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 
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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.