“How to Approach the Bible”
A study series by Arthur J Licursi
Part 18 of 24 – Conditional Blessing Commonly Taught in the Church Today
Great errors have been disseminated throughout the church at large today with respect to the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. The Son of God was incarnated to “minister to” and redeem “the circumcision,” the Nation of Israel. He “confirmed the promises made unto the fathers” (Rom 15:8), saying “the Kingdom was at hand” (Matt 4:17). Christ will in fact yet return to earth, but then as Messiah and King of
, but not as a lamb. This time He will return to render judgment upon Israel and the God-rejecting world. Israel
While Christ is in fact the King of all Kings for “the body of Christ” Jesus is not our King or Messiah as He is to
. Rather, He is “our life” ( Israel Col3:4a) and “Head of the body of Christ, which is the church” ( 1:18). Col
To take the doctrinal teachings of Jesus of Nazareth given to
Israelin the gospels, and then misapply that which He spoke to as if it was being spoken to “the church which is His body,” has made the message of the church at large to be confusing and contradictory. Ask the nominal Christian today; “Are you going to heaven to be in God’s Kingdom?” They most always will answer “yes.” Then ask them why they pray the prayer Jesus gave to Israel , which says “Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Israel
The doctrinal errors that occur by failing to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2Tim 2:15) have made the church at large to be a weak and impotent witness for the Lord Jesus Christ during this very day of “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph 3:2). Such erroneous teaching is almost always based upon mixing “the Law” and grace and it ignores dividing that which was spoken of and to Israel from…the truth of God for “the body of Christ” today under “the dispensation of the grace of God.” This makes God’s provision of Christ for us, and His grace, to become “of no effect” for their adherents. Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect (no benefit) unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
An Example of Misapplying Scriptures:
Let’s now consider a commonly believed, but erroneous, interpretation of Scripture that concerns
at a particular time in their Old Testament history. It is often preached and taught by Christian leaders as being applicable to the church today in the Israel This error is an example of religious leaders playing fast and loose with Scriptures, misleading their flocks, while it makes a mockery of God and His promises. God does in fact keep His promises, but only for the people to whom He speaks them. U.S.A.
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people (Israel), which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (Israel’s land of Canaan).
Before we yield to the popular notion that 2Chronicles 7:14 is somehow a conditional formula for America’s survival in these dire times in which we live today, which appears to be getting worse and worse, notice that the intervention was for a specific people, Israel; at a specific time, under the dispensation of the Law. It was a specific purpose, to bless for obedience or punish for disobedience. See Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 to see the terms of the covenant between
Israeland Jehovah, defining the terms of blessing and cursing for . Israel
In a seeming “concern for society” too many have for too long been willing to ignore the Bible facts and take Bible passages that refer to another people (Israel) in another dispensation or age (the Law), and apply them to society today, thus perverting God’s program of “grace” available to us today.
Sadly, this is not only true of the so-called Modernist and religious Liberals of the Apostate fallen away church, but shamefully, it is also true of the so-called fundamentalist and evangelicals as well. I now refer to these new fundamentalist and evangelicals as neo-evangelicals and neo-fundamentalist; as new versions of evangelicalism and fundamentalism. They left Paul’s doctrine of “by grace through faith alone” long ago, in favor of “conditional blessing” that requires works of spoken and implied manmade and man imposed laws. Oh yes. They will tell you that you are “saved by grace,” but then they imply continued blessing is based upon your conformance to a set of principles, which are actually “laws.” They call these laws “religious principles,” needing to be followed in order to gain favor with God. But, Paul says our continued blessing is as our initial salvation, which was “by grace through faith, not of works.” Paul tells us we are not only initially saved by grace but also our walk is kept in the very same way of “grace through faith.” Colossians 2:6-7 (KJV) As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: (See Also the author’s paper called “The Pure Grace of God”).
I was originally saved in a fundamentalist
that promoted using the “New Scofield Reference Edition” of the Bible. Now I know that even the “New Scofield Reference Edition” of the Bible (1967) came into being in order to expunge the original “grace dispensation” teachings of C.I. Scofield that were found in his original 1909, 1917, editions of “Scofield Reference Bible (KJV of 1611).” Mr. Scofield was a “right divider of the word of truth,” recognizing the dispensational truth regarding “ Baptist Church ” versus that of “the body of Christ.” Israel
The truth is that today, under the current “dispensation of the grace of God,” God has temporarily set
Israelaside (Rom 11:25) and God today does not recognize in its former status (or even their future status) as His chosen “people” (Rom 11:11, Gal 3:27-28). Israel today is “Loammi,” meaning “not my people,” for a time. Israel ’s being cut-off, set aside for a time, was prophesied here in Hosea. Hosea 1:9 Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye ( Israel ) are not my people, and I will not be your God. Israel
That fall of
Israeloccurred in Acts 7 with the stoning of Stephen, thereby finalizing ’s rejection of the King and His Kingdom. With their rejection of God’s Son as King, God now has turned to the Gentiles. Acts 13:46 (KJV) Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you (Israel): but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. Acts 28:27-28 (KJV) For the heart of this people (Israel) is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. Romans 11:25 (KJV) For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. Israel
The fact is this. 1.) Today is not the day of the dispensation of “the Law” (Rom 6:14), but rather the day of “the dispensation of the grace of God.” (Eph 3:2). 2.) Today God is not blessing anyone based upon obedience to “the law.” Rather, we read this. Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Thus, we “hath” already been “blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places” by being “baptized into” Christ’s “one body” (1Cor 12:13). This blessing is dispensed to those who simply believe (trust in) “the gospel of the grace of God,” thereby placing each believer “into Christ,” them being made “complete in Him” (
2:10). God has blessed us with a full salvation on the basis of “saved by grace through faith, not of works” (Eph 2:8-9). Note that these facts are all stated in the past tense as acts that have been completed by God’s work on our behalf. Col
Contrary to pure grace, 2 Chronicles 7:14 refers to “conditional promises” of blessing that God made to Solomon as King of Israel at the time the Temple was finished being built. It only regards “If my people (
)…” This has nothing to do with God’s workings during the present “dispensation of the grace of God.” While 2 Chronicles 7:14 had exactly the right instruction for Israel Israelreferred to as “my people,” under the Law’s conditions, these “if …then” promises cannot simply be torn away from their dispensational context and made to apply to us today in the Such spiritual larceny perpetrated by believer’s today dishonors God’s word, disregarding God’s program of “grace” for today. U.S.A.
There is more on these dispensational distinctions in the next installment.