Rightly Dividing and the Apostle Paul
We find these instructions at 2 Timothy 2:15 “Endeavor to present yourself to God qualified, an unashamed worker, correctly cutting the word of truth” Concordant Literal Version while The King James Version uses in this verse, “rightly dividing the word of truth”
This term comes from the Greek word (orthotomounta) which is used twice in the Septuagint for the Hebrew word (yashar) and means (to be right or straight….to divide). Cutting is to divide or separate something from something else. Both translations would follow the meaning in the Greek. So what this verse tells us is that, we are to divide the word of God but, it must be done rightly or correctly, thus the phrase “rightly divide the word of truth or correctly cutting.”
Rotherham’s translation uses the phrase “handling the word” which though not wrong, as we should learn how to handle Gods Word, yet for me that does not give the full force of the Greek meaning “to cut or divide.” We need to know what it is we are to cut or divide. I think most people reading this verse in Rotherham’s Translation may miss the full sense of what Paul’s instructions mean.
If this is a new thought for you, your next question is probably what are we cutting or dividing from? That is the purpose of this First Study Manual. My hopes are to give Bible students an understanding of how to read the Bible in order to understand it and enjoy it and especially, Paul’s words written to us, the Body of Christ.
This phrase in 2 Timothy 2:15 contains one of the very first principals which needs to be learned and then put into practice. I consider it an essential tool necessary in the study of God’s Word in order learn the truth of what is being spoken in it, by God. This is not understood by most professing Christians. The Catholic Church chose to follow Peter instead of the Apostle Paul. Peter, who is an apostle for the circumcision, which is Israel.
While Paul, was chosen by Christ to be the Apostle to the Nations, Gentiles. This was the beginnings of losing the understanding of rightly dividing Israel’s information from ours in the Body of Christ. Many sects broke from the Catholic Church but much of the error fostered by her is still found in all denominations today. When, reading the Bible, each Bible book is like a letter and we need to ask, who was it written to, in order to understand to whom God is speaking and for what time period. In this Manual we will show that Israel has separate instructions for her calling in Gods Plan of the ages from ours in the Body of Christ, recorded by Paul.
The Bible is the most read and yet the most misunderstood book on earth today, resulting in hundreds of denominations, all professing to have the truth and yet disagreeing with each other in many areas. But most importantly of all they disagree with their very own God appointed, Apostle Paul. It is important to view each Bible book as a letter, written to someone, and so we need to ask how do we know to whom each Bible book or letter is written? Our Apostle Paul tells us this with our key Scripture verse and this is the subject of this Study Manual One. The key found at 2 Timothy 2:15 It is by, “Rightly Dividing or Correctly Cutting the Word of truth” that we are then enabled to begin to understand Gods Word and we are able to learn two very important things in our search for truth.
First: To identify who wrote the letter or Bible book and Second: to identify for whom is it written or addressed to. Not all letters found in the Bible are written to you and me in the Body of Christ today and so they would not be our specific instructions for our calling in Christ.
Some people get upset and think we are saying that we are not to study the whole Bible…not true! The Whole Bible is for us to learn from and to study. Our apostle Paul tells us this at 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is inspired by God and is beneficial for teaching, for exposure for correction for discipline in righteousness that the man of God may be equipped, fitted out for every good act.”
From Genesis to Revelation we learn about Creation and its Creator, God. How sin came about and God’s dealing with the world before the Nation of Israel and then how He chose Israel as His special people and that He made a Law Covenant with them. How Israel’s Messiah was Jesus, their promised King and the Savior of the world. Years after Jesus’ death Paul comes into the picture with a whole new program ordained by God. In which we who are called into the Body of Christ will find God talking directly to us through Paul’s 13 epistles which are letters.
The Apostle Paul wrote 13 books, Romans through Philemon…these are our letters. Some teach Paul also wrote Hebrews while others will disagree. If, Paul is the author, we must recognize that book was not written to or for us. It was written to The Hebrews, as its address implies, which are who? That’s right, Israel, or the Jews and once we learn that Paul had a separate evangel for the Body of Christ from Israel’s evangel for a Kingdom on this earth it then becomes clear that the book of Hebrews is speaking to Israel and not to the Body of Christ.
Again, I want to emphasize those who do not understand the need to separate Israel’s evangel from ours are putting these two evangels together and placing all saints into one church with one hope of going to heaven. The purpose of this Manual is to show the reader that is not what is taught in the Scriptures! Jesus Christ did not teach this nor did any of the apostles He chose and most importantly Paul did not teach this.
I hope to show through this study Manual that only the Apostle Paul’s letters are specific to The Body of Christ and this is because the Body of Christ was given a new evangel of GRACE which was and is separate from Israel and her evangel. In the Scriptures, Israel has her own specific terms, such as the Nation of Israel, the Remnant of Israel and their evangel is the Kingdom or Prophetic Evangel. While, we are called the Body of Christ and ours is the new Administration and the Grace Evangel.
This is why it is so important when reading the Bible to know, to whom God is speaking to? An example would be, if you were to write a letter of instructions to your lawyer asking him to take care of some legal matters for you, while your were away and by mistake your next door neighbor picked up the letter, thinking the instructions were for him, and tried to make them fit in his life. He would have trouble doing so and would that be okay with you for him to even try do so? How beneficial would this be for your neighbor?
Paul gave those instructions in 2 Timothy 2:15 “to divide or cut God’s word.” and as the Apostle to the nations from which is called the Body of Christ it is fitting that he be the one to give these instructions, since he was the only apostle given the new information for the Body of Christ. He knew how necessary it would be for those called into the Body of Christ to understand they were not a part of Israel’s, Kingdom Evangel.
Also how important it is for us, to not mix our instructions with Israel’s. I am fully aware this is not commonly understood or taught in the denominations today and so if this is a new and strange concept for you, I would ask you to please think back to all you learned in your Bible studies in the past and refresh your memory with the many “earthly” promises made to Israel in the scriptures. Also think about when and why did Jesus give instructions on how his disciples were to pray for the Kingdom, “Thy kingdom come…thy will be done on earth as in heaven”
These were His Jewish, Israeli brethren. They were to pray this way for the Kingdom to come to this earth, for their many promises and prophecies to come to pass. The second advent of Christ will be to this earth and to the land of Israel, not to heaven. Christ will set up His Kingdom on earth, Is this really what is being taught in the denominations today or is what usually being taught, is that all saints are going to heaven and the earth will be burnt up and or destroyed?
The coming of the Kingdom and the end of the world has been taught for centuries as one big event when in fact this is not truly accurate. The coming of the Kingdom is not to end the world but to make it a better place with Christ and Israel ruling. This beautiful truth has been lost and I hope you will continue to read and study this Manual and let your heart be delighted on how easy the Bible can be understood when this important tool or principle is learned.
By dividing or cutting Israel’s instructions from ours, written for the Body of Christ, we will not lose anything at all, but indeed we will gain a greater appreciation for God’s plan of Salvation through the ages and through the commission given to Israel first, which is for the Kingdom of heaven to be on the earth and second, through Paul something new was given, the expectation given to the Body of Christ with its heavenly calling, the kingdom in heaven, understanding God’s plan of salvation through both evangels, and both groups or churches of saints, builds our faith.
In Chapter One we will explore Paul’s specific instructions for us and see how Israel and the Body of Christ are to be separated into two churches and why once this is understood and practiced the entire Bible will open up for us like never before. Also we need to understand that Paul is the Apostle for the Body of Christ, and was not one of the twelve chosen by Jesus in His earthly ministry nor did he replace Judas as one of the twelve. Paul was not converted until seven years after Christ died. Matthias was chosen before Pentecost, to replace Judas and nowhere in Scripture do we read where that was ever changed. Acts 1:23, 26 Our church did not begin at Pentecost! We will prove this as we go through this Manual.
Paul was the only Apostle who was given new information from Christ through revelations. What Paul was told by Christ for this new administration, the Body of Christ cannot be found anywhere else in the Scriptures. It is found only in his letters and this is why his new information for the Body of Christ is called a “mystery or secret” Colossians 1:26. Paul’s name was originally Saul of Tarsus and we will learn why his name was changed to Paul many years after his Damascus road experience. All names in the Bible have meanings, which in those times the meaning was the reason for giving a name. A name identified a person, their heritage or the name may have identified the person’s profession. Unlike today, we give a name to our children not even thinking about its meaning.
Let’s go back in time now and review the history of Saul and his name change to Paul and then we will go into the two different evangels. What the Remnant taught their brethren, the Jews and how it was different from what Paul years later taught for the Gentiles or nations after his severance from Israel. He taught from the revelations he had received directly from Christ. This new evangel was not for Israel, but for all nations, individuals called into the Body of Christ, just as the Kingdom evangel taught by the Remnant of Israel is not for us.
The book of Acts is where we will find the history of Saul who later becomes the Apostle Paul. It was seven years after Christ’s death when he was chosen by God and then a few more years pass by until his name is changed to Paul. In Bullinger’s notes in The Companion Bible we find a dating of the events, which he quotes from Lightfoot’s Biblical Essay: Paul was converted on the Damascus road around 36 A.D. which would be approximately 7 years after Christ’s crucifixion. Then Bullinger’s notes has 46 A.D. for Paul’s commission to the Gentiles and following this, the writing of the letters by Paul while in prison in Rome at 61 and 62 A.D. These four are said to be his prison epistles: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon An epistle is a letter.
These letters written by Paul and only his letters were written to and for the “Body of Christ.” We do not know if these dates are totally accurate as there are charts with differences in the dating done by other scholars, but it at least gives us a sketch to work from. The prison epistles are the letters containing the bulk of the information for us in the “Body of Christ” which we will show as we go through this Manual.
The book of Acts was written by Luke and it is a history of the Apostles, in it we will find no mention of what Paul’s “secret” evangel contained, even though from at least Chapter 13 or 14 forward; Paul did teach His new evangel. Luke traveled with Paul but did not speak of Paul’s “secret” information. Luke, I am sure felt that it was Paul’s commission to do so, since only Paul had been given that specific information through revelations from the glorified Christ, so Paul only would be capable to teach it. We will now go into Luke’s account of Paul’s history:
In Acts 8:1-3 we read of Saul persecuting the early believers in Christ. In Acts 9:1-6 we find Saul’s conversion which ends his persecution of the believers of Jesus Christ to becoming a believer himself after meeting the Glorified Christ on the Damascus road. Keep this thought in mind, one of many points which separates not only Paul from the twelve Remnant Apostles and our two churches is that Paul sees the Glorified Christ while the Apostles for Israel learned from the perfect man Jesus and later after His death the risen Jesus, before His Glorified state.
They received their commission for their own people, the Jews, the House of Israel, from Jesus and were told they would “evangelize the nations with the good news” This will be their Kingdom evangel, Matthew 24:14. This commission is for the millennial reign of Christ, the twelve did not evangelize the nations, they knew that commission was for them to fulfill in the Millennial Kingdom time or age It will then indeed be good news, Christ’s kingdom will have arrived! In Chapter Four, we will discuss, “The Differences with Paul’s and Peter’s evangels”
Acts 9:1-9 gives us the entire account of Saul’s meeting Christ on the road to Damascus, where he is blinded by His glory. Christ tells him to go into the city and wait. In Acts 9:10-14 Christ then tells Ananias to go to Saul to heal him of his blindness. Ananias was hesitant since Saul had been persecuting the followers of Jesus. The Lord tells Ananias of His choosing Saul for a special work at Acts 9:15 “Yet the Lord said to him, for he is a choice instrument of Mine, to bear My name before both the nations and kings, besides the sons of Israel”
In Acts 13:2 we see a change occurs for Saul “The Holy Spirit said, sever, by all means, to Me, Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” We must ask, severed from what? He was severed from Israel and her evangel for an earthly kingdom. Paul was given the revelation of “the secret or mystery” which is of a new administration of Grace and that he was to be its Apostle and take this evangel to the Nations. It seems then; Paul would be the first member called for the Body of Christ, as Christ first chooses the Apostle and then gives the commission.
Paul is the first and only one of the Body of Christ given direct revelations concerning Gods new administration of Grace. Paul is the only Apostle for the Body of Christ who wrote letters explaining our calling with our expectation to heaven which is specifically for us and not for Israel. Barnabas was “in Christ” before Paul, but Paul was the one given the secret and he was commissioned as the dispenser of this new evangel, first to his Jewish brethren and then to the Gentiles. Israel’s 12 tribes were split and in dispersion, scattered in the world and the nation was in apostasy and no longer Gods special people, so she was then and is still just one of the nations! (Lo-ammi, Hosea 1:9) The “secret” was given only to Paul to teach. In Acts 13:9, 13, 16 we see this severing from Israel and Saul’s name was changed to Paul.
During the earthly ministry of Jesus, He chose His twelve Apostles first and then sent them out to preach the Kingdom message for Israel, this is the same evangel found in the Hebrew Scriptures in many prophecies for Israel. Some call it the Prophetic Evangel and so their evangel was not “a secret or mystery,” it had not been “hidden or concealed in God for the eons” Colossians 1:26 as was the evangel given to Paul. Israel’s evangel was a promise of the earthly Kingdom, given to them for faithfulness. Something they looked forward to and yearned for.
It would set them free from Gentile Domination. Their promise was of a Messiah, who would rescue them and set up the Kingdom on the earth, which they then would share with in ruling over the other nations! The problem was, when Jesus came, Israel was in apostasy. Her religious leaders were steeped in myths and lies, pagan philosophies, the Kingdom promises were taken from these leaders of Israel and given to common, unlearned men of Israel, thus named the Remnant Church, chosen by God, a remnant called out of the whole nation of Israel and it is these men who will be the leaders in the Kingdom of Christ on earth, they will judge Israel and evangelize the nations. A remnant is a part or piece of cloth taken or cut out from the whole piece, a remnant of believers.
The meaning of the name Saul is, “to cease” “pause” or “an interval” which would fit the circumstances, as Saul would cease as a Jew, and of preaching to Israel only of the earthly Kingdom hope he would begin to teach his new “secret” evangel for the nations. This work God began with Paul was for the calling of individuals from the nations and placing them into the Body of Christ. Please keep in mind that Israel at this time was also just a nation amongst all other nations. The nation of Israel was no longer Gods special people after Jehovah divorced her. This is found at Hosea 1:9 and Hosea 8:8 So some Jews, like Saul are called into the Body of Christ, but not the twelve Apostles.
In Isaiah 49:7 Israel is referred to as “Goyim” which means Gentile, translated as nation. “Thus saith the LORD, the redeemer of Israel, and His Holy One, to Him whom man despises, to Him who the nation abbhoreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful and the Holy One of Israel, and He shall choose Thee.?”
In the footnotes of my Companion Bible it says, “The nation abbhoreth” with the word Goyim, which is Hebrew for nation, it is used in this prophetic passage to describe Israel’s rejection of Jesus as they were just as one of the gentile nations and this is because she was in the Lo ammi state at that time, no longer Gods special people or nation. Lo ammi which means not my people began with the pronouncement in Hosea and was still operative when Jesus came and is still operative today with Israel.
When the Body of Christ is completed and called home, God will resume His work with Israel and the foretold, Times of Restoration will begin. But in the meantime, Paul’s Evangel with the New and Secret Evangel, which is the Dispensation of Grace, causes a pause or an interval with the work of Israel’s evangel to Israel stopping. Israel’s prophetic promises were put on hold, while God is working with all the nations in Grace, Israel’s promises are on hold but not forgotten! They will resume where they left off, when the Body of Christ is called home to heaven, raptured, “snatched away” this is our specific promise, or expectation given to the Body of Christ only by Paul at 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 1 Corinthians 15:51,52 Philippians 3:20,21
We also see that Paul tells us he ceased in being a Pharisee at Acts 23:6 A Pharisee was a religious leader in Israel. He ceased in his own righteousness as a Law keeper, he was the first to receive total grace. Paul had committed the unforgivable sin for an Israeli and yet he was forgiven and given complete Grace. Make note here that Paul did not see the error of his ways and ask for this forgiveness. Christ just did it! Later at his severance from Israel he then ceased sharing the kingdom evangel and as Paul he began the second part of his commission to go to the nations with his new evangel of Grace and to teach all about the new administration with its heavenly calling. Those called into this Body would have no part in the earthly Kingdom with Israel and vice versa.
The Remnant of Israel has no part with the Body of Christ or its heavenly calling; their allotment is on the earth. Philippians 3:4-10 “And am even I having confidence in flesh also? If any other one is presuming to have confidence in flesh, I rather: in circumcision the eighth day, of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews, in relation to law, a Pharisee, in relation to zeal, persecuting the ecclesia, in relation to the righteousness which is in law, becoming blameless. But things which were gain to me, these I have deemed a forfeit because of Christ…But to be sure, I am also deeming all to be a forfeit because of the superiority of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, because of Whom I forfeited all, and am deeming it to be refuse, that I should be gaining Christ and may be found in Him not having my righteousness which is of law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is from God for faith.”
Paul is his Roman name; he was also a Roman Citizen. Paul is a Gentile name while Saul was Jewish. So, can we see the reason behind the usage of his Roman name after being severed from Israel? He is the Apostle to the nations. He had been severed officially by the Holy Spirit from Israel to go to the Nations with His evangel of Grace. He no longer held his Jewish heritage as anything of importance in his new calling and work for Christ as the Apostle to the Gentile nations, in fact he said that he considered his “heritage to be refuse,” literally translated as dung or manure, compared to what he had been given in Christ. Philippians 3:4-8
His name change takes place years after His Damascus road experience, from his conversion to his severance to go to the nations. But as Saul, he first preached to his Jewish brethren as recorded in Acts. His message had been the same as the twelve Apostles for Israel; Heralding Jesus as their Messiah, that He had been killed and had risen and that Israel must repent for Him to come back and establish the kingdom on earth. Paul received revelations during that time concerning his new evangel, but it was not yet “lawful” for him to speak of them until the Holy Spirit severs Him from Israel. 2 Corinthians 12:2-4
Paul was given a new expectation, different from Israel’s Kingdom earthly hope. So this answers our question, from what, were Paul and Barnabas severed? From Israel’s earthly hope and evangel! He was sent to the Nations to proclaim his evangel as revealed only to him by Christ for a New Administration with its new and different evangel of Grace. IF, the Remnant Church and the Body of Christ were joined in a Joint Body as one church as Christendom teaches, then why would he be severed from the twelve Apostles and why would his evangel be different from theirs? The Remnant stayed with their calling to an earthly Kingdom while Paul teaches of a new body of believers going to a heavenly Kingdom.
Paul told us he was given his information through a series of revelations. We also need to ask, if Paul was preaching the same evangel as the Remnant church and its Apostles, why then would he be given revelations from Christ and why was it called a secret? The twelve Apostles preached their evangel for seven years before Paul was converted to Christ. The twelve Apostles had been given their instructions directly from Jesus and they also had the Hebrew Scriptures filled with their Prophetic promises which were not secrets.
Paul was not needed to add to that, he was given new information and a different evangel, of which no one in Israel had ever heard of before. This is why Paul tells us “he learned from no man” but was given direct revelations from Christ. Galatians 1:1 “Paul an apostle not from men neither through a man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father.” Verses 15-18 “ Now, when it delights God, Who severs me from my mother’s womb and calls me through His grace, to unveil His Son in me that I may be evangelizing Him among the nations, I did not immediately submit it to flesh and blood, neither came I up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but came away into Arabia and I return again to Damascus, thereupon after three years I came up to Jerusalem to relate my story to Cephas” (Cephas was the Apostle Peter’s name)
Paul received his commission directly from the Glorified Christ and as he stated, he was made an Apostle by Christ and not by or through men nor taught by them. He also felt no need or was told not too disclose his information for at least another three years. Now, we will read as he explains further about the revelations he received from Christ at, Galatians 2:2 “Now I went up in accord with a revelation, and submitted to them the evangel which I am heralding among the nations, yet privately to those of repute”
Also Ephesians 3:3 “for by revelation the secret is made known to me” Paul explains another one of these revelations at 2 Corinthians 12:1-5 “If boasting must be, though it is not expedient, indeed, yet I shall also be coming to apparitions and revelations of the Lord, I am acquainted with a man in Christ, fourteen years before this (whether in a body I am not aware or outside of the body, I am not aware…God is aware) such a one was snatched away to the third heaven. And I am acquainted with such a man (whether in a body or outside of the body I am not aware, God is aware) that he was snatched away into paradise and hears ineffable declarations, which is not allowed a man to speak” Paul is referring to himself as this man and notice he does not wish to boast of this personal experience. Paul did not want to elevate himself because it was the message which was of importance.
This is the incident where Paul was stoned and left for dead as recorded at Acts 14:19 shortly after his severance from Israel and his name change at Acts 13:9 Paul says this happened 14 years before his writing the second letter to the Corinthians. He was told and shown things and even, Paul was not really sure how, if it was in spirit, in other words to his mind only as he lay as dead on the road or whether he was transported to heaven and or also into the future to see the paradise earth. He did not know and so we can only speculate. I personally think it was a vision, a revelation. The main point to recognize here is the fact that, Paul was given these revelations from Christ for us, containing new truths for the new administration he was made the Apostle for.
In Bullinger’s notes in the Companion Bible, He refers to this time of Paul being left for dead as Paul’s rapture with a question mark. I find that an interesting thought, that his laying as dead and being transported either in spirit through revelations or physically, even Paul did not know. But perhaps it indeed could picture the rapture or snatching of the Body of Christ. This was very new and different information given to Paul and he only was given this information. I can see how he would need to be shown it by God or to experience it. God does not tell people of things of which they have no knowledge or experience with.
As in all of Israel’s prophecies which all relate to physical things in their life and culture or their traditions or worship of which they were familiar with. How could Christ explain to Paul that he and his church would be taken to heaven and were to be given glorified bodies, just like Christ’s? Perhaps He showed Paul this in such a way as to make it a personal experience and that way Paul could passionately relate it and teach it to those called into this body.
According to what Paul tells us, He saw the “third heaven” which depicts Gods realm and is also the New heaven spoken of at Revelation 21:1 He also refers to “the paradise” which will be on the earth and would be the New earth. Paul knew the Old Testament prophecies for that paradise earth and of Israel and Christ ruling on the earth in the kingdom, wrongly, taught by most denominations to be in heaven. 2 Corinthians 12:2 It seems Paul was given a vision of the future New Heaven and New earth much like John, who years later was also shown this and recorded what he saw in the book of the Unveiling, known as, Revelation in most Bibles.
I don’t know how to emphasize this to you the reader as most of us have grown up, always hearing of the prospect of going to heaven at death for believers, as the reward! But, Israel’s promises were always earthly; their reward was and still is to be resurrected on the earth in the Kingdom with Christ. Only some Israelis, like Paul were called into the Body of Christ, changing their expectation from the earthly kingdom to the celestial kingdom. Never in scripture was anything ever said of going to heaven until Paul’s evangel. For this new information, Paul would have needed to be shown or educated in a way you and I would not need to be. The church today, is now on the reverse side of this coin, they want to send all saints to heaven, forgetting the two earthly resurrections also taught in the Scriptures.
Even now with a lifetime of knowing the believer’s destiny is to be in the heavens, are we really able to comprehend it? Can we truly imagine being just like Christ? Are we not in awe and speechless when we think about it or when we speak of it? It is not easy as it is not something we can relate to, it is not in any of our experiences in this life. WE believe it only, because, we have been given the faith to believe it, and to accept Gods Word as true and who is it who has told us of this heavenly calling? Paul, our Apostle in Grace.
Now, those who fight against “rightly dividing” and there are many, will randomly grab at incidents such as, Enoch’s being carried away in a Chariot to heaven to live. And yet, Paul tells us Christ is the “firstborn from the dead” at Colossians 1:18 and he also tells us at 1 Timothy 6:16 “only Christ has immortality” To live in heaven one must be changed and given immortality! Paul also tells us “flesh and blood” cannot enter heaven and live at 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 John also testifies to this at, John 3:13 “And no one has ascended into heaven except He Who descends out of heaven, the Son of Mankind Who is in heaven.” So in view of these passages how could Enoch have been taken to heaven to live as is taught, which if so, it would have happened centuries before Christ paid the price for anyone to be released from the dead? Enoch could not live there without being given immortality and Paul tells us no one has it but Christ! Questions, always ask questions! All Scripture must harmonize to have a truth, if we have opposing verses with no explanation, we do not have the true answer, and we have not found a truth. Man made Doctrines will always contradict God’s Word rightly divided.
Also, at Hebrews 11:5 which this is where it tells of “Enoch not seeing death” we also see listed in this chapter other Israeli faithful, but we see it stated at Verse 13 “These all died in faith, not having received the promises” Enoch was not taken to live in heaven, his promise was not to live in heaven but on the earth in the Kingdom with Christ and he has not yet received his promise, but sleeps in the dust waiting for a resurrection on earth. He will be in the “just” class of Daniel 12:1,2 of those who “are asleep in the dust.” The phrase to not see death, could mean several things, God moving him somewhere out of harms way or putting him into the sleep of death, not allowing his enemies to kill him but sparing him having to face his death by their hands.
The word translated in this passage of Enoch, is the Greek word “metatithemi” and means changed. It is found at Hebrews 7:12 “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” Used in Acts 7:16 “carried over to a sepulcher” a dead body carried, taken or removed to a tomb. This same word was used for…change, carried….or removed. There is nothing in this word “metaithemi” of Enoch being changed but the thought in that word is, of being carried or moved to a different location which does not denote his being made immortal in order to enter heaven. The experience of Enoch must harmonize with all scripture. The teaching that he went to heaven centuries before Christ did is not a truth but a feeble effort to perpetuate the lie, that all go to heaven or hell at death. The Scriptures plainly teach that death is like sleep.
There are instances in which the Israeli letters speak of a Heavenly City in which they will live. That Heavenly City is the New Jerusalem, spoken of in Revelation 3:12 and Revelation 21:2 It comes down from heaven to the earth! Revelation 21:10 It is not teaching of Israel going to heaven but that heaven in a sense comes to them. The heavenly city, New Jerusalem is in Verses 11-27 and this passage describes this city after the Millennial reign of Christ is over, some teach at the beginning of the last eon which is the Day of God. It seems to be the Grand prototype of the city and temple used on earth during Israel’s history, which was a copy of the Heavenly City and its Temple. The New Jerusalem has written on its gates and pillars the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. This tells us this city is Jewish in nature and I can find no information which puts the Body of Christ in this scenario. Revelations 3:12 This is the city, Jesus said to faithful disciples “I go to prepare a place for you” and who became his twelve Apostles. John 14:2,3 Paul never links us to a physical city but he does tell us, that the Body of Christ is “a holy temple, which is a dwelling place for God.” Ephesians 2:22 We are a spiritual temple indwelt by Christ.
WE must try and comprehend who we are in Christ since we are said to be His Body while He is our Head, this describes for us, an intimate relationship, similar or perhaps just like, the invisible Spirit of God and the visible person, Christ. WE are told that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself and placing in us the word of the conciliation” 2 Corinthians 5:19-21 Since we are said to be the body of Christ, does not that mean, God also is in us? We are a spiritual temple now, in which God dwells and will be called home to heaven before Israel will rebuild her physical temple on this earth and before Christ comes again and before in the Kingdom another temple will be built for that Kingdom on earth in which Christ will sit and long before the “heavenly city, the New Jerusalem” comes down out of heaven to the earth for Israeli saints to dwell in it. Let’s note the differences, the saints of Israel will dwell in their temples, while we are the spiritual temple in which God now dwells. Revelation 21:1, 10,11, 15-27
After the Millennial reign of Christ all national governments will be gone. All rebellion put down and is when “Death is no more, no more sorrow or pain,” this City, the New Jerusalem is where faithful Israel will live and rule from over the New Earth. I suspect, that will be a time of demonstrating, the blessings of God ruling completely, with, no sin, no death, no adversary, no religions and no political governments. It will just be God ruling! That will be God’s Day, “wherein Righteousness will dwell.” We have more questions about that time as not all the details are provided for us in the Book of Revelation, some may be hidden which we may find through more study or we may have to wait until we are snatched and taken to be with Christ, at that time we then will know the mind of Christ and can view that paradise as Paul did and have all of our questions answered. One other question, which those in Christendom who teach that all go to heaven or hell do not seem to ask, is, if the saints are living in the New City and the wicked are in Hell, who are living on the earth? Who needs to be ruled over and who would need “the waters of life” or “the trees which produce fruit 12 months” of the year and are “for the healing of the nations.” What nations will need healing? There will be nations of people alive at Christ’s Advent. Matthew 25 refers to these as “the sheep and the goats.” Also, Revelation 21:24-27 and 22:1,2 tell us there will be unsaved in the nations? The only way to find answers is to ask questions. Matthew 24:14 will then go into effect with the Israeli saints evangelizing the world for Christ in the millennial reign so the saving work will continue then and later. The new city, heavenly Jerusalem does not come down out of heaven until after this time of evangelizing the world to Christ and more saving work it seems is going to begin.
We in the body of Christ will find our answers in Paul’s letters written to us. Our evangel is completely revealed for us. Israel’s is hard to understand, mainly because it is not for us. Only Paul has the answers about our specific calling to the heavens. Paul’s information, being new was of course different from Israel’s thus we must learn how to recognize this. Paul tells us at Colossians 1:25 “it was given to me to complete the word of God” Paul was not the last one to write in the Bible but Paul’s new information does complete the Word of God. His evangel is added to Israel’s evangel and this completes Gods Word to His Saints and for both churches. Colossians 1:25-27 “I, Paul, became the dispenser. I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for you, and am filling up in my flesh, in His stead, the deficiencies of the afflictions of Christ, for His body, which is the ecclesia of which I became a dispenser, in accord with the administration of God, which is granted to me for you, to complete the word of God. The secret which has been concealed from the eons and from the generations, yet now was made manifest to His saints, to whom God wills to make known what are the glorious riches of this secret among the nations which is Christ among you, the expectation of glory”
The word “ecclesia” means “called out ones or assembly” and is translated in English as Church. There is more than one church spoken of in the scriptures. Paul also tells of his commission to the nations and that Peter’s and the other eleven Apostles were to the Jews, the remnant from the House of Israel. Galatians 2:7-9 “But on the contrary, perceiving that I have been entrusted with the evangel of the Uncircumcision, according as Peter of the Circumcision (for He Who operates in Peter for the apostleship of the Circumcision operates in me also for the nations). Knowing the grace which is being given to me, James and Cephas and John, who are supposed to be pillars, given to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we, indeed, are to be for the nations, yet they for the Circumcision”
Circumcision refers to Israel or the Jews; Un-circumcision to the Nations: Two separate Churches with two evangels, Peter’s and Paul’s, and two different groups of saints. Both are in Gods plan of the ages for salvation. One group to rule and reign on earth and the other group are going to be taken to heaven to rule and reign there. When we understand this, it then is easy to see why Paul tells us to “divide or cut the word” of God. Since we have two different destinations, we each need our own specific instructions and information, our own road map to guide us there. Both groups are in and through Christ; one for the earthly Kingdom and the other for the heavenly Kingdom. One is not better than the other, but different and yet both make up God’s complete Kingdom. Both used by God in His Goal of the Ages…to reconcile all to Himself. Again this is not taught nor understood in most denominations. I hope you are seeing this important key to finding answers, is to always ask questions. In most denominations the believer accepts its creed and is discouraged from questioning it. WE have to ask, if Israel and The Body of Christ are one church and both are going to heaven, then what do we do with the Hebrew Scriptures filled with the many prophecies for Israel on the earth, and which could not be fulfilled in heaven? Please do not be misled by those whose answer will be, they are not to be taken literal because they are spiritual and are not really meant to happen on the earth. Those who spiritualize the scriptures do a great injustice to our intelligence and to God’s Word. It’s always wise to take the scriptures as literal with the understanding that figures of speech are used in them to paint word pictures for the reader but they are always a picture of something literal and not of something mystical.
We have to take into account that possibly hundreds of prophecies have been given to Israel by God through their prophets. All, having to do with the Kingdom on earth. Jesus told His Apostles that “they would sit on twelve thrones in that Kingdom on earth.” Matthew 19:28 and Luke 22:30 judging the twelve tribes of Israel and “ruling over the nations with a rod of iron.” Revelation 2:26, 27 If these saints are going to heaven with us then all of these earthly promises would have to be chucked in the trash! Did God change His mind?
Back to Paul in Acts 13: 46, 47 also 14:27 Please note “the door of faith” is now opened to the nations but no mention of the “mystery or secret” yet, which he talks about in Ephesians 3:9 We will look at this also in this chapter. These verses in Acts help us to see the next step; Paul and Barnabas are severed from Israel to expand their ministry to the nations or gentiles. Acts 13:49 is an interesting verse saying, “And the word of the Lord was published throughout the region” King James. The Concordant translates this verse as “And the word of the Lord was carried through the whole country” These words, publish and carried are translated from the Greek word of (diaphero, dia which are, is through and phero, to bear or carry when used as a transitive verb) This thought is taken from Fred Bachand in his book, “The Dispensation of The Grace of God” on Page 148, He translates this verse using the Greek word as stated above as, “And the word of the Lord was becoming different throughout all the region” He gives the difference because the word is the subject and is then intransitive and so he gives some comparisons of other places this word is used.
This same Greek word is in Philippians 1:10 and was translated in the Concordant Literal Translation as “test things of consequence.” In this case Fred Bachand felt it should be test things which differ as he says the word; dia-phero in the English is di-ffer and literally means to differ. This word is also found at 1 Corinthians 15:41 KJA “one star differeth from another star in glory.” The Concordant Literal Version, translate the word in this verse as different, “But a different glory indeed is that of the celestial yet a different of the terrestrial” I am no language expert, I just found this interesting. If he is right this does not prove or disprove anything because we already know that Paul’s evangel was different from Israel’s. It would just reinforce this truth and it does seem to follow through with the context and with what Paul and Barnabas said in the pre-ceding verses. They were now going to the nations with the new evangel given to Paul for the Body of Christ. People chosen and being called out of all the nations to make up this new administration called the Body of Christ. Acts 14:27-28 “the door of faith opened to the nations” Doing a word study is just that, looking at how a word is used or translated in other passages. Testing them, but also the context must be considered.
In studying Paul’s ministry we first find he preached the “evangel of God” to his brethren the Jews. This would have been the same message the twelve Apostles preached. Telling them, Jesus was indeed the Christ as foretold in scripture, their promised Messiah, Who was crucified and rose on the third day and is now Lord in heaven and will return to set up His kingdom on earth. This is the Kingdom Evangel for Israel and Israel was being called to repent, first from their unfaithfulness to Jehovah and their specific covenant with Him, which was broken by them causing Jehovah to divorce them about 400 years before Jesus came and then the Remnant were heralding Jesus as their Messiah, and to repent from rejecting and killing Him.
In Acts we read of a transitional period with Paul’s dual ministry. First to the Jew and then years later he is severed from Israel and is sent to the nations with his new evangel, “the mystery or secret, the new administration” Paul saying this is “my evangel” also shows us it was different from Israel’s evangel. This secret is; The Body of Christ, saints chosen from all nations, and who have a new expectation from Israel’s, to be taken to live in the celestials, in heaven with Christ. Paul’s prison epistles: Philippians, Philemon, Colossians and Ephesians were written while Paul was in prison. These four letters deal primarily with the new information for us in “The Body of Christ.” We are a spiritual body, separate from Israel as a physical body or nation. Please read these passages: Ephesians 3:1-12; Colossians 1:24-26 and 1 Corinthians 9:17
This New Administration, “The Body of Christ” does not replace or eliminate the physical body of Israel as the first church of God, who will have a “new covenant” replacing their old one. Keep in mind, God made the first covenant with the Nation of Israel and not with any other nation or people and not the Body of Christ. They proved unfaithful, and God cast them off, He divorced them. They became “Lo-ammi” Hosea 1:9. “Then said God, call his name Lo-ammi for ye are not My People and I will not be your God” This is only temporary for the scriptures are full of promises that God will take them back into a new covenant with Him, in a marriage as He will forgive them and restore them to their standing as a privileged nation. In Hosea 1:10, “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them ‘Ye are not My People’ there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the Living GOD.” Notice God said, in the same place where they were pronounced lo-ammi that He will take them back; this is the Land of Israel and not in heaven!
Also Isaiah 54:5-8 “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall He be called. For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid My face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.” Verses 13,14 “And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established; thou shalt be far from oppression for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.” What a beautiful promise Israel has been given.
Do those passages sound like Israel is forgotten or that the faithful remnant are going to heaven as part of the Body of Christ? Nope sure doesn’t. The new covenant Jehovah promises in the Hebrew Scriptures is with Israel and will be on the earth in their promised Kingdom and it is different from the “new creation” which Paul teaches of in his letters to us. WE will go into the differences of the New Covenant and the New Creation in Chapter Two.
We cannot do as Christendom has done, and take the Israeli Apostles and disciples and place them into the Body of Christ. This is not the case; God is calling individuals from every nation today, even from Israel for the Body of Christ. This does not eliminate Israel or her promises for the Nation with her own special, Kingdom evangel. We will go into more detail with the differences taught in scripture with Peter’s and Paul’s separate evangels in Chapter Four. Paul is established as an Apostle at Galatians 1:1-15 also Romans 1:1 An Apostle was hand picked by Christ and given certain gifts, like the power of healing as proof of having God’s spirit and this only could be passed to another by an Apostle. Paul spent at least 15 years preaching the message of Who Christ was to his Jewish brethren along with the twelve of Israel. He had the power to heal; all of this established his credibility with the other apostles and the Jewish brethren proving His apostleship, leading to the time when he would be severed from Israel, and begin to teach his evangel which is radically different from Israel’s evangel. Both are based in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, but the evangel to the nations was total Grace for the Body of Christ with a calling to heaven. Paul brought the “secret” of the hope or expectation of heavenly life, a new teaching and one of the secrets Paul was given. Paul used the term “my evangel” in Ephesians 1:3-12 and also 2:6 these verses very much show the message Paul had for the Body of Christ was very different. Notice what the apostle Peter, one of the twelve for Israel says, about Paul’s message in 2 Peter 3:14-16 “Paul’s letters going to all the congregations and some things Paul says are hard to apprehend” Now if Paul were teaching the same message as Peter and the other eleven Apostles, why would it be hard for them to apprehend it? A heavenly calling in grace was much different from their calling to faithfulness in order to take part in the earthly Kingdom with Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
In contrast we can read scriptures for the twelve Apostles for Israel, who were picked by Jesus, during His earthly ministry, and read that they were told to only go to Israel. Matthew 10:5,6 shows Jesus instructing His disciples “do not go to the nations…only to Israel” and Matthew 15:24 “to go only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” John 1:31 “that He may be manifested to Israel” Jesus did not go to the nations, He was concerned only with Israel in His earthly ministry. We cannot go to Jesus words and instructions and follow them; they are for Israel and are not for us. Romans 15:8 The Body of Christ was still “the secret hidden in God” during the ministry of Jesus!
Most of the Bible is history of the Nation of Israel along with prophecies for their future as a restored nation. A small portion is written by Paul, to “Gentiles, or those of the Nations” out of which God has called a group of people to be “The Body of Christ.” A New Administration, who are the “Ambassadors of Grace,” we dispense The Grace Evangel and we are The Dispensation of Grace. The Body of Christ has a heavenly calling, we will not be part of the earthly Kingdom with Israel nor will they take part in the heavenly kingdom with us. Doesn’t common sense tell us for these very reasons alone, our map of directions would be different from theirs? Of course and that is the whole point, we can not muddle their information and prophecies into our instructions. By doing so, we cannot see what our instructions really are as they become clouded with unneeded information. BUT, when we “Rightly Divide” our information given for us by Paul from Israel’s evangel, the message becomes clear for us and our expectation which is to be kept separate from that which is promised to Israel in her evangel.
We have seen that Paul was given a new evangel, so doesn’t it now make sense, why he would be the one to give us those instructions in 2 Timothy 2:15 to “ rightly divide Gods Word” The believer would need to cut out the information which did not apply to them and their specific calling into the Body of Christ. It’s obvious, before Paul’s commission and revelations, God was dealing only with the Nation of Israel and then in Jesus day, only the individuals God had chosen to be a part of the Israeli church, the remnant of Israel. But after Paul revealed the “secret” it would mean the scriptures were talking to two, different ecclesia: first, “Israel and to the remnant of Israel” headed up by Peter and then secondly to the “Body of Christ” headed up by Paul.
Another interesting point in Acts 13:48 when referring to those in the nations, who believed on Christ, notice the phrase “whoever were set for life eonian.” Indicating someone else decided who would believe? This shows us it is God who does the choosing, no matter which church. Paul also penned this complete beautiful explanation for us at. Ephesians 1:3-13 Again to review, Paul, had a dual ministry, first to the Jew and then to the Gentiles. Acts 9:13-16 As Saul he was preaching Jesus as the risen Christ in fulfillment of scripture but as Paul with firsthand experience of Grace, his commission was to take that Grace evangel to all the nations. Grace is the evangel of the New Administration. Israel the nation at that same time was considered, one of the nations, because of being in the “Lo ammi” state. The Nation of Israel and the Remnant are also to be kept separated as each has prophetic information.
Jehovah divorced Israel over 400 hundred years previously for her unfaithfulness and her sentence was to be under Gentile domination during her lo ammi condition which began with the Babylonian captivity of seventy years, this Gentile domination continued over Israel down to Jesus day, she was still dominated by a Gentile Government. I can find no place in scripture where this lo-ammi state has yet ended. God did not deal with the nation of Israel any longer as His people from that pronouncement in Hosea. He did however choose individuals throughout that whole period of time as His prophets. Such as Daniel during that Babylonian captivity. He chose him and other men as prophets and they recorded history and His promises for Israel. In Jesus day God chose the men who were to follow Jesus and He showed them that, Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. These were the Remnant of Israel. The Nation was blind and calloused to spiritual things, because of being Lo ammi. Divorced and without Gods spirit, they could not understand spiritual things. Paul tells us this at Romans 11:25 “that callousness or blindness has come in part to Israel until the fullness of the gentiles has come in” Paul is telling us they will remain blind or calloused to spiritual things until, the body of Christ is completed. God always does the choosing and it is only by the aid of His spirit do any of us respond to Him and are able to understand His Word. 1 Corinthians 2:14 “Now the soulish man is not receiving those things which are of the spirit of God, for they are stupidity to him, and he is not able to know them.” Israel was soulish unable to understand the spiritual things of God. Without Gods spirit a person is blind to spiritual things. Paul tells us that Israel was indeed blind and calloused to spiritual things. Romans 11:7
After Saul was severed from Israel for his new work, we read that his name of Paul was then used, and that his teaching expanded to three new topics not taught by the Twelve Kingdom Apostles. Think on this, why not? If we all are going to the same place and both churches teach the same evangel?
(1). Justification, Acts 13:29-38 and Romans chapters 1-4
(2). Conciliation, Romans 5:8, 19, Romans 11:15 and 1 Corinthians 7:11 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19
(3). The “secret” administration of Ephesians 3:9 Colossians 1:26 and 4:3 1 Corinthians 4:1
The “secret” administration is further expanded on in Paul’s Prison epistles. Let’s review some verses, Colossians 1:18, 23-27 “For Christ’s body the ecclesia or church I, Paul became a dispenser in accord with the administration of God, which is granted to me, for you, to complete the word of God, the secret which has been concealed from the eons and from the generations, yet now was made manifest to His saints, to whom God wills to make known what are the glorious riches of this secret among the nations which is: Christ among you, the expectation of glory” Colossians 3:1-4 “If then, you were roused together with Christ, be seeking that which is above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Be disposed to that which is above, not to that on the earth, for you died, and your life is hid together with Christ in God. Whenever Christ, our Life, should be manifested, then you also shall be manifested together with Him in glory.” These instructions do not fit with Israel’s calling to the Kingdom on earth, to the land of Israel, land given to Abraham, which are promised allotments in the coming Kingdom on earth and the remnant of Israel, their commission to evangelize the nations for Christ. Their calling is earthly, ours is not as Paul so eloquently tells us at Ephesians 3:1-13 “On this behalf I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you, the nations…since you surely hear of the administration of the grace of God that is given to me for you, for by revelation the secret is made known to me..(according as I write before, in brief, by which you are reading are able to apprehend my understanding in the secret of the Christ, which, in other generations, is not made known to the sons of humanity as it was now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets): in spirit the nations are to be joint enjoyers of an allotment, and a joint body and joint partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus, through the evangel of which I became the dispenser….in accord with the gratuity of the grace of God, which is granted to me in accord with His powerful operation. To me, the least of all saints, was granted this grace: to bring the evangel of the untraceable riches of Christ to the nations, and to enlighten all as to what is the administration of the secret, which has been concealed from the eons in God, Who creates all that, now may be made known to the sovereignties and the authorities among the celestials, through the ecclesia, the multifarious wisdom of God in accord with the purpose of the eons, which He makes in Christ Jesus, our Lord, in Whom we have boldness and access with confidence, through His faith”
What is commonly taught is that the two ecclesia, become one ecclesia or church, with all saints going to heaven, but we must notice that Paul did not state that he and the twelve of Israel were going to the nations with this heavenly calling. If this was so wouldn’t he have used the term “our evangel”? If he had been preaching the same hope as the twelve it would have been ours and not my evangel. Instead Paul said “the evangel of which I became the dispenser” this would be a most arrogant thing to say, since the twelve preached long before his conversion. This phrase shows Paul’s evangel is different from the evangel of Peter and the eleven and again, this is the reason why Peter would say “the things Paul teaches are hard to apprehend” To Peter and all in the Remnant church whose hope was to be raised from the dead to rule and reign with Christ in the Kingdom on this earth, which is said to be the Millennial reign of Christ on earth of 1000 years, to the remnant believers, the idea of going to heaven was foreign to them as nothing was ever said of it in their Prophetic Word.
In Paul’s letters he sometimes will speak to Israel or about Israel’s evangel, explaining something to do with it and their hope and other times he is speaking to us. This has confused those who do not recognize the two separate callings. Imagine if we had Kingdom believers coming to our Bible Studies, wouldn’t we find it necessary to divide a passage and say, this is for you and not for us and this is for us and not you? This sometimes even confuses those who recognize Paul’s letters is where we find our information for the Body of Christ…they assume absolutely everything Paul said is ours. Not so!
We do not have the problem that Paul had in his day, because God is only working with the Body of Christ today. But that is how it was back in Paul’s day and he was the only Apostle who understood both evangels. He came out of the Kingdom evangel, literally severed from Israel and placed into the Grace Evangel by Christ, so he understood both and could minister to both and he did! Think of a President and his cabinet leaving office, there is a transition period of time as the new people come in and take over. In the case with Israel their work of heralding the Kingdom to their brethren probably slowed to a halt and especially when all of the twelve apostles were killed, meanwhile Paul’s evangel grew and spread into the surrounding nations. WE must remember God does the work in our church; He chooses and calls the believer, gives the earnest of the spirit and so they respond to Gods Word.
So even though Paul and the other apostles for the Body of Christ were killed this church did not come to a halt as the Remnant church did. As we learn to rightly divide we will recognize when Paul refers to an Israeli promise and when he is speaking only to those called into the Body of Christ. Individuals from every nation on earth are called, chosen by God for this church including some from Israel, placed in the Body of Christ but not all of Israel or the remnant apostles and their disciples! In Chapter Two we will look at, “Who does the choosing?”
Some scholars who date the letters in the New Testament, suggest that possibly Paul’s letters were written much earlier than any of the others. This does seem logical, since Paul had new information and especially for those called through Paul’s evangel into his church, The Body of Christ. These saints would need to be educated for their calling because there was no other information recorded in the Scriptures for this New Administration until Paul wrote about it. It is also sad to say, that today, most in the Body of Christ do not understand that Paul’s epistles are specifically for them and our calling to heaven is a special dispensation and not a reward for being good! The Body of Christ is called for a future work and it is important to understand also that Israel has a grand future here on the earth after we are called home by Christ. Paul teaches the Body of Christ is to be taken home, to heaven, not separately at each believer’s death, but we are to be roused and raised and will go together as one unit, the Body of Christ to meet Him in the air, commonly referred to as the rapture; the literal wording is the snatching away. There is a controversy over this word, rapture by those who deny the church will be taken to heaven before God begins working with Israel again. Rapture is a Latin word for a bird which snatches it prey. The scriptures were translated from Greek into the Latin about 100 years after Christ. Thus snatching away, translated as the rapture in the process from the Greek language to the Latin, one of the many word changes.
More on Paul’s commission, at 1Timothy 2:7 Paul says “for which I was appointed a herald and an apostle, a teacher of the nations in knowledge and truth.” The Basis for all Salvation is the “Blood of Christ” we have that in common with Israel which also puts all believers in Christ. These are all in God’s family. Ephesians 2:13-22 But there is a fork in the road, one leads to Jerusalem and one to the heavens. The road Israel marches on leads to the land of Israel and to Jerusalem. The remnant of Israel will be ruling and evangelizing the nations after the Great Tribulation in the reign of Christ for the 1000 years. Matthew 24:14 This commission given to Israel and is for the Kingdom on earth, they are to evangelize the world. Israel’s information is found in the books in the Bible written by their Prophets and Apostles. While the other road, leads the church of the “Body of Christ” to heaven or the celestials as stated in Ephesians 1:1-14 and 3:1-13
Paul tells us in the resurrection chapter which is, 1 Corinthians 15:40 that there are two types of glory, “the terrestrial glory, earthly and the celestial glory, heavenly. Also read Philippians 3:20,21 This was a new and different teaching from Israel’s Kingdom hope, which had always been for the Kingdom on earth in the Millennial reign of Christ. While the new information written only by Paul is for the Body of Christ with the celestial destiny…heaven. Israel’s did not change from the earthly to the heavenly as is taught by the denominations.
The very simple fact of who we are, as Gentiles, people of the nations, places us in Paul’s ministry to the nations and not in Israel’s promises. This is where Christendom has erred, they are mixing the two gospels, and the two churches with the two expectations together as one and it doesn’t work. Ephesians 4:14 Tells us of a time of deception for the “Body of Christ” and this mixing of the gospels is a part of it. Satan would like to rob us of the joy of knowing who we are in the body of Christ. We are chosen in grace for a heavenly ministry, something he is most likely jealous of? I suspect, Satan thinks if he can deceive those called into the Body of Christ that they will lose their calling. He does not understand Grace as neither do the denominations. But I can see when Christ calls His church, His body to meet Him in the air, which in the scriptures, the air is Satan’s domain, the atmosphere over this planet earth. Ephesians 2:1,2 WE will be brought right through Satan’s domain with our new Glorified Bodies, Satan then will be beneath our feet in both glory and power. He then will get a glimpse of what Grace truly is as those deceived by him do not lose their calling into Paul’s church.
As the twelve Apostles died off, the gospel to Israel also dies off; In fact, I think after Paul comes on the scene, it is possible all converts to his preaching were in the Body of Christ. There is a lot of controversy about this, some believe the body began at Paul’s conversion, since he would be the apostle for the “Body of Christ” Some think it was at his name change and some feel not until the signs and miracles had stopped as those physical signs were for Israel and not a part of the body of Christ since ours is a spiritual walk and destiny but we need to remember the powers Paul had at first, proved his apostleship and they did disappear. The signs and miracles were for Israel, in the past to prove they were sent by the True God and given to the Apostles to prove Jesus had been the Messiah. It was necessary for Paul who had first been persecuting the early believers, to also have these signs as part of his credentials to show beyond a doubt that God had called him as an Apostle. Those gifts were just a small example of what Israel will be accomplishing in the Kingdom on earth in the future. From Acts 13 forward with his name change and the stating that, he was severed for the work of going to the nations this then became the primary Gospel from God, through Paul and down to us today and will continue until; “The Body of Christ” is completed and taken to meet the “Lord in the air.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and also Paul explaining the process of our glorification in Christ at 1 Corinthians 15:51-54
Another example is found in Paul’s words of how to Rightly Divide which is for us to watch for little words like, they, them, us and you. These are words spoken to specific people. Stop and ask yourself. If Paul is speaking to me would he say, they? Like in 1 Thessalonians 5:3 “Now whenever they may be saying Peace and security, then extermination is standing by them unawares.” Examine the context, Paul is not speaking to you and me but he is speaking about Israel in the future. We see in 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul was telling the Body of Christ of how Christ would be calling us “to meet Him in the air.” Notice how he uses, you and we. He then goes on to discuss some of the events to happen for Israel with the words, they and them! As we read Paul’s letters we will see places like this where he counsels Israel about her calling and also the Body of Christ about ours. So we have to learn when to distinguish between these. This is rightly dividing or cutting Israel’s info from ours. It stands to reason; these two groups of saints did not initially meet separately. The common bond for all of them was Christ, but if Israel was facing the apostasy, the antichrist and the tribulation time period and would see Christ’s return to the earth, the information Paul gives about that time is for them and not for us. Because, Paul tells us, “We are not appointed to indignation” but are to be “snatched and taken to meet Christ in the air” before the indignation happens for Israel. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Israel, then would need to ignore our counsel, Yet we can see Paul refers to them again in the next Chapter with information which pertains to them, Israel, as prophesied long ago for a future time period…the last days.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 Paul continues to explain about the “Day of the Lord coming as a thief” and giving details, then notice in Verse 3 “whenever they may be saying “Peace and Security” then extermination is standing by them unawares” He uses the words they and them. Paul is referring to those of Israel who will be a part of that scenario by those words and now notice the change in Verse 4, where he speaks to those in the Body of Christ.” NOW, you brethren, are not in darkness, as we are not of the night or of the darkness consequently” read through to Verse 9 “God did not appoint us to indignation” and Verse 11 “whether we may watching or drowsing, we should be living at the same time together with Him” The words, NOW you and us., Those small words show us two different groups of people being referred to. The Day of the Lord will come as a thief to the apostates of Israel and the world, taking them unawares. But, the Remnant of that future day will recognize Christ as their Messiah by means of the prophecies which will be unfolding before their very eyes, if they stay awake.
Paul contrasted those statements found in the Old Testament for Israel to those in the Body of Christ, Saints, who are not appointed unto that time of Indignation. So can we see how in these two chapters, he refers to both churches? Paul is rightly dividing showing them the separation. Israel goes through the tribulation, the time of indignation, we do not. We cannot read the scriptures like a novel or a set of instructions applicable to everyone. It just doesn’t work; we have to know how to rightly divide the Word to understand for whom it is written and for whom it applies. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 Romans 5:9 This tribulation time is for Israel and not the Body of Christ. It is sometimes referred to as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” but in Manual Two we will discuss in depth the Prophetic evangel for Israel and see if that is correct or not, I no longer think it is. The use of the name Jacob has to do with him in rebellion, his name was changed to Israel and his 12 sons, were the fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel with all his descendants being called Israelites. As for God’s indignation or wrath and for what time period please compare 1 Peter 4:17 “judgment on the house of God” This directly contradicts Paul’s words at Romans 8:1 “There is no condemnation for those in Christ” Yet there are some who believe the Body of Christ must suffer through the tribulation because they do not separate the two evangels and the two churches! But we have to see those times of indignation are in reference to Israel’s evangel and not ours.
Paul was a Jew an Israeli and a Pharisee who knew the law and the scriptures perfectly. He knew of the prophecies for Israel and her future destiny. He could minister to them but remember he had been severed from Israel and those promises no longer applied to him nor any other Israeli called into the Body of Christ. God calls people from every Nation on the earth to be in the body of Christ, but we must understand those called by God to be in the Remnant church of Israel…stayed put! The words of Paul and Peter will contradict in respect to the two churches. All of Israel’s information will conflict and contradict Paul. Israel had been under the Law and in a covenant and a marriage relationship, they were unfaithful to it. The Gentile nations never were under the law nor in a covenant relationship, likened to a marriage to Jehovah. Paul’s evangel is based solely in GRACE apart from the Law; we do not need to repent in order to be acceptable to God. Israel needs to repent from her apostasy. Repent, means to turn around, they need to turn around and go back to Jehovah. For The Body of Christ, He chooses us and calls us without consulting us or asking us if we want this. He does this all by means of His Spirit; by giving us a measure of the spirit which is referred to as an “earnest of the spirit,” a down payment which guarantees our expectation given to us and this spirit enables us to recognize our need of a redeemer. What all humanity needs is to be redeemed from death inherited from Adam. Christ accomplished this by His death, burial and resurrection.
The division between administrations is only one of the many ways we must learn to rightly divide the scriptures. Jesus gave us an example of rightly dividing between dispensation in His earthly ministry in Luke 4:17-21 This is where He stood up in the synagogue and unrolled the scroll of Isaiah 61:1-9 and read the first two verses. Then stopping mid sentence and sitting down, He said “today this has been fulfilled” What He meant was that, the part of the paragraph He had just read was fulfilled in Him that very day, but He stopped in the middle of the sentence. He could not read on and say what He said, because the rest of the sentence and paragraph were not fulfilled that day and would not be fulfilled for 1000’s of years even. It had a future fulfillment! Please read that passage in Isaiah through, highlight where Christ stops, the rest is for the future and fits in perfectly with the many other prophecies for Israel in the times of restoration and of their last days and their Kingdom to come on this earth.
Some teach that all the prophecies for Israel have been fulfilled and the Last Days for Israel happened at A.D. 70. These are those who spiritualize the scriptures, not taking what is literal as literal. Those who spiritualize the scriptures must make up very fancy myths in order to explain the coming future prophecies. This in itself is another lesson. The rest of the passage in Isaiah from which Jesus read will be fulfilled after He calls the Body of Christ “to meet Him in the air.” He then will be invisibly present with Israel, bringing about for Israel the “times of restoration”, Peter spoke of at Acts 3:21 He will pour out His spirit on Israel and all the prophecies lying in wait will begin to unroll. Many of the dispersed Jews will be called from the four corners of the earth to the land of Israel. He will choose a remnant from Israel again, giving them insight into the Word of God. He will call out the 144,000, to proclaim Christ and that the advent is near, warning of the antichrist and of the approaching, trumpets, woes, seals and the bowls of the book of Revelation. This finally will end the apostasy and the antichrist’s domination and his attempt to destroy all Israel. Christ’s arrival, rescues them and He appears visibly on Mount Olivet. He will ride into Jerusalem on the ass and be hailed, FINALLY as King. Zechariah 12-14 This will be in fulfillment of those prophecies and will end this eon or age we are now living in. The Kingdom age or eon will begin with the 1000 year reign of Christ beginning with the resurrection of the twelve Apostles and the remnant church, which seems to be 75 days after Christ’s return. Daniel 12
Zechariah 10:6,7 Jehovah promises Israel. “And I will strengthen the house of Judah and I will save the house of Joseph and I bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them; and they shall be as though I had not cast them off” Israel was in a Law dispensation and we are in the Grace dispensation. Next will be the Kingdom dispensation with Christ ruling. The example of Jesus reading from Isaiah shows us how carefully one must be to note the separation of what is fulfilled and what is yet future. It is also an example of how a prophecy can have a near and far fulfillment and must be divided into the time it is intended for by God. When you read Zechariah 12-14 carefully note as you read the information which is for the present day and what was not to happen until the last days and into the Kingdom. We have other examples of this, such as Daniel 12:2 “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” This sounds like one resurrection with the faithful and the unfaithful rising together. Yet Revelation 20: 5, 6 separates these two groups for us, the Just will be raised at the beginning of the 1000 years and “the rest of the dead” who are “the unjust” raised after the 1000 years are over at the Great White Throne.
More contrasts with Israel and the Body of Christ: Some teach the seven churches mentioned in the first 3 chapters of Revelation are “The Body of Christ.” If this were so, it would be taking us from the Grace that Paul teaches to earning our salvation like Israel with their covenant and away from the rapture to the celestials and putting us on earth to live in the tribulation time which is for Israel and not us. These seven churches are future churches in the last days, made up of Jewish Remnant believers. The book of Revelation is for Israel and not for us. We always need to look at the terminology used and ask the question, is the terminology, consistent with Grace? If it is not, it is not for us. In the book of Revelation as in all of Israel’s letters we find works and faith with warnings of loss. They are told they must endure and conquer if they want the reward of living or ruling in the Kingdom era. Israel has faith and works, signs and miracles. Their books are not compatible with “the Grace dispensation” also because they are prophetic and filled with admonition for Israel, of their past and the last days leading to the tribulation time with the antichrist and the judgments from God and then will come Christ’s arrival.
We should always think of Israel as earthly and physical “The Kingdom made ready for you from the disruption or foundation of the World” Matthew 25:34 Her Law and Covenant fulfilled by the man, Jesus Christ. In contrast, The Body of Christ is spiritual and was “chosen before the disruption or foundation” of the World” Ephesians 1:4 A good question is to ask why The Body of Christ was chosen before the World began, before sin existed? Also 1 Peter 1:20 tells us “the lamb was slain before the disruption.” Everything in Gods creation covered by the blood of Christ and His Grace, before it was even needed, nothing was left to chance, all bound to Gods intention! Israel is commissioned to evangelize the world to Christ, but not in this eon, it is for the future eon. We are going to be used to reconcile the spirit world to God; our ministry today is to encourage fellow Body members in sound doctrine. In the heavens we will continue our mission to reconcile all to God through God’s Grace displayed in us. We, in contrast to Israel have been “given every spiritual blessing”. Ephesians 1:3-12 we will be gone to our assignment in the heavens before the book of Revelation begins to unfold as Paul tells us. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and 1 Thessalonians 5: 8-11
The tool of “correctly cutting or rightly dividing Gods word” is far more encompassing than just separating the Remnant of Israel from the Body of Christ but also of prophecy and dispensations. The more I study the Bible, the more I see this tool is needed for the entire Bible. Once this is understood there will be no need to spiritualize scriptures because the puzzle of Gods plan for the ages just becomes clearer and clearer. Practice this and enjoy your studies
I hope you have looked up all the Scriptures referenced in this first Chapter and will continue to do so as you go through each of the Chapters. We want to learn from Gods Word which is alive and our spirit within does respond to it. Please put all previous doctrines aside and just let God’s Words speak to you. If you find the time you might take the passages I give and do a trace for similar passages, most good Study Bibles will reference to other places a word or subject is used or repeated.
As I have previously said I use the King James AV and the Concordant Literal Version mostly in this Manual. I have the Companion Bible and it has very nice notes in the margin which tells when a word means something a little or a lot different from how the King James translators chose to translate them. In its margins, Bullinger made a note if it indeed in the older manuscripts, the Hebrew or Greek words was not literally translated correctly. One important such word is the Hebrew word Olam or in the Greek its Aionian. These two words pertain to a period of time and not eternity. In the Greek they are the word eon or in our English we might use age. Research shows us these two words were wrongly translated as eternity, eternal, forever, everlasting and even world and worlds is used in the King James when eternals did not make sense. Many errors were made, due to the translating process from Greek to Latin and later the Latin was put back into the Greek and then translated into the Archaic English Language of 1611.
This wrongly translated word has caused a lot of misunderstanding as to what God is saying in His Word. Please read the pamphlets on this subject. One is by John Dokas, “AGES or ETERNITY and the KING JAMES VERSION” or “Whence Eternity” by Alexander Thompson and “At the end of the Ages and the Abolition of Hell” by Bob Evely. firstname.lastname@example.org
Louis Abbot also did tremendous research on this word Aionan or eon and his work can be found at www.godstruthfortoday.org
These research studies are excellent sources for researching the true meaning of these words and explaining the wrongful translation of them into eternity and other similar words. God created the “eons” for humanity since we are bound by time…our minds cannot comprehend …eternity, which means, no beginning and no end and that only applies to God…all else is created thus having a beginning.