"Behold, the heavens, and the heaven of heavens, cannot contain thee" (1 Kings 8:27)

 

 

Bible Study

"Strive diligently to present thyself approved to God, a workman that has not to be ashamed, cutting in a straight line the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)

"Every scripture [is] divinely inspired, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be complete, fully fitted to every good work."  (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

 

Home

Getting to Heaven

Articles & Quotes

Bible Study

Bible Questions

Links

Feedback

 

 

 

New Testament Greek English Lexicon

A Table of the Levitical Offerings - E. Davies

The Three Phases of the Church (One Page Chart) - R.L.B.

Paul's Two Sets of Epistles - Dee Lee McCroskey  [PDF]  In this old November-December 1969 issue of the Last Day Messenger our late brother Dee Lee McCruskey explained why the gift of tongues and other "sign gifts" are no longer part of the present dispensation.  (Note: the Last Day Messenger is no longer being published)

The Church, How and Why It Changed During the Book of Acts 
Many teachers speak of "the Church" as if that designation embodies a certain set of practices, and a specific sphere of blessing (in  the heavenlies), and that this "Church" has remained without change from Pentecost to the present day.  Some contemporary writers have even criticized the apostles for "confusing" the earthly kingdom with "the Church."  And many view the Acts "Church" as "The Pattern Church" for our day.  In this paper we seek to study three phases experienced by God's "Gathering" in the Acts, and what this means for the present day "ekklesia." - R.L.B.

How Many "Churches" existed during the Book of Acts?   Are we asking the wrong question when we say a new "church" began at Acts 9, or Acts 13, or after Acts 28.  See why this misunderstanding may have led to ideas that contradict certain passages of scripture. - R.L.B.

The Miracles, Signs and Wonders of the Great Commission 
Which parts of the Great Commission should we practice?  Is there anything in the Great Commission we should not practice?  Miraculous signs and wonders were an integral part of the Great Commission.  This paper presents a graphical display of the 65 times miraculous signs and wonders are mentioned in the book of Acts.  This paper may prompt you to reconsider some contemporary theories about signs and wonders in the Acts, and whether, in the light of Scripture, they have a place in the local church today. - R.L.B.

A Brief History of the Dispensational Movement    This article traces the dispensational position of the church as understood by "Brethren" writer John Nelson Darby and by subsequent believers who have continued to research dispensationalism.  It includes discussion as to when the present-day church begin, and when the present dispensation begin.  Was it Acts 2?  Acts 9?  Acts 13?  Acts 28:28? Or after Acts 28:28?  Was there more than one 'church?'  Of which 'church' are we members today?  And, when God makes dispensational changes, (such as occurred during the historical Acts record), does this necessarily mean He is starting a new church?  - R.L.B.

Comparison of Spiritual Gifts Before and After Acts 28:28  
This is a chart comparing the spiritual gifts given to believers during the Acts period with different gifts given to Christ's ekklesia after National Israel was hardened and blinded.
- R.L.B.

What really is the Gospel for the unsaved?
We are all familiar with First Corinthians 15:3-4.  But that is the good news for believers.  God's 'evangelists' (Peter, Philip, Stephen, Apollos, and Paul) avoided preaching "Christ died for your sins" to unbelievers.  In this study we briefly examine each of the gospel messages and defenses found in the book of Acts to see exactly what gospel these evangelists actually preached.  If it was right for them, should we 'improve' on what these servants of God proclaimed?  - R.L.B.

Why the Rapture Did Not Happen May 21, 2011  A refutation of  the teaching of the late Harold Camping.  -  R.L.B.

One Page Outline of the Acts - R.L.B.

Chart of the Acts, Viewed Prophetically and Dispensationally - R.L.B.

The Book of Acts, Dispensationally Considered  - R.L.B.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The following study, "Acts, A Brief Outline," presents a number of important features of truth found in the book of Acts.  If this brief outline sparks your interest, be sure to read the above more complete article on Acts, with Scripture references.

Acts, A Brief Outline

Here, in brief, is the dispensational position of Acts as it relates to God's chosen people Israel, and as it relates to believers today:

1.  The book begins with the statement that Acts is a continuing record of the ministry of the Lord Jesus to the nation Israel.

2.  The missing apostle (Judas Iscariot) is replaced by Matthias, restoring the 12, all of whom must be in place so the offer of the millennial kingdom can be made to the 12 tribes of the Jewish Nation.

3.  The Lord Jesus ascends into heaven and the Holy Spirit descends upon believers, thus forming them into a special body of Christians known as the called-out-ones, a word we often translate "church."

4.  On the day of Pentecost the first signs of the great and terrible "day of the Lord" prophesied by Joel are proclaimed.  The word of God is preached to Jews only.

5.  The message of Peter promises the immediate return of the Lord and the restoration to Israel of the physical kingdom on earth as part of the "New Covenant" promised to Israel and Judah in Jeremiah 31.  This restoration is conditional on Israel's repentance and belief in their Messiah.

6.  Corporate Israel at Jerusalem resists the gospel of the kingdom. In Acts 10 God, therefore, begins to harden part of Israel by opening the door of salvation to Gentiles.  The salvation of Gentiles (while Israel remains in unbelief) is a "mystery" that would provoke His "chosen people" to jealousy, and would either result in Israel's conversion, or in their hardening and blindness.  Throughout the entire book of Acts the central theme of God's message is the salvation of His people Israel, since prophesy identifies Israel as God's missionary people who will, in turn, lead Gentiles to the Lord.

7.  Saul of Tarsus (Paul) becomes God's apostle to the Gentiles. Paul is not one of the twelve apostles.  However, throughout the book of Acts, even though Paul is specifically the apostle of the Gentiles he always goes to the Jews of the dispersion first.  But each time the Jews reject Paul's message, he goes to the Gentiles.  Gentiles are now being saved because of Israel's unbelief, (a mystery), not through their faithfulness, (as in prophecy).  God is slowly breaking off the natural (Jewish) branches and grafting wild (Gentile) branches into the blessings of the New Covenant promised in prophecy to Israel and Judah. Throughout the Acts we see the miracles and signs of the "Great Commission." The book of Hebrews calls these signs and wonders "the works of power of the age to come" (Heb. 6:5).  This "age to come" is the millennium. Therefore, these miracles and signs pertain to the promised earthly [millennial] kingdom, indicating that during the book of Acts God is still primarily calling Israel to repentance.

8. As Israel's unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit nears finality, Israel's covenant status is about to temporarily be put on hold.  God has already introduced the mystery of Israel's blindness.  Now he is about to introduce additional features of this "mystery."  None of these features of truth are found in prophecy.  God had kept them secret from the beginning of time, and He is about to replace Israel's prophesied earthly millennial kingdom sphere of blessing with the heavenly blessings of the "mystery.".

9.  Even though God, in His mercy, provoked Israel to jealousy by including Gentiles in the blessings of the New Covenant, Israel unhappily chose to reject their Messiah, even though He was Divinely authenticated by means of the miracles, signs and wonders of the Holy Spirit, and by His resurrection from the dead.  This rejection begins at Jerusalem, and continues with the Jews of the dispersion scattered throughout the world.  Finally, at Rome, all Israel (temporarily) ceases to be God's missionary vehicle for the salvation of the Gentile world.  With an air of finality, at Acts 28:25-29 Paul quotes the prophecy of Isaiah 6:9-10 to the Jewish leaders at Rome, pronouncing final blindness upon the corporate nation Israel, thus ending their preferred covenant position that required Paul to minister "to the Jew first." 

10.  With the blinding of Israel, all mention of the outward physical signs of the earthly kingdom cease (miraculous powers, tongues, healing, immunity to poison, etc.). These kingdom gifts ceased because they all had to do with validating to Israel the ministers and blessings of the earthly kingdom which are now placed in abeyance. (Compare 1 Cor. 12:28 with Eph. 4:11 and note the absence of the miraculous sign gifts that pertain to the Nation that requires a sign).

11. After the book of Acts ends, with corporate Israel temporarily out of the picture, the prophetic program of God is placed on hold and all aspects of the "mystery" previously hidden in God are fully and completely revealed.  Like the "New Covenant" the basis of this new revelation rests in the precious shed blood of the Lord Jesus.  However, this new revelation goes far beyond the terms of the New Covenant in that it includes a new sphere of blessing for all believers, whether Gentile or Jew, without any national distinction or covenantal preferences whatsoever.  This new message for believers is described as "every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ" (Eph. 1:3).

[Click here for the more detailed version of the above brief outline]

 

Home | Eternal Salvation | Articles | Bible Study | Q & A | Links | Feedback

Updated 2017  -  Thy Testimonies