THREE BOOKS THAT ARE STUMBLING STONES TO MANY CHRISTIANS.
“ Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, AND A STONE OF STUMBLING, AND A ROCK OF OFFENCE, EVEN TO THEM WHICH STUMBLE AT THE WORD, BEING DISOBEDIENT: whereunto also they were appointed.” 1 Peter 2:7-8.
THESE THREE BOOKS, MATTHEW, ACTS, AND HEBREWS, DEAL WITH THE NATION OF ISRAEL, THEIR KING, AND THE KINGDOM. THESE MAY BE THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD BOOKS IN THE BIBLE. THEIR PURPOSE AND PLACEMENT CAUSE MANY TO MISUNDERSTAND WHY GOD PLACED THEM WHERE THEY ARE. EACH BOOK IS A TRANSITION FROM A MAJOR SECTION TO ANOTHER. THAT IS THE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING THESE THREE.
MATTHEW- GIVES DETAILS OF THE OFFER OF THE KING AND HIS KINGDOM, AND ISRAEL’S REJECTION OF BOTH, WHILE HE WAS ON EARTH. DURING THIS TRANSITION, NOTHING IS SAID OR KNOWN OF THE CHURCH, WHICH WAS A MYSTERY OR SECRET. “NOW TO HIM THAT IS OF POWER TO STABLISH YOU ACCORDING TO MY GOSPEL, AND THE PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST, ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY, WHICH WAS KEPT SECRET SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN,” ROMANS 16:25. THUS, ISRAEL IS WITHOUT EXCUSE. THEY COULD HAVE, AND SHOULD HAVE UNDERSTOOD FROM THE SCRIPTURES AND WORKS OF JESUS THAT THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WAS AT HAND. MATTHEW MAKES IT CLEAR THAT ISRAEL WAS MOVING FROM THE ANNOUNCEMENT AND THE OFFER OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN BY JOHN THE BAPTIST, JESUS, AND HIS DISCIPLES, TO THE TIME OF REPENTANCE AND RECEPTION OF THEIR LONG AWAITED KINGDOM.
ACTS- GIVES AN ACCOUNT OF OUR LORD’S REJECTION BY ISRAEL, AND HIS REJECTION OF THEM. IT DESCRIBES THE CONVERSION AND COMMISSION OF PAUL TO THE GENTILES. THIS PERIOD DOCUMENTS PAUL’S TRAVELS, HIS PREACHING, THE REVEALED GOSPEL WHICH WAS A MYSTERY, AND THE WRITING OF THE CHURCH EPISTLES. JERUSALEM IS NO LONGER THE CENTER OF ACTIVITY. PETER IS SET ASIDE, AND THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN FALLS ON DEAF AND DYING EARS OF A FALLEN AND REJECTED NATION. THE BOOK IS NOT AN ACCOUNT OF THE BIRTH AND GROWTH OF THE CHURCH. RATHER, IT IS A RECORD OF HOW AND WHY ISRAEL WAS REJECTED, A NEW APOSTLE TO THE GENTILES WAS CHOSEN, AND A NEW GOSPEL MESSAGE WAS GIVEN TO ALL THE WORLD WITHOUT THE CONVERSION OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL.
HEBREWS-THE BOOK OF HEBREWS TROUGHS A “MONKEY RANCH” IN THE WHOLE MATTER OF RIGHT DIVISION. IT IS HERE THE AVERAGE CHRISTION GOES HAYWIRE. HE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THAT THE BOOK OF HEBREWS THROUGH REVELATION IS WRITTEN TO THE JEWS AND MUST BE SEEN AS A DIVIDING POINT FROM THE CHURCH, WHICH IS CHRIST’S BODY, TO THE DAY OF THE LORD. RIGHT DIVISION TAKES ISRAEL THROUGH THE GREAT TRIBULATION AND INTO THEIR ETERNAL KINGDOM. THEREFOR, THE BODY OF CHRIST IS NOT THE SUBJECT OF THESE JEWISH EPISTLES. RIGHT DIVISION WILL SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF RECONCILING HEBREWS WITH THE PAULINE EPISTLES. IT IS A TRANSITION BOOK.
IT IS FUTILE TO ATTEMPT RECONCILIATION OF THE MANY DIVISIONS AND DISPENSATIONS FOUND IN THE WORD OF GOD, UNLESS WE “STUDY TO SHEW THYSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD, A WORKMAN THAT NEEDETH NOT TO BE ASHAMED, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH.” 2 TIMOTHY 2:15. WE CONCLUDE THAT IF THERE IS RIGHT DIVISIONS OF SCRIPTURE, ONE MAY FAIL, AND WRONGLY DIVIDE THEM. NOWHERE IS THAT MORE EVIDENT THAN THE THREE EXAMPLES WE GIVE OF MATTHEW, ACTS, AND HEBREWS. THEY MUST BE AS DESCRIBED ABOVE.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.