It would be so much easier if one’s Bible was divided correctly and in the order God intended: Times past, but now and times to come, instead of the way it’s currently divided, namely into the Old Testament and the New Testament. Makes one wonder if more people would see the fellowship of the mystery if this were the case, realising that Paul’s thirteen epistles aren’t part of Israel’s New Covenant.
Also putting the book of Acts in its proper perspective, namely the transitional book which it rightly is, the bridge or cross-over from law to grace, transitioning from Israel’s prophetic program where the twelve apostles preached the law-based Kingdom Gospel of enduring to the end, to Paul’s grace gospel of faith alone in Christ’s finished work on Calvary’s cross and His resurrection, namely the Dispensation of the Grace of God. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
Correctly arranging Paul’s thirteen epistles pertaining to the dispensation of Grace and the body of Christ which contain what he aptly calls “my gospel”. Paul’s thirteen epistles too transition from the sign gifts, namely prophesying, tongue talking and healing to God’s grace alone being sufficient for the believer in this current dispensation (1 Corinthians 13).
The transition from his pre-prison epistles where he refers and speaks to/about unbelievers as well as believers, transitioning to his prison and pastoral epistles where he speaks only to believers. His pre-prison epistles emphasise salvation = getting people saved, and his prison and pastoral epistles put the emphasis on the edification of saints.
Then inserting a division to what is correctly known as the actual New Testament given to Israel which is once again based on the Law, beginning with Hebrews and ending with the book of Revelation, depicting seven law-based Jewish synagogues which are refined in the fire like gold, having to endure to the end (works required for justification).
These divisions correctly discern between the three timelines in the Bible, namely, TIMES PAST (Israel’s Old Covenant, including the parts of Genesis referring to Adam & Even and Noah), as well as the current dispensation known as “BUT NOW” (which refers to the Apostle Paul’s thirteen epistles which are doctrine for this current dispensation we are living in – take note how many times Paul says, “but now”), and then TIMES TO COME (which is doctrine to Israel during the tribulation period and millennium which are future).
To most the only division in the Bible is between the Old and New Testament, hence the reason why some believe they need to turn to God and he will heal their land, whilst others fight a spiritual “Joshua” battle, or face their “Goliath” and in so doing tend to spiritualize scripture.
They don’t know whether to turn from their sins, repent and be baptised in water, ask God for mercy, beg for forgiveness, confess their sins, change their lifestyles or believe everything/anything preached from the various pulpits of mainline denominationalist “churches”. Neither are they sure whether to sprinkle, dip, immerse or dunk in a baptismal font, swimming pool or the river Jordan.
Most have never heard of the Judgment Seat of Christ, nor are they aware of the difference between salvation and service. Most aren’t even saved – they think service (doing good works) is what saves their souls.
When someone professes to be gaining a closer or higher level in their walk with God, run for the hills, as one cannot get any closer to God than being saved, period. Claiming to gain a “higher spiritual standing” is petrification rather than edification. Fossil assemblies where they are ignorant of God’s imputed righteousness and try and gain His acceptance through their own righteousness by works of the Law, yet Paul emphasizes the fact that we’re no longer under the law, but under grace.
Anything one does in the flesh to gain rightstanding or justification in the eyes of God takes away from Christ’s finished work on Calvary’s cross and His resurrection for one’s justification. The gospel has now become watered down to “accepting Christ as one’s Lord and Saviour” circumventing what He did for you as a sinner. Christ doesn’t need your acceptance of Him, He wants you to believe His debt payment for your sins in order to be saved for your own good.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock”, and below is a picture of a man with long hair and a flowing white robe knocking on a door like He desperately needs you to open and let Him in (rolls eyes), actually begging you to let Him in because He’s homeless and needs to sup with you. “Poor Jesus, let Him in, his heart is broken and very few want Him or accept Him” which is in complete contrast to how He is depicted in the book of Revelation – mighty, powerful, the King of kings and the Lord of lords excercising His vengeance on an unbelieving world in times to come.
And that is what happens when unsaved religionists try to understand or make head or tail of the Bible. It’s like putting the Bible in a blender then choosing one verse out of the thousands of verses it contains and applying it to yourself like the Bible is some magic book and God led you to choose that particular verse. But God is a God of order, and there’s a definite order in relation to understanding the Bible, (2 Timothy 2:15) in order to realise God’s will and purpose for your life, for every man’s life, to know what the gospel is which saves your soul, to know how God is dealing with people when and how and particularly today.
In this current dispensation God is pouring out His unmerited favour on mankind in contrast to punishing and judging men for their wrong-doing or sin. Getting sick isn’t punishment, being destitute isn’t being punished, nor is being poor. Dying and not being saved is punishment.
Unsaved people have a tendency to be obsessed with their flesh, with the outerman. They want to heal and adorn their flesh which makes them feel good, and when they feel good about themselves (in the flesh) they automatically feel saved and blessed. No “negativity”. This is the reason why most people do not believe the gospel because firstly it puts them in a negative light, i.e., that they are sinners as opposed to being “good people”, and secondly Christ’s finished work on Calvary’s cross is gory and negative in their eyes.
Compare Pauline Christianity to the various religions of the world. Most, if not all religions make YOU feel good about yourself because they do not judge you to be totally depraved, on the contrary they tend to see “the good in all men” and put the emphasis on this instead. “Good men and women who come to God” instead of “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.
The basic error of a works/performance based programme which all religions adhere to and fail to comprehend is this: If they can or are able to save themselves through/by good works then Christ needn’t have been crucified, nor would it have been necessary for him to have risen from the dead.
Religions hand out probation instead of salvation, and that includes mainline, institutionalised denominationalism.
Probation is based on self-reliance which is opposed to God-given salvation, a gift which is to be received and seals the believer. Christ didn’t die on the cross in order for us to perform, He died in order for us to have peace, knowing we are saved.