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A NEW BOOK BY DR. C. R. OLIVER
Paul: From Prison with Love
The Ebooks are now available on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Paul: From Prison with Love, is a basic commentary of the writings generated from Paul's first imprisonment in Rome. He had already written the book of Galatians in 49 AD, followed by First and Second Thessalonians in 5l AD. Trailing these volumes were First and Second Corinthians (56 AD) and Romans (56,57 AD).
Knowing these books were in circulation prior to the four prison letters is important chronological information. It means the books of James (44-45 AD) and Matthew (40 AD) were available to the early church, and their influence, no doubt, was impactful. However, Paul's revelation was certainly dynamic during those early days, as well.
This commentary seeks to draw on these facts and present a cascading treatise seeking to grasp understanding about their interaction. When Ephesians was born in 60 AD, did Colossians (61AD) expand upon Ephesians or is it a separate entity?
Each book of this foursome is in the chronological order of their issuance. As each unfolds their separate message, the commentator will seek to point the way to less obvious subjects that apply to the reader-regardless in what century they are read.
Unfolding revelation is beautiful to behold, and the excitement grows as one reaches into the promises of God found in each epistle. Each book is quartered into four parts in order for small groups to study as four lessons per month (except Philemon).
The Bible texts are also included along with commentary, allowing the reader to reference the material without having to turn to the Bible and then back to the commentary. This facilitates the use of other translations for clarity.
You may see all of our books in detail on our E-Book Page HERE.
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A NEW WORKBOOK STUDY GUIDE BASED ON DR. OLIVER'S BOOK EN PUNTO BY DR. LA VETTA WILLIAMS AND PAULETTE TURNER
Workbook For En Punto
This Ebook is now available on Amazon.
En Punto, by Dr. C.R. Oliver, is a teaching text that moves the reader from the secularism of the day to a place near the walk of the early church. Beginning with the Preface, written by Missionary Russell M. Stendal, to the Addendums where Ex-Nun, Ann Hall, testifies about her En Punto walk, this book draws the reader into a commitment that is life-changing. Instead of the "haphazard" circumstance-driven life, there arises the awareness of how to live in the "exact" will of God, how to interpret life from a different view. En Punto challenges the reader to a new level of purity and power. Its studies include personal adventures using En Punto principles, as well as Biblical studies from both Old and New Testaments. Inside its main flow there is a special review of the tribe of Benjamin and how their history served as a model of moral relativism, and how they changed to strong determinism in God.
En Punto has been the source book for world Bible Studies, the subject of media interviews and a "must read" text for dynamic Christian living.
This workbook is a companion for En Punto, designed to be used in Bible study groups or as a personal study guide. It was compiled by Attorney Dr. La Vetta Williams and her Assistant Paulette Turner to use in their teachings of the book over the last several years.
You may see all of our books in detail on our E-Book Page HERE.
These may be ordered:
On our Order Page HERE.
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CHECK OUT OUR AUDIO/VIDEO PAGE!
We have combined all of Dr. Oliver's videos into one location. There is a wealth of Bible Study available, organized by type. Since these Audio/Videos are available on the "C. R. OLIVER" YouTube channel, they may be seen on many TVs and may be used for group Bible studies. We hope that this addition will add to your spiritual enrichment as you study these ministry sessions. Dr. Oliver spends a great deal of time, prayer, and study in their preparation. You may find this page using the "Video" heading on the Zadok Publications Web Page or directly HERE.
ZADOK PUBLICATIONS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
October 1, 2020
"Studies of the Spirit in the New Testament - James, Galatians"
You may watch this Newsletter in a video HERE
This study will now take a turn. Beginning with the book of James, the earliest text circulated among the early churches, we will then follow with Paul's book of Galatians. The reason behind taking the various books of the Bible in the order in which they were written is to be aware of the refining nature of their subject matter. In other words, to see what were the major issues being addressed over time and what the Spirit prompted the writers to cover.
The book of James, written by Jesus' half-brother, has only one reference to the Spirit; however, that one reference is pivotal because everything before and after hinges on that verse. By taking the section we will cover, the factor of a "yearning" Spirit displays the nature of God in regard to His saints.
One major factor must be addressed; James is writing to Jewish Christians directly-so, his admonitions are to religious folks who are well versed in the Scriptures. These are covenant minded people. These are also seasoned traditionalists who are accustomed to the ways of the Temple (which needed cleansing) and Synagogues (with compromised adherents).
To: Jewish Christians scattered everywhere. Greetings!
James cuts to the chase and with volley after volley he covers matters of the heart, mincing no words. Because he is acquainted with the ways of "sinning saints," he calls for repentance coupled with deeds to validate it.
4 You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world's friend is being God's enemy? So, whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God.
5 Or do you suppose that the Scripture is speaking to no purpose that says, The Spirit whom He has caused to dwell in us yearns over us and He yearns for the Spirit [to be welcome] with a jealous love? [Jeremiah 3:14; Hos 2:19 ff.]
6 But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it). [Prov 3:34.]
7 So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.
8 Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery].
9 [As you draw near to God] be deeply penitent and grieve, even weep [over your disloyalty]. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your mirth to dejection and heartfelt shame [for your sins].
10 Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant].
Evidently, the early church had some very basic issues.
However, the modern church is primarily guilty of the same issues. Christianity has plenty of examples of compromise and accommodation theology. James' conclusions are super applicable today. The double mindedness of the Jewish Christians has found its way into the current church.
James' thesis is simple: "The saint is to be holy and dutiful and these two elements lead to a full life without conflict with God's plan." The Holy Spirit is yearning today for His rightful place in the believer's heart and life.
Focus on chapter 4 and verse 5 and the word "yearns." To understand the intensity of that word
is to realize how greatly God wants a "sinless saint."
NT:1971 epipotheo (ep-ee-poth-eh'-o); from NT:1909 and potheo (to yearn); to dote upon, i.e. intensely crave possession (lawfully or wrongfully):
KJV - (earnestly) desire (greatly), (greatly) long (after), lust.
NT:1972 epipothesis (ep-ee-poth'-ay-sis); from NT:1971; a longing for:
KJV - earnest (vehement) desired
NT:1909 and a derivative of the latter part of NT:1971; yearned upon, i.e. greatly loved:
(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek- Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.
James enumerates those things in a person's life which war against the Spirit. He also tells his readers God has more than enough grace to forgive and bring a person back to a right standing with the Spirit. James points out the Spirit yearns and often is grieved by the believer's actions. James says over and again the believer must give God first place and allow the Spirit to have His rightful place in the saint's life. The Spirit yearns to have pre-eminence in our worship. He yearns to have dominance in the believer's life actions. He yearns to take us to places in Christ deeper than man can comprehend, but He is hindered by all of the factors covered in this book.
If ever there is a time in history for the message of James to be heard, it is now. His emphasis on the soon return of the Lord Jesus and the great necessity to rid all matters that hinder the Spirit
in one's life is tantamount. James allows no excuse to stand-it is now or never!
Following James (44,45 AD), the book of Galatians (49 AD) became the second epistle to be circulated among the early churches. Of course, Matthew was already published in 40 AD pre-dating both.
There are seventeen separate references to the Spirit in this mighty epistle. This means the congregations had already developed a deep understanding of the work of the Spirit among them.
Paul set the stage in the first two chapters of Galatians for what he planned to say in the balance of the book. He gave a short version of his calling, his subsequent interaction with the Apostles (especially mentioning James and Peter) and a synopsis of the Gospel he preached among the Gentiles.
Validating his gospel message through revelation, he challenged any other gospel being presented as false and misleading. In Chapter three, he bluntly accosts the Galatians' compromised gospel as being in contrast to the true word he preached among them. They were allowing Judaizers to influence them-imposing on the Gentiles their Jewish traditionalism. (Paul contrasted James' calling to work with Jewish converts and his own calling to work with Gentiles.)
Because the Jerusalem Conference was held the following year (50AD), it seems reasonable that Galatians might well have precipitated the need for the Apostles to rule on what would be expected among Gentile converts.
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I
want to learn from you:
Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain - if indeed it was in vain?
5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? - 6 just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed." 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
Paul proffered three simple questions:
1."Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith?"
2. "Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain - if indeed it was in vain?"
3. "Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?"
It is easy to see that Paul was emphasizing the baptism of the Holy Spirit as being the evidence of God's enduement of power upon the Gentiles. Wherever the book of Acts attested Gentile inclusion into the church, it was always characterized as, "Those who received the Holy Spirit just as happened to us."
This is why Paul's three questions were so important, especially number three.
When Paul's rhetorical questions were answered correctly, they opened the door of correction-just like Peter was set straight, the Galatians stood to be corrected.
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Even today, various Messianic groups seek to impose Judaic customs on believers. Sabbaths, feasts, circumcision, even Rabbinical Talmudic teachings, which, having the knowledge of such
often distracts from the Gospel. Most of the time in these latter-day groups, there is little evidence of the presence and power of the Spirit.
Paul carried his proof example back to the "Abrahamic blessing," claiming it predated the giving of the Mosaic Law and actually provided for Gentile inclusion.
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Powerfully, Paul drove home the fact that Jesus "was born under the law," in order to redeem
and present us as sons through Him.
Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? "Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman." 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.
Because these are deep issues, Paul labored to make sure the Galatian Christians understood how important the place of the Spirit is in all areas.
You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
"Estranged" is a terrible condition to occupy.
NT:2673 katargeo (kat-arg-eh'-o); from NT:2596 and NT:691; to be (render) entirely idle (useless), literally or figuratively:
KJV - abolish, cease, cumber, deliver, destroy, do away, become (make) of no (none, without) effect, fail, loose, bring (come) to nought, put away (down), vanish away, make void.
(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek- Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
What an indictment is Galatians 5:4, "you are fallen from grace." Recognizing man's impossibility of fulfilling the Law, Jesus opened to door for Grace; the Galatians had tasted
of this grace, but now sought justification through the Law. Adding Law to the grace formula had caused them to err. (Could anyone in the modern church be fallen from grace?)
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
(There is a battle going on today among believers, as the lust of the flesh is in conflict with the things of the Spirit. It is time for repentance and the crucifixion of the flesh.)
Galatians Chapter five broaches two passages on which hangs much of what needs to be preached today. Ministers and their congregations may well identify more with the uncorrected Galatians than with those of the Spirit. In Galatians 5:5, Paul declared he identified with the Spirit ("we through the Spirit."). Then in Galatians 5:16 -18, the Apostle shows his dependence on walking in the Spirit and being led by the Spirit.
A war is being waged between the Spirit and the flesh. The lusts of the flesh are battling to occupy the territory of the Spirit. This battle is intensifying during these days when flesh dominates the hearts and minds of so many.
After Paul enumerated the deeds of the flesh, he hurried to promote the fruits of the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
The final Spirit passage in Galatians contains a moral absolute. The culture of the Twenty-first
Century is moral relativism.
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Aside from taking passages from Galatians for sermon material, it would be better for ministers to preach the entire book and garner a total picture of the issues of Paul's day. When he penned this epistle, there was nothing like it circulating among the newly formed churches. They did not possess a New Testament with which to turn and relate to. When Paul makes an assertion about not losing heart, the church no doubt fielded much persecution and this epistle was needed edification.
Until next month,
Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.
WORD FOR TODAY:
Fr. James Altman: You cannot be Catholic & a Democrat. Period:
Father James Altman calls out the hypocrisies of Church hierarchy and their destructive leftist politicization of the Catholic Church that has slapped faithful Catholics in the face and led many others astray. Altman also explains the basis of human nature and our purpose in life.
You may watch this YouTube Video HERE
This from Dr. Oliver: "I am not Catholic, but want to congratulate James Altman for his courageous stand and add this comment to his words. 'No Christian can vote Democrat, given their platform.'"
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