected life (vs. 8)
THAT is the baptism we need to be saved, Spirit
baptism. No one will find the word "water" anywhere in
Romans 1-12. The baptism of the Holy Spirit places us into the
one body, which is His church, not the Roman Catholic church, but the actual
one true Church, the body of Christ.
And hath put all things under his feet, and gave
him to be the head over all things to the church, Which
is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (Eph.
Remember, water places you nowhere but in city water.
One is not saved unless he has the "Spirit baptism" which places
him into the body of Christ.
Once a person is baptized by the Holy Spirit, he is also sealed
by the Holy Spirit:
"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," (Eph. 1:13)
Unto the day of redemption:
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye
are sealed unto the day of redemption. Eph. 4:30)
To make matters worse for those who depend on city water
baptism for regeneration, is that the New Testament defines water baptism as a
figure (as seen above in 1 Peter 3:21) of real salvation. Water baptism
is merely an outward testimony of what has already taken place inside
the believer by the Holy Spirit.
The ONE baptism that saves and regenerates a person
is the Holy Spirit baptism.
Please study Romans
6; 1 Corinthians 12; Col. 2; Gal. 3; and Ephesians 4
without giving private interpretation by adding "water."
As far as "water" goes, all the Jews connected
water with physical birth (Gen. 1:20; Isa. 48:1; John 3:5).
That is why we get Nicodemus’ question about being born the second
time in the mother’s womb. The Jews also connected water with purifying
of the flesh (John 2:6; Heb. 9:19).
Another verse this gentleman used against eternal security
is Mark 16:16.
"He that believeth and is baptized shall
This person is very misleading. He didn’t finish the verse.
Now let’s get the whole thing in context. Mark 16:16 actually says:
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be
saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
Does the last part say, "but he that believeth not and
is not baptized shall be damned? No. It simply says "he
that believeth not shall be damned." It is unbelief
that damns a person, not the lack of water baptism.
He then continues and quotes 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."
What would be interesting to note is that if a person
wishes to cling to this passage, then the other apostles were not saved
according to Acts 2:38. James, John, Peter, Bartholomew. Thomas, Matthew,
etc., were not baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, yet they received the
Holy Spirit (John 20:22) forty days before Pentecost.
When we read the book of Acts, we must remember that this
is a TRANSITIONAL time taking place. The record of Acts is the beginning of
the New Testament Church in its initial stage. We find events that are
unique and not necessarily repeated in the same manner. You will not find Acts
2 duplicated again in Acts 8, etc. The Book of Acts is the wrong place to set
a pattern of how one is saved for the entire Church age. This is a book where
a lot of false doctrines erect. We must keep in mind that it is primarily a
historical book, not a book to devise doctrines. One needs to go to the New
Testament Epistles for the revelation of the Church and how it functions.
Furthermore, no one in the passage asked anything about
being saved. What happened in Acts 2 is that after they had accepted Peter’s
message about the Messiah, by refreshing their memory of Old Testament
prophecy, they wanted to know what they could do since they have crucified
Jesus, realizing they couldn’t turn back the hands of time. They didn’t ask,
"Men and brethren, what shall we do TO BE SAVED?" NO! They said, "…what
shall we do?" No one at that time knew anything about their
sins being blotted out. Peter still talked about that as happening in the
future! (Acts 3:19)
Suffice to say, we see Peter spoke to ISRAEL, because the
message is aimed at ISRAEL (see Acts 2:22, 36), not "Christians".
When we get to Acts 7, the response was rejection concerning the Messiah by
ISRAEL, and thus Stephen was stoned to death. God was then turning His
direction to the Gentiles (explained in Rom. 9-11). After a certain amount of
time had passed, Acts 2 was never repeated again.
When we get out of the Book of Acts, and into the rest of
the New Testament, we are going to learn that Acts 2:38-39 is not the gospel
of Galatians 1 and 1 Corinthians 15. In the Book of Acts we see a
progression of changes. When Peter encountered some Gentiles, he began to
learn that they could get the Holy Ghost BEFORE he could tell them to get in
the water! (see Acts 10:44-47) In other words, Peter learned that receiving
the gift of the Holy Ghost was no longer contingent on water baptism.
As previously discussed, it was this same Peter who now
said a person’s heart is purified by faith (notice he doesn’t say
anything about water baptism).
"And when there had been much disputing, Peter
rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while
ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the
word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare
them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no
difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now
therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples,
which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that
through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as
they." (Acts 15:7-11)
Another verse he used to push water baptism as necessary
"And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be
baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."
Ananias was a devout proselyte Jew who, even up to this
time, observed the Jewish laws ("according to the law"). He, as all
other Jews of the Old Testament, associated "purification" with
water (Heb. 9:19, John 2:6). The man whom Anania is speaking with already had "the
washing of regeneration three days earlier. (Acts 22:6-10; 1 Cor. 15:8)
This gentleman goes on to quote Titus 3:5-7. But I would
like to give you the quote exactly as he gives it from a perverted bible.
…he saved us, not because of any works of
righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water
of rebirth and and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out
on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified
by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal
life" (Ti. 3, 5-7)
Notice where it says the "water of rebirth?"
That’s not what the Bible says, it says, "…by
the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost…"
Here is the exact quote from the King James Bible:
"Not by works of righteousness which we have
done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of
regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us
abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his
grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
Regeneration is the subject; it does
the washing, not water. The Holy Ghost is the subject: He renews the sinner.
When a person believes on Jesus Christ, regeneration
washes that sinner. The Holy Spirit is the One who regenerates a sinner by
making him born again (John 3:5-8), where He applies the blood of Christ
(Rev. 1:5 "…and
washed us from our sins in his own blood,"
not city water) and
circumcises him loose from the flesh (Col. 2:10-13). This is a washing
that is brought about by the word of God (1 Cor. 6:11; Eph.
City water does not wash sins away, it is the blood
of Christ. (Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14)
He further goes on to say:
Ever since the beginning of the Reformation
Protestants have stridently claimed that we are justified by "faith
alone" and that good works are not necessary for salvation. This is
based on Martin Luther’s interpretation and insertion of the word
"alone" in Roman 3:28 and 5:1.
Why didn’t this gentleman quote the verses? Let’s see what
those two verses say:
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by
faith without the deeds of the law. (Rom. 3:28)
Well, I certainly don’t see Martin Luther’s interpretation
and insertion. The text plainly states that a man is justified by faith.
I’m sure you see that too. It certainly doesn’t say a man is
"justified by faith and doing good deeds of the law." It says "without
the deeds of the law." What does
that leave? FAITH!
What about the next verse?
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace
with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (Rom. 5:1)
Well? Again, we are justified by what? Doesn’t it say
FAITH? Did it say anything about faith with good deeds? I think
It seems pretty clear to me that justification is by faith
alone. The gentleman "added works" like he did when he added
"baptism" into John 3.
He continues to say:
For both Luther and Calvin, Catholics allegedly
taught a gospel of justification by "good works."
It sure has! However, that is not what we just read in those two
passages of Romans. He further states:
In response to the Prostestant challenge the
Catholic Church formally declared as follows:
"If anyone says man can be justified before
God by his own works, whether done by his natural powers or through the
teaching of the law without divine grace through Jesus Christ, let him be
Every true born again Christian knows that he is not justified by God by
"his own works." The Bible even tells us that! In
relation to Salvation the Bible says:
- Not by works (Titus 3:5)
- Not of works (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- No more of works (Romans 11:6)
He further says:
In fact, Scripture repeatedly tells us of the
need for good works to be saved.
Sure it does, if you are reading someone else’s mail that doesn’t
apply to you! We must be careful. The Bible has proper divisions and
we are to rightly divide the word of truth. To do otherwise is to
create doctrinal disaster as this person is doing.
Let me give you another example of doctrinal disaster. We
will take some verses from Matthew 25 about the ten virgins. Most Charismatics
and holiness Pentecostals will teach that a person can lose the Holy Spirit by
quoting the following verses.
"Then shall the kingdom of heaven be
likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the
bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five of them foolish. They that
were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took
oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they
all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the
bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and
trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your
oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest
there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and
buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and
they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was
shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch
therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man
Now hold on because this is seriously being taught. The oil
supposedly represents the Holy Spirit. So we have five virgins who have the
Holy Spirit, and five virgins who lost the Holy Spirit. (Their oil lamp
had a big leak!) They appeal to the wise virgins to give them the Holy Spirit.
They want to go marry the bridegroom! But the five wise refuse to give them
the Holy Spirit. So this left the foolish virgins having to go out and buy
some more Holy Spirit, but while they were gone buying the Holy Spirit,
the bridegroom came, and the door was shut!
Do you see the nonsense? First of all the passage says the
virgins went to meet the bridegroom, not marry him. Secondly,
the Body of Christ is not referred to as the ten virgins, it is
referred to as ONE CHASTE VIRGIN.
"Would to God ye could bear with me a little
in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly
jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a
chaste virgin to Christ."
However, if one wants to find the virgins, they are in
Revelation chapter 7 and 14. They are from the twelve tribes of Israel,
twelve thousand from each tribe, and they are called Hebrews. The
virgins called Hebrews can also be found in the book of Hebrews:
"…unto them that look for him shall he appear
the second time" (Heb. 9:28).
When was the first time? We can’t say it was at the
Rapture, because that hasn’t happened yet. And even if the Rapture did happen,
nobody sees Jesus, we go meet Him in the air. So the first time had to be at
the first Advent, and those who will be looking for him the second time will
be at the Second Advent.
As said earlier, the Bible has proper divisions, and we are
to rightly divide the word of truth. To do otherwise would be to create
doctrinal disaster, and I have just given you a little sample of that.
Let me give another example. Again, let’s go to the book of
Matthew. There is a passage which Jesus gives a direct command:
"Give to him that asketh thee, and from him
that would borrow of thee turn not thou away."
There are a lot of people who abuse this passage on other
Christian brothers and sisters in Christ. It imposes a guilt trip.
That verse will apply in the future when Jesus rules
from His throne during the Millennial Kingdom. It is not a verse that can be
doctrinally applied to anybody in the church age. The church age epistles says
that if a man doesn’t work, he doesn’t eat:
"For even when we were with you, this we
commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." (2
I hope by now you are understanding why God gave us the
command of what to do and how to handle the Scriptures. Without doing so
leaves us with a whole lot of "contradictions." Divisions are
critical if we are going to engage in attempting to answer those who are
propagating false doctrine. They are taking passages and applying them
to the wrong people at the wrong time!
The gentleman further quotes
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my
Father which is in heaven." (Matt. 7:21)
Correct. "..but he who does the will of
my Father…" is later defined as believing on the Lord Jesus
Christ (John 6:39, 40; 6:29; Acts 16:31).
Now the gentleman finally quotes Scripture dealing with us
during the Church Age.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of
Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to
that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Cor.5:10)
Now he’s using this verse to prove that one can lose his
salvation. No where in the verse is a person’s salvation in question. Yes, a
child of God will be judged, but he will not lose his salvation. The Bible
If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer
loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1 Cor. 3:15)
Here comes James Again!
Now comes the most famous quote from this gentleman, and
every other person who is trying their best to send people to hell. The
verses used are James 2:14; 17; 20-26,
especially verse 24:
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified,
and not by faith only." (James 2:24)
This is simple now that we can learn to rightly divide the word of God. In
the Old Testament works, along with faith was involved in their
justification. as will be in the Tribulation period where they will
have to keep the commandments of God, and
the faith of Jesus. (see for example: Re 14:12; Rev. 12:17).
Notice first of all that the Book of James is not written
to any Christians. It is written to "…the
twelve tribes which are scattered…" Let’s read:
"Was not Abraham our father justified by
works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how
faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the
scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was
imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye
see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had
received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?" (James
Suffice to say, one cannot make James 2:24 a doctrine
applicable to the Church. One should not fail to notice verse 21. What
happened in verse 21 is not exactly like the New Testament Salvation. In
verse 21, Abraham’s "imputed righteousness" ("And
therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness." Rom. 4:22)
was separated from his "justification" ("Was
not Abraham our father justified by works, WHEN he had offered Isaac
his son upon the altar? James 2:21) by a span of about fifteen
years. Furthermore, Abraham’s sins were not "taken away" even when
righteousness was imputed to him (see Heb. 10:4).
Abraham, like Rehab, were saved "by grace through
faith," but their justification involved "works."
The Scriptures say they were justified by their WORKS. We on the other
hand, are justified by his blood (Rom. 5:9).
Another verse he used against eternal security:
We are being saved by working out our salvation in
fear and trembling. (Phil. 2:12)
For one thing, the Scriptures do not say we are "being
saved." In these other perverted versions, you will find a very definite straining
of the tenses. Phil. 2:12 actually says:
"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always
obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out
your own salvation with fear and trembling."
First of all, there’s nothing in that verse about someone
losing his salvation. We are to work OUT our salvation, not work FOR
it. One does not "work out," what he doesn’t have. We must not
forget that some day all "saved people" will be facing the Judgment
Seat of Christ, and our WORKS will be judged, not our salvation (1 Cor.
He continues to say:
Fundamentalists believe that upon the one-off act
of accepting Christ as "their personal Lord and Savior" they are
"saved," and that essentially nothing further needs to be done
except wait for death. However, Scripture tells us that Christians should be
working constantly to earn their salvation."
Thus, the erection of the Roman Catholic Church, the
sacraments, and all those who are under bondage in the Roman system.
This fellow completely ignored many other verses in
Scripture which proves one does not have to work for his salvation. What
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his
only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but
have everlasting life." (John 3:16) "But as many as received him,
to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe
on his name:" (John 1:12) "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in
the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." (Jn. 3:14)
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name
under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8) "Verily, verily, I say
unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath
everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from
death unto life." (Jn. 5:24) "For when we were yet without
strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom. 5:6) "Much
more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath
through him. (Rom. 5:9) "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and
that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good
works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
(Eph. 2:8-10) "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that
justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." (Rom.
4:5) "So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our
Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be
blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye
were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Cor.
1:7-9) "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God
your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming
of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do
it." (1 Thess. 5:23-24) "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God,
whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." (Eph. 4:30)
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor
height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from
the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 8:38-39).
These Scriptures are generally ignored by everyone who
wants to work for their salvation!
Let’s look at a passage in Hebrews:
"For it is impossible for those who
were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made
partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the
powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew
them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son
of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. (Hebrews 6:4-6)
These verses say exactly what it says and mean what it
means. The only way to get around it is to "spiritualize" it away.
These verses apply to a future group of people and cannot be
doctrinally applicable to the group of people in the Church Age.
Heb. 6:4 is referring to a person who has been enlightened,
tasted the heavenly gift, partakers of the Holy Ghost and losing all of it.
The Bible says it’s IMPOSSIBLE. It’s impossible for a person in the
Tribulation to be forgiven "if they shall fall
away." They cannot "renew" themselves unto
repentance because they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put
him to an open shame.
On the other hand, a person living during the Church Age is
being "renewed day by day."
"For which cause we faint not; but through our
outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. (2 Cor. 4:16)
You see, there is a vast difference! The confusion
arises because of the misapplication of the Scriptures. They apply it to a
group of people to whom it does not belong!
We have people running around saying a person is justified
by works (James 2:24) when in Ephesians 2:8,9 we are told one is justified by
faith without works.
So here we have another example of how the Scriptures seem
to be in contradiction. In the mean time there are preachers, rather than
rightly divide the word of truth, try to explain away the verses rather
than take it at face value.
For instance. In the verse we quoted from
James 2:24, some preachers will say it is referring to a
person being justified before men instead of before God. However, Jesus
destroyed this notion in Luke 16:15 along with 1 Corinthians 4:3-4. Jesus
rebuked the Pharisees for justifying themselves before men.
Spiritualizing passages away will not take away from what is plainly said in
the Bible. Sometimes spiritualizing just leads to more questions.
Remember, the book of James is not written to Christians,
but to the Twelve Tribes Of Israel. James is not correcting Paul. James
is telling the Tribulation saints that their faith without works will not
justify them. Faith alone will not save that person. It’s faith
plus works! Just
as it was in the Old Testament (see D.J. Root "Old
Testament Salvation.") He must do. He must not take the
Mark of the Beast, he must obey.
As said earlier, All Scripture is important. All
Scripture is written for us, but not all of it is to us. We must
rightly divide the word of truth and apply it where it belongs.
"For if we sin wilfully after that we have
received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for
sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation,
which shall devour the adversaries." (Heb. 10:26,27).
This is where the Holiness people stumble and try to claim
perfection. There is no such thing as "I didn’t sin knowingly,"
especially when it’s a born again Christian. A sanctified, holiness, baptized
person will have a hard time saying 1 John 1:8. He’s afraid of admitting he
sins because someone programmed him he would go to Hell by quoting Heb. 10.
What he doesn’t realize is that the passages doesn’t apply doctrinally to
people in the Church Age. It is doctrinally applied to those who will be here
during the Tribulation.
"Blessed are they that do his commandments,
that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the
gates into the city." (Rev. 22:14)
The implication here is that if one does not do the
commandments, they will not have right to the tree of life. This is correct.
However, what Christian needs to worry about the tree of life when he
has eternal life in Jesus Christ?
I hope by now that you have some idea of how important it
is to rightly divide the word of truth. God told us to "study"
and to "rightly divide" it. We have so many people who
take verses out of books which do not pertain to them in this age, thus the
confusion and contradictions. We need to listen to our spokesman, the
Apostle Paul. We need to follow the doctrines, instructions,
commandments, and revelation of Jesus Christ given to us by the Apostle Paul.
The Apostle Paul is the chosen vessel to reach the Gentiles. What Paul
gives to us is what Jesus revealed to him. Paul was chosen by God to
reveal truth to the Church, thus our guidance must come from the Apostle Paul.
"Wherefore I beseech you,
be ye followers of me." (1 Cor. 4:16)
He also says,
"Hold fast the form of
sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which
is in Christ Jesus." (1 Tim. 1:13)
There is a blessing if we do. If we consider what Paul
says, we will have understanding.
"Consider what I say:
and the Lord give thee understanding in all things." (2
If you consider what Paul says, what you thought was a contradiction will
easily be reconciled. You will know what is supposed to be applied
spiritually or doctrinally.
Consider what Paul says and the Lord will give you understanding.
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