THE BIBLE STUDY
Topically arranged messianic Bible studies
covering the broad range of Bible knowledge
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away."
~ Matthew 24:35 ~
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A KEY DOCTRINAL OVERVIEW
A Compendium of Messianic Bible Studies
By Norman Manzon
PAGE 5 OF 5: ADDENDUM, Page 1
MAJOR TOPICS IN SYSTEMATIC PROGRESSION:
In 2005 we began our series of a detailed exposition of the We Believe statement of The Association of Messianic Congregations which we completed in January of 2017 with "The Heavenly Ages." Little did anyone know when I began, including me, that it would turn out to be a fairly well developed systematic theology, a topical exposition of the Scriptures presented in a logical sequence. To use formal terminology, we've covered Bibliology, the doctrine or study of the Scriptures that addresses such questions as how we know that the Bible is the written, inerrant, infallible word of God and how He composed it through human writers; Theology Proper, the study of God, which includes, but is not limited to, the study of the Trinity and God the Father; Christology, the study of the Son; Pneumatology, the study of the Holy Spirit; Angelology, the study of angels; Satanology, the study of Satan; Demonology, the study of demons; Anthropology, the biblical study of man (not to be confused with the sociological science of anthropology); Hamartiology, the study of sin; Soteriology, the study of Salvation through the ages; Israelology, the study of Israel; Ecclesiology, the study of the the Church; and finally, Eschatology, the study of future events.
Though the sequence has been completed, the author has found it necessary to back up and fill in some blanks, which he has done with the first study to follow, "The Ambassadorial Band" which, in theological sequence, fits in right after "The Local Church."
It has been my great privilege and blessing to do this.
In theological sequence, "The Ambassadorial Band" fits in right after "The Local Church" on Page 3.
It is the call of the body of Messiah as a whole to Go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19), but it is the pronounced call of particular evangelists (Acts 8:5; 26-35) and the ambassadorial band as a whole to do the actual taking of the gospel to regions it had never touched before. As Paul said to the Romans,
And to the Corinthians: to preach the gospel even to the regions beyond you, and not to boast in what has been accomplished in the sphere of another (2 Corinthians 10:16).
Within the limitations of holiness, Paul strove to accommodate to every culture and individual to establish common ground for communication.
In Colossians 4:6, he wrote, Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person; and in Acts 17:22-23, we see Paul walking out that exhortation as he used the Athenians' altar with the inscription, "To the unknown god" as a springboard for communicating the gospel to them.
Paul and his band preached the gospel, established churches, appointed elders and trained new believers to carry on and multiply the Word and the work of the Lord in all of its aspects (2 Timothy 2:2). They preached in hostile areas as readily as safer ones, not hesitating because of what may befall them (Acts 4:19-20, 23-29; 2 Corinthians 11:21-33). The Lord changed their plans in mid-stream (Acts 16:7-9) and they had strong disagreements among themselves (Acts 11:2; 15:36-40; Galatians 2:12-14); yet, the urgency of their mission superceded all resistance and human shortcoming, and they persevered, trusting that God would do His work through them; and He did. As Yeshua promised, so He performed: I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it (Matthew 16:18).
Paulís band had a clear understanding of their mission: It was the mission of their leader, to be an apostle to the Gentiles. It is noteworthy that although God called Peter to the Jews and Paul to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:7), yet, wherever the apostle to the Gentiles went he always preached to the Jew first (Romans 1:16) because it was necessary (Acts 13:46) for the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham: in you all the families of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 12:3). As God used the Jews to bring forth the Law of Moses and the Messiah; as He used them to establish and lay the foundation for the body of Messiah (Romans 15:20; 1 Corinthians 15:10) and bless the world with the writings of the New Covenant; as He will yet use them to complete the evangelization of the world (Revelation 7:1-9); so God desires for individual Jews to receive the gospel first in every locale so that they may have the privilege of being the first to share with others. This is not to say that we are to ignore others until we have first shared with every Jew in a particular locale, but it is to say that it is biblical to focus on them first. It is consistent with God's promise to Abraham. A careful reading of the Book of Acts will affirm that Paul always preached to the Jew first. Even when he returned to a place in which he had previously ministered he again preached to the Jew first (Acts 18:19; 19:1-8). To the Jew first is a principle that has never been rescinded, and if the apostle to the Gentiles' practice and proclamation mean anything, it is still necessary for the gospel to be brought to the Jew first in every outreach in every locale where there are Jews.
congregation and the
ambassadorial band each
recognized the other as an
authorized and specialized
form of the Lordís work.
They recognized each other
as equals in authority and
responsibility, and served
each other. When
Holy Spirit said, Set apart
for Me Barnabas and Saul for
the work to which I have
called them, the
leaders of the congregation
at Antioch sent them out
with fasting, prayer and the
laying on of hands (Acts
13:1-3). When Paulís journey
was diverted by the Lord
from Bithynia to Macedonia,
immediately. . . sought to
go into Macedonia
(Acts 16:7-10), not
requiring the permission of
either the Antioch or
And [Paul] was traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches (Acts 15:41).
He settled [in Corinth] a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them (Acts 18:9-11).
To the Ephesian elders, he wrote, night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears (Acts 20:31).
To Titus, he wrote, For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city (Titus 1:5.)
Also, Acts 20:28-32; Romans 16:17-19; Philippians 3:15-16; 1 Corinthians 5; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22.
Paul also ministered to local congregations by means of letters, and he and his band assisted in meeting the practical needs of congregations, as well. When the saints in Jerusalem needed practical assistance, members of his band received donations from local churches for that purpose (Acts 11:29-30; 1 Corinthians 16:1-3).
Times have changed, and modern ministries have arisen: Bible translation ministries, mercy ministries, modern evangelistic organizations and the like. In addition, we can now spread the Word through means of communication that would seem inconceivable to Paul and his company. These are well and good; yet, according to the Joshua Project of the U.S. Center for World Mission (joshuaproject.net, 2017), the world is still forty-two per cent unevangelized, and ambassadorial companies akin to Paulís are still needed.
What Jesus said two thousand years ago still applies: The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest (Matthew 9:37-38).
raise up strong, bold, wise
and gifted men and women to
perpetuate the ambassadorial
band and send it to regions
beyond. Let us be open to a
call beyond the people and
places that are closest and
most familiar to us, even as
Paul reached far beyond his
own Jewish brethren.
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A Key Doctrinal
Overview and Exegesis
Norman Manzon is a Bible teacher in Hawaii
and may be reached