Grace Family Bible Church

Stand for Right Division

By: Scott Morton


Colossians 1:26-29

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: [27] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: [28] Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: [29] Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.


As we come to the close of the first chapter of this epistle, we see how the Apostle Paul shifts into a common theme in his epistles. He has to come back to the issue of restating his purpose with the members of the Body of Christ and having to explain some of the basics about the message which has been given to him. This is something which comes up because of the struggles individuals have with this.


It is not just the individuals who have never heard the doctrine being preached who struggles with this. The problem often comes up with those who have heard and have been teaching this doctrine for years. There is a battle which goes on where believers are being confronted with information from the Bible which does not apply to them. Without the proper grounding in the doctrine, individuals get pulled away from this and start trying to apply the things which preceded the Apostle Paul to themselves.


Paul makes it clear that what was given to him was hidden from ages and generations. If the information for this dispensation was hidden, what were they given prior to Paul? We will be taking a look at some of these things to show how this does not apply to us.


In the writings prior to Paul we see how there is a focus on a kingdom which will be coming here to the earth:


Daniel 2:44

And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.


Daniel is recounting the vision which had been seen by Nebuchadnezzer. This showed the nations which would have control over Israel, followed by the setting up of the kingdom which Israel had been looking for. This is what prophecy had been pointing to and they had this as their hope.


Matthew 6:9-15

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. [10] Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. [11] Give us this day our daily bread. [12] And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. [13] And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. [14] For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: [15] But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.


In this prayer, which many individuals try to apply to themselves, we see the goal is for the kingdom to be established on the earth. This is the promise which had been to Israel through the covenants and through the prophecies which were given specifically to them. This promise has nothing to do with those who are members of the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12, 27), who become part of this the moment the gospel for today is believed (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). There is a warning of what we need to watch for:


Ephesians 4:14-16

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; [15] But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: [16] From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.


The thing we need to be careful about is to make sure we are not being pulled away from the sound doctrine which has been given to us today through the Apostle Paul. There are many things out there which are attempting to pull the brethren away from the truth of the Word of God rightly divided. It is unfortunate that even those who have this understanding are pulled away,


As we look at these passages we can see how the focus for Israel was on the things of the earth. The previous passage from the book of Matthew demonstrated this, as they were looking for the kingdom to be brought down here to the earth. We can see this from another example as well:


Jeremiah 23:5

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.


This prophecy related to the Lord Jesus Christ shows him reigning here. This is the establishment of the kingdom and what they were looking for to occur. There are many other passages which point this out, but the above are just a sample of this.


The issue of things being focused on the earth is different from what we see the Apostle Paul state to the members of the Body of Christ. He tells us there is a focus on the things here on the earth. Below are a few examples of this:


Ephesians 1:3

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


Ephesians 2:5-6

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) [6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:


Philippians 3:20

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:


These verses, which there are many more which could have been used, show how the focus of the members of the Body of Christ is to be on the things in the heavenly places. This is where we will be for all of eternity and where we will receive the rewards. Since this is to be our home, this is where the focus should be.


The problem many have is they try to blend the two programs together and are taking the promises of Israel for us. This leads to them focusing on the things here on the earth. We are not to take Israel's promises and try to apply them to us.


Satan would also have us to not focus on the heavenly places. When we are not focus there, we are not having the impact we should. This causes the plan of God to be slowed down, which is what Satan is trying to do. We need to realize what God is intending for us to do and make sure we are doing what is intended.


The two programs also describe the Lord Jesus Christ is different ways. We see how Israel was to view Him:


Jeremiah 23:5

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.


Psalm 2:1-9

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? [2] The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, [3] Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. [4] He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. [5] Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. [6] Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. [7] I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. [8] Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. [9] Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.


These two passages show how Israel was to be looking for a king. The promise made in the Davidic Covenant showed how there was to be a King who would rule for all of eternity on the throne. This is part of what led the nation as a whole to reject Him. They did not see Him as the King, as they were using human ideas to determine what the individual was going to look like. This was truly a failure on their part.


We see the Body of Christ has a completely different view of this:


Colossians 1:18

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.


Ephesians 1:18-23

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, [19] And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, [20] Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, [21] Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: [22] And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, [23] Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.


The Body of Christ is not looking for a King to sit on a throne here on earth. We identify the Lord Jesus Christ as the Head of the Body. We are a living organism, with all parts being necessary for the Body (1 Corinthians 12:14-27). This is a unique situation and something which we should recognize. It is a completely different relationship and why the Lord Jesus Christ is identified as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This is showing the relationship He has in both programs.


The next issue is when this program was being preached:


Luke 1:68-70

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, [69] And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; [70] As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:


Acts 3:21

Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.


These two examples show how the message which was being preached had been preached since the world began. This means from Genesis 1:2 forward there was a consistent message of the promises being made and the reconciliation of the earth. This is why there are no contradictions or confusions about what God was doing prior to the rising up of the Apostle Paul. It was one message which clearly was stating the information which was necessary for them.


With the rising up of the Apostle Paul we see a new message which was being given:


Romans 16:25-26

Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, [26] But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:


Ephesians 1:4

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:


Ephesians 3:5

Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;


These passages show that Paul was given a message which had been kept secret since the world began. Nobody can go back to the writings of the prophets to find the doctrine which was specifically given to Paul, no matter how hard they try to look at the passages. This is why Paul speaks about how Satan did not know what the cross was going to accomplish (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). He was not able to pull this information out of the Bible.


There is a clear difference in the way the Bible looks at Israel:


Isaiah 60:10-12

And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. [11] Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. [12] For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.


Isaiah 61:6

But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.


These two passages are just a sample of what is said. There is a clear hierarchy of the nations, where Israel is above the rest, which are referred to as the Gentiles. This starts back in Genesis 12 with the covenant made with Abraham and continues through the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth. This is why he says salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22) and sends the Apostles to only Israel (Matthew 10:5-7).


We see a change when we hit Paul's epistles:


Romans 11:11-12

I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. [12] Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?


Ephesians 2:13-17

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. [14] For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; [15] Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; [16] And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: [17] And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.


Galatians 3:28

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.


The Apostle Paul speaks about how there is no longer a distinction between the two groups. All individuals are seen in the same manner, as having fallen short of the glory of God. The only way mankind can receive salvation is putting their trust in the gospel message which was given to the Apostle Paul. There are no longer the distinctions made.


These distinctions will come about again at the end of this dispensation. As the kingdom is being prepared to be set up, Israel will be placed back into the position of prominence it once had and will be the individuals who God will be dealing with.


The Bible does speak about how the Gentiles were able to receive these blessings:


Genesis 22:17-18

That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; [18] And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.


Zechariah 8:13

And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.


These two passages show how the Gentiles could only be blessed through coming to Israel. They would receive blessings as they were doing right in God's eyes, which involved them being in the position with Israel where they recognized everything which God said and the fact that Israel had the blessings.


Isaiah 60:1-3

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. [2] For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. [3] And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.


Zechariah 8:22-23

Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. [23] Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.


The position that Israel had was a position of being the ones who were blessed by God. The only way anyone else was going to see this would be by attempting to join themselves to the nation by putting themselves under the law system. This would have allowed them to have some access to the promises, which is radically different than what we say today in this dispensation.


Romans 11:28-32

As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. [29] For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. [30] For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: [31] Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. [32] For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.


As a result of the fall, now the two groups could be seen on equal footing. This is now why the Gentiles can have the blessings. We see how Israel has been set aside:


Romans 11:11-15

I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. [12] Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? [13] For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: [14] If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. [15] For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?


We see that Israel has stumbled, fell, and diminished, which is what the book of Acts is all about. The book starts with them asking about the kingdom being established. This goes through until the stoning of Stephen, which is the rejection of the ministry of the Holy Ghost. The next major event after this is the raising up of the Apostle Paul and the beginning of his ministry. Acts covers issues from Israel's perspective, which is why it is silent about the gospel message for today and the doctrines which we understand from Paul's epistles. We see the rejection of Israel and Paul stating three times he is going unto the Gentiles. This is why we don't get our doctrine from the things in the book of Acts.


We see how the two programs have a different focus on the group being dealt with:


Isaiah 2:4

And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.


Ezekiel 37:21-22

And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: [22] And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:


We see from these two passages how the focus during the prophetic program is on nations. God is dealing with the nations and how they are responding to Israel, which coincides with the Abrahamic covenant.


This changes when we get to the Body of Christ:


2 Corinthians 5:14-17

For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: [15] And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. [16] Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. [17] Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.


God is now dealing with individuals instead of the nations. Each individual has a responsibility to put their trust in the gospel message for today (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) in order to receive salvation. There is no other way for someone to have hope than by doing this.


There is a difference in where the blessings are for each program:


Isaiah 2:3-4

And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. [4] And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.


Isaiah 11:1-9

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: [2] And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; [3] And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: [4] But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. [5] And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. [6] The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. [7] And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. [8] And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. [9] They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.


It is clear from these passages, along with others, that the hope of Israel was an earthly hope. They were looking for a literal, physical kingdom to be set up here on the earth.


Ephesians 1:3

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


Colossians 3:1-3

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. [2] Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. [3] For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.


The Apostle Paul makes it clear that we have a hope in the heavenly places, where all of our blessings are. This is what we are looking forward to.


The last of these contrasts is going to be the salvation message which was given to the two programs:


Matthew 19:16-26

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? [17] And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. [18] He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, [19] Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [20] The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? [21] Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. [22] But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. [23] Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. [24] And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. [25] When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? [26] But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.


Acts 2:37-38

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? [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.


In both passages we see the individuals asking what they need to do in order to get saved. The message being preached is giving them performance issues they have to do. There were works involved with Israel's program.


Paul makes it clear that there are no works for us today:


Ephesians 2:8-9

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


1 Corinthians 15:1-4

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


The gospel is laid out in 1 Corinthians 15. This is what someone needs to put their trust in to receive salvation. Once this is done, there is nothing else which needs to happen.