"Grace be to you and peace from God: the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father. To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." Galatians 1:3-5
Dear Ivonne Maldonado
What blessed truth is declared in Romans 12:5, "so we, being many, are one Body in Christ, and every one members one of another." And we should never forget the commandment of the LORD Jesus, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another," John 13:34. And note the words of the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 4:2-5, "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love: Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace; one faith, one Body, one baptism"
We all thank God for His loyal, uncompromising children who are earnestly contending for the "one faith" and for the fundamentals of the Christian faith, which are: Salvation by Grace through the Faith in the crucified and glorified Son of God, His eternal Deity, His bodily resurrection, and His premillennial coming.
We all know that there is but ONE true bible Church during this present DIVINE economy, this Dispensation of Grace, and that the believing sinner becomes a member of this one Church by a DIVINE baptism AT THE MOMENT he BELIEVES unto the saving of his soul.
The Holy Spirit has expressed the Divine Will in these words, "That there should be no schism (division) in the Body" 1 Corinthians 12:25. "Baptized by one Spirit into one Body" 1 Corinthians 12:13.
If the men and women of God who are so earnestly contending for the one faith in the midst of the modernism, ritualism and fanaticism all about us, were as earnestly contending for the ONE Body and ONE Baptism, what a united army we would have against the enemies of the Grace of God and the Word of God.
Has any true Bible Christian the Scriptural right to contend for a denominational church or a denominational baptism? The “A” answer is NO!
And surely after all these centuries God's true evangels know that it is a spiritual crime to follow in the steps of the foolish Galatians and pervert God's "Grace" Gospel by mixing in Israel's Old Testament religious program. (Which, by the way, is the basis for ALL denominations). Moreover, God's Bible teachers know that God has in His Book an intelligent Divine principle by which His children can know how to bring into this present Dispensation of Grace any part of the Kingdom program of the Old Testament Scriptures and of the Four Gospels that fits into God's "Grace" program.
Just this past week, in a series of radio messages, an evangelical preacher was earnestly contending for the Faith once for all delivered unto the saints. He had nothing to say against the modernism, or ritualism, or fanaticism, with which the Body of Christ is being troubled on every hand. He had nothing to say against men affiliated with cults, (even calling them “Christian&rdquo, that then propagate unscriptural heresies. His attack, (are you ready?), was against those who AGREE with him as to the, verbal inspiration of the Bible, the virgin birth and eternal Deity of the LORD Jesus Christ, salvation by the Faith in Christ's redemptive work and His premillennial coming, and all of the Bible fundamentals of the Christian faith. He was attacking those of his fellow saints that do not agree with HIS "dispensationalism".
The brother wanted to impress upon his hearers that he was "ultra orthodox", "super spiritual" and "anti dispensational". Instead of using the Scriptures to prove his assertions, he employed the carnal weapons which are forbidden in the very Scriptures he was defending. He ridiculed, condemned and insulted those with whom he disagreed. Perhaps it never once occurred to him just how inconsistent, or ignorant, he was when he boastfully said, "I take the whole Bible" "it is ALL for me to obey, I do not divide the Bible up, and give some to the Jews and some to the Gentiles". He WARNED his hearers AGAINST those who do not agree with his principle, or lack of principle, for Bible study.
Now, as I write this and charge that this dear brother is either inconsistent or ignorant, perhaps both, I do not want to use the same carnal weapons. We would not want to be so ungracious as to say that the brother was either ignorant or dishonest. Our appeal will be to the Scriptures, to common sense logic and to our brother's own teaching and practice as a Christian minister. We will ask you to weigh the evidence and render your own verdict.
A few days before this brother was broadcasting his castigating message I read a letter from a another pastor, who is an acknowledged leader among Fundamental Christians. In his letter he said that any preacher who does not obey the commands of the LORD Jesus Christ is a servant of Satan.
Oh Boy! After you have c
Oh Boy! After you have considered the Scriptural arguments in this series of messages, which is in four parts, you be the jury and the judge and see whether or not this Christian warrior has, in reality, called himself a servant of Satan.
THE MEMBER OF THE BODY OF CHRIST AND CHRIST’S COMMANDMENTS
Undoubtedly more than 90% of Christians would say that a Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ; a Christian is one who keeps the commandments of the LORD Jesus Christ. Then, to the mind of the serious Bible student, immediately comes this question, "which of the LORD's commandments?"
Are Christians in the present Dispensation of Grace to obey all the commandments which the LORD Jesus Christ on earth gave to His disciples and to others?
After we have read this message we will think with the Jewish rabbi who said to an outstanding evangelical pastor some time ago, "It was not your Jesus who gave you your evangelical Grace message and program. It was the Apostle Paul. Your Jesus was a religious Jew under the law." Of course, that rabbi did not understand that the RISEN Christ revealed to the Apostle Paul the Mystery of the Grace Message and Program in his Epistles.
Hear the words of the LORD Jesus Christ: "If ye love Me, keep My commandments." These words were spoken to the disciples of the LORD. Then we read in Acts 11:26, "And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."
Is a Christian one who keeps the commandments of Christ? And then, which commandments?
If Christ were on earth, wouldn’t He again put to thousands of professing Christians the same question He put to religious professors of His day? "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?”(Matthew 15:3). "Ye make the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition." (Matthew 15:6). "Teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:9).
Nearly 100% of Christians are the victims of tradition. We are so sheep like, in that we fall into the religious habit of following religious leaders and permit them to formulate our religious creeds.
Sooner or later we come to the place, sadly, where we interpret, appropriate, and apply, the Scriptures by the rules and standards of interpretation and application established by certain leaders and rulers. Of course, in the hearts of Christians, who zealously follow some particular leader and accept him as final authority in Bible doctrine, there is generally a mixture of contempt and pity for fellow Christians who they think are ignorantly following some other erring Christian leaders.
Many of those who play "follow the leader" are not only zealous and loyal but they are so satisfied with their own position and so prejudiced against others that they will not even seriously and prayerfully SEARCH the Scriptures, under the leading of the Holy Spirit, to ascertain whether or not they may be mistaken. They do not ask whether or not they have substituted a few religious traditions for Divine Truth.
The result of all this is that we have more than 300 groups of Christians, with their varying and contrary religious creeds. We may be sure that the unhappy discord and divisions exist because far more than 90% of Christians permit others to do their thinking for them. And there is no Christian sect/denomination that has not included in its program and creed some human tradition or theory. These traditions and theories cause schisms in the LORD's Body in disobedience to the plain command of the LORD.
WHICH COMMANDMENTS ARE WE TO OBEY?
But now to the question: which of the commandments of the LORD Jesus Christ are Christians to obey? Let us begin with a most important command of the LORD Jesus. Read it very carefully in Matthew 23:1-3, "Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to His disciples, Saying: the scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say and do not."
Do not RUSH past this. Consider seriously this command of the LORD Jesus. Is it for present day Christians to obey?
This is a very clearly stated, positive, important command. The LORD Jesus Christ told His disciples that they were to obey the crooked, hypocritical blind fools, (Matthew 23:14-19), the scribes and the Pharisees. Why? Because they occupied Moses' seat (cathedra. From where we get our word cathedral. Look it up).
So where is Moses' seat in this Day of Grace? Believers in this Dispensation of Grace are seated WITH Christ in the Heavenlies. Now, go get out your Bibles, and compare Ephesians 2:5-6 with Matthew 23:1-3.
Neither the radio preacher nor that other pastor obeys this important command. They refuse to recognize Moses' seat in this Dispensation of Grace. If they consider themselves what Christian pastors should be, faithful stewards of the Mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 4:1-4), they SHOULD give such a clear Scriptural exegesis and explanation that their hearers and followers would be convinced that the LORD's command of Matthew 23:1-3 has NO PLACE in this present economy of Grace. There WAS, however, a place for Moses' seat while the LORD Jesus Christ was on earth.
If these type of Preachers and Pastors would give forth one such clear exegesis, taught by the Holy Spirit, they would neither say that any man who does not obey the comman