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2013 Men’s Conference on Discipleship


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Please join us as McLean Bible Church hosts the 2013 Men’s Conference on Discipleship “Living The Invested Life” with best selling author Joel Rosenberg.  Join me and my wife along with our dear friends Mark & Carol Hernandez as we lead a workshop on Making Disciples at home.

Best selling author Joel Rosenberg will be leading us through “An Invested Life” The Invested Life

I will be there with my “Man’s Ultimate Challenge” coins for challenging men to be “men of virtue in a culture of vice” find out more at my website. I designed these challenge coins off of the 7 virtues so that I could use them for my son Jonah’s rite of passage boy to man ceremony.  Men this is for you!  Find out more at www.MansUltimateChallenge.com

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Thanks everyone for your faithfulness joining my family as we go through the Bible this year!!!

Until HE Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

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Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

2013 Men’s Conference on Discipleship


Please join us as McLean Bible Church hosts the 2013 Men’s Conference on Discipleship “Living The Invested Life” with best selling author Joel Rosenberg.  Join me and my wife along with our dear friends Mark & Carol Hernandez as we lead a workshop on Making Disciples at home.

Best selling author Joel Rosenberg will be leading us through “An Invested Life” The Invested Life

I will be there with my “Man’s Ultimate Challenge” coins for challenging men to be “men of virtue in a culture of vice” find out more at my website. I designed these challenge coins off of the 7 virtues so that I could use them for my son Jonah’s rite of passage boy to man ceremony.  Men this is for you!  Find out more at www.MansUltimateChallenge.com

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Thanks everyone for your faithfulness joining my family as we go through the Bible this year!!!

Until HE Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Why A Christian Shouldn’t Tithe!


Show Me The Money

I remember hearing the phrase “tithes and Offerings” many times when I first became a Christian at age 25. I know that many churches teach that the 10% tithe still applies today. I am convinced that if you pause, pray, and place the presuppositions about the tithe aside you will clearly see that it does not apply today. Furthermore you will see that we are to view 100% as God’s so our giving is to be even more generous!

Now before we begin I want to apply the classic method to teaching that I believe helps, especially when a topic such as this many people come with a belief that can cloud their understanding. At the end of this post at least if you disagree you know what it is that I put forward that you disagree with. The classic approach is this:

First, I am going to tell you what I am going to tell you. Then I am going to tell you in detail. Then I am going to tell you what I told you.

Here is what I am going to tell you:

I believe that our duty as Christians today is to be based on the principle that ALL we have is God’s and not ours. Then: (1) We do not legalistically tithe 10%; (2) We should never give to get; (3) Give generously; (4) give cheerfully; (5) give sacrificially (6) give according to your means.

Time to tell you:

First, I want to provide you a very simple timeline to keep in mind whenever you read the supposed commands in the Bible about the tithe. When you do this you will clearly see that there is not one single command for us to tithe that applies today. In fact I will issue you a challenge! If you find one command that you think commands us to tithe today post it in the comments section. But before you get too excited to prove it, here is the timeline to use as a grid to place the Bible verse through:

Giving Timeline

Let’s use this figure as a grid and take a look at some verses in each giving phase in the Bible. Again remember that the Bible is 66 Books that cover a 1500 year span as noted in my post here and here on How We Got The Bible.

Pre-Law:

Exodus 25:1-3 – “The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give.”

You can see here that the Lord moved in people’s hearts to give in order to build the tabernacle and pieces used in it before the Temple was built.

OT Law:

First note that the word “tithe” means 10%. So we see under the Old testament Law that the Lord gave to the Israelites that in order for them to live in the Promised Land He commanded the people to give 10% of everything.  And this “everything” was to be the “first fruits” and not the “leftovers”.

Leviticus 27:30 – “A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord ; it is holy to the Lord”

This served as an act of worship to remember that the land is the Lord’s and He was the one that gave it and divided it among the 11 tribes of Israel. But wait weren’t there 12 tribes? Yes! The Levites did not get any of the Promise Land to own and live off of for their support came from a portion of the 10% offering:

Numbers 18:20-21 – “The Lord said to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites. I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting.”

As you can see anytime that you have a command by Jesus to tithe it is because He is fulfilling the law! If Jesus would have not tithed or not commanded to tithe than He would have not been sinless. Friends, He also gave animal sacrifices and commanded that as well and that does not apply today! Post resurrection verses about giving are the commands for us in the church age because that is exactly when they were given.

This continues throughout Israel’s history all of the way up to the last book of the Old Testament Malachi:

Malachi 3:8-11

“In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse — the whole nation of you — because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 1

Ah, here is our phrase “Tithes and offerings” that I would often hear.

NT Command for the Church:

Below I am going to dive into this topic with reference numbers at the end of every sentence that corresponds to a list of Bible verses at the end of the post. So print this out or scroll and read each verse:

So with this background in mind, why is there so much confusion in the church today on the topic of giving and the Christian’s responsibility? Much of this confusion is due in a large part to the fact that there is much Biblical illiteracy in the church today. Add to this, false teachers[1] that act as if giving is tied directly to God “financially blessing the believer” even though the Bible teaches exactly the opposite![2] ; thus today the sad state of Christians giving not as an act of worship but an act of greed[3]. Listen to my teaching here on the False Teachers and you may be surprised who is on there!

Joel Osteen

There is another reason for confusion that is not that easy to detect at first, and is demonstrated by the timeline above. This has to do with the fact that the 66 books of the Bible is a library of God’s progressive revelation to His creation over 1500 years.

In the Bible the concept of the tithe[4] is taught in many places, so many Christians wrongly believe that this law applies to them. However, once I place the Bible in a timeline, you will clearly see that the tithe no longer applies to us today. As a matter of fact, you will not find the tithe taught in the New Testament!

The tithe was a tax on the Israelites to pay for the temple work of the Levites who were to serve the Lord at the tent of meeting and eventually the temple.[5] The Levites were the only tribe of the twelve to not receive physical territory in the promise land. The Levites were the only ones who were able to serve, and the High Priest was the only one who could enter behind the curtain in the most holy of holies once a year to make atonement for the nation of Israel.[6]

Now, enter the Lord Jesus who fulfilled the law and the prophets.[7] When the Lord Jesus died on the cross and said that “it is finished” the curtain that separated God in the most holy of holies from man was torn in two[8] for now Jesus is our high Priest making intercession for us daily.[9] Moreover, God no longer speaks through priests for we are all part of the priesthood of all believers if we profess Jesus Christ as our Savior![10] What’s more, in the Old Testament only the prophets the priests and the Kings would be temporarily filled with the Holy Spirit for service. But today, we are all filled with the Holy Spirit and given gifts for service the moment we accept Jesus’ payment for our sins on the cross with the expectation that we will use those gifts.[11]

So how are we to give? What are we to give? We are to give our time, our talents, and our treasures (1) Generously[12], (2) Sacrificially, (3) Cheerfully, (4) As the Lord leads, and (5) With Pure motives. All of these should have the goal of bringing praise to God.[13] In many ways we have more responsibility today in the New Testament then the Israelites had in the Old Testament. We have Spiritual gifts that we are expected to use and we are not to merely “pay a 10% tax” but hold out our hands knowing that God owns it all. Think about it. Can a man who makes $100 million a year with no debt giving $10 million a year really be giving sacrificially? What about the man’s time using his Spiritual gifts? But for someone who makes $30,000 a year, has debt to pay off as an act of obedience[14], and a family to take care of giving $3,000 a year can be very sacrificial. It can actually be an act of disobedience if he or she does not pay off debt, or take care of family needs[15], in order to obey a tithe that they are not called to obey! However, this person has Spiritual gifts to use and time to give, both of which are of great value to the Kingdom. In fact for this person 3% of his or her salary could be considered sacrificial giving! Moreover, giving of your time using your spiritual gifts is very sacrificial since time is one resource that is truly finite.

In Short, What did I just tell you?

We all have to give not out of compulsion or reluctantly[16] because God loves when we are cheerful givers giving back to Him a portion of the blessing He has given to us. Also, we are to give as we can and in accordance with our income to missionaries and the local church[17], while helping people in need[18].

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

Founder, Man’s Ultimate Challenge


[1]1 Peter 5:2-3 – Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers — not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

1 Timothy 6:3-5 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

[2]James 4:3 – When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

[3]Proverbs 28:25 – A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper.

1 Corinthians 6:10 – nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Timothy 6:8-10 – But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Ephesians 5:5-6 – For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Matthew 23:25-26 – “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

[4]1/10 or 10%.

[5]Numbers 18:20-22 – The Lord said to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites. “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting.

[6]Leviticus 16:34 – “This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites.”

[7]Matthew 5:17-18 – “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

[8]Matthew 27:50-51 – And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

[9]Hebrews 10:19-22 – Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God…

Hebrews 4:14 – Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God,

1 Timothy 2:5 – For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…

[10]1 Peter 2:9-10 – But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

[11]1Corinthians 12 – 14; Romans 12; Ephesians 4.

[12]2 Corinthians 8:1-7 – And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will. So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But just as you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us-see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

Proverbs 11:25 – A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

[13]2 Corinthians 9:11-14 – You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.

[14]Romans 13:8 – Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another…

[15]1 Timothy 5:8If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

[16]2 Corinthians 9:6-8 – Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

[17]1 Corinthians 16:1-2 – Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

[18]Acts 11:29-30 – The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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“So That” The Ministry We Never Prayed For


Changes That HealCelebrate Recovery

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 – “3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

The belief that God is a “God of all comfort” is an essential truth that every believer must embrace when life’s journey leads us through the valley.  In our scripture today God calls us to do two things with this essential truth.  First, God wants us to apply this truth in our own lives by letting Him into the deepest parts of our being to be comforted personally by Him.  Second, God wants us to serve others with the same “comfort we ourselves have received from God”.  Notice the so that in verse four.  God is comforting us not merely to benefit us, although that is certainly true, but with the intention that we will serve His people with the same comfort that we have received from the Father of compassion.  In essence we are called to give it away!  Notice that there is a correlation between the areas of your life that you allow God in to comfort and the type of comfort that you can give away.  Is there an area in your life that needs comfort that you have not allowed God into?

Every Sunday my Senior Pastor Lon Solomon makes theology both personal and practical by asking his famous question “So What”?  Throughout the Washington D.C. area, our Mclean Bible Church brothers and sisters are making this theology of comfort personal and practical as they serve the Lord in their own “So That” ministry.  Their ministry is an outgrowth of the comfort that they have personally received from God while in the midst of the valley experiences of their own lives.  For instance, we have couples who have experienced hope and healing in their marriage whom now have chosen marriage mentoring as their “so that” ministry.  We have other couples who have experienced the comfort of God through the touch of a community of saints who now serve as small group or community group leaders.  What is your “So That” ministry?

When are you going to start?  If not now, when?

Our “So That” ministry is our most personal ministry and one that can have the greatest impact for the Kingdom.   I call it the ministry that we never prayed for because I do not know anyone who prayed for addiction, prayed for abuse, prayed for a husband, wife, or child to leave this earth before we were ready.  What you allow God to do with these areas of pain and how far you let Him into the pain will determine if you are a space taker or a difference maker in this world.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus thank you so much for sending me the Comforter when you went to be with the Father; for you knew in this life that is exactly what I would need.  Father, I ask your forgiveness for and seek your comfort in ____________________.  Give me the strength to serve your people with the same comfort that I have received from you.

Until He Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2013 in Suffering, Uncategorized

 

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The Holy Spirit has come!

oneyearbiblesite

toungues of fire

Since the Book of Acts is a history book, it is a very bad place to grab permanent theology.  Every time people do so they get in trouble and twist themselves into a theological pretzel. There are things that happen at the establishment of the church for the first time that are to never happen again. I repeat, there are things that happen at the establishment of the church for the first time that are to never happen again. Why? Like all transitions even in your own life they are unique. This transition that God makes is huge! So huge that the Apostles themselves have to be “pushed” by God and shown that the time has come for the end of the Temple sacrifices, the Jewish priesthood, and the theocratic system.  Everything they have known as part of their worship and identity as a Jew is vanishing.

One example of the…

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Posted by on March 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tongues & Acts: When To Debate When To Divide


toungues of fire

Since the Book of Acts is a history book, it is a very bad place to grab permanent theology.  Every time people do so they get in trouble and twist themselves into a theological pretzel. There are things that happen at the establishment of the church for the first time that are to never happen again. I repeat, there are things that happen at the establishment of the church for the first time that are to never happen again. Why? Like all transitions even in your own life they are unique. This transition that God makes is huge! So huge that the Apostles themselves have to be “pushed” by God and shown that the time has come for the end of the Temple sacrifices, the Jewish priesthood, and the theocratic system.  Everything they have known as part of their worship and identity as a Jew is vanishing.

One example of the theological pretzel that I am talking about is what has been called “the second blessing” or “second baptism” that is supposedly evidenced by “speaking in tongues”. All of the supposed biblical support for this is taken from the experiences read in the book of Acts. As I will demonstrate below this is not  biblical basis for a “second baptism” or “the sign of a filling of the Spirit”. What this is is a lack of understanding of the historical context of the transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant an example of which was given last week in my post on Acts 1. If you remember even the Apostle Peter got himself in trouble by using Old Testament methods in New Testament times.

Debate

We can debate and not divide over the matter of the belief that tongues still exist today, but there is no debate and we must divide over the belief that there is a “second blessing or filling” needed after one has already came to Christ. Now some of you may think “well that is harsh!” Really? But are you not promoting division within your own church by creating a “have’s and have not’s” of suposed Spirit-filled believers and just believers? This division within one local church body has become so significant that some churches have even started classes to learn how to speak in tongues. So let me get this straight now you can teach people in the flesh what is from the Spirit? I think not my brothers and sisters and I hope that this post combined with a teachable spirit will convince you. You will see no “priming the pump” here. As to the matter of the debate on the existence of tongues today I will address this when we get to 1Corinthians. What fun it is to learn from one another through debate! To debate is to love and to discern the truth so that we actually grow!  The post later will be a post for debate among my brothers and sisters, but not a matter of division. However this post today is a matter of biblical division. Biblical division is good!

1 Corinthians 11:19 – No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval.

Divide

So why is there a delay in belief and receiving of the Holy Spirit at times during the establishment of the church? Here is the answer: The Apostles are establishing the Church that includes everyone who accepts Jesus as the Messiah. The Messiah as to human origins is of Jewish lineage and came to the Jews first but not the Jews only. This delay occurs 4 times, and happens to 4 types of people representing every race of men. Furthermore, every time this happens it occurs at the laying on of the hands by an Apostle.

(1) The Church includes the Jews: Acts 2:5-21

Acts 2:1-8 – When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?

Please note that these tongues were not gibberish but real languages! There were Jews there from many nations and they heard in their own NATIVE LANGUAGE. Remember there were many believers with the 11 Apostles who were all speaking.

(2) The church includes the half-breeds; the Samaritans:

Acts 8:14-17 – When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized intoc the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 

Again the Apostles Peter and John lay on the hands to establish the Church that includes, Jews and Samaritans—but God is not done. Now at this point Jesus had already shown that He accepted the Samaritans and even used them as an example in the parable of the “Good Samaritan”. So, I imagine Peter thinking to himself “Hey they are at least half Jewish.”

(3) The Church includes the God-Fearing Gentiles. These are Gentiles who converted to Judaism but remained uncircumcised and follow the one true God.

Acts 10:9-23, 44-46 – About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” 

14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” 

15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” 

16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven. 

17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. 18 They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there. 

19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, threea men are looking for you. 20 So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.” 

21 Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?” 

22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to have you come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.” 23 Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

Now God had to go further by providing Peter a vision of Old Testament “UNCLEAN FOOD” to show that God is changing the times. It is New Covenant times! Peter needed a vision to push him along to the Gentiles!

You can see that God’s plan worked:

Acts 10:28, 34-35 – He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean…Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. 

(4) The Church includes the Gentiles. The Gentiles in Ephesus. (These are people like me whom believed for the first time as a Gentile)

Acts 19:1-7 – While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 

3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”

“John’s baptism,” they replied. 

4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all. 

Note again that this event happens at the laying on of the hands by an Apostle! This takes us back to the last post on the presumption and disobedience of Peter when it became clear that Jesus was to pick the replacement for Judas and not Peter.  Jesus called Paul to be the Apostle to the Gentiles, and it is interesting that God chooses Paul this time and not Peter to use:

Acts 9:15 – the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.

As you can see by looking at all of these events together and not in isolation there is a pattern! This is why I often give the advice to “never read a Bible verse!” You must read the verse in context with the paragraph, the book, the books together in the New Testament, then in their totality. This book is even more unique in that regard because it is a history of God using the 12 Apostles as pillars of the new church of ALL Nations. So hopefully you see that you can never use the book of Acts where events occur for the first time to get a theology that is normative in the church for all time. The other books of the New Testament give us the rest of the story.

These four events are the fulfillment of the Prophet Joel quoted by Peter on the Day of Pentacost:

Acts 2:16-17 – this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on ALL people.

In addition this is the beginning of the fulfillment of the Great Commission that God is using us Spirit-filled Christians to fulfill! We can fulfill this mission because all of us who are true Christians are filled with Holy Spirit. The sign of my own filling is a changed heart and a new life!

Matthew 28:19-20 – Therefore go and make disciples of ALL nations, baptizing them ina the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

GO!!!!!!!!!!

Until He Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Church Age Begins With An Impatient Peter


colin hemer Book of Acts

I love the book of Acts! This post on the book of Acts will be just like the book of Acts–fast paced and quick! I will provide three thoughts for you as you read this wonderful book. First lets take a look at the New Testament Timeline. Pay attention to the book of Acts in Green on the picture below. We know that the Book of Acts was completed before 70AD and most date the book around 62AD. Why you ask? There are many reasons but one important reason is the fact that the Temple is still standing and the destruction of the Temple is never recorded in this history book. This is the seminole event in Jewish history and not recording it as a historian would simply not happen! Moreover, Jesus Christ predicted that the temple would be destroyed in Matthew 24 so not recording a fulfilled prophecy is highly unlikely.

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But why date the book of Luke earlier than Acts? Luke wrote Acts and he starts off Acts by saying “In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach…” So this puts Luke earlier than Acts.

Acts is an incredibly accurate book especially when you consider the technology and type of traveling done during this time. In His book The Book of Acts in Hellenistic History Colin Hemer confirms that Luke named 32 countries, 54 cities, 9 islands, and hundreds of details without making a single error! Pretty amazing, eh?

Second, look at this chart for context! Notice that the New Testament is being written within the years covered by the book of Acts. This is very important!!!!!!

Acts and New Testament

This book is an action packed history of the church and there is no other book like it in the New Testament. What is often missed however is the fact that this is a history book of the Holy Spirit’s new role on earth as Jewish and Gentile believers come together in one body, the Church. No longer is the role of the Holy Spirit to fill only God’s chosen Prophet, High Priest or King. These offices of old have been fulfilled by Jesus Christ whom is out High Priest, our King of Kings, and final Prophet. As the book of Hebrews puts it:

In times past God spoke to our forefathers through the Prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son…” – Hebrews 1:1-2

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Up Dag-SquirrelSquirrel Moment: The verse above is an excellent verse to use when a Mormon comes to your door claiming to represent the restored church with a “living prophet”. Show him this verse and ask the missionary of the counterfeit Jesus the following questions:

1. When was the times past that God used the office of Prophet? Answer: Before the arrival of the Messiah Jesus Christ

2. Now all have direct access to God through Jesus Christ, why would God restore the old office of Prophet that pointed to Him? Answer: He wouldn’t!

If you didn’t get the “Squirrel moment” joke click the picture 🙂

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Third, God demonstrates to the Apostles and the people around them that the Messiah has come, the old sacrificial system and priesthood is to end. Now the Holy Spirit is establishing a church of Jews and Gentiles together! Even the Apostles had to learn that the old way of doing things was gone as you will see in Acts chapter 1. The book begins with Peter deciding not to wait on God and use old methods to choose the Apostle to take the place vacated by Judas:

Jesus’ Command in Acts 1:4-5 is go to Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit. Peter once again jumps the gun and instead of just waiting for the Holy Spirit he decides to pick Judas’ replacement. Peter points to the Old Testament to justify his actions by quoting Psalm 69:25 and Psalm 109:8 in order to demonstrate his need to replace Judas:

“For, said Peter, it is written in the book of Psalms, “May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it” and, “May another take his place of leadership.” – Acts 1:20

Peter then comes up with a criteria that Judas’ replacement must fit:

“Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” – Acts 1:21

Now here is the kicker: Peter is 100% correct in his use of scripture, 100% correct in the criteria above; however he is 100% disobedient! This will become clear in a moment. Jesus said go and WAIT for the indwelling of God! Instead Peter used an Old Testament method of casting lots during a New Testament period to make a choice that was not his to make. I ask you when you list the Apostles do you list Matthais? In fact this is the last time that you will see his name. Peter forgot one very important thing: the choice was not his to make. Jesus personally chose the Apostles and Jesus was going to personally choose Judas’s replacement.

Jesus chose Saul of Tarsus to take Judas’s place. At first The choice Jesus made seemed like trading one traitor for another. I believe that Jesus redeemed this position held by a traitor by filling it with a redeemed traitor. This is truly an amazing story of redemption as Saul the murderer of the first Christian (Acts 8) becomes the Apostle Paul who is himself murdered for being a Christian. Interesting fact that the Apostle Paul is the only Apostle both saved and called by the resurrected Christ. When I think about Paul I am reminded that I also am a traitor redeemed by Jesus Christ! Thanks Lord for redeeming traitors.

Until He Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

 
 

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