Now, it is of the utmost importance, in your study of the Bible, that you all become fully aware and learn of this very important fact...The Fact that from the first chapter of Matthew to the last chapter of Revelation 5, FIVE, different groups or classes of people are addressed.
And here they are:
1) To unsaved Israelites who were under the Law.
2) To saved Israelites who were under the Law before they became members of the Body of Christ.
3) To unsaved Gentiles who were aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel, and not under the Law.
4) To carnal saints and babes who were members of the Body of Christ.
5) To those who were of full age, called "the faithful in Christ Jesus."
The words of the Lord Jesus, in Matthew 15:24 and Matthew 10:5-8, should be self explanatory. Christ definitely declared that He Himself was sent ONLY to the lost sheep of the House of Israel, and instructed the twelve apostles, just as definitely, to go NOT in the way of the Gentiles; but rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.
The LORD Jesus Christ, was sent to Israel with a two-fold message; that is, to present "the Kingdom of Heaven" to the Nation with its rulers, and to offer salvation to individual Israelites.
In Matthew 8:12, Christ called the Israelites, both saved AND unsaved, "the children of the kingdom." In John 8:37 He said to the unsaved Israelites, "ye are the seed of Abraham." In Acts 3:25 Peter addressed the unsaved Israelites as "the children of the covenant." In Luke 1:16 and Luke 1:80 we read that John the Baptist appeared to Israel. In John 1:31 we read that John the Baptist baptized with water THAT Christ might be made manifest to Israel, (NOW you know why baptism was introduced, but this has NOTHING to do with the Body of Christ). In Acts 11:1-8 we learn that some of the twelve apostles contended with Peter because he preached to an uncircumcised Gentile, about seven years after Christ died. From all of this and many other Scriptures, we should know the significance of the statement, in Romans 15:8, that Jesus Christ was a Minister of the Circumcision, and should know that, from Matthew 1:1 to Acts 11:18, God's order was "to the Jew only." However, in Acts 11:18 we read that God did something for the Gentiles.
Some of the messages in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts, were addressed to unsaved Israelites, or Jews, and some of them were addressed to saved Israelites or Jews. Surely we must consider this if we would intelligently interpret and apply these Scriptures, right? For, if we don't we will just continue in the confusion that has resulted in all of the denominations of today.
In Galatians 1:11-18 we learn that the Apostle Paul was chosen by the Risen Christ, by a special revelation from heaven, to preach the Grace of Christ to heathen. The Apostle Paul tells us of his call to go to the Gentiles, in Acts 22:17-21, and Romans 15:16. In many respects the Gospel of Grace message that Paul proclaimed to Gentiles, not under the Law, differed from the Gospel of the Kingdom messages that Christ and the Twelve proclaimed to saved and unsaved Israelites. Therefore, to preach many of the messages of Matthew, Mark, Luke and the first nine chapters of Acts to the Gentiles not under the law, is to pervert God's Gospel of Grace to Gentiles.
In applying the truth of Matthew, Mark and Luke, and the truth in the first nine chapters of Acts to Gentiles, whether saved or unsaved, we must keep in mind the particular group of people that is addressed in the Scriptures we are studying. Many messages which the LORD's servants proclaimed to backslidden Israel are not intended by God to be included in the salvation message of Christ for Gentiles, not under the Law. We should keep in mind the statements, concerning these Gentiles, in many different verses, for instance read the second chapter of Ephesians, as well as Ephesians 4:18. In these verses we learn that the Gentiles, to whom the Apostle Paul preached the Gospel of the Grace of God, were strangers from the covenants, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, alienated from the life of God, and dead in trespasses and sins.
Surely any preacher who preaches to such people, "bring forth meat for repentance," the message which the LORD gave to John the Baptist for Israel, is out of the will of God. A dead man alienated from the life of God, could not bring forth fruit. But he could be made alive without doing anything. Ephesians 2:4-8. Romans 6:23.
Ok, so, so far we have dealt with the first three classes of people...unsaved Israelites who were under the Law, saved Israelites who were under the Law before they became members of the Body of Christ, and unsaved Gentiles who were aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel, and not under the Law. Now, here are the fourth and the fifth classes.
1 Corinthians 3:2-3
"I have fed you with milk, and not with meat; for hitherto ye were not able to hear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal; for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"
Ephesians 1:1 and Ephesians 4:13-14
"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus." And, "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive."
These Scriptures should convince any student of the Bible that Paul would never have written to the carnal Corinthians what he wrote to the faithful saints in Ephesus. Let us note the last three verses of Hebrews 5, which we quote:
"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the Word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their sense exercised to discern both good and evil."
Here in this portion of scripture we are told of the two classes, within the Body of Christ: members of the Body of Christ who could take only the milk of the Word, God's truth for babes; and those who were of full age who could understand the deep things or the meat of God's Word.
In 1 Peter 2:2 we learn that the new born babes should have the milk of the Word. Note this verse, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby."
Now, you must keep in mind at all times, the saints in Corinth were just as much saints as were the saints in Ephesus. The difference was, the saints at Corinth were carnal and unable to take the strong meat which we find in the Apostle Paul's messages to the Ephesians and Colossians. Of course the "full-age" saints will feed on the milk as well as on the meat. But strong meat belongeth to saints of full age and carnal saints must limit themselves to a milk diet.
A love for religion, ritualism, or sectarianism (denominations), will keep a saint carnal just as much as a love of the world. Read that sentence over and over again. The Corinthians were sectarians. The Ephesians and Colossians accepted the Divine Truth of Ephesians 4:3-6 concerning the One Body, the One Lord, and the ONE BAPTISM.
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.
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