The Difference That Makes The Difference
by Trey Searcy

Today, spotting a false teacher is easy. Just look for the one who is willing to tell the masses what they want to hear. Find the one that'll never rain on your parade and BINGO, you've found yourself a genuine, bona fide false teacher - a teacher of babes, having only a form of knowledge.

Entertainment is his specialty, and his church services look like Six Flags Over Jesus. They are more like a town carnival than a place of worship. The very word *carnival* makes me think of the word *carnivore* (flesh.) Services that center around the fleshly things you can see like...
~sign gifts
~water baptism
~sin confessing
~tongue talking
~walking the isle
~altar calls
~rosary beads

Sign gifts, water baptism, sin cofessing, and tongues are in the Bible, but not meant to be practiced today - and walking the isle, altar calls, rosary beads, mass, and penance, are not even IN the Bible.

Much of what goes on in church today closely resembles a Hollywood production (Lights, camera, action!) Emotional services that are devoid of truth, and for some, this is just what the doctor ordered. Their idea of a spiritual church service is one that specializes in flesh titillating activities. Even though we are told to "walk by faith, not by sight:" these people clearly walk by sight.

The seeker friendly ecumenical churches of today are nothing more than a religious institute providing a clean way to hell. There is a clean way to hell and a dirty way to hell, but the destination is still the same.

Very few churches are equipped with a pastor who rightly divides the word of truth. This results in things being taught as Christian doctrine that are actually Jewish doctrines in disguise (misapplied doctrines.) Instructions that are in the bible, but never meant for the body of Christ church. All of the bible was written FOR you, but not all of the bible was written TO you. You simply cannot follow it all.

God's word is perfect and should therefore make perfect-sense. Our apostle Paul put it this way, "Consider what I say and the Lord give thee understanding in all things" (2 Timothy 2:7). Paul speaks of perfect understanding but its not without a condition. One that religion looks over.

To rightly divide the word of truth, one must first see the biblical distinction between:

  Israel's Jewish church @ Jerusalem, and Paul's body of Christ church around the world (compare Acts 8:1, with Ephesians 1:22-23.)

  Israel's Jewish church under law, and Paul's body of Christ church under grace (compare Matthew 7:12 with Romans 6:14, Galatians 3:10, 13, 5:4.)

  Israel's church apostles who wrote to ONE NATION, and the apostle Paul, who wrote to ALL NATIONS *plural* (compare James 1:1, 1 Peter 2:9, with Romans 1:5, 11:13, 2 Timothy 1:11.)

  Israel's rise and Israel's fall (compare Deuteronomy 28:1, Isaiah 60:1 with Romans 11:11.)

  Israel's Prophecy and the church's Mystery (compare Acts 3:21 with Romans 16:25.)

Making these distinctions will clear up the confusion created by modern day church-ianity. No more misapplied-doctrines means no more wanna-be-Jews. They're the ones who go to the bible attempting to steal Israel's practices and promises. Wanna-be's are not only mentioned in the bible (Revelation 2:9, 3:9) they're among us today. Beware of teachers, "understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm."

God dealt with His covenant people Israel according to their old covenant, (Exodus 19:3-5) and will one day deal with them according to their new covenant (Hebrews 8:10). The body of Christ church are not covenant people. We are not Israel (Physical or spiritual) nor did we replace them.

With a careful examination of scripture it is evident that God is presently conducting a new program with His church. He deals with us differently from how He dealt with national Israel in time past. God is no longer nation building but rather BODY building. Israel being nigh to Him while the Gentiles "were afar off", is not the current status. God dealing with Israel as a nation has been set aside and put on hold as a result of their REJECTION of Christ, (Luke 17:25, Matthew 27:22) and their RESISTANCE of the Holy Ghost (Acts 7:51).

For thousands of years, Israel had been the one nation that God had "set...high above all nations of the earth:" (Deuteronomy 28:1). The "glory of the LORD" had risen upon them (Isaiah 60:1). For Gentiles to get to God they had to go through Israel (Isaiah 60:3). But with time and events things changed.

Throughout the Old Testament Israel rejected God by killing His holy prophets -STRIKE ONE!.

In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John they rejected Him again by killing His Son -STRIKE TWO!

And during the early Acts period they reject Him by resisting the Holy Ghost -STRIKE THREE! (They're out).

But make no mistake about it, God's not done with Israel forever, but only for a season. After He completes His plan with us (the body of Christ church) their sight will be restored (Romans 11:25).

Paul, reveals that their spiritual blindness had caused them to fall, (Romans 11:11) and "through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles". Their "fall" had been a "mystery" prior to Paul receiving his "my gospel" and preaching "Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery" (Romans 16:25).

This understanding of God's plan for humanity can only be achieved when the believer applies what Christ thru Paul calls "rightly dividing the word of truth". Rightly dividing the word of truth was never a suggestion, for the words Paul wrote were commandments straight from the Lord. "...acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 14:37). Rightly dividing the word of truth is commanded. The Lord knew we would need help understanding His word so He provided us with a way to navigate thru it. Disregarding this instruction is what has lead to the mass confusion we are seeing today. -20,000 plus denominations(divisions) and growing!

Let me demonstrate what I mean. Suppose I asked two people the following question: How does the Bible say a person is saved? The first person answers: "Oh that's simple. To be saved you have to be water baptized, confess your sins and keep the commandments." The second person answers with: "No, a person is saved by grace through faith - Its a free gift with no works involved because salvation has nothing to do with what WE DO." Now, which person is right? Which person gave the correct answer? Well they both did. They are both correct. How can that be? Because my question wasn't narrow enough. I asked: How does the Bible say a person is saved, when the better question would have been, how does the Bible say a person is saved TODAY? Leaving out that one word changed the entire question. Today, a person is saved by grace through faith in the finished cross-work of Christ.

You see, the first answer "keep the commandments to be saved" comes from Matthew 19:17, a gospel Jesus preached to the nation Israel (Matthew 15:24). However, the second answer, we're "saved by grace through faith....Its a free gift of God with no works involved" comes from Paul's letters, a gospel Jesus gave to Paul to be preached to ALL nations.

Every protestant denomination I know will say they believe 1 Corinthians 15:3 "Christ died for our sins" applies to them. However, these same church-goers will ALSO say they believe Acts 2:38 "Repent, and be baptized...for the remission of sins" applies to them.

Ask yourself this: "If Christ died for my sins, why would I need to repent and be baptized for those same sins? Was His death not enough?"

2 Corinthians 5:19 is where we learn that in lieu of the cross, God is no longer holding our sins against us. So how is it possible for you or I to repent and be baptized for the sins that are not being held against us??? How can I repent for them? How can I be baptized for them?

Rightly  dividing  the  word  of  truth  is  the  difference  that  makes  the  difference.

Repenting and being baptized for sins was "the gospel of the circumcision" and not Paul's "gospel of Christ" the "gospel of the uncircumcision" (Galatians 2:7).

Neither Peter, James, nor John ever taught that Christ went to the cross to reconcile the world (2 Corinthians 5:19). That was a gospel given exclusively to the apostle Paul. The Jewish "gospel of the circumcision" included a *salvation-maintenance-plan* that consisted of faith PLUS works. They FIRST needed faith that Jesus was "the Christ, the Son of the living God". (Matthew 16:16). They were then required to exhibit their faith by repenting, being water baptized and confessing their sins, (Matthew 3:1-6, Acts 2:38) keeping the commandments, (Matthew 19:17) and selling all their possessions, (Acts 2:45; 3:6, 5:1). However, on this side of the cross, Christ returned to reveal a new way of salvation to our apostle Paul. NOW, (and for almost 2000 years) salvation has only come by faith in what Christ accomplished at Calvary. Faith alone in Christ alone, without-any-works-of-any-kind-at-any-time. There is no more commandment keeping, selling out, sin confessing or being water baptized for salvation.

What is the word of truth that we must divide? Lets let the Bible (not man) answer this:

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation:

So the word of truth is  the  gospel  of  your  salvation.

That means that every saved person since the salvation of Paul, had to have believed the rightly divided word of truth or they could have never gotten saved. According to the Bible's own definition, the rightly divided word of truth is the only gospel that saves today.

When studying our Bible we must separate time periods. 
TIME PRESENT - when God no longer makes a distinction between Jew and Gentile, (Galatians 3:28).
TIME PAST - when God DID make a distinction (Matthew 10:5-6, 15:24, John 4:22, Acts 11:19, James 1:1, 1 Peter 1:1).

There is no such distinction in the body of Christ & we are now all baptized into ONE BODY (1 Corinthians 12:13).

With that said, we see just how crucial it is that we rightly divide the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation) when witnessing to someone. Without it, Satan gets the victory.

Rightly  dividing  the  word  of  truth  is  the  difference  that makes  the  difference.

Compare Matthew 6:14 with Colossians 1:14 and ask yourself, which one is true?

Matthew: For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Colossians: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

So what say you? Are we forgiven IF we forgive others, OR, are we forgiven "through his blood"? I submit that both are true, but both cannot be true at the same time. -That would defy the law of non contradiction.

Christ through Paul tells us to forgive others "as God...hath forgiven you": "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:32).

Do you see the difference?

We do not forgive to BE forgiven, we forgive because we ARE forgiven.

Hath is 3rd person singular present indicative of have. HATH FORGIVEN denotes something already achieved (completed). And when this verse is compared with Colossians 2:10, we clearly see the harmony: "And ye are complete in him,...".

How beautiful is that? You're "complete" and now freely able to forgive others as God has ALREADY forgiven you. Things really start to change when we realize that we're living in a constant state of forgiveness!

  • Being forgiven has nothing to do with how we feel.

  • It has nothing to do with how WE see our self.

  • Being forgiven is how HE sees us.

The great beauty of God's grace is that we are not forgiven on the basis of our own merit, we are forgiven on the merit of Jesus Christ and Him alone. Faith in His accomplished finished work is what brings us into a relationship with Him, and not getting our sins forgiven. Salvation is not getting your sins forgiven, its believing they already are.

According to Jewish law, one must DO something to be forgiven. This is why Matthew 6:14 says IF. The "if" in the verse clearly demonstrates that forgiveness for Israel was conditional. It was always necessary that a work be attached to their faith. They lived by the Faith PLUS system. Faith plus a physical work that could be SEEN with the eye. "Jews require a sign" (1 Corinthians 1:22) but not us. We walk by faith NOT by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Here is another compare the verses exercise to help us further see the importance of rightly dividing the word of truth.

Compare John 4:22 with Romans 3:22.

John: Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
Romans: Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

  • So, IS there a difference, or is there NOT a difference?

  • Is salvation "of the Jews", or is it unto ALL?

  • Is John 4:22 biblical? Yes it is, but it is not to be followed today.

  • Is repenting, being water baptized, confessing sins, keeping the commandments and selling all possessions biblical? Yes it is, but it is not a requirement for salvation today.

I conclude with a truth that has greatly helped me.
Almost right, is always wrong.

Rightly  dividing  the  word  of  truth  is  the  difference  that makes  the  difference.

Remember, you only get two educations,
the one you're given, and the one you give yourself.

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