“How to Approach the Bible” 

A study series by Arthur J Licursi


Part 20 of 24 – Common Erroneous Teachings Taught By Various Christian Groups Today

As we seek to “rightly divide” the Scripture we may note these following points of contrasts. They bringing to light some of the erroneous teachings promulgated in the church at large.

These are some of those erroneous teachings.

1. The idea that we today are to follow Jesus of Nazareth according to His earthly life and ministry.

Jesus Himself said “I (Jesus) am not sent but (only) unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel .” Matthew 15:24. How much more obvious could it be that Jesus’ ministry was Not to the masses or Gentiles, but only to Israel . Paul confirms Matt. 15:24 writing; “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision ( Israel ) for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:” Romans 15:8

The Gentiles have no such father’s as Israel had in Abraham, to whom God made promises concerning the kingdom to come to earth for Abraham’s seed, the children of Israel .

2 Cor. 5:16b (Paul to “the body of Christ”) … though we have known Christ after the flesh (in His earthly ministry), yet now henceforth know we him no more. Jesus was a minister to Israel . Paul here says we of “the body of Christ” are not to know or heed the words or teaching of Jesus of Nazareth who came in the flesh to minister only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel .” Thus, Paul never once, in his thirteen epistles to “the body of Christ,” refers to anything Jesus of Nazareth said or did in His earthly ministry to Israel , writing prolifically only of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.

2. The idea that Jesus of Nazareth preached Christianity to Israel .

This idea is absolutely false. The so-called New Testament could not have occurred until at least after the death of its Testator at the cross. Hebrews 9:16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. Even then, the “church, which is the body of Christ” could not and did not begin until Israel was blinded and set aside (Rom 11:25). Christianity for "the body of Christ" was first revealed to Paul some several years after the cross and Pentecost.

The ordinances, the commandments and the precepts of “the Law,” under which Jesus was born, were given to Israel and to nobody else. Jesus preached and continued Judaism. Jesus said the Messianic Jewish Kingdom “was at hand,” for God’s earthly people – the Jews. Jesus came to Israel to offer them the Kingdom that had been long promised to the children of Abraham. Romans 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers,”

Jesus was born under the law and continued to support the Law that was given only to Israel . Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, He came perpetuating “the Law.” Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law… Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Some insist upon following Peter and that the church is based upon apostolic succession, failing to see that Peter's authority concerned the now-rejected kingdom of Christ to come on earth, under which Peter and the twelve would rule Israel and the nations. Our Lord had said to His twelve apostles: “Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel ” (Matt. 19:28).

Surely, there are no twelve tribes in the Church today, nor was any provision, specific or implied, made by our Lord for “apostolic succession.” This dogma is built upon the unscriptural assumption that the Church today is the kingdom which Christ established when on earth, and that our ministry today is but a perpetuation of that which the twelve began.

The fact is that the ministry of “the twelve” was halted when Israel finally rejected the King and His kingdom. The apostles themselves then finally agreed to turn their proposed Gentile ministry over to Paul while they restricted their Messianic ministry to “the circumcision.” Paul was called to be the Apostle to the Gentiles, and to whom the ascended Christ committed an entirely new gospel called “the gospel of the grace of God” (Read carefully, Gal. 2:2-9 and Acts 20:24).

If only the confused church at large could see that when Israel joined the rebellious Gentiles in rebellion against God, when the world's sin had risen to its height and all was ready for judgment, God revealed “the exceeding riches of His grace” by saving Saul, the chief of sinners, sending him forth as both the messenger and the living example of His grace! Thus Paul writes: “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound, but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: “that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign, through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5:20, 21).

3. The idea that the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John present Christianity because they deal with the earthly life of Jesus of Nazareth .

Jesus was definite in His commission to His twelve disciples in defining the object of their ministry. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go NOT into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Matthew 10:5-6

Christianity is not built upon Jesus’ earthly instructions to “the Twelve” or His teachings that were given to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel ,” as recorded in the synoptic gospels.

Christianity is built upon the cross, the offering of Jesus as our Savior, and to become “the head” of “the body of Christ,” as the indwelling life of each member. Today we are to live under grace “by the living law (the operation) of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:2) as our inner governor, to rule our living from within. Paul, in his epistles, never refers to anything Jesus of Nazareth said or did – only to “the cross” of Christ.

4. The idea of a Judeo-Christian heritage.

Christianity is not an outgrowth or extension of Judaism. Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew as to His incarnation, as the son of Mary; the daughter of Heli, Jesus of Nazareth has become the “Christ,” whose Spirit now indwells every believers. Yes, spiritual truths may be seen and learned by reading the Biblical history and experience of Israel and its characters; but Christianity for today is based upon a spirit-birthed relationship with God quite apart from Judaism.

Israel was dealt with as a “Nation,” as a people,” according to Moses Law. We, as children of God by grace, are regenerated one at a time, just as every human comes out of the womb one at a time. As the reborn children of God, we were rebirthed individually, by God placing His “Spirit-Seed,” which is Christ (Gal 3:16, 1Peter 1:23), into the womb of the human spirit of each individual believer (1Cor 6:17, John 3:6). We today are “saved by grace, through faith,” totally apart from works of the Law that was given to Israel (Eph 2:8-10).

While the Roman Church has a priesthood and great cathedrals (as temples), Christianity today is entirely separate from Judaism. Unlike Israel , we have no temple building, no priesthood, no “holy days,” no “Sabbaths,” or special “dietary laws” to be concerned with ( Col 2:16) or to fulfill in order to be saved, or to stay saved (see Col 2:6).

5. The idea that there is only “one gospel” in the Bible.

The Bible never states there is only one gospel. “The gospel of the grace of God” (Act 20:24) is far different than the “gospel of the kingdom (Messianic)” (Matthew 4:23; Matthew 9:35; Matthew 24:14; Mark 1:14) preached to the circumcision. Those that preach the Gospel of the Kingdom as Christianity are misleading their hearers, for they are really preaching Judaism based upon the promises God made to Abraham and that will yet be fulfilled to Israel . Christianity is based upon the truths of “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph 3:2), as revealed to Paul.

Paul here lists two contrary gospels. Gal 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter (for Israel )