Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God:
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (Acts 20:26-30)
WHEN JESUS WAS RESTORING PETER TO FELLOWSHIP (after denying Jesus three times at His trial) one might think that Jesus would tell Peter to get on the ball about witnessing to people everywhere who needed to hear the Gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ from the dead. (He did tell us all to preach the gospel to every creature.)
BUT JESUS, INSTEAD, TOLD PETER:” if you love me, feed My sheep.” It took me twenty years to get hold of that. God wants the babes in Christ to grow so they can model to the world what a Christian looks like.
WHEN PAUL FINISHES HIS TRAVELING AND PREACHING, and says his goodbye, the last thing he says is to “feed the church of God.” They’re living in an atmosphere of evangelism and spreading the word that the “Promised One” has come, was crucified and raised from the dead. They get that. That’s their message and program.
BUT SOMETHING THEY MAY NOT GET, is the need to proclaim the WHOLE COUNSEL of God. At that time, the need was to explain how the Old Testament was the root out of which there was to come a church built around the CHRIST who had come and then went away into Heaven and would return.
Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. (Acts 3:21-23)
PLEASE NOTE THAT GOD'S HOLY PROPHETS HAD EXISTED and had been proclaiming God’s message since the world began. There’s no room here for billions of years between the time the world began and the appearance of prophets on the earth. Adam and Eve were within a few days of being as old as the earth.
THIS SMALL DETAIL IS PART OF THE MESSAGE PAUL PROCLAIMED (above) and then said he had proclaimed all the counsel of God. The age of the earth is part of the whole counsel of God, according to Paul. There had been prophets proclaiming the message since the beginning of the world, not billions of years later.
ALL THE COUNSEL OF GOD (Acts 20:27) “Jesus had commissioned the apostles to teach the disciples to “observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20), and Paul endeavored to do just that in all the churches for which he felt responsible. It is important that each church, especially its leaders, seek to teach its members the whole Word of God, not to concentrate on a few pet doctrines.” (Henry Morris: The New Defender’s Study Bible, page 1680.)
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST TAKES UP A VERY SMALL SPACE IN THE BIBLE. It is the centerpiece and axle of the Bible. But the Gospel is not the whole counsel of God. The Lord wants us to know and share the Gospel with everyone we can, and I have been trying to do that since I got saved in the bean market in October, 1943. I urged my 4th grade classmates to go to the meeting until they were tired of hearing it and worked me over a bit at morning recess. I had cussed with them and that was alright. But talking about getting saved was not what they wanted to hear.
TODAY, I STILL UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS MY GOD-ORDAINED DUTY AND PRIVILEGE to open a conversation about eternity and God at Cracker Barrel (or the auto parts store). To the waitress: “May I ask you something? When you were little, did your mother take you to Sunday School? When you were in Sunday School, did you hear about John 3:16? Do you have a Bible at home?” And with that, we are off and running. I’m not very spiritual or the best witness in the world. But every Christian can be a faithful witness.
SO, THE WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD IS MORE THAN THE GOSPEL AND GETTING SAVED. It is the whole Word of God. The whole counsel of God is the Old Testament and later included the New Testament. After Christ was crucified and raised from the dead, it was about 30 years before any part of the New Testament had been written, probably the book of James. But the first Christians, as they were persecuted and left Jerusalem, preached the Word.
THEY PREACHED JESUS CHRIST OUT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.
Therefore, they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word. (Acts 8:4) (They were preaching out of the Old Testament; passages they had memorized.)
And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. (Acts 20:32) (The “word of his grace” was the Old Testament.)
And he (Phillip) arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. (The Old Testament)
Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. (
And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, (Old Testament) and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? (Acts 8:27-30)
And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. (Acts 8:34-35) Phillip preached Jesus out of the Old Testament.
The New Testament is in the Old, contained. The Old Testament is in the New, explained. God did not swap the Old Testament for the New Testament. He added the New Testament to the Old Testament. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
October 30, 2019 – WEDNESDAY
A.M. Jeremiah 27-28 P.M. 2Timothy 4
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Great Verses to Memorize:
Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons; (Deuteronomy 4:9)
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7
Song for Today:
Victory in Jesus (3:25) (1st/2nd/Grade-Calvary Chr. School – Sou. Pines, NC)
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