Friday, February 22, 2013

Lesson 7.4 of Bible Interpretation.

Rule 7.4:  Distinguish Between the Two Advents of Christ

This lesson is borrowed from the booklet “Seven rules for Bible Interpretation”, written by REV. M. L. LOWE, D.D. with supplemental material by David W. Holden.
(Words in Bright red, mine)


      To his class, Dr. Lowe graphically portrayed “The Mountain Peaks of Prophecy”, making this passage “come alive” to our young minds and hearts:

1Peter 1:11  [The prophets…]“Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it [He] testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.”

            From their distant viewpoint, the prophets could see two mountain peaks!  They could see Mount Calvary, and readily identify that as “the sufferings of Christ” as portrayed in such passages as ISAIAH 53.  They also saw the high peak of the coming Messiah to establish His kingdom!  But from their distant point of view, the prophets saw both peaks as one, and though they did not understand how it could be, they wrote as The Holy Spirit dictated.  It was not revealed to them that between these two magnificent “peaks” there was the “valley” of this present Church Age, a Dispensation of which nothing was revealed to them!  But we, from the “valley” look back at Calvary, and look forward to Christ’s return, “the glory that should follow”!  The dictation continued:

            See also the distinction made by Christ Himself, recorded in Luke 4:18-21.  Reading from Isaiah 61, He ended His reading at a comma, and plainly stated: “This day is THIS Scripture fulfilled in your ears”!  That which follows the comma in Isaiah is yet to be fulfilled at His second coming!  If the Lord Jesus made such a distinction, we will do well not to disrupt His plan by disregarding verse 19!

         Our Lord “came unto His own, and His own received Him not” –and the kingdom He would have established for Israel then was “postponed”.  It shall yet be established; but for now, we who are believers, have but one message to proclaim: the Gospel of the Grace of God!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lesson 7.3 of Bible interpretation

This lesson is borrowed from the booklet “Seven rules for Bible Interpretation”, written by REV. M. L. LOWE, D.D. with supplemental material by David W. Holden.

Rule 7.3:  Distinguish Between the Different Gospels, Especially The Gospel of the Kingdom and The Gospel of the Grace of God!...

          The Bible Record is so clear, we wonder how anyone can miss the fact of this distinction:  At the beginning of His earthly ministry, what did Jesus preach?

Matt. 4:23 “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom…”

            When He sent His disciples out on their first missionary tour, where did He send them?  And with what message?

Matt. 10:5-7 “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
            Does anyone have the right to take “The Gospel of The Kingdom” and preach it to the heathen Gentile? Or to the Church of the Redeemed?  The Gospel of the Kingdom can do nothing for the souls of lost men and women!  That’s why we now have “The Gospel of the Grace of God”!  The Gospel of the Kingdom is for the Jewish nation—it is good news that they shall yet have their kingdom, when Christ returns in His glory to set up that kingdom.  But for now—for the believer—there is:

Acts 20:24 “…the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”

      Don’t ever be guilty of mixing the Gospel of Grace with any other “gospel”, even the gospel of the kingdom!  See Galations 1:3-9.  Think of the curse of God which rests on whole denominations for ignoring this truth! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Lesson 7.2 of Bible Interpretation.

Lesson 7.2 of Bible Interpretation.

This lesson is borrowed from the booklet “Seven rules for Bible Interpretation”, written by REV. M. L. LOWE, D.D. with supplemental material by David W. Holden.
(Words in Bright red, mine)

Rule 7.2:  Distinguish Ethinic or Racial Divisions…

It is not popular these days to discriminate about (we did not say “against”) people of certain categories. However, God places all men one of three specific classes!  The Bible is very discriminating:

1 Corinthians 10:32 “…the Jews,…the Gentiles,…and the church of God.”

As this was studied, all questions about races and classes of nationalities ended, and we rejoiced as the Bible truth settled in our hearts!  These are the notes we took:

That God has established three different groups of mankind in (“and” perhaps?) His dealing will clear up much understanding. 

God chose Israel out of all the nations of the earth, and He chooses to deal with them as a nation differently than any or all other races, nations, peoples or tongues.  As for the unsaved, they are either Jew or Gentile, both in need in redemption.  God will yet bring a national regeneration to Israel for the purpose of proving His tender care for His chosen people during the Kingdom Age.  But now, during this Age of Grace, as always, He provides one way of salvation to “whosoever will”, Jew or Gentile.  From both Jew and Gentile, however, He is now calling out a people for His Name, and these are His Church, which He recognizes and deals with in an entirely different manner than either Jew or Gentile.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Lesson 7.1 of Bible Interpretation.

This lesson is borrowed from the booklet “Seven rules for Bible Interpretation”, written by REV. M. L. LOWE, D.D. with supplemental material by David W. Holden.
(Words in Bright red, mine)

Rule 7.1:  The Scriptures Must Be Rightly Divided.

          This booklet proposes “SEVEN RULES FOR BIBLE INTERPRETATION”, and this seventh link in an unbreakable chain readily divides itself into seven additional areas of detailed study!  (Each will be a different blog post) We might emphasize the analogy of comparison to a seven-link chain, anchoring this link to the solid rock of Holy Writ by a seven-fold grapple (the end link of a chain connected to its object by seven individual grapples). 

          The key verse on which this indispensible “link” is fashioned is, of course, the theme of all Bible research: 
2Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

      This prompted the question which Dr. Lowe presented to his class:

*When is the Bible Rightly Divided?...

      This is the vital consideration of the student of the Word.

What follows is perhaps the most important set of distinctions needed by every earnest student of the Word.  Follow these points very thoroughly.  Dr. Lowe answered his question, “When is the Bible Rightly Divided?” as follows:

The Bible is rightly divided when we take note of the great highways, the continental divides, the natural water sheds which are clearly evident along the way from GENESIS to REVELATION.

Since those Bible school days, the American road patterns have shifted from the first New York to San Francisco “Lincoln Highway” to the modern Interstate System!  Even though not yet completed, the practicality of the network is unsurpassed.  Look for the great highways of traffic through the Bible – the roads which connect the important centers!  Travel those thoroughfares!
 America is blessed with two “Continental Divides” of major proportions, the Apalachins and the Rockies, and numerous other smaller “divides”.  Two drops of rain can fall side by side, and one end up in the Mississippi river and the Gulf of Mesico, and the other in the Ocean!  The Bible has one great spiritual “Continental Divide” with mount Calvary as the highest focal point!  Everything in the Old Testament leads to this peak; everything in the New Testament is dependent upon that marvelous summit of God’s Grace!

There are Dispensational differences which must be always taken into account before any passage is given an interpretation.  There are differences in the Covenants, each of the eight covenants have their own place, their own references, and their own applications.  God has divided mankind into three groups, and each is handled differently in the Word. 

In a similar mosaic, through the center of our country flows the Mississippi, north to south, with hundreds of tributaries from east to west.  Likewise, all “tributaries of prophecy” shall flow together (the regathering of Israel, for example) and shall flow into their culmination in the coming kingdom of our Lord!  The natural “watersheds” of other Biblical truths similarly fulfill their intended purpose.  So, in Bible study, don’t try to pick a channel of spiritual truth flowing into the Atlantic and place it along side the great Columbia River of some far removed other truth.  To more accurately expound this, follow along the notes of our teacher: 

1.     We Must Consider the Dispensations, Especially Law and Grace…

There are seven dispensations, periods of time when God deals with man in respect to his obedience to some specific revelation of Himself.  There is an abrupt change in God’s dealing with mankind at Calvary!  The dispensation of LAW ended—the Dispensation of GRACE began.  They are entirely separate, they do not an they CANNOT mix!  It is just this simple:

John 1:17 “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

      The believer now lives in…

Eph. 3:2 “…the dispensation of the grace of God…”

It is from this vantage point that the Bible student surveys the Book from GENESIS through THE REVELATION.  These are the faithful instructors notes:

            The Lord is the same at all times (Hebrews 13:8), but He deals differently with men at different times.  Yet He never contradicts Himself or His promises.  If, in one dispensation, He legislates capital punishment for man, He does not do away with that regulation at another time.  However, for the one who receives his salvation, He deals with a newly-revealed grace; yet, the unrepentant man is still under the earlier provision. 
            The Law was given to Israel, and to Israel alone.  No other people could keep the law; the Jews could not keep the law.  It’s purpose is to show us how unable we are to earn our salvation, thus to bring us to the place where we are willing to receive the redemption Christ offers in grace.

We stand now near the close of the Dispensation of Grace.  The dispensation of the LAW ended at Calvary; this Dispensation of Grace will end shortly at the Rapture.  Just as it is folly to try to bring in the LAW again, so it is also folly to try to “live in the kingdom” before that final Dispensation, the Dispensation of Christ’s great Kingdom on earth! Study the Dispensations! Keep each separate from the others—they are each separated by a specific Biblical boundary!  Today, live in the revealed truth of this AGE OF GRACE! Know about the others, keep them in their Biblical perspective.  In Grace we have all we need to live triumphantly, looking for our Lord’s return! Especially, “Don’t live in the past” (the LAW) applies here.