The Whole Counsel of God

Bible

for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. – Acts 20:27

In this passage, the word shrink ( hupostellō ) means to withhold under (out of sight); conceal, hold back. Declaring (anaggellō) is to announce (in detail). The word whole (pas) means each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything; counsel ( boulē ) is volition, decision, intention, purpose.

In other words, we might translate the verse this way:

For I did not withhold out of sight from you; I did not conceal nor hold back anything from you, announcing in detail everything God has purposed, decided and intended for you.

Brethren, this is speaking of the complete revelation God has given us in his Son Jesus Christ, and there is more than the Gospel being spoken of here.

There is the sermon on the mount, for one, describing not specifically only things to be believed, but rather to be done, to be lived out, the very character of a Christian by which the world will know to whom they belong. There is much of the New Testament devoted to instructions of righteousness – living rightly, honorably, in such a way as to be pleasing to both God and man.

There are among us these days those who limit the scope of their instruction to the Church to the Gospel alone. Every sermon, every text, every message a message of the Gospel. That is not the whole counsel of God. Such are holding back, concealing (if they know at all) the full revelation of God in His Son Jesus Christ as revealed in the written Word. If they’ve a firm grasp of the Gospel according to Scripture, I commend them to the evangelistic field, but let us deny admittance of those to the office of pastor-teacher, for if the gospel is all they have to instruct the Church, they will keep the congregations in spiritual diapers, stunt their spiritual growth, effectively hindering any progress in their Christian maturity and their participation in the Great Commission to which they have been assigned.

Many Christians across America remain in the aforesaid spiritual diapers because they have been deceived into believing that the Gospel alone was going to MAKE them holy. Being set apart to be holy by way of regeneration or the new birth is one thing; the hard warfare of becoming holy, righteous by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, that is, ethical sanctification, is a whole other matter in itself.

Some no doubt will object: “What else is there other than the scandalous Gospel?”

The rest of God’s whole counsel to you, that’s what.

Jesus said:

If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. – John 7:17

Amen.

The Honor of Believers in Jesus Christ

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For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. – I Peter 2:6-10 (ESV)

I am often asked why I do not “stand with Israel”, meaning, why do I not support that people across the waters which we refer to as “natural” Israel. It is very simple actually.

I will not pretend that unbelievers possess the favor of God.

As long as individuals within natural Israel continue their rejection of Jesus Christ as Messiah and Savior, they are currently under the wrath of God and continue to store up for themselves the wrath  that will surely engulf them for all eternity should they die without being born again by the sovereign act of God in salvation.

Look at the passage quoted above, I Peter 2:6-10.

Now let me ask you a few questions.

  • 1. To whom is “the honor” bestowed?

Ans: To those who believe in Christ. Is honor also to natural Israel who reject Christ? No.

  • 2. Who does God declare “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession”?

Ans: The believers in Christ only.  Are natural Israel called these things? No.

  • 3. Who was called out of darkness into His marvelous light?

Ans: Natural Israel? No. Only believers in Christ, according to God through Peter.

  • 4. Who, according to the above passage are God’s people?

Ans: Unbelieving Israel? No, not at all. Only the believers in Christ.

Peter, a Jew, addresses believers, using Isaiah 43:20, 21 to show us that believers in Christ, and only those, are the fulfillment of God’s promises. Christ Jesus has but one bride, and it is the Church – regenerated sinners who are continually believing and following Christ and His commands.

Unbelieving ‘natural’ Israel is not the bride of Christ. If they do not repent, individually, and believe, they will perish in their sins along with the rest of the unbelieving world should they die before Christ returns, or, at Christ’s second advent. After all, how many brides does Christ have? Just one, the Church.

That is why I do not ‘stand with Israel’, so to speak. By any and every means possible, take the Gospel to this people, but do not give them false assurance of being a chosen people having the favor of God apart from believing in Christ. Let us speak the truth as it is in Christ Jesus.

I do not “stand with Israel” because I am Israel, just one of many, many believers in the one body of Christ, the Church.

Welcome

We are excited to welcome you to our new adventure, Joel Taylor Ministries. We are excited to launch this new ministry, and I would personally love to see you become a big part of its outreach to the world.

What is this ministry about? God’s Word, all of it, and the spreading forth thereof. We desire that every true believer become more and more fervent in their stand upon the Word of God alone, as the only guide to life and godliness and the final, paramount authority in all things in every aspect of life. We desire that every true believer continue in his or her growth toward maturity in Christ Jesus, ever reaching toward greater heights of understanding our great and glorious God through the person of Jesus Christ our Lord and Master.

The end purpose of all of our duties and graces as Christians is the knowledge of God Himself. It is not to “go deeper” into the Gospel alone. I pray that the content and resources which you find here will not only encourage you to persevere in the faith once delivered to the Apostles, but will be used in preparing you to pray for strength in the difficult times which are coming, and they are coming.

We desire to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, knowing all the while that many will reject it and be lost forever. Our focus is to provide resources which we trust and pray will be used to point you continually towards the written Word of God, away from the spiritual gurus offering something new and exciting, and to strengthen you to press on in the counsel of God, the only true faith, and result in living in such a way as to be distinctively separate, not only from the world, but from the apostate church which clothes itself in so many deceitful ways.

In addition, this ministry will seek to educate and train pastors and church leaders in biblical preaching, doctrine, and contending earnestly for the faith by making them aware of the popular heresies which have infiltrated the Church – and which the popular, celebrity preachers refuse to address.

There is no such thing as static Christianity. In Ephesians 1:17, the Apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesians that they might increase in the knowledge of God. Regardless of our ‘level’ of sanctification, we are to continue to grow.

With this as our conviction in ministry, a series of theological and educational courses is in the works, to be offered to the general public. In addition, we will host conferences, “laboring to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:12.

In His service,

Joel Taylor

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