Tuesday, December 18, 2018

David Nottingham on You Tube

 David Nottingham has a You Tube Channel

David Nottingham, an Acts 28 Dispensational believer in Christ, has several short teaching videos on his You Tube channel.  You can enjoy them at this link:  David Nottingham You Tube 
Be sure to "Like" and subscribe!

Friday, December 7, 2018


Here's a real treat for us!  Another guest article by David Nottingham:


       In order to obey Ephesians 4:3, it would seem necessary to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit even when those around us do not seem interested.  On most occasions, debating beliefs is futile because pride always inhibits the truth.   The arrogance of men causes them to attempt to save face even when the evidence is overwhelming that they are wrong.  Rather than enter into a debate which may likely lead to hard feelings, I have found it more productive to simply write it as I see it, and then those who may disagree with my beliefs may do so without my knowledge.  They are free to tear down or to build upon whatever portions of this exegesis that they feel satisfies their spiritual man.
       If a Bible student understands 2 Timothy 2:15, then he understands that scripture must be divided in order to be properly understood.  Dividing scripture between that which is for the nation of Israel and that which is for the church, which is his Body, is the paramount division.  The division of prophecy and mystery, heaven and earth, etc., is fully explained in one’s understanding that God is fixing both heaven and earth.  He is using Israel for the earth, but he is using the Church to make known the manifold wisdom of God in the heavens.  Ephesians 3:10.
     As a student goes about this way in finding the divisions, he must first consider the King James Version as the true word of God.  All other versions have been translated by those who have sought to dispel the divisions that we have come to see in scripture.  Because they do not understand the twofold purpose of God, they seek to rid the scriptures of these divisions, which they see as contradictions.  In short, the divisions are harder to see in modern translations, if not impossible; although they are the greatest key to truly knowing the character, plan, and will of the Almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; and as we will see, not only the will of the Father, but the mystery of it.  Ephesians 1:9
     So, let’s establish what in the Bible is written about the nation of Israel.  God's purpose through Abraham begins in chapter 12 of Genesis.  It is solely an earthly promise to reconcile the world back to God from its fallen state.  This promise continues on until the Jews in Rome reject the New Covenant in Acts chapter 28.  Throughout the entire history of the nation of Israel, God’s plan for the world becomes more and more elaborate as God reveals more and more of himself to us through his written word.  He tells of how, through Israel, there will be a Kingdom and a King who is a Prophet and a Priest as well.  He tells how that through this nation, that all the other nations of the earth will be blessed.  When God speaks in the Old Testament scriptures, he does so by speaking through the prophets.  Hebrews 1:1.  By looking and studying what these prophets spoke, we can begin to see and understand where the division between Israel and the Church needs to be made.  One of the foundational beliefs in any corner of dispensational theology is to make our division between prophecy and mystery.  In other words, what did the prophets know and speak of, and what was hidden from them?
     Let’s look closely at Ephesians 3 and Colossians 1, and then at 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2,  Ephesians 6:19, and Colossians 4:3.  If a thing is a mystery, then it was previously unrevealed.  Jesus held the Pharisees accountable for not reading their scriptures by asking numerous times, "Have ye not read?"  He called the two disciples on the Emmaus Road “fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.”  He was referring to the same thing Peter tells Israel in Acts 3:18 and in his epistle, 1 Peter 1:11, that the glory was to follow the suffering.  Paul explains the same thing to the Jews at Thessolonica, Acts 17:3 and again at Berea, Acts 17:11.  The glory and the suffering were both prophesied.  Both can be found in the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, etc.  The previously untold mystery that is revealed to the Apostle Paul is that unforeseen, un-prophesied period of time between the suffering and the glory.  Any Old Testament scholar could read and expect the millennial reign of Jesus Christ as King to begin immediately.  In fact, Luke tells us that some expected it even before or without the suffering.  Luke 19:11.  But we know the things promised to Israel have not yet come to pass.  One may ask what promises are still to come for Israel.  Look in Isaiah 61.  Jesus only quoted half the verse in Luke 4:21 because only part had been fulfilled.
     Let’s again look closely at Ephesians 3 and Colossians 1.   Ephesians 3:5 says this mystery was “not made known,” and verse 9 says it was “hid in God” from the beginning of the world.  Colossians 1:26 says it was “hid from ages and generations.”   In comparison, Luke tells us in Luke 1:70 that the prophets have spoken concerning Israel's promises since the world began.  Again, in Acts 3:21, God's word declares the same.  Something spoken of is something revealed.  Although the Jews were not able to perceive it yet, it was there in the scriptures.  The Dispensation of the Grace of God was not hid in the scriptures.  It was hid in God!
       So with the groundwork laid, in what parts of the Bible was Israel's promise of the Kingdom still being offered?  This is a dividing line in itself among dispensationalists.  It’s unfortunate and detrimental to Ephesians 4:3, that Christians, who before understanding the deeper truths of God's will, might have enjoyed one another’s company, but after disagreeing on when the Grace Dispensation began, they decide their differences are not reconcilable.  While some strive and debate, I sincerely wish the Body could have unity; however, a big portion of God's people today are aligning themselves with a different body, with different functions, from a different time, from a dispensation that has passed away.  
       The battleground has been, and consistently seems to be, the Book of Acts.  While some think the church begins with Matthew, or with Jesus' earthly ministry, most people recognize a new beginning in Acts, chapter 2.  Without comprehending the place of Pentecost in the narrative, they stick with and try to resurrect the gifts and signs given to Israel to try and signify the start of the New Covenant.  Remember that this was spoken by the prophet Joel.  Then there are those who, with a deeper understanding, see that there certainly was a separated gospel of God preached to the Gentiles during the Acts period.  Those who hold the position that the Dispensation of the Grace of God began here in the middle of Acts have built the entire premise of their theology on the error of believing the Acts period is the transition between the New Covenant and the Mystery.  Hebrews 8:13, in its present context, stated that, "Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.”  When Hebrews was written, the writer is making plain that the old had not vanished from the scene yet.  To make the case that the Old Covenant, the New Covenant, and the Mystery Dispensation existed all at the same time in the Acts period is poor theology.  When comparing Acts, chapters 8 through 28, with the Old Testament, we find Gentiles now included in the New Covenant, but with the Jews in Jerusalem having preeminence.  This is the basic premise of the narrative of scripture, all of which Moses, the Psalms and the prophets foretold.   Even those who are not dispensationalists can see and believe that grace was bestowed upon the Gentiles, and they think we are still under the New Covenant.  To think that the mystery, given to Paul, which was hid in God before the foundation of the world, began in Acts 9, or 13, is just as wrong as those who ignore it completely and think they are still a branch on a tree.   Romans 11.
      One of the most simplistic rules of dispensational thought is that you cannot have prophecy where there is mystery.  By believing the Mystery begins in Acts 9, a Bible student fashions the noose by which they will strangle their own theology.  Mid Acts Dispensationalists will spend their entire ministry trying to explain away Acts 8-28, while ignoring a 40 year wandering of Israel, all the signs and wonders, the baptisms, and most of all the undeniable massive amount of prophecy. 
For those who are honest with themselves and sincere enough to just ask questions without fear of ridicule from their peers, and who value truth over status, I have meticulously gone through the chapters of Acts after the stoning of Stephen and compiled a list of questions for those who are “on the fence” about when the Mystery Dispensation began.   The key to understanding anything is always to listen deep down and ask the right question.  As you read these questions, you can go to any Mid Acts source to get the explanation that bolsters their position.  Trust me, they have spent many, many hours striving to explain these things away.  Also, as you read, I would hope to further the understanding that all of the following questions need no explanation at all from the Acts 28 position.  They can all be answered by one simple phrase (which will follow), and they can be left alone to say exactly what they say.
       If the offer of the Kingdom ended at the stoning of Stephen:
1.  Was his prayer unanswered?
2.  What did Philip preach in Samaria?
3.  Why did Peter and John have to confirm the disciples in Samaria?
4.  Acts 8:25:  What gospel?
5.  Acts 8:26:  Angels speaking?
6.  What gospel was Philip preaching between Azotus and Caesarea?
7.  If God isn't dealing with nations in the Mystery Dispensation, then why did Jesus say he (Paul) would bear his name before kings in Acts 9:15?
8.  Acts 9:20:  What is Paul preaching and where?
9.  Acts 9:26-31 says that Paul sought to attach himself with the other disciples and that the church in Judea, Samaria and Galilee was resting, edified, and walking in the fear of the Lord. Where is the church of Jew and Gentile?  Where is the mystery hid in God?
10.  Acts 10:36:  What exactly did Peter preach at the house of Cornelius?
11.  Acts 11:1:  What word had the Gentiles heard again??
12.  Acts 11:19:  Who was preaching? To whom were they preaching?  What was their message?
13.  Acts 11:27:  Are prophets found in the Mystery Dispensation?
14.  Acts 12:  Angels and miracles performed for the Kingdom “key holder”?
15.  Acts 13:1:  More prophets?
16.  Acts 13:2:  What did Jesus say about fasting in Luke 5: 33-35?  What separate ministry?
17.  Acts 13:5:  After being separated for a special ministry, Paul still goes to Jews first.  Why?
18.  Acts 13:16:  Men of who?
19.  Acts 13:17-26:  What salvation?
20.   Acts 13:32:  Promise made to who?
21.  Acts 13:40-41:  Prophecy?  Habakuk 1:5?
22.  Acts 13:47:  A command from Isaiah 42:6 and 49:6?  Is this an offer of the New Covenant?
23.  Acts 14:3:  Is the message of today’s grace witnessed by signs and wonders?
24.  Acts 14:22:  Much tribulation before entering the Kingdom?  What hope is this?
25.  Acts  14:27:  Is the door of faith being opened to the Gentiles the same thing as the mystery hid in God?
26.  The entire 15th chapter:  Does this sound like a transition between the New Covenant and the Dispensation of Grace?
27.  Acts 15:12-17:  Prophecy from Isaiah and Amos? 
28.  Acts 15:20:  Do you order your steak well done?
29.  Acts 15:32:  Prophets still confirming?
30.  Acts 16:3:  Should an adult male be circumcised today in order to win some Jews?
31.  Acts 16:17:  Did the way of salvation include the baptism performed in verse 15?
32.  Acts 17:3:  This is the same message Jesus spoke in Luke 24:26 and what Peter teaches in 1 Peter 1:11. 
33.  Acts 17:5:  Jews are envious?  Was that prophesied?
34.  Acts 17:11:  Why is Paul teaching the same thing Jesus and Peter taught everywhere he goes if the Mystery Dispensation began in chapter 9?
35.  Acts 18:8:  Explaining away baptism?
36.  Acts 18:21:  Keeping a feast?
37.  Acts 18:28:  Shewing by the scriptures?  No mystery hid in God here..
38.  Acts 19:6:  Tongues and prophecy? 
39.  Acts 19:8:  Things concerning the Kingdom?  Should I ask MAD if I should generalize the meaning of this rendering of “kingdom of God”?  Does it differ from Acts 1:3 and 1:6?
40.   Acts 19:11:  Special miracles?
41.  Acts 19:23:  Is “that way,” the same as the “this way” of Acts 9:2?
42.  Acts 20:6:  Still observing times?
43.  Acts 20:16:  Observing Pentecost?
44.  Acts 20:24-25:  Preaching the Kingdom?
45.  Acts 21:20:  If a Jew is saved in the Mystery Dispensation, does he have to be zealous of the law?
46.  Acts 21:24:  Purify thyself?
47.  Acts 21:28:  Holy place?
48.  Acts  22:16:  Did Paul need to be baptized to wash his sins away?
49.  Acts 23:5:  Still observing the law by apologizing to the high priest?
50.  Acts 23:11:  Was Jesus telling Paul to testify the mystery in this verse?
51.  Acts 24:14:  Before Felix – Would an unbelieving Jew under the Old Covenant call believers under the New Covenant, “heretics”?
52.  Acts  26:6-7:  The hope and promise made unto the fathers?
53.  Acts  26:16-18:  Jesus’ commission to Paul here is quoted from Isaiah 35 and 42.??
54.  Acts 26:20:  Gentiles doing works meet for repentance??
55.  Acts 26:21:  What causes?
56.  Acts 26:22:  None other things than Moses and the prophets did say would come.  Did Moses and the prophets know about the mystery?
57.  Acts 26:23:  Same message as Luke 24, Acts 3, and 1 Peter????
58.  Acts 28:3-5:  Mark 16:18
59.  Acts  28:17:  Why did Paul call for the chief Jews and not the church which is his Body????
60.  Acts 28:20:  What hope was Paul bound for?
61.  Acts 28:23:  Testified the Kingdom of God from Moses and the Prophets???
62.  Acts 28:25-28:  The pronouncement from Isaiah 6.  ??
       The answer to all of these questions is very simple:  The Mystery hid in God, kept secret from ages and generations, was not revealed until the Acts period closed.

Friday, September 28, 2018

The Great Commision Revisited by David Nottingham

David Nottingham, an Acts 28 Right Divider in Kentucky, sent me this guest article for the blog:


Matthew 28:20

by David Nottingham

We have been by tradition convinced that Matthew 28:19-20 is our great commission from the Lord Jesus to go out and evangelize the world.  If you are reading from a study Bible of almost any publisher or any school of theology, you probably have in the margin that this particular passage is indeed our "Great Commission."  Much in the same way, our study Bibles proclaim to us that the entry of Christ on the foal of an ass into Jerusalem is a "triumphal entry," but wouldn't the fulfillment of Zechariah 14:4 qualify as a more triumphant entry than the fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9?   Certainly the Lord Jesus Christ knew he was not entering Jerusalem at that time to fulfill the prophecies concerning his Kingship, but rather to fulfill the prophecies concerning the lowly suffering servant who would die for the people.
In much the same way that traditions have formed our opinions on this passage of scripture (Matthew 21; Mark 11).  I am even more strongly opposed to the teaching that Christ was talking to the church, which is his body, on the day he addressed those twelve Jewish men and told them to, " Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

Understanding what God was accomplishing through the nation of Israel is key to understanding much of the Bible.  Any intelligent student of scripture must grasp the narrative of God's plan and that God reveals himself as the scripture unfolds.  Too many times, the human mind says, "I'm done learning now," while God says, "I'm not done teaching you."

In order for the Church in the present dispensation to apply the "red letter" words of the Lord Jesus, so much has to be taken as non-literal.  An example would be that because a person gives money to the Gideons in order for Bibles to be distributed worldwide, this relieves the conscience and satisfies the sincere believer in that he has followed these instructions of the Lord; however, this is a private interpretation of scripture.  Once a person believes that scripture is best translated as non-literal, the door is wide open for any and all interpretations to the point that no one is right and no one will ever be able to establish sound doctrine or truth.  So what is the literal interpretation of the words Christ spoke to the twelve just before his ascension?

First, as always, we must interpret in light of the context.  Let's consider what Christ came to do.  We know now that Christ died for the sins of the world (2 Cor. 5:15).  We also know that if we are saved today, it is through the blood of his cross by which we are reconciled (Col. 1:20).  We glory in the cross (Gal. 6:14).  We are justified by grace (Titus 3:7), and by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8) – and that not of ourselves.  Not in our faith do we trust, but it is in his faithfulness to endure the cross (Gal. 2:20; 1 Tim. 2:6); and not only this, but that the earnest of our inheritance is that we are sealed by his Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14), and baptized into his death (Rom. 6:3) into the body (1 Cor. 12:13), and raised in newness of life (Rom. 6:4).   None of the above-mentioned things that had yet been spoken of by the Lord when he told the disciples to "Go...and teach..."   In fact, none of the disciples ever wrote about the above-mentioned truths.  The only epistles that contain these blessed grace doctrines are the ones written by the Apostle to the Gentiles, Paul.  The only time the word, "cross," is used in any epistle at all outside of Paul's epistles is in the letter to the Hebrews (Heb. 12:2), and there is plenary evidence to indicate that Paul authored this epistle as well.

What conclusion do we come to from this?   The question remains then, "For what was the Lord commissioning the twelve apostles of Israel?"   Let's look at the surrounding context to get a better grasp of what the Lord was telling them.  Acts, chapter one, will give us lots of insight into what exactly the Lord told them – and had been telling them for forty days since his resurrection.  Verse three of Acts chapter one tells the reader plainly that the Lord spoke to them "things pertaining to the kingdom of God."  Verse six tells us that after three years of ministry consisting of signs and miracles, a brutal death on the cross, and a resurrection from the dead (of all things!), the disciples had a chance to ask one more question in haste as the cloud from verse nine probably was already forming to receive him out of their sight:  "Wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6)

A parallel scripture to Matthew 28:20 is Mark 16:15-20.  I find it puzzling that no one labels this passage of scripture as, "the Great Commission," although it concerns the same event.   Instead, the footnotes in most modern Bible versions say that this passage should not even be in the Bible and some delete it entirely.  Why?  Because it's easy to say that giving money to put Bibles in foreign countries fulfills the Christian's duty to obey Matthew 28:20, , but coming up with a non-literal interpretation of Mark 16 is not so easy.  Only a literal interpretation will do.   Look closely at verse twenty:  "...and THEY [emphasis mine] went forth.  THEY were those to whom that commission was given, and all the signs that the Lord said would follow them did follow them; and it was all about the prophesied kingdom that had been promised – to THEM.

After forty days of instruction, the Apostle Peter, to whom were given the keys to this kingdom, stood up and declared in Acts 2:14, "Ye men of JUDAEA [emphasis mine] and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem;" and verse sixteen, "...this is that which was spoken..."

Let's stop here.  Ultimately, what Peter would tell them to do was "repent," verse thirty-eight.  That is also what he told them in Acts chapter three, verse nineteen.   Repentance by the nation of Israel for killing their King was the one condition that was stipulated to bring about the return of Christ as King seated upon the throne, the answer to the question of Acts 1:6.  As we read through the Book of Acts and see Paul's separated Gospel of God go out to the Jew first and also the Greek (Romans 1:2, 16).  This gospel of God's grace was the last measure God would take with Israel.  The prophets declared that the Jews would become jealous of the believing Gentiles and yet they still rejected  the kingdom being offered to them (Deut. 32:21).

As the book of Acts comes to a close, we see the final signs and miracles being done by the Apostle Paul in order to convince the Jews as far away as Rome.  He called for "the chief of the Jews" in Acts 28:17.  Paul told them that for "the hope of Israel, I am bound with this chain..."

As Paul finished the Acts ministry given to him by the risen Saviour, every Jew in the known world had had an opportunity to hear the Gospel of God; and, as a nation, they rejected the kingdom.  Acts 28:25-28 is the moment that the gospel would no longer go to "the Jew first."  Their opportunity to hear and understand and see and perceive (Acts 28:26) was finally over, pulled from the table, set on shelf, and held in abeyance.  But, what of Peter and of the twelve, and their commission to go into all the world?  The prophets declared that Israel was to become a nation of priests and kings (Isaiah 61:6) and that they were to teach all nations.  If you have followed the narrative thus far, then you know that the comprehensive reader looks at Acts 28:28 and says, "What now?"  

What Jesus commissioned the twelve to go and do was one hundred percent spoken of in the prophets; but let's look at a much overlooked commission given to the Apostle Paul to give to the Body of Christ in a dispensation of grace where the Jew and his signs and prophets are not found.  Ephesians 3:1-11 and Colossians 1:24-27 are uncharted territory.  Paul tells us that this dispensation was a mystery hid in God.   The "church, which is his body," was not spiritual Israel carrying out the orders and prophecies of that chosen nation.  The mystery was not spoken of by the prophets because God never made it known.  It was God's secret.   He made it known to the Apostle Paul by revelation (Eph. 3:3), to fulfill the word of God (Col. 1:25)!   Our commission is to make ALL men see what is the fellowship of the mystery (Eph. 3:9).