By Oscar M. Baker
When you start to study any portion of Scripture, always look at ‘the address on the envelope’ [referring to whom it is written]. Oh, that will help tremendously in finding out whether a portion is particularly for you or for somebody else. Now, that is one of the first things to do when you’re opening your Bible for study.
Now, you go to Isaiah for instance, and it looks like it is very evangelical and so on, but we’ve got to look at chapter one, verse one, and we find there that it concerns Judah and Jerusalem. It is not concerning the Church, it’s concerning Israel and Jerusalem. Now that prophecy was to be fulfilled in the immediate future, but some of it has not been fulfilled yet, but will be some day. Then in Peter’s epistles, there’s a lot of fine precious truth in those because, “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable”, so we take all the Bible, it’s profitable, but we’re very careful not to apply something to ourselves (in Peter’s epistles and elsewhere) which applies to somebody else because we might get into trouble, and there would be contradictions.
You see all the redeemed are one family in one way, but they have different spheres of blessings, they have different callings and different destinies. There are some who are to inherit the earth, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth”, from the ‘sermon on the mount’ that you find in Mt. 5-7. I’m not expecting any inheritance in the earth. I don’t have any part in the Kingdom. I belong to the Church which is the body of Christ, and will be in the heavenly places, not here on earth---there is a difference! So that verse in Mt. 5:5 doesn’t apply to me, I just don’t take it. And all of that in the ‘sermon on the mount’ in chapters 5-7 of Matthew’s Gospel is how to enter into the kingdom of heaven. And that is called their salvation, but actually Matthew doesn’t tell you anywhere in his Gospel how to receive everlasting life, as John does in chapter 3 of his Gospel. It isn’t Matthew’s message. He’s talking to people who are already Jews, who have done everything that’s necessary in the law, and so on. And now he’s telling them how to get into the Kingdom and make another step and to get the rewards and all that sort of thing, instead of having to wait for a later resurrection. You see there are earlier and later resurrections---you find that in the book of Revelation and also in Hebrews which speaks of, “a better resurrection”.
To be continued…
[The above taken from a Northwest Bible Fellowship radio tape. They sponsored Mr. Baker on the radio for several years in the 80’s & 90’s in the Portland/Vancouver Metro area. He was also on the radio in MO, OK, AR, TN and AZ in the 70’s.]