First the Question: The Apostle Paul went to the Gentiles under the same commission given the Twelve Apostles and with their same message. 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 1-24-2012
Question: While Christ was on earth no man was baptized who had not been circumcised. True or False?
Answer: TRUE! There are Christians, so called, who teach that sprinkling (baptism) has taken the place of circumcision. If so, then baptism must not be for the Gentiles. Galatians 3:8, and Galatians 2:7. While Christ was on earth no man was baptized who had not been circumcised. During the period, covered by the first nine chapters of the Book of Acts, no man was baptized who had not been circumcised. In fact, we have record of circumcisions just as far into the Book of Acts as we have any record of baptism. Now, out of the 702 responses we received to this question, ONLY 61.5% of you got it right! Therefore, NOW, let us take a look at,
THE LLM STUDY OF THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS, CHAPTER 6, PART 2 of 3
Saints are also exhorted to pray for all men and for rulers. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2.
God’s Word emphasizes the great importance of being doctrinally straight; but there is an urgent need for what is generally called practical Christianity.
“Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.” Galatians 6:11. It is thought by many that this is one of Paul’s statements which suggests the character of his physical affliction.
Comparatively few Christians can truthfully say what the Apostle Paul said in 2 Cor. 12:10, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
We read also what Paul wrote to these Galatians, “Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the Gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.” Galatians 4:13-14. On account of Galatians 4:15 and Galatians 6:11, many students of the Word are reasonably sure that Paul’s infirmity was some eye affliction. However, from other verses we believe that Paul had other physical infirmities.
Before closing his Epistle, the Apostle Paul again refers to the legalism and religion that had caused such serious trouble to the Galatians. “As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.” Galatians 6:12-13.
“He that is circumcised is debtor to the whole law.” Abram was declared righteous in uncircumcision. The believing Gentiles, to whom the Apostle Paul preached, were declared righteous by God’s Grace, justified by Faith without the deeds of the law, without any religious ceremony. There are Christians, so called, who teach that sprinkling (baptism) has taken the place of circumcision. If so, then baptism must not be for the Gentiles. Galatians 3:8, and Galatians 2:7. While Christ was on earth no man was baptized who had not been circumcised. During the period, covered by the first nine chapters of the Book of Acts, no man was baptized who had not been circumcised. In fact, we have record of circumcisions just as far into the Book of Acts as we have any record of baptism. Note Galatians 2:3 and Acts 16:3; Concerning Timothy, Titus, and circumcision...“But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.” “Him 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.”
Here we get something of the meaning of Acts 21:25, “As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication”; Carefully note Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 9:20-21, “And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without the law, as without the law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.” You got that…
Paul never became as one under the law to those who were under the law after he wrote Philippians 3:5-10. However, only as we recognize that during the “Acts” period, God had one order for the Jews that believed, and another for Gentiles that believed, can we understand why Paul circumcised Timothy, and why he refused to circumcise Titus, and why Paul took Jewish vows and became religious to win the Jews after he knew the message of Grace.
Most assuredly Paul did not constrain Timothy to be circumcised lest he should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. During the Acts period, Jerusalem and the temple stood. For more than thirty years after Christ said “your house is left unto you desolate” (Matthew 23:31-39) God permitted Israel to live in the Holy Land enjoying the favor and protection of Rome. But after that there came the fulfillment of Matthew 22:7 and Luke 21:20, “But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.” “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.”
God delayed His awful judgment upon Israel because of Christ’s prayer on the cross. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34.
Until the pronounced judgment was executed, Israel continued with their religious program under their high priest. Even the Apostle Paul, about 60 A.D., apologized to Israel’s high priest. “Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.” Acts 23:5. In Acts 23:6, Paul said “I am a Pharisee.” During the Acts period even the Israelites who became the disciples of Christ continued the practice of circumcision.
The GREAT CHANGE came with the Apostle Paul’s quotation of Isaiah in Acts 28:25-28. These words mark a radical change in God’s dealings with Israel and His spiritual program for the Body of Christ. The change was not to a different Body of Christ, but to a change in the spiritual program for the same Body. As “the times of the Gentiles,” politically, began with Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Jerusalem about 600 B.C., (read the last chapters of 2 Kings and Jeremiah). “the times of the Gentiles,” spiritually, began after Acts 28:28. God’s order since that time has NOT been “to the Jew first,” as it was during the Acts period. The Nation Israel was not set aside at the time Christ spoke the words of Matthew 23:31-39; but when Paul spoke the words of Acts 28:25-28.
Those who tried to force circumcision upon Gentiles, saved by the Apostle Paul’s message of Grace, were completely out of the will of God. Those who insist today upon giving Israel’s seventh day Sabbath to members of the Body of Christ are out of the will of God.
Let us bear in mind that God, by the work of Christ on the cross, broke down the middle wall of partition between the Jews and the Gentiles and took out of the way the handwriting of ordinances. This truth was not immediately revealed to the twelve apostles; therefore is not taught in the early chapters of Acts which tells of the attitude of the Twelve toward the law about seven years after Pentecost, “Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” Acts 10:28. Now Peter was able to say, “And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by Faith.” Acts 15:9. Thus we see that the Dispensation of the Mystery did NOT begin with Pentecost. Ephesians 3:9.
“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,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)