First the Question: The Mystery of the Church AS the Body of Christ was NEVER made known in Old Testament times, nor yet when our LORD was on Earth...it was HID. True or False?
Please take a moment to respond at the LLM Question of the Day
And now the answer to the LLM Question of 7-14-2011
Question: Water baptism was instituted by the LORD to take the place of circumcision. True or False?
Answer: FALSE! On this question, out of 713 responses, 75% of you got it right! Therefore,
Today let us consider, Christian Fundamentalists, WAKE UP! Pt. 3 of 4
UN-SCRIPTURAL OR UN-DISPENSATIONAL
Now, believe it or not, there are some terrific Christians who religiously practice the washing of feet. Are they Scriptural or un-Scriptural? There are some very nice Christians who religiously abstain from eating pork. Are they Scriptural or un-Scriptural? There are some splendid Christians who anoint the sick with oil, while others use blessed handkerchiefs. Are they Scriptural or un-Scriptural? There are some splendid Christians who tarry for the Holy Spirit after they have received Christ for salvation. There are many Christians who claim visions, angelic visitations, and that they hear supernatural voices. Are they Scriptural or un-Scriptural? There are thousands of Christians who break forth in some kind of a speech which they call the gift of tongues. Is it Scriptural or un-Scriptural to speak with tongues?
I wonder how many others of you Christian Pastors, preachers, and leaders, have any idea of the number of zealous, sincere Children of God who are troubled to know why Christian pastors and Bible teachers wholly ignore the truth of 1 Corinthians 12:28, "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily, prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
And 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, "For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom: to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another Faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues."
They have the right to ask the question, "If God put them in the Body of Christ and if Christians in 2011 belong to the same Body, who has taken these gifted men out of the Body?"
Men who are God's Bible-teachers are stewards of the Mysteries of God. They should rightly divide the Word of Truth, and show from the Scriptures why the most carnal saints of the Apostle Paul's time exercised all of the sign-gifts, whereas the most spiritual and gifted Christian "Grace" preachers today do not even attempt to exercise one of these gifts. They simply ignore them without explanation or apology.
Members of the Body of Christ have the right to know whether or not they are to obey 1 Corinthians 14:39, 1 Corinthians 5:5, and 1 Corinthians 7:29. Here they are in order:
"Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues."
"To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the LORD Jesus."
"But this I say, brethren, the time is short; it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none."
And then…How much of the program of Acts 19:5-12 is for today ?
"When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the LORD Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied."
"And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul; 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."
This was God's program for more than twenty years AFTER many of you Christian leaders claim that "the Dispensation of Grace" and "the Dispensation of the Mystery" began, (these “leaders” say they began on the Jewish Pentecost with the Twelve Apostles). What part of this program is for this present Dispensation of Grace?
We have here, in the above verses, the LAST Bible record of water baptism. Imposition of hands, Holy Spirit baptism, speaking with tongues, miraculous healings, FOLLOWED water baptism. Should we not insist on the complete program today as the Pentecostals do, OR at least give an INTELLIGENT Scriptural explanation as to what right we have to take just the water baptism (as do the Baptists and others) and drop everything else? When we find this explanation we shall find that we have no such right. But the Christians who have done this have followed sectarian, (denominational), creeds and human traditions instead of the Word of truth rightly divided.
So, I say again, "This is a Call for Fundamentalists to WAKE UP!"
Think of the wild fanaticism among the religious "healing" and "tongues" Christians. Ridicule and condemnation will NOT remedy the situation. God's antidote to this behavior is obedience to 2 Timothy 2:15, and Ephesians 3:9.
In our series of articles entitled, “LLM’s Rules” Especially Rule 7 “LLM’S SEVENTH RULE: KNOW THE ENLIGHTENING UNIFYING MYSTERY”, we have not only made the claim, but we have proven by the Scriptures that the understanding of Ephesians 3:1-11, (the unsearchable riches of Christ and the Enlightening Unifying Mystery), is God's curative for every ill and "ism" with which the Body of Christ is afflicted.
ARE YOU A FOLLOWER OF JESUS? REALLY??
Then Christian leaders say commonly that a Christian is one who follows Jesus Christ. So, let us read carefully Luke 2:21-22 and Luke 21:24, then Acts 2:39 and Acts 4:16. Here we see the infant Jesus and the Man Jesus. Are we to follow Him in circumcision? Are we to follow Him to the Jewish synagogue on the Jewish Sabbath? Note John 7:10 and Luke 22:11, "But when His brethren were gone up, then went He up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret."
Jesus Christ was circumcised thirty years before He was baptized with water, and about thirty-four years before His Death Baptism. Luke 12:50. He was a Minister of the Circumcision. Romans 15:8. He was sent to the circumcision only. Matthew 15:24. He said unto His twelve apostles "go not into the way of the uncircumcision". John the Baptist baptized with water that Christ might be made manifest TO THE CIRCUMCISION. John 1:31.
All the time Jesus Christ was on earth the covenant of circumcision was in full force. Acts 7:8. Genesis 17:5-15. Note the attitude of the eleven apostles toward Peter because he preached to an uncircumcised man seven or eight years AFTER the Baptism of Christ on the cross, "They of the circumcision contended with Him saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised and didst eat with them." Acts 11:1-3.
Now note some years later how the Apostle Peter still feared the circumcision, "For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision." Galatians 2:12.
Then note what even the Apostle Paul did about that time, "Him (Timothy) would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters for they knew all that his father was a Greek." Acts 16:3.
From the day John the Baptist began to baptize with water until the day Peter baptized Cornelius and his household no man was baptized who had not first been circumcised. So we may be sure that the Eunuch of Acts Eight was a circumcised proselyte. As we compare Acts 19, where we find the last Scriptural record of a water baptism, with Acts 21, we learn that God's Book shows that circumcision was being practiced AFTER the last record of water baptism.
From THIS we see the absolute folly of teaching that water baptism was instituted by the LORD to take the place of circumcision.
Thousands of Children of God have been led into this erroneous teaching and accept the error as truth because they follow their Pastors, Preachers, and leaders, without following the example of the noble Bereans who searched the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were true. Then, to think of outstanding preachers who tremendously preach the Grace of God, and then immerse little infants in a bath tub and say little Israelitish infants were immersed in the Red Sea and we should immerse the infants of Christians in obedience to 1 Corinthians 10:1-10.
Think of a Christian pastor telling other Christians that he obeys all of the Bible, that he does not give some of it to the Jews and some to the Gentiles and some to members of the Body of Christ. Did not the LORD state positively that unless a man was circumcised he should be cut off from His congregation? Genesis 17:5-15. Was this not binding at the time the LORD Jesus Christ gave the commandments in the Sermon on the Mount, at the time He taught the "Our Father" prayer, and for some years thereafter?
Surely we are the victims of tradition and have substituted commandments of men for the doctrine of God rightly divided. Whenever a Christian leader holds on to a religious ceremony, he will interpret the Bible to defend his religious practice.
SHOULD WE FOLLOW THE LORD JESUS IN KEEPING THE PASSOVER?
"And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I shall eat the passover with My disciples?" Are we to follow the LORD Jesus and keep the Jewish feasts? We are told by some zealous religious leaders that we are to follow the LORD in baptism; but they seem never to have read Luke 12:50 and Colossians 2:11-12.
Circumcision is just as essential to salvation as is baptism. No one can get into heaven who has not been circumcised or baptized with the circumcision and the baptism of Colossians 2:11-12, "In Whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made WITHOUT hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the Faith of the operation of God, Who hath raised Him from the dead."
I am sure we are all agreed that since the days of the Apostles the human race has lived in God's Dispensation of Grace. We believe Romans 6:14, "ye are not under the law, but under Grace." We are sure that God's will concerning members of the Body of Christ, expressed in Colossians 2:16, is to be obeyed by these Body members, "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, (holiday), or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days."
Any spiritual intelligent Child of God knows that it is utterly impossible for him to obey this command in Colossians 2:16, and at the same time obey the command of the LORD Jesus, in Matthew 23:1-3, with respect to the authority of those who sat in Moses' seat.
The explanation is that, between the command of Matthew 23 and that of Colossians 2:16, the great event mentioned in Colossians 2:14 took place, "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross."
Now let us compare Ephesians 4:32 with Matthew 6:14-15, "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” compared to “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."
Do you see that one is Grace and the other is law? Now, note again Colossians 2:13 and Acts 13:39, and compare with Matthew 18:34-35. We quote these four verses:
"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses", and, "And by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." Compared with, "And his LORD was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."
So, tell me, which is God's message for us in this Age of Grace?
THE RECOVERY OF TRUTH
Now pay attention, this is VERY Important! Let us remember that BEFORE John, the Apostle, died, the prophesied apostasy from the Faith had set in. By the end of the third Christian century the organized church had been plunged into spiritual darkness, which grew worse and worse until Luther's reformation. The fundamental doctrines of Christianity had been lost to the great majority of professing Christians. The church-leaders, for the most part, were unregenerate religious political rulers or religious men allied with ungodly political potentates. This condition prevailed for centuries. Christendom was in an awful spiritual state. Religious teachers had departed from sound doctrine.
Even the recovery of "justification by Faith" produced a tremendous reformation. The people who sat in darkness saw a great light. However, sadly, Luther and his co-laborers and followers recovered little or nothing of the truth of Ephesians and Colossians concerning the Body of Christ.
The church-leaders of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries would have persecuted unto death Christians who would have dared to teach concerning the Body of Christ and the Gospel of Grace what "Grace" preachers are proclaiming today and what John Darby taught in his day.
Here is a quote from the writings of Pastor John Darby. This note is concerning the ONE Body of Ephesians,
"It is a great truth that the LORD is teaching many over again in the present day, after it has been buried in the rubbish of ecclesiastical traditions for centuries that God has a Church upon earth. It is our part then, not to be making churches, but to acknowledge what He has already made. The various churches spoken of in the New Testament are but severally the Church of God in such or such a place. Nothing is owned but this; the Church of God.
Membership is in this, and NOT in local bodies Into this membership man cannot admit, but the LORD only. Our part is only to bow to what He has done, and to receive one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. Now all those making terms of admission is plainly out of the question, for we do not admit at all."
Even now, centuries after "The Reformation", how many Christian pastors, all of whom are supposed to be stewards of the Mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 4:1-4), are obeying Ephesians 3:9? "And to make all men see what is the Dispensation of the Mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God."
Be honest, servants of the LORD, Pastors, Preachers, and Leaders, are we to obey this command or ignore it? What are you doing about it? Christians will never enjoy the most blessed and glorious truth of the Bible, for them, until they see this.
The pastor, who branded as servants of Satan men of God who do not obey all the commands of the LORD (as mentioned in part 1 of this series of messages), and who himself ignores most of them, bitterly condemns and maligns and abuses God's servants who are Faithfully endeavoring to obey Ephesians 3:9, while he does absolutely nothing about it!
Note what Paul wrote in Colossians 4:2-4, "Continue in prayer and watch in the same with thanksgiving: Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the Mystery of Christ, FOR WHICH I am also in bonds; That I may make it manifest as I ought to speak."
This precious truth certainly got the Apostle Paul into plenty of trouble. Note what he wrote in 2 Timothy 2:9, "Wherein I suffer trouble as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the Word of God is not bound." Leaders among the Fundamentalists of today will certainly treat as "evil-doers" men of God who seek to follow the Apostle Paul as they are commanded to do.
If you are Faithful in proclaiming this precious truth today you will be in plenty of trouble. This is because of sectarian, (denominational), prejudice resulting from mixing man's traditions with God's truth, or by using some hit-and-miss, snatch-grab method to bring some of Israel's religious program over into "the Dispensation of Grace" (Ephesians 3:1-3), without exegesis, explanation, or apology. As a result of this practice, the Mystery is still a mystery.
THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH AS THE BODY OF CHRIST WAS NEVER MADE KNOWN IN OLD TESTAMENT TIMES, NOR YET WHEN OUR LORD WAS ON EARTH. IT WAS HID. THE DIVINE METHOD OF MAKING IT KNOWN WAS BY A SPECIAL REVELATION TO THE APOSTLE PAUL, AS HE TELLS US IN EPHESIANS 3, COMMITTED TO HIM TO PASS ON TO THE SAINTS.
How earnest was the Apostle Paul in seeking to lead Christians into the knowledge of this precious truth.
Now, read carefully: That this doctrine, so clearly revealed in the Scriptures, could have become so utterly lost is only to be accounted for by the Judaizing of the Body of Christ, and the consequent minding of earthly things that cloud up the heavenly ones.
AND, if this doctrine is NOT utterly lost on the many Pastors, Preachers, and Christian leaders out there, then they should be as earnest as was the Apostle Paul in seeking to lead Christians into the knowledge of this precious truth, instead of being a great hindrance to this truth. If the truth IS utterly lost to them, then it is because they have Judaized the Body of Christ and are minding earthly things. This is their own confession. But the explanation is that they came face to face with a decision. They had to make his choice; a tank of water for their baptism ceremony or the Proclamation of the Mystery. They must have decided that the water ceremony, their watery grave theory, was more precious than that truth that was so precious to the Apostle who said "Christ sent me not to baptize."
“Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” Acts 16:31, while there is still time!
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide. The time is short
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)