Heaven's Royal Proclamation
(Pt. 5)

By William Handschumacher

Rock of Offence Special Commentary






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This is Part 5 of a five-part Bible study.
Click on the appropriate link to access
the next part.

Part 1 --- Part 2 --- Part 3

Part 4

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Religious Error #5


The Ongoing Effort to Discredit
the Epistles of Saint Paul


Over three quarters of the Bible consists of Mosaic Law and its spiritual government. We see the beginning of this program in the book of Genesis, which continues about half-way into the New Testament book of Acts. It was exclusively given to Israel through Moses at Mount Sinai. Yet, as we repeat throughout this study, one of Christ’s main objectives was to fulfill the entire Mosaic law (and all 613 of its commandments), nail it to the cross ... and ‘take it out of the way’; as revealed in Matthew 5:17 and Colossians 2:13-14. God speaking through Saint Paul, in order not to be misunderstood, uses slightly different terminology in Ephesians 2:11-22 and further reveals that Christ abolished the law ... while Hebrews 7:11-22 uses the word ‘annulled’ to describe this Divine act. Even more evidence is provided in Romans 6:14, Romans 7:1-6, Romans 8:1-4 and Hebrews 8:13. However, as the reader might imagine, this provision of the cross is rejected by professing Christians who continue to embrace the law. Yet, it exists as a core provision of Christ’s salvation.

The New Testament contains indisputable support for Christ’s fulfillment of the Law and its removal. Yet, many church leaders and denominations have built their salvation doctrine on its tenants, in contradiction to the clear teaching of Scripture. Saint Paul was the one who revealed that Christ has invalidated the very law they continue to embrace ... and his writings are part of God’s official canon of Scripture on which Christians are to base their faith. As a result, these church leaders and the denominations they represent are faced with a dilemma. The only way to preserve their reputations is to somehow discredit Paul and cast doubt on his Epistles to the Church ... which represents nearly half of the entire New Testament. Unfortunately, many choose this path as a way to deal with the problem – instead of asking forgiveness and admitting they interpreted the Scriptures wrong.

Many years ago, I was listening to a documentary on the Discovery Channel about the Bible and the ministry of the Apostle Paul. They presented an excellent video review of his ministry, which ended with an interview of around 5 or 6 prominent theologians from different denominations, most of whom possessed ‘Doctor of Divinity’ degrees and other impressive seminary credentials. As with any documentary, a lot of good historical information was provided. However, it was some of the conclusions of these theologians that were greatly troubling. Toward the end of their interviews, they commented that the problem with Paul – was that many of his writings on the subject of salvation disagree with the teachings of Jesus Christ. As a result, some believed Paul to be a “rogue apostle” whose teachings are questionable and should not be taken seriously. This is nearly identical to pastor’s position, cited as an example under “Religious Error #3” in part 4 of this study who commented - “Who are you going to obey, Jesus or Paul” ... and used the exact same argument as the theologians in this documentary.


As we previously discovered, the
reason for this difference is that
the cross changed all the rules
that govern salvation. During
His earthly ministry, Jesus taught
about how salvation was obtained
under the Mosaic Law that
governed before the cross
. Yet,
Paul taught about how salvation
is obtained under the New
Covenant that now governs the
Church after the cross
.



Any true representative and minister of the resurrected Christ understands this truth - and would be quick to provide it as the reason the teachings of Jesus and Paul are different. Yet, many ministers claim to represent Christ - but actually don’t. These are the ones who attempt to discredit or completely ignore Paul because his New Testament Epistles expose the flaws in their doctrine.

Why Paul is Important


As we learned in the previous section, Christ’s words, emphasized in red in most Bibles, do not include all of His words. After ascending back to heaven, Jesus continues to speak – and we are warned not to ignore His heavenly words; as revealed in Hebrews 12:22-26.

“See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him (Jesus Christ) who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him (the resurrected Jesus Christ) Who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.’”



However, following the cross
and His ascension, Jesus is
no longer on earth and cannot
speak to everyone face to
face. This fact sets the stage
for one of the most fantastic
events in the Bible;

The Pauline Revelation



Since Jesus could not speak to us ‘face to face’ concerning the details of his redemption provided at the cross – He called a special man and brought him up to heaven, where he provided these words in person. Paul, previously a Jewish Pharisee, was chosen for this task and became Christ’s official liaison to the Church. As a result, he was given the title; Apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13), which is another way of saying that Paul was ‘God’s chosen Apostle to the Church’ - which consists mostly of Gentiles. Contrary to popular church teachings, none of the other apostles were given this authority or title. As a result, Paul was the only apostle to whom Christ entrusted the full details of what He accomplished at the cross, which he refers to as ‘The Mystery of Christ’.

The following Scriptures reveal
the details of Paul’s trip to the
throne of God.



"It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows — such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows — how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter." (2 Corinthians 12:1-4)

"But I make known to you, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was a taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ." (Galatians 1:11-12)

"For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles — if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power." (Ephesians 3:1-7)



Here’s a brief synopsis of
what’s happening.


The Old Testament program of the Law operated from Moses until the cross, where all the previous rules that governed how salvation is obtained - came to an end. From this time on, salvation is now governed by the New Covenant of Christ, which is based on Grace (God’s unmerited and undeserved favor).

“And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the Law was given through Moses, but Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:14-17)


The gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – along with the first half of the book of Acts provides the transition between Old Testament Law and New Covenant Grace. The eleven apostles preached the gospel to their Jewish audience according to what Jesus had taught them before He ascended. However, we should remember that, shortly before the cross Christ made it clear that the full knowledge about what He was about to do couldn’t be revealed - until after the Holy Spirit arrived on the day of Pentecost ... which happened around 10 days after His ascension. This is important - since the Church could not exist until the Holy Spirit arrived to indwell believers.


“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify Me: For He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” (the words of Jesus from John 16:7-14)



Yet, when Paul arrived on the scene - and after the Pauline Revelation had taken place - the apostles now had the full details of what the cross provided. How do we know this? Paul stated that, after his revelation in Arabia, he visited only the leading apostles (at that time it was Peter and James) to explain what had happened (See Galatians 1:11-24). It’s important to remember that none of the original apostles of Christ had this knowledge until Paul told them what Jesus had entrusted to him while in heaven. The Pauline Revelation, which is called ‘God’s hidden wisdom’ was the exclusive source of this knowledge, which was previously unknown to anyone until it was revealed to Saint Paul.

"However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew, for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory." (1 Corinthians 2:6-8)


The "rulers of this age" that Paul speaks about here are ‘high order’ demonic spirits, which were responsible for planning and orchestrating Christ's crucifixion behind the scene. If Jesus and His disciples (during His earthly ministry) went around preaching the details of the yet future New Covenant, Paul said that these demonic spirits would have never crucified Christ. Why? The New Covenant in Christ's blood (Luke 22:20 and 1 Corinthians 11:25) was God's secret plan (Paul calls it "God’s hidden wisdom") to utterly destroy Satan's dominion over the human race. Christ's crucifixion was the centerpiece of God's plan. The New Covenant couldn't become reality without the crucifixion of our Lord. As a result of Christ's "information blackout" Satan and his demonic world didn't learn about their mistake until it was too late.


If any human being, including
the disciples, had previously
known 'God's hidden wisdom',
then these ruling demonic
spirits spirits would have the
same knowledge.

Yet, the Bible says that they
didn't know, which is why they
went ahead and crucified Christ.



Critics argue that the original Apostles of Christ already knew the truths of the Pauline Revelation – before Paul arrived on the scene. However, if this is true, God had no need to give a special calling and apostolic authority to someone outside this elite group ... since Paul was not one of the original twelve who had walked with Christ during His earthly ministry. If the original apostles already knew the truths of the Pauline Revelation, God would have just used one of them. Yet, Scripture states, contrary to the critics, that Paul was the first to receive “God’s hidden wisdom” (also called “the Mystery of Christ) for the purpose of establishing Christ’s Church. The other apostles obtained this knowledge from Paul, who received it directly from Christ - leaving Paul as the only ‘earthly’ source. These are Scriptural facts that many (but thankfully not all) theologians and church leaders reject ... which is why some of them attempt to quietly undermine Paul’s ministry in the New Testament.


However, Paul’s ‘Epistles to the Church” is nearly half of the New Testament canon, which contains God’s official rules for all Christian faith and practice following the cross. As a result, what these ministers are attempting to do is either ignore or cast doubt on nearly half of the New Testament!



This is why - if you want to know the full details of Christ’s salvation, you must go to the Epistles of Saint Paul. It is here that the New Covenant, for the first time in human history, is revealed. The prophets of the Old Testament, such as Jeremiah and Isaiah, spoke about the New Covenant through ‘types and shadows’ – and never gave the specific details that later came through Paul.

We can now understand that when ministers and denominations discredit, redefine or ignore Paul’s writings - they are, many times, attempting to replace the Grace-based New Covenant salvation of Christ (as revealed through Paul’s Epistles) with a Law-based spiritual counterfeit.

However, we must remember that Christ, as our new High Priest from the tribe of Judah, annulled the Law upon which they base their counterfeit teachings … as revealed in Hebrews 7:11-22.


Religious Error #6


The Error of the Moral
Code Exemption


What many refer to as 'the Law's moral code', or Ten Commandments is actually part of the previous 'administration of the law'. However, the Church is now governed by 'the administration of the Spirit' which operates according to vastly different rules and principles.

Bible teachers who embrace Galatian religion and some within the 'Hebrew Roots movement' often comment that the “moral code of the Law" and the spiritual consequences for breaking this law (such as losing salvation) remains valid and intact.


They claim that only the part of the law that deals with animal sacrifices to atone for sin - was the part fulfilled by Christ, and therefore no longer applies. As a result, when Paul said the believer was delivered from the Law - they claim he was only talking about the part involving temple rituals and animal sacrifices.

In other words, they retain that part of the Law that supports their theology, yet claims that 'the other part' - or the part that doesn’t impact their doctrine - no longer applies.



This 'moral code exemption' should raise some serious red flags for all believers - since the Apostle James (the half-brother of our Lord) clearly rejected this popular belief. Contrary to many Bible teachers, James warned that the whole body of the Law cannot be divided. In other words, you have to embrace all of it - or none of it - and warned that God condemns this popular practice of 'dividing the law' and considers it to be spiritually illegal. A vast majority of church leaders and their followers choose certain commandments (such as the Ten Commandments), which they strive to obey. Yet, they conveniently ignore the other 603 commandments and ordinances of the Law that are nearly impossible to keep. Why is obedience impossible? Many commandments of Old Testament Law require an operational Jewish temple which was destroyed in 70 A.D. - and currently no longer exists. This is one of several reasons why God now considers the Law to be 'obsolete'(Hebrews 8:6-13) and annulled (Hebrews 7:11-22).


Once again, we should pay particular
attention to the warning James gives
concerning this topic:


"For whoever shall keep the whole law,
and yet stumble in one point, he is
guilty of all (or guilty of disobeying
all the law)." (James 2:10)


When the many teachers of Galatian religion and those in the Hebrew Roots movement attempt to divide the Law in order to defend their counterfeit salvation doctrine, they are teaching an error that carries eternal consequences.

Why?


God considers the whole law of
the Torah (or the law of Moses)
to be indivisible ...
meaning that it cannot be divided
into separate parts.




Important Note: Saint Paul instructed the Church that God's Word must be "rightly divided' in order to correctly interpret its writings (2 Timothy 2:15). This command was given to prevent church leaders and their followers from illeglly mixing the tenants Old Testament Law - with the Grace-based salvation of Christ. Yet, some mistakingly think that this 'rightly divided' rule also applies to other parts of Scripture, such as the Law itself. This is perhaps the reason various ministers insist on separating and keeping obedience to the Law's 'moral code' (or Ten Commandments) as a condition that must be met in order to be saved. However, as we will discover, this popular belief produces one of the most dangerous heresies found within Christendom. For these reasons, it's important to understand the following:

Saint Paul taught that Scripture as
a whole must be rightly divided
into its two major parts (the Old
Covenant and New Covenant) in order
to properly interpret its writings.
But James correctly taught that the
Law itself, which falls under the
Old Covenant, must not be divided.





The Law's authority to cancel a person's salvation when its rules and principles, such as the Ten Commandments are broken, (also known as the curse of the Law in Galatians 3:13-14) ... is 'set aside, nailed to the cross and taken out of the way' under the New Covenant. Paul reveals this truth in the following way ...

"Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." (Galatians 3:13-14)


After the crucifixion of Christ and the start of God's new 'administration of the Spirit' on the day of Pentecost (Acts chapter 2) ... the spiritual benefits of justification, eternal life and righteousness takes on their new roles as God’s unmerited gifts (See Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 6:23, Romans 3:24-26, Romans 4:4-8, Romans 5:18-21 and 2 Corinthians 5:21). As a result, the written part of the Law - including the 'moral code' of the Ten Commandments - now only exists to educate believers about the practices that God considers to be sin ... so that they can be avoided. But, it no longer has the power to condemn the believer (take away their salvation) if these rules are broken. This is what allows God to now offer eternal life as His unmerited gift.

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us (or imputed to us) who do not walk according to the flesh (or trying to qualify/earn salvation through works or religious merit) but according to the Spirit (or our faith in the finished work of Christ that does not require our works)." (Romans 8:1-4 – Emphasis and Comments Added)

"For God's gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]" (Romans 11:29 Amplified Bible)



Under the government of Old Testament Law, disobedience to the Ten Commandments carried the penalty of losing salvation. But, failing to obey the Ten Commandments under the New Covenant of Christ no longer causes the loss of salvation (or eternal life). How is this possilbe? The law that previously gave disobedience its power to condemn - is taken out of the way through the sacrifice of Christ. Yet, it's still important for a believer to observe the moral code of the Ten Commandments for many other reasons.



Learning to avoid the sin that essentially sent Jesus to the cross is part of the believer's 'Divine training program' known as Sanctification. Yet, God condemns the popular practice of using sanctification as a condition to receive His free gift of eternal life. If attaining some 'impossible to know level of sanctification' is a condition to be saved, then God's 'free gift' becomes nonsensical ... and makes it impossible to have any assurance of salvation. Yet, this kind of mental torment and bondage is found under countless different brands of 'Christianized Judaism' (often referred to in our studies as Galatian religion). The following Scriptures will help us to avoid this kind of spiritual torment - and those who propagate it.


"Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." (Galatians 3:13-14)


"And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of the requirements that was against us (the Law), which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross." (Colossians 2:13-14)


"Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the Household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." (Ephesians 2:11-22)


"Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might be married to another - to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the Law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter (or Old Covenant Law)." (Romans 7:1-6 - Emphasis Added)


"For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: For if righteousness come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain (The word 'vain' in this case means that Christ's death becomes meaningless)." (Galatians 2:19-21 - Emphasis Added)


"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the Law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh (or trying to earn salvation through works, merit or religious performance) but according to the Spirit." (Romans 8:2-4 – Emphasis Added)




Religious Error #7


Replacing Israel with
the Church



The name of this popular belief is "Replacement Theology or Supersessionism" which is a doctrine closely associated with Reformed Theology. It teaches that God has permanently replaced the nation of Israel in the Bible with the New Testament Church, which they now call, "The New Israel" (some refer to it as 'Spiritual Israel'). It's supporters insist that God permanently and eternally rejected original Israel because they crucified their Messiah. Nowhere does the Bible teach that God permanently rejects Israel for this sin - read Romans 11:1-2 and Romans 11:25-26)

By accessing and reading the various commentaries provided, we discover that this aberrant theology is not new. It began to surface in the first century and, over the next 1900 years, became embedded in the foundational doctrine of the Church. Today, it's considered fundamental Bible teaching. Yet, it was rejected by the apostolic leadership of the early church in Acts chapter 15 and condemned by Saint Paul, who wrote nearly half of the New Testament canon of Scripture. Many in the institutional Christian Church are in denial about these important facts. The doctrine (now incorporated into major systems of Christian theology) is found in both Roman Catholicism (under a different name) and Protestantism. For these reasons, providing a list of all the various names and sub-groupings is nearly impossible. On the Protestant side, it's found in a very large and diverse group often called "Christian Fundamentalists". Thankfully, not everyone in this generic group of Bible-believers embrace these teachings.

Other common names and labels associated with this influence include; Calvinism, New Calvinism, Reformed theology, Holiness theology, Covenant theology, Presbyterianism, Episcopalianism, Anglican theology, Seventh-day Adventism and Church of God theology. (This list is not exhaustive). It has even gained a foothold into various evangelical groups such as the Southern Baptist Convention, which originally had, as one of its goals, to expose this dangerously legalistic doctrine. The afore-mentioned groups (and their countless variants and offshoots), is where most of this aberrant theology is now concentrated.


Under the tenants of Replacement Theology, the New Testament Church is taught that they must embrace the Old Testament program of the Law as Israel's replacement. As a result, the Law is binding upon every member of the New Testament Church ... especially in how eternal life (salvation) is obtained and kept. However, there's a problem. The New Testament Scriptures condemn this teaching, which illegally forces Christ's New Covenant program of redemption (established on God's unmerited Grace) to also be subject to Old Testament Law (it mixes Law and Grace together). This is why we hear the supporters of Replacement theology frequently claim that Christ's New Covenant is just a continuation or extension of Old Testament Law.


Yet, it was the Old Testament
program of the Law that was
fulfilled by Christ and then
'annulled' when He became the
new 'High Priest' ...
according to Hebrews chapter 7.
This is why the New Covenant
replaces - and does not continue
the Old Testament program,
which God Himself now labels as
'obsolete'. (Hebrews 8:6-13)



There are numerous Scriptures that warn about the error of Replacement theology, which perverts God's gift of eternal life into a benefit that must be earned through good works, righteous living and personal merit (Galatians 3:10-12, Romans 3:20, Galatians 5:4, Ephesians 2:4-9, Romans 4:1-8, Titus 3:5-7). These two "systems of theology" (Reformed Theology and Replacement Theology), working in tandem, are nearly identical to their first century counterpart, which was rejected by both the apostolic leadership of the early church in Acts chapter 15 - and by Saint Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians.

Additional information about this
disastrous, yet popular teaching
that dominates many areas of the
Christian Church is available at
the following links:

Avoiding the Error of
Replacement Theology


What is Replacement Theology?
(From Gotquestions.org)


God Will Yet Choose Israel


The early first century equivalent of Reformed Theology is what corrupted and nearly destroyed the Galatian Church. Saint Paul wrote his "Epistle to the Galatians" in an effort to undo the damage and warn future generations. Since the problem originally showed up in the Galatian Church, some Bible scholars have named this theology "The Galatian Error" (and some correctly call it "The Galatian Heresy"). When an individual, church, denomination or movement is infected with this teaching, they are often referred to as being "Galatianized". Reformed / Replacement theology and what some modern-day Bible scholars refer to as 'the Galatian error' are nearly identical.


Confusing Off-shoots of
Replacement Theology


One problem that has always existed within Christendom is the many off-shoots and variations of popular mainstream doctrines and teachings. This makes them difficult and confusing to examine. There is an offshoot of Replacement Theology (previously discussed) that does not seek to permanently replace the Israel of the Bible - but views the Church as a 'temporary replacement', often referred to as 'Spiritual Israel'. This 'temporary replacement' exists only until Biblical Israel's time of Divine probation (which began around A.D. 32) is complete.

This replacement (or 'the Church') continues to exist until God takes it out of the way at the rapture. At that time, original Israel will be restored to its former place in God's purposes - which eventually results in her complete salvation. Unlike its predecessor which permanently rejects Biblical Israel (and considers the Church to be her permanent replacement) - this off-shoot of Replacement theology acknowledges the importance of Biblical Israel, while correctly educating its members concerning the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. However, it's similar to its predecessor in claiming that 'Spiritual Israel' (or the Church) must still embrace Old Testament Law as original Israel's 'temporary replacement'.

While each brand of Replacement theology is obviously different, it still embraces the same error of forcing Christ's salvation to also be subject to Old Testament Law (it mixes Law and Grace) ... and perverts the Gospel of Christ into something God never intended (Galatians 1:6-8). This is a dangerous 'generic' brand of Replacement theology that infects many Bible-believing churches - and crosses all denominational lines. The error of viewing the Church as a replacement for Biblical Israel, regardless of the reasons, is why a vast majority of Christians make the dangerous assumption that they can ignore the Bible's context - and arbitrarily lift Scriptures from anywhere to defend their beliefs. In their mind, there is no difference between Israel and her replacement, 'the Church', which allows them to illegally mix both Old and New Testament programs together. Unfortunately, this results in one of the most dangerous heresies found within Christendom.


[ End of the Religious Error Review ]



Grace Does Not Release Us
from Holy Living and
Seeking Godly Character


Obtaining salvation through the unmerited and undeserved favor of God (the New Testament definition of Grace) does not release us from the task of avoiding sin, doing good works, adopting Christ-like behavior and holy living. God instructs all Christians to seek after these things for reasons other than obtaining eternal life. However, God also sternly warns (Ephesians 2:8-9, Galatians 2:19-21, Galatians 3:10-12 and Galatians 5:4) that our efforts to acquire and apply these attributes - which involves work and effort - is never to be used as pre-conditions to obtain and keep what Scripture calls; God’s unmerited and undeserved gift of eternal life. Following the cross ... and contrary to many popular beliefs and religious traditions, God now condemns any effort to hold a believer’s salvation hostage until a certain level of Christian character and holy living is achieved. Yet, we are still expected to seek after and apply these attributes to our life (Romans 6:1-4 and Titus 2:13-14). Everyone will have a different measure of success, which is why God never makes eternal life conditional upon anyone's success or failure in achieving godly character.

If we fail to “rightly divide” God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15) - and insist on making salvation dependent upon a mixture of works and grace - then His gift of eternal life becomes nonsensical. When certain members of the clergy claim that the Gospel of Grace (some call it 'easy-believism' while others use the term 'hyper-grace') “improperly removes the effort and work from Christian life” ...


They are leading their
audience astray in
their faith.



Final Thoughts


Paul reveals several important truths in his command to "rightly divide the Word". First, God's Word (the Bible) is divided (as revealed in Galatians 4:21-31 and Hebrews 8:6-13) into two major covenants or administrations. Each covenant is governed by vastly different principles and rules. Therefore, God's Word must be 'rightly divided' (or interpreted as two separate - and different - programs) in order to correctly understand and teach its truths. This is why the Bible translators inserted special title pages (labeled 'The Old Testament and the New Testament') in the text. It is designed to instruct readers to observe this important division - and rule of context.

The second truth Paul reveals is
that we must "rightly divide"
God's Word in order to be
"approved of God".


Once again, rightly dividing God's Word (as Paul describes it) is another way of saying that the Holy Scriptures has a specific context that must be respected. If we ignore this context - as most Christians do - we are in danger of unknowingly possessing a counterfeit faith that God rejects.

Respecting the Bible's context
involves understanding the
different administrations
of the Old Mosaic Covenant (the
first covenant that governed
before the cross) - and the
New Covenant (the second
covenant that now governs after
the cross) ... where each
operates according to a
different set of principles
and rules.

Contrary to popular church
teaching, Christ's New
Covenant is not an extension
or continuation of the Old
Testament Law-based program,
as taught by Galatian
religion and its ministers.
The New Covenant, or the "new
and living way of Christ"
replaces (does not continue)
the Old Testament program,
which God now refers to as
being annulled and therefore
obsolete; as clearly stated in
Hebrews 7:11-22 and
Hebrews 8:6-13.



The likelihood of possessing a false
Christian faith based on Galatian
religion is why Paul gave the
following command to the Corinthian
Church, which includes all Christians
living today.


"Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? -- unless indeed you are disqualified." (2 Corinthians 13:5)



The New Covenant is also called "the new and living way of Christ" established on His blood (Read: Matt. 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20, 1 Cor. 11:25, 2 Cor. 3:6, Heb. 8:6-13, Heb. 9:15, Heb. 10:19-23, Heb. 12:24). It's declared to be "New" because it couldn't operate in the Old Testament before the cross.



This Bible study focuses on one of the core truths of the New Covenant of Christ. Additional studies are provided below for a more complete understanding of how the 'New and living way of Christ' applies to the church today.


Imputation: How the New Covenant
Transfers Christ's Spiritual
Benefits to the Church


The Believer's Position in Christ

The Great Divine Exchange

Sons vs Servants

The Battle for God's Grace



We hope this study is beneficial to
your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.





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This is Part 5 of a five-part Bible study.
Click on the appropriate link to access
the next part.

Part 1 --- Part 2 --- Part 3

Part 4

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Most recent revision September 2018