Now, let me make this PERFECTLY clear, NO Bible teacher is obeying, or can obey Ephesians 3:9 , or can prove that the Body of Christ will not be in the Great Tribulation, who teaches that this present, Age and Dispensation of Grace, began with Peter and his Kingdom keys, and that the Apostle Paul went right on continuing with the ‘Kingdom’ message and program which the LORD Jesus Christ gave to the twelve Apostles. PAY ATTENTION, if Mark 16:17-18 are the credentials of a Christian, there are no Christians.
To teach that the saints who were with Christ before He died were ‘Kingdom’ saints and that they did not become members of the Body of Christ until AFTER the resurrection of Christ, when they were transferred, is sound doctrine. HOWEVER, the difficult task is to define the Kingdom of Heaven; for there are different aspects and phases of this Kingdom. To say that the Kingdom of Heaven is the prophesied Kingdom which will be established on this earth when the King returns to earth and then the laws of heaven will govern the people on earth is only a part of the whole truth; for the LORD told His Apostles and disciples that their names were written in heaven, and that suffering on earth would mean great reward in heaven. (Matthew 5:12 ; Luke 10:20 ). They would be rewarded at the resurrection of the just. (Luke 14:14 ). Now LISTEN, there are no tares in the Body of Christ, BUT, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a mixture of wheat and tares. (Matthew 13:24-30 ).
Ok, so, we should see that ‘the Kingdom of God,’ ‘the Kingdom of Heaven,’ and "the Church" (the Body of Christ) are all indefinite, and cannot be dogmatically taught to mean one particular group of people or program of God, with the Holy Spirit’s approval. ALSO, therefore, the anti-dispensationalists, who use Romans 2:28-29 and Romans 9:6-7 to support their teaching that the BODY OF CHRIST IS ISRAEL, wholly ignore Romans 11:25-33 and hundreds of other verses that refute their foolish theory, a lie from the Pit itself!
When the LORD directed the Apostle Paul to write that Christians, in this Age of Grace, should be of power and love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 ), he certainly stated a wonderful combination, which every Christian should desire and strive to maintain. The sound mind refers to sound doctrine and to rightly dividing the Word of truth. (2 Timothy 1:13 ; Titus 2:1 ; 2 Timothy 2:15 ). Those who claim to be members of the Body of Christ and that that Body is Israel might well apply to themselves Romans 11:25 , even if they are not Jews. In this verse Israel is blind and Christians are entreated not to be ignorant.
Have you asked some of these confused ‘Israelites,’ to what redeemed company the antediluvian saints, from Abel to Noah, belonged? Surely they were not baptized into the Body of Christ, and will not be in that glorious presentation mentioned in Ephesians 5:26-32 . Surely they were not promised all the land of Canaan, as were the descendants of Abraham.
How important it is that we get the over all picture of ‘THE KINGDOM OF GOD’ in the Bible, and see that the BODY OF CHRIST is a part, as is also ‘the Kingdom of the Heavens.’ How equally important it is to know that the keys of the Kingdom which The LORD Jesus Christ gave to the Apostle Peter were NOT to open the door to let Jews and Gentiles into the one joint-BODY of Christ, and because the Apostle Paul said he persecuted the Church of God (1 Corinthians 15:9 ; Philippians 3:6 ; Galatians 1:13 ), we are not to prove, contrary to sound doctrine, that Paul was persecuting the ONE BODY of Ephesians 4:4-5 and Romans 12:4-5 . You all follow that? Saul persecuted Christian Jews saved BEFORE the risen LORD revealed God’s hidden secret purpose, before the FALL of Israel, at the time it was not lawful for the Apostles to go to Gentiles (except proselytes). (Acts 10:28 , and Acts 2:10 ).
The LORD’s good pleasure was to give the Kingdom to the little flock. (Luke 12:32 ). The LORD would go into the far country to get the Kingdom and return; and Israel would send word, “we will not have This Man to reign over us.” (Luke 19:14 ). On the day of Pentecost God added to the Galileans, the one hundred and twenty of Acts 1:13-15 , three thousand Jews and proselytes; devout Jews from every nation under heaven. (Acts 2:10 , and Acts 2:5 ). Then they established a ‘Kingdom’ COMMUNISM. (Acts 2:44-45 , and Acts 4:34-35 ). Even when the disciples left Jerusalem they preached to Jews only. (Acts 11:19 ). When Peter used the ‘Kingdom’ key with the household of Cornelius, he was MORE than criticized by the Christian Jews in Judea. (Acts 11:1-5 ). Then seven or eight years AFTER Pentecost they acknowledged that God sent repentance unto life to a God fearing, Jew loving, alms giving, praying, worshipping Gentile, whose prayers went up to heaven as a memorial before God. But surely we should know that the Apostle Paul never preached Acts 2:38 , or for that matter Mark 16:14-18 , Acts 3:19-21 , and Acts 10:34-35 to Gentiles in the ‘Gospel of Grace’ message.
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 . BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20 )