DISPENSATIONAL BIBLE STUDY
By J. C. O’Hair
Christians are told in I Corinthians 2:14 and 15, that the ‘THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD’ are spiritually discerned, that they are foolishness to the natural man. The Spirit searcheth ‘THE THINGS OF GOD’. (I Corinthians 2:10). “He that is spiritual judgeth all things.” When the Lord Jesus told his disciples that He was going back to heaven by the way of the cross, after His body would be three days in the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40), He would send the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, to guide them into all truth. (John 16:13) . Christ explained, in John 7:38 to 40 and John 16:7, why the Holy Spirit would not come and would not be in them until He went back to His Father. (John 14:17). Christ told His people that they could not see the kingdom of God except they were born from above, born of the Spirit. (John 3:3 to 7). Because the twelve apostles were the disciples of the Lord Jesus many months before the Holy Spirit was sent down from heaven (Acts 1:5 . . . I Peter 1:12), they had to tarry at Jerusalem for the advent of the Holy Spirit, the infallible, Divine Guide and Teacher. (Luke 24:49). The Israelites to whom Peter preached Acts 2:38 were instructed to be baptized for the remission of sins, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. But they did not have to tarry for the Holy Spirit. In Ephesians 1:13, after that ye believed’ should be translated ‘believing’ (pisteusantes). After the FALL of Israel (Romans 11:11) any and every sinner who believed the gospel of salvation immediately received the Holy Spirit, all of the Holy Spirit, the anointing, the sealing and the baptism. (II Corinthians 1:21 and 22). When the believing sinner receives Christ, meeting God at Calvary where Christ was made sin (II Corinthians 5:21), that believer receives God’s own perfect, Divine righteousness as God’s free gift, and at the same time he receives the Holy Spirit as God’s free gift. (Galatians 3:14 . . . Romans 4:5). At the same time that believer is delivered from the wrath to come, eternal conscious perdition (I Thessalonians 1:9 and 10 . . . Revelation 21:8), the penalty of sin. At the same time that believer is once-for-all baptized into the Body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:13), he is sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 1:14 and 4:30). The anointing which abides in the believer is to keep the yielded believer from being seduced by false teachers. (I John 2:26 and 27). Seeking the Holy Spirit, tarrying for the Holy Spirit, or praying for the Holy Spirit, is not God’s way to receive the Holy Spirit in this age of grace. God’s way is Ephesians 1:13 and Galatians 3:14. All who live in the Spirit do not walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25). All who have received the once-for-all baptism of the Holy Spirit are not filled with the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18). The babe in Christ is instructed to desire the sincere milk of the Word and grow. (I Peter 2:1 and 2). He is expected to continuously study God’s Word. under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, until he is numbered with those of ‘FULL AGE’ (PERFECT), to whom belongeth the ‘STRONG MEAT’ of God’s Word (Hebrews 5:12 to 6:2). ‘THE DEEP THINGS OF GOD’. Christ ascended FAR ABOVE ALL HEAVENS and gave gifts unto men, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the Body of Christ. (Ephesians 1 :9 to 14) . The Lord thus provided for members of the Body of Christ to keep them from being ‘tossed to and fro’ children. In Romans 16:25 members of the Body of Christ are instructed to be
established by Paul’s gospel, the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery. We are told in Ephesians 1:15 to 23 that, to comprehend some of ‘THE DEEP THINGS OF GOD’, members of the Body of Christ need something extra special; namely, the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to have the eyes of their understanding enlightened. In Ephesians the deep things of God are called, ‘the MYSTERY of His will’ (Ephesians 1:9), ‘the MYSTERY of the gospel’ (Ephesians 6:19 and 20), ‘the MYSTERY of Christ’ (Ephesians 3:3 and 4), ‘the dispensation of the MYSTERY’, which from the beginning of the world hath been ‘HID IN GOD’ (Ephesians 3:9). All of this is ‘according to the ‘ETERNAL PURPOSE’ which God PURPOSED in Christ Jesus our Lord (Ephesians 3:11). This is explained in Ephesians 1:11 and 1:4: In Christ we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the PURPOSE of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will According as He hath chosen us in Christ before the ‘OVERTHROW OF THE WORLD’. Note also II Timothy 1:9; God saved us and called us, according to His own PURPOSE and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. In Matthew 21:42, quoted by Christ from Psalm 118:22 and 23, we learn that when Israel rejected Christ in incarnation, it was ‘THE LORD’S DOING’. Christ’s suffering had to precede His glory. (I Peter 1:11). After God has accomplished His ‘ETERNAL PURPOSE’ set forth in Ephesians, Christ will take the throne of His glory on earth, because ‘THE ZEAL OF THE LORD OF HOSTS WILL PERFORM THIS’, (Isaiah 9:7). ‘KNOWN UNTO GOD ARE ALL HIS WORKS FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD’. (Acts 15:18). So God knows, and we should know, that He will build again the tabernacle of David. (Acts 15:15 to 17). By the mouth of all of His holy prophets God foretold the ‘THESE DAYS’ of Acts 3:24 and the ‘RESTITUTION’ of Acts 3:19 to 21. In Romans 11:33 we read what Paul wrote when Israel rejected Christ in resurrection. Were it not for the interference of religious, sectarian leaders, it seems that even the babe in Christ should know the difference between the prophesied KINGDOM OF GOD prepared ‘FROM THE OVERTHROW OF THE WORLD’ (Matthew 25:34), which KINGDOM is to be established when Christ returns to earth as the Son of man (Luke 21:27 to 33) to be a KING and a JUDGE (Matthew 25:31 to 34), and the unprophesied ‘ETERNAL PURPOSE’ of God, concerning ‘THE CHURCH OF THE MYSTERY’, chosen in Christ ‘BEFORE THE OVERTHROW OF THE WORLD’.
STEWARDS OF THE MYSTERIES OF GOD
According to I Corinthians 4:1 to 4, every minister of Christ is expected to be a faithful ‘STEWARD’ or the ‘MYSTERIES’ of God. The Greek word translated ‘STEWARD’ is ‘OIKONOMOS’. In Luke 16:1 to 3 we read of a man who was commended for his ‘STEWARDSHIP’. The Greek word translated ‘STEWARDSHIP’ is ‘OIKONOMIA’. Several times in Paul’s Writings the word ‘OIKONOMIA’ is translated ‘DISPENSATION’. In I Corinthians 9:17 Paul testified that a ‘DISPENSATION’ was committed unto him. (‘Of the gospel’ not in the Greek). In Colossians 1:25 and 26 Paul was made a minister, “according to “THE DISPENSATION OF GOD WHICH IS GIVEN ME FOR YOU, TO FILL UP (COMPLETE) THE WORD OF GOD, ‘THE MYSTERY’,” Here we learn that ‘THE MYSTERY’ was to complete the Word of God, and that this ministry and DISPENSATION
given to Paul, for Gentiles, was called ‘THE MYSTERY’ (THE SECRET), because it was ‘HID FROM AGES AND GENERATIONS’. Then Paul wrote in very plain language, in Ephesians 3:1 to 3 “I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if ye have heard of ‘THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD’ which is given me to youward, how that by REVELATION He (Christ) made known unto me ‘THE MYSTERY’.” Because Paul received ‘THE MYSTERY’ and proclaimed it, he was ‘THE PRISONER OF JESUS CHRIST’ for Gentiles, he was AN AMBASSADOR IN BONDS (Ephesians 6:19 and 20 and Colossians 4:3 and 4), he suffered trouble ‘AS AN EVIL DOER’ unto bonds. (II Timothy 2:9). Paul was not thus suffering in the Roman jail because he preached the saving gospel of I Corinthians 15:1 to 4, “Christ died for our sins; was buried, and was raised from the dead”: for that was “ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES”, in fulfillment of prophecy (Acts 13:29 and 30. Luke 24:26 and 27 . . . 46 to 48 . . . Acts 26:21 to 23). Concerning ‘THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL’ of Ephesians 6:19 and 20 and Romans 16:25, for which Paul suffered as an evil doer, all of Israel’s Old Testament prophets were both silent and ignorant. Therefore, that distinctive message included in ‘THE DISPENSATION OF GOD’, given by special revelation from Christ to Paul, is described in Ephesians 3:8, as ‘THE UNSEARCHABLE (PASTTRACING-OUT) RICHES OF CHRIST’, meaning ‘THE RICHES OF CHRIST’ not prophesied in the Scriptures from Genesis to Malachi. (Same Greek word in Romans 11:33, past-finding-out). This unprophesied Divine truth, according to Ephesians 3:9, was “FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD ‘HID IN GOD’.” But beginning with the time the risen Christ revealed these ‘DEEP THINGS OF GOD’, which even the apostle Peter found ‘HARD TO BE UNDERSTOOD’ (II Peter 3:16), down to this very moment, God has wanted every member of the BODY OF CHRIST to see what is ‘THE DISPENSATION OF THE MYSTERY’, (Ephesians 3:9). In II Timothy 1:12 Paul wrote of ‘MY DEPOSIT’ (Paratheke). Christ gave to Paul a precious ‘DEPOSIT’. Perhaps, the translators should have given us a better translation of ‘OIKONOMIA’ than ‘DISPENSATION’. ‘OIKONOMIA’, is literally ‘HOUSE-LAW’. ‘OIKONOMEO’ has the meaning of managing a house. It might be a business. Let us think of ‘OIKONOMIA’ as the government of a household. Let us use the illustration of ‘THE ROOSEVELT ADMINISTRATION’. President Roosevelt was the author and the sponsor of ‘THE NEW DEAL’. He was the chief ‘STEWARD’. So perhaps, ‘STEWARDSHIP’ or ‘ADMINISTRATION’ would be a more correct translation than either ‘DISPENSATION’ or ‘ECONOMY’. But regardless of the word we use, ‘OIKONOMIA’ is not a period of time. The minister of Christ, who does not know and teach that the risen Christ, by special revelation, gave to the human race ‘A NEW DEAL’ and made Paul the wise masterbuilder (I Corinthians 3:10) and the first and chief ‘STEWARD’ of ‘THE DISPENSATION OF THE MYSTERY’, is not a faithful ‘STEWARD’ of the MYSTERIES of God. The faithful ‘STEWARD’ of the MYSTERIES of God knows that no Christian should be ignorant of the MYSTERY of Romans 11:25, for the verse says that very thing. He should know that he is not a faithful ‘STEWARD’, if he does not obey Ephesians 3:9 and do his utmost to make all other Christians see what is ‘THE DISPENSATION OF THE MYSTERY’, which from the beginning of the world was ‘HID IN GOD’. It was hid until the risen Christ first revealed that wonderful truth to and through the apostle Paul. The faithful ‘STEWARD’ knows that no Christian, who does not first understand the MYSTERY of Romans 11:25 and the DISPENSATIONAL crisis recorded in all of the eleventh chapter of Romans and the postponed
national redemption of God’s kingdom nation (Romans 11:26 to 29), will understand God’s ‘ETERNAL PURPOSE’, ‘THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST’, God’s Divine program and message concerning the ‘JOINT-BODY’ (not ‘same’ Body) of Ephesians 3:6, the Church ONE FLESH with Christ (Ephesians 5:31 and 32), PURPOSED in Christ and predestinated before the overthrow of the world. (Ephesians 1:11. . . 3:11 . . . 1:1 and 5 . . . 5:25 to 27).
THE MYSTERY OF ROMANS 11:21
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this MYSTERY, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits, THAT BLINDNESS IN PART IS HAPPENED TO ISRAEL, UNTIL THE FULNESS OF THE GENTILES BE COME IN.” Then something else will HAPPEN TO ISRAEL. When will that something else HAPPEN TO ISRAEL? What will HAPPEN? Why will it HAPPEN? Let us answer the last question first: “it will HAPPEN ‘FOR THE FATHERS’ SAKE”. It will HAPPEN because of God’s COVENANT promised in Jeremiah 31:31 to 37. It will HAPPEN, because ‘THE GIFTS AND CALLING OF GOD ARE WITHOUT REPENTANCE’. (Romans 11:27 to 29). What will HAPPEN to the NATION ISRAEL? That NATION will be saved. (Romans 11:26). When will Israel be saved and how? By the coming of their Deliverer out of Zion, when ‘THE FULNESS OF THE GENTILES BE COME IN’. (Luke 21:27 to 33). When will this present age and Dispensation, this present period of special favor for the nations, end? God’s people in this ‘grace’ age are waiting for God’s Son from heaven (I Thessalonians 1:9 and 10), looking for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of the great God our Saviour, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). They are looking for the Saviour’s appearing and for bodies of glory. (Philippians 3:20 and 21). Every faithful ‘STEWARD’ of the MYSTERIES of GOD, including the MYSTERY of I Corinthians 15:51 to 55, who obeys II Timothy 2:15, is a ‘PRETRIBULATION PREMILLENARIAN’. In II Thessalonians 1:10 ‘ELTHE’ should be translated ‘SHALL HAVE COME’. In Romans 11:25, 11:11, 11:15. 11:30 we learn that a blindness in part happened to Israel, and then God ushered in ‘THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES’, SPIRITUALLY. When and because of the FALL of Israel, salvation was sent to the nations. When and because God cast Israel away the ministry and word of RECONCILIATION mentioned in II Corinthians 5:16 to 21 was sent to the rest of the world. Because of Israel’s unbelief special Divine mercy was sent to the Gentiles. All Christians should know the difference between God’s message for the Gentiles BEFORE and AFTER Israel’s FALL. That God will do for Israel what we are told in Romans 11:26 to 29 He will do, was not a MYSTERY or a SECRET ‘HID’ in God, from the beginning of the world. No: this was spoken by the mouth of all of God’s prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:21, Luke 1:70 . . . Amos 9:11 to 15). God, for His own holy Name’s sake (Ezekiel 36:21), will redeem His ‘kingdom’ nation and plant them in Canaan. The Prince of Peace will sit on the throne of David and take over the government of the world, because the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6 and 7). It is interesting to compare this statement with Psalm 118:23, ‘This is the Lord’s doing’. God will have a NEW ISRAEL and a NEW JERUSALEM (Isaiah 62:1 to 4), after He has made the ‘ONE NEW MAN’ of Ephesians 2:15, when ‘THE FULNESS OF THE GENTILES BE COME IN’. The truth of Romans 11:25 was the ‘MYSTERY’; that God suspended or interrupted His ‘kingdom’ covenants which guarantee to Israel ‘THE SURE MERCIES OF DAVID’ of Acts
13:34 and Luke 1:67 to 77, and ‘THE RESTITUTION’ of Acts 3:21, until He has accomplished His unprophesied eternal purpose concerning the Church of the Mystery, ‘THE CHRIST’ of I Corinthians 12:12. The definite article ‘THE’ is important in I Corinthians 12:12, for ‘THE CHRIST’ of that verse is ‘THE SPOTLESS CHURCH’ of Ephesians 5:25 to 27, Christ and the Church ‘ONE FLESH’ of Ephesians 5:31 and 32. ‘THE BODY IS THE FILLING-UP OF CHRIST’ of Ephesians 1:21 to 23, ‘THE JOINT-BODY’ of Ephesians 3:6, 4:15 and 16 and Colossians 2:19. Before Adam and Eve sinned they were called ‘ADAM’ (Genesis 5:2), ‘ONE FLESH’ (Genesis 2:21 to 24). They prefigured ‘THE CHRIST’ of I Corinthians 12:12, the ‘ONE FLESH’ of Ephesians 5:31 and 32, ‘THE SPOTLESS CHURCH’ or ‘SPOTLESS CHRIST’ of Ephesians 5 :25 to 27. The ‘HID IN GOD’ of Ephesians 3:9, ‘HID FROM AGES AND GENERATIONS’ in Colossians 1:24 to 26, ‘THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST’ of Ephesians 3:8, and ‘KEPT SECRET SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN’ of Romans 16:25, should convince any faithful ‘STEWARD’ of the MYSTERIES of God, that the ‘AS’ of Ephesians 3:5 does not suggest comparative revelation. No prophet of God, from Genesis to Malachi, knew anything or said anything concerning ‘THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD FOR THE NATIONS’ which the risen Christ committed to the apostle Paul when blindness was sent upon Israel, and Israel fell. (Romans 11:7 to 11). Israel was the enemy of the gospel ‘for the Gentiles’ sake.’ (Romans 11:28). God will save Israel later on, ‘FOR THE FATHERS’ SAKE’. This is why God saved Israel from Egypt (Exodus 2:23 to 25), and from destruction on the way from Sinai to Canaan. (Exodus 32:13 and 14). This is why God will perform Jeremiah 23:7 and 8. For the fathers’ sake (Abraham’s, Isaac’s, and Jacob’s sake), and for Jehovah’s sake (Ezekiel 36:21), Israel will be redeemed and their land, Canaan, will be restored to them. When they are again planted in the promised land by God they shall no more be plucked up (Amos 9:11 to 15). All of this is guaranteed to Israel in the ‘TWO IMMUTABLE THINGS’ in which it is impossible for God to lie. (Hebrews 6 :17 to 20): The first of the two immutable things is God’s COVENANT, God’s PROMISE to Abram in uncircumcision (Genesis 13:14 to 18). That COVENANT or PROMISE was confirmed when God instituted CIRCUMCISION, at the time Abram became circumcised Abraham at the age of 99 (Genesis 17:24). That was 406 years before the ‘OLD TESTAMENT’ began. Note in Genesis 17:1 to 7 and 17:10 to 14 ‘THE COVENANT OF CIRCUMCISION’ (Acts 7:8). Note now Genesis 17:8; “And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.” Read Ezekiel 36:21 to 38 and Amos 9 :11 to 15 and know what God will do and why. Abram was declared righteous by faith 430 years before Israel became God’s OLD TESTAMENT nation, (Galatians 3:6 to 8 . . . 3:16 to 19). About 40 years later Abraham placed his only son, Isaac, on an altar on Mt. Moriah. Then and there God confirmed His COVENANT OF PROMISE with an OATH, (Genesis 22:3 to 14). That OATH was the second of the ‘TWO IMMUTABLE THINGS’ Because of God’s COVENANT and OATH with Abraham, concerning Israel and Canaan, confirmed to, or with, Isaac and Jacob, that is, for these fathers’ sake, and because the gifts and calling of God are without repentance, the nation Israel will be saved and Canaan will be restored to Israel. (Romans 11:28 and 29). This will be a very important part of the RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS, spoken by the mouth of all of God’s prophets since the world began, the message that Peter proclaimed to Israel in Acts 3:19 to 26. This ‘RESTITUTION’ will not take place so long as the heavens retain the Son of Man.
Thus we should understand the meaning of Galatians 2:7, that the GOSPEL OF THE CIRCUMCISION was committed unto Peter. The redemption of the NATION and the occupation of CANAAN by that NATION were included in the GOSPEL OF THE CIRCUMCISION. Also the NATION and David’s THRONE have a very important place in ‘THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM.’
WHEN ISRAEL’S ALL-DAY-LONG ENDED
Let us compare the statement in Romans 10:21, “but to Israel He (God) saith, all day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people”, with I Thessalonians 2:14 to 16: “the Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us: and they please not God, and are contrary to all men . . . forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.” Then we read in Romans 9:29 to 33, that Israel stumbled at the STUMBLINGSTONE when Paul preached to them Acts 13:39, justification by faith in the Lord Jesus without the deeds of the law. It has been erroneously assumed, or presumed, by many ministers of Christ, who consider themselves faithful ‘STEWARDS’ of the ‘MYSTERIES’ of God, that Israel’s ‘ALL-DAY-LONG’ ended when Christ said to them, in Matthew 23:38, “your house is left unto you desolate.” They fix the date of Israel’s FALL of Romans 11:11 with that pronouncement of Christ. They do greatly err by teaching that ‘THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD FOR GENTILES’ (Ephesians 3:1 to 3), ‘THE DISPENSATION OF THE MYSTERY’ (Ephesians 3:9), ‘THE JOINT BODY’ OF EPHESIANS 3:6, began with Peter and Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came in fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy concerning Israel’s ‘LAST DAYS’. We wonder if they have read I Corinthians 3:10. We learn in Acts 10:28 and 11:19 and 11:1 to 5, that for some years after Pentecost it was unlawful for the apostles to go to Gentiles; that when Peter did preach to Cornelius it did not meet with the approval of the other Christian Israelites, who had preached to none but Jews only. Joel foretold nothing of the ‘DISPENSATION OF THE MYSTERY’ or ‘THE BODY OF CHRIST’. Every Christian should find real interest in studying together ‘THE PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD’ of Isaiah 5:1 to 7 and ‘THE PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD’ of Matthew 21:33 to 46. These two parables refer to God’s faithfulness and Israel’s unfaithfulness, to Israel’s awful sins against the Lord. In the ‘VINEYARD’ parable of Matthew 21:33 to 16, the Lord Jesus spoke particularly of two of the sins of Israel, ‘killing God’s prophets’ and ‘killing God’s Son the Heir’. Note in Matthew 21:42; Christ said that second great sin would be the fulfillment of Psalm 118:22 and 23: “the Stone rejected by the Builders: the Lord’s doing.” “And it is marvelous in our eyes.” About the time Christ uttered these words right after He had entered into Jerusalem on the foal of an ass and then told His people that He had come to die on the cross (John 12:27 to 33); strange language is recorded in John 12:37 to 40: Though Christ had performed many miracles, Israel did not believe; Israel could not believe; because Isaiah 53 had to be fulfilled and Isaiah 6:9 to 12 had to be fulfilled. This is why Christ said, in Matthew 26:24, “the Son of man goeth, as it is written of Him”; why He said, “the Son of man MUST be lifted up” (John 3:14). Then after His death Christ said: “thus it is written, and thus it BEHOOVED Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day.” (Luke 24:46). This is why the Holy
Spirit led Paul to utter some years after Pentecost: “Christ MUST NEEDS have suffered, and risen again from the dead” (Acts 17:3 . . . 26.21 to 33). Christ had to die when He died, as He died. Christ MUST NEEDS have suffered and then be raised from the dead. Christ also MUST NEEDS have been in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights, as Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. (Matthew 12:40). So the final judgment of Israel, the end of their ‘ALL-DAY-LONG’, was not until God had given them the sign of Matthew 12:40. They were to be given the opportunity to reject the WITNESS of the Holy Spirit; that Christ was raised from the dead to be Israel’s Saviour. (Acts 5:31 and 32). Christ’s suffering had to precede His glory (I Peter 1:11). Christ had to go to Calvary’s cross before He would go to David’s throne. Christ’s death was not only the Father’s will, but was by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of the Father (Acts 2:23 . . . Acts 4:25 to 28) . What God did, and what Israel did, as to the death of Christ (Acts 3:18 . . . John 3:16 . . . Acts 13:29 and 30), was in fulfillment of the Scriptures. (Luke 24:24 to 27). Israel indeed sinned against the Son of man; ‘killing the Prince of Life’. (Acts 3:14 and 15). But Christ prayed on the cross for the forgiveness of Israel. (Luke 23:34). Then the Lord sent Peter to Israel to give them the good news that He would consider their terrible crime due to ignorance (Acts 3:17), if they would repent. Every one of them would be turned away from his sins. Also God would send the Son of man back from heaven to set up the prophesied kingdom. (Acts 3:26 . . . 3:19 to 21). Note in Acts 2:30 and 2:16 and 3:24 what David said and what Joel said and what all of Israel’s prophets said. They said nothing about the ‘JOINT-BODY’ of Ephesians 3:6. They knew nothing about ‘THE DISPENSATION OF THE MYSTERY’, which was ‘HID IN GOD’, ‘HID FROM AGES AND GENERATIONS’, KEPT SECRET SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN’. (Ephesians 3:9 . . . Colossians 1:24 to 26 . . . Romans 16:25). With the exception of Genesis 5:2 and 2:21 to 24, and the truth of Galatians 3:8, ‘THE MYSTERY’ was not ‘HID IN THE SCRIPTURES’ (Ephesians 3:8): it was ‘HID IN GOD’. (Ephesians 3:9).
THE FALL OF ISRAEL—WHEN?
No faithful ‘STEWARD’ will date the FALL of Israel until after the sign of Matthew 12:40 and the WITNESS of the Holy Spirit of Acts 5:31 and 32. It was after the sign and the witness that Stephen uttered the words of Acts 7:51 and 52: “ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit, as your fathers, so ye . . . Which one of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before the coming of the JUST ONE; of Whom ye have now been the betrayers and murderers?” Then Stephen saw the Son of man standing in heaven. In Acts 13:45 and 18:5 the apostle Paul also told Israel (out of their land) that they had blasphemed the Holy Spirit; and therefore, he would turn to Gentiles. The remnant of Israel, according to the election of grace (Romans 11:3 to 7), accepted Paul’s message of justification by faith in Christ without Moses and the Law (Acts 13:39). The rest stumbled (Romans 9:29 to 33). They were blinded. (Romans 11:7 to 11). When Israel rejected Paul’s message they stoned him as they stoned Stephen and then forbade Paul and the other apostles to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. Then note what happened as recorded in I Thessalonians 2:14 to 16: “God’s wrath to the uttermost came”, for Israel had filled-up their sin. Their ‘ALL-DAY-LONG’ ended with their BLINDNESS and FALL. Their FALL brought RICHES to the nations. (Romans 11:12). Israel became enemies of the gospel, for the Gentiles’
sake. Israel will be redeemed for the ‘fathers’ sake’ (11:28), after God has made the ‘ONE NEW MAN’ of Ephesians 2:15, after God has brought to an end this special reign of grace for the nations. Blindness in part happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
THE BEGINNING OF ISRAEL’S “ALL-DAY-LONG”
According to Exodus 1:1 to 5 about seventy Israelites went to Egypt about 1700 B.C. But let us begin Israel’s day when Moses was 80 years old. (Exodus 7:7). About 1500 B.C. God BAPTIZED unto Moses more than 600,000 Israelites. (Exodus 12:37 and I Corinthians 10:1 to 3). That was 430 years after Abram, in uncircumcision, was justified by faith. (Exodus 12:40 . . . Galatians 3:8 and 3:16 to 19). Israel was delivered from Egypt in fulfillment of Genesis 15:13 to 15. As we consider this exodus of Israel under God’s appointed deliverer, Moses, let us keep in mind Deuteronomy 18:15 to 19, that the Lord Jesus was to be raised up to be Israel’s Prophet, a Prophet like unto Moses. This was quoted by Peter in Acts 3:22 and 23 and by Stephen in Acts 7:37. According to I Corinthians 10:1 to 3, the more than 600,000 Israelites were BAPTIZED unto Moses by ‘THE CLOUD’ and ‘THE SEA’. Now note Exodus 14:31, “and Israel saw the great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians, and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and His servant Moses.” In the verses preceding Exodus 14:31 we are told how the Lord and Moses delivered Israel and destroyed the Egyptians with ‘THE CLOUD’ and ‘THE RED SEA’. Note the result. The Israelites believed Moses. The Egyptians were immersed in water, but they did not rise to walk in newness of life. The Israelites crossed the sea on dry land. (Exodus 14:29). By the two great miracles God persuaded Israel to receive Moses as His and their deliverer. This is the meaning of being ‘BAPTIZED’ unto Moses by the Cloud and the Sea. Compare this with Acts 2:22, John 20:30 and 31 and Matthew 12:40. By these miracles God wanted Israel to be BAPTIZED unto the Prophet like Moses. Israel was not delivered because they were faithful in keeping their part of ‘THE OLD TESTAMENT’, that is, because they kept the Sabbath and the other commandments. Israel had not yet been given the ten commandments. Israel was delivered from Egypt, ‘for the fathers’ sake’; because ‘the gifts and calling of God are without repentance’; because of ‘the two immutable things’, ‘in which it is impossible for God to lie’. (Exodus 2:23 to 25 . . . Romans 11:28 and 29 . . . Hebrews 6:17 and 18). It is for this same reason that Jeremiah 23:7 and 8 will be fulfilled when ‘the fulness of the Gentiles be come in’. How? Read Luke 21:27 to 33. From Egypt to Sinai the children of Israel murmured against Moses before they became God’s ‘OLD TESTAMENT’ people. (Exodus 15:24 . . . 16:2 . . . 17:3). More than 1500 years later at the time Stephen called Israel, ‘stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart’ (Acts 7:51), Stephen told them that they had received the LAW by the disposition of angels, and had not kept it. (7:53). On the way from Sinai to Canaan Israel worshipped the molten calf, God called them then ‘a stiff-necked people’ (Exodus 32:9). They were saved from destruction because of God’s ‘two immutable things’. (Exodus 32:13 and 14). If you are so busy with other things that you have not the time to study all of the Scriptures that explain the meaning of Romans 10:21, how God stretched forth His hands toward that disobedient, unfaithful nation ‘ALL-DAY-LONG’, read with the two ‘Vineyard’ parables which we have mentioned, Psalm 78 and Psalm 106, Acts 7 and Acts 13, with Matthew 23:24 to 39 and I Thessalonians 2:14 to 16, and you will not only have the answer to the question God
asked of Israel in Isaiah 5:4, “what more could have been done in My VINEYARD that I have not done it?”, but you will have a good general history of Israel. After you read this history, and learn in Romans 11:7 to 33, that Gentiles are up because Israel is down, that we are rich because they are poor, do not fail to read Romans 11:21, “if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee.” By reading II Kings 17:18 and II Kings 23:26 and 27 with the second chapter of Daniel we learn when ‘THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES’, politically, began, about 600 B.C. In the second chapter of Daniel is recorded the beginning, the course, and the end of ‘THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES’, politically. (Luke 21:24). In Romans 11:7 to 25 we learn the meaning of ‘THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES’, spiritually. Thus we learn of the FALL of Israel, politically, and the FALL of Israel spiritually. In both instances God turned to the Gentiles.
ISRAEL UNDER DIFFERENT DISPENSATIONS
‘FROM ADAM TO MOSES’ there was no LAW; for the LAW was given by Moses. (John 1:17 . . . Romans 5:12 to 14) . The LAW ENTERED (Romans 5:20), the LAW WAS ADDED (Galatians 3:19), about 2500 years after sin entered by Adam. Moses was 80 years old when Jehovah and Israel entered into the LAW CONTRACT at Sinai. That was 330 years after Abraham died. It was after Isaac, Jacob, Judah and Joseph had died. The Book of Genesis begins with the first man, Adam, and closes with the death and burial of Joseph. No one from Adam to Joseph was an Old Testament character. The LAW COVENANT, added at Sinai some years after the death of Joseph, was a very, very new Covenant when it was added to the Abrahamic promise and oath. The promise to Abraham and his seed, that he should be heir of the world, was not through the LAW. (Romans 4:13). The LAW is called ‘THE YOKE OF BONDAGE’. (Galatians 5:1 . . . Acts 15:10 . . . Hebrews 12:20 . . . Colossians 2:14). The LAW is called the ‘MINISTRATION OF DEATH AND CONDEMNATION’. (II Corinthians 3:7 and 9). Therefore, ‘THE LAW WORKETH WRATH’. (Romans 4:15). The LAW COVENANT was taken out of the way and became ‘OLD’ after the death of Christ. (Hebrews 8:13). The Abrahamic Covenant is still in force, although that phase of the inheritance which guarantees Israel’s national redemption and occupation of Canaan has been interrupted. The prophesied kingdom has been postponed until God, who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will (Ephesians 1:11), Accomplishes, in this present age and dispensation, His ETERNAL ‘GRACE’ PURPOSE concerning Christ and the Church, ONE FLESH. (II Timothy 1:9—Ephesians 1:4, 5 and 11). Surely we have seen the utter folly of calling, Abraham or Jacob or any of Jacob’s twelve sons, ‘Old Testament’ characters. There is not one line in Genesis concerning the ‘Old Testament’; which began with the twentieth chapter of Exodus. In Genesis, the eleventh chapter, we read of BABEL, meaning ‘confusion’, and of Peleg, meaning ‘division’ (I Chronicles 1:19). Then we read in Romans 1:21 to 32 how God GAVE UP THE GENTILES. Out of the wreck and ruin God called an uncircumcised heathen, Abram, and then and there God began a NEW MOVEMENT. When God did what He did for Abram, according to Genesis 15:6 to 8, the Scriptures foresaw ‘THE GOSPEL OF THE UNCIRCUMCISION’ by which many uncircumcised heathen would be saved in the same way. (Galatians 3:8 . . . 2:7 . . . Romans 4:4 and 5 . . . 4:18 to 23). Another something new was added 24 years after Abram responded to God’s call; namely, ‘THE COVENANT OF CIRCUMCISION’. Then 406 years later at Sinai God erected the middle-wall
of partition between Israel and the nations, which stood until God broke it down. (Ephesians 2:14 to 17). When the LAW was ADDED that sin might abound (Romans 5:20), that sin might be exceedingly sinful (Romans 7:13), that by the LAW every mouth should be stopped and all the world become guilty before God (Romans 3:19), that LAW was given to be Israel’s SCHOOLMASTER to bring Israel to Christ, that they might be justified by faith. (Galatians 3:24). When Israel passed under ‘THE YOKE OF BONDAGE’ at Sinai, the REIGN of LAW began. Israel knew that a most radical change had taken place. They knew that they were entering a very different DISPENSATION, with a very complicated religious system imposed on them with the ten commandments until the time of the reformation. (Hebrews 9:10). ‘THE LAW WAS ADDED TILL’ . . . (Galatians 3:19). When the LAW had served its purpose Israel was no longer under the LAW SCHOOLMASTER. (Galatians 3:25). After the resurrection of Christ, Israel was slow to learn that Christ was the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Romans 10:4). Read Acts 21:20 to 25. It was a great change when Israel went from ‘NOT UNDER THE LAW’ to ‘UNDER THE LAW’ at Sinai. It was just as great a change when they went from ‘UNDER THE LAW’ to ‘NOT UNDER THE LAW’ after the death and resurrection of Christ. They learned the truth of Romans 6:14, ‘ye are not under the law’. Do you know a better name for this than ‘DISPENSATIONAL BIBLE STUDY’ After reading Luke 2:39, Galatians 4:4, Matthew 5:17 and 18, 8:1 to 4 and 23:1 to 3, would you not say that Christ with His nation, including His disciples, lived on earth ‘under the law’ before His death and resurrection? No minister of Christ need be a profound student of the Scriptures to know the great difference between the message of John the Baptist, ‘baptism unto repentance for the remission of sins’, (Mark 1:4), before the FALL of Israel, and ‘the washing of regeneration’ of Titus 3:5 and 6, after the FALL of Israel. There is a very great difference between the Jews and Gentiles, as ‘children’ and ‘dogs’ in Mark 7:27, before the FALL, and the ‘no difference between Jews and Gentiles’ in Romans 10:12, after the FALL. There is just as great a difference between Matthew 6:15 “if ye forgive not, neither will your Father forgive” (Matthew 18:34 and 35), before the FALL, and Colossians 2:13 and Ephesians 4:32 after the FALL, having all your sins forgiven, for Christ’s sake; and therefore, forgive one another. Inasmuch as Christ told His apostles, “go not in the way of the Gentiles” (Matthew 10:5), we are sure that God was not visiting the Gentiles to take out from them a people for His Name (Acts 15:14) while Christ was Jesus of Nazareth in the midst of Israel. (Acts 2:22 . . . Romans 15:8 . . . Matthew 15:24). Therefore, before the FALL of Israel, Gentiles were not obtaining Divine mercy because of Israel’s unbelief, as they were after the FALL. (Romans 11:30). In rightly dividing the Word of truth, the faithful ‘STEWARD’ of the MYSTERIES of God will study and interpret every doctrine and event in the Bible as to whether it is recorded before the FALL of Israel or after the FALL of Israel. Has the communism of Acts 2:44 and 45 and 4:34 and 35 been a part of God’s program since the FALL of Israel? Has God ever instructed any Christian to tarry for Holy Spirit baptism since the FALL of Israel? ‘PISTEUSANTES’ (believing) the gospel of salvation, the believer is sealed unto the day of redemption with the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1:13 and 14 and 4:30). But while Jesus of Nazareth was on earth under the law the Holy Spirit was not yet. (John 7:38 to 40 . . . 16:7). (Acts 1:5). While Christ and His disciples were under the law, neither Christ nor any one of His disciples would have preached
Colossians 2:16 or Romans 6:14: “let no man judge you in respect of a holyday or the sabbath”, “for ye are not under the law.” The Lord was not making the JOINT-BODY of Ephesians 2:15 before the FALL of Israel. Believing Jews and Gentiles were not being baptized by ONE SPIRIT in to ONE BODY while Christ was a Minister of the circumcision, confirming promises to Israel. (Romans 15:8). The ONE BODY of I Corinthians 12:13, Romans 12:4 and 5, Ephesians 4:4, was not promised to Israel by their prophets. When we read in Acts 10:28 that it was unlawful for the apostles to go to the Gentiles, we know that at that time Peter was not preaching what Paul later on called ‘the mystery among Gentiles’. (Colossians 1:27). When God’s due time came for the Gentiles (I Timothy 2:4 to 6) Paul added, “whereunto I am ordained a preacher and an apostle and a teacher of the Gentiles.” (2:7). We have no record that Peter preached the message of II Timothy 1:9, concerning God’s eternal ‘grace’ purpose; for there Paul again said, “whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle and a teacher of the Gentiles”. (verse 11). Read also Acts 22:21 . . . Galatians 1:16 . . . Romans 11:13 . . . 15:16 . . . II Timothy 4:17 and Titus 1:3.
THE MINISTRY OR WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
After Christ was raised from the dead He said to His disciples, “ye shall be BAPTIZED with (in) the HOLY SPIRIT not many days hence.” (Acts 1:5). They waited many months, after they received water baptism, for the Holy Spirit. (Luke 3:16 . . . John 7:38 to 40 . . . John 14:17 . . . 16:7). If we understand Galatians 3:14 and the correct translation of Ephesians 1:13, we know that no Christian has to wait five minutes for the HOLY SPIRIT, for the anointing, the sealing or the baptism. No faithful ‘STEWARD’ of the MYSTERIES of God will preach to any person today Acts 2:38, “repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” This was God’s message, in God’s ‘kingdom’ program, before the FALL of Israel. Israel had yet been cast away. The message of Acts 2:38 was for individual Israelites, but was also for the nation, as was Acts 3:19 to 26. What a great difference in God’s ‘grace’ message after the FALL of Israel, “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His (God’s) mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.” (Titus 3:5 and 6). These two messages are as different as law and grace. The faithful ‘STEWARD’ will find just as radical difference between Acts 5:31 and 32, Peter’s message to Israel, before the FALL of Israel, and Paul’s message in I Corinthians 12:13, after the FALL of Israel. We quote these verses: “Him (Christ) hath God exalted (raised from the dead) with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give REPENTANCE TO ISRAEL, and forgiveness of sins . . And we are witness of these things: and so is also the Holy Spirit, whom God hath given to them that obey Him.” Now I Corinthians 12:12 and 13. . . “So also is ‘THE CHRIST’ . . . for by ONE SPIRIT were we all baptized into ONE BODY whether we be Jews or Gentiles.” What a great difference in these two ministries of the Holy Spirit! It is true that Peter, some years after Paul was sent forth by Christ, said that God gave the Gentiles the Holy Spirit as He did the Jews, and put no difference between us and them, and we believe that through the grace of Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved even as they (Acts 15:8 to 11). It is also true that there is a great difference between grace in former dispensations and the
present ‘DISPENSATION OF GRACE’. Peter knew that the first mission and work of the Holy Spirit was not to baptize believing Jews and Gentiles into the JOINT-BODY of Ephesians 3:6, and make them members one of another, (Romans 12:4 and 5). Before this operation of the Holy Spirit began the nation Israel was to be held accountable for the sign of Matthew 12:40, the burial and resurrection of Christ. When Jonah came out alive from the big fish after three days, the heathen of Nineveh repented. (Matthew 12:38 to 43). What would Israel do, as a nation, after Christ was raised from the dead to take David’s ‘throne’ (Acts 2:27 to 33), to give to Israel ‘THE SURE MERCIES OF DAVID’ (Acts 13:34), to be a Prince and a Saviour to give REPENTANCE TO ISRAEL (Acts 5:31), ‘turning away every one of you from his iniquities’? (Acts 3:26)? Christ was raised up, in incarnation, from Mary’s womb, to occupy David’s throne (Luke 1:27 to 33), to give to Israel ‘THE SURE MERCIES OF DAVID’ (Luke 1:67 to 77). Christ was raised up, in resurrection, from Joseph’s tomb, to occupy the throne of David, to give to Israel ‘THE SURE MERCIES OF DAVID’ (Acts 2:27 to 33 . . . 13:34). This meant, of course, to ‘BUILD AGAIN THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID WHICH IS BROKEN DOWN’. (Acts 15:15 to 17 . . . Amos 9:11 to 15). At the time Peter preached to the household of Cornelius, the Gentile who worshipped God, who prayed to God, who loved the Jews. Peter knew nothing of Romans 11:25, 11:11 and 15, that God had sent blindness on Israel that they should stumble and fall, so that salvation might be sent to Gentiles, and that Israel’s blindness would continue until ‘the fulness of the Gentiles be come in’. So Peter didn’t say Romans 11:33. Peter was certainly not telling the Gentiles that they were obtaining Divine mercy because of Israel’s unbelief (Romans 11:30), or preaching Romans 11:31 to Israel. It was after Paul said to Israel, ‘lo we turn to the Gentiles’ (Acts 13:46), that God opened the door of faith unto the nations. (Acts 14:27). We should, not have that door open before God opened it. Peter at first knew nothing about ‘THE DISPENSATION OF THE MYSTERY’ (Ephesians 3:9), ‘THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD FOR GENTILES’. (Ephesians 3:1 to 4). Peter’s keys of the kingdom and his gospel of the circumcision and his message of Acts 2:38 have no place in the ‘DISPENSATION’ or ‘DEPOSIT’ which Christ, by revelation gave to Paul.
FAULTY DISPENSATIONALISM AND FANATICISM
The so-called Fundamentalists, who claim to be premillennial ‘grace’ messengers, and stewards of the mysteries of God, are aware of the untiring energy, the zeal and sincerity of the SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS, and JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES, and the FANATICAL PENTECOSTALISTS with their program of tongues, healing and visions. These groups are unceasingly active in propagating their heresies. They are sincere, but sincerely wrong. Although the doctrines emphasized by these three sects are radically different, and not one of the three groups has any fellowship with the other, they are all a menace to the Church of Christ, and are zealous opponents of the gospel of the grace of God, knowing not one single thing about God’s ‘ETERNAL PURPOSE’, PURPOSED in Christ before the overthrow of the world. They are as ignorant of Colossians 1:24, as well as 1:25 and 26 and Romans 16:25, as though they were never revealed from heaven. Can you imagine any sane person, to whom the Holy Spirit has taught the truth of Ephesians, ever being deceived by the so-called ‘VOICE OF PROPHECY’ and believing the damnable heresy concerning Satan, the scapegoat bearing the sins of Christians, the heresy of extinction of life or soul-sleeping or soul-destruction between death and resurrection, and the
annihilation of the wicked? The only sense in which these groups are ‘ISRAEL’—and they call themselves that—is the fact that they share Israel’s blindness, only their blindness comes from a different source. (II Corinthians 4:3 to 6 . . . 11:1 to 4). Read II Corinthians 11:13 to 15. The millennium program of Jehovah’s Witnesses is very largely due to their absolute ignorance of ‘THE DISPENSATION OF THE MYSTERY’, not knowing the difference between the prophesied kingdom of God, prepared from the overthrow of the world, and the ‘ETERNAL PURPOSE’ of God concerning ‘THE CHURCH OF THE MYSTERY’, purposed and predestinated before the overthrow of the world, but not prophesied by Israel’s prophets. Denying the eternal Deity of the Lord Jesus, Whom the Scriptures plainly declare to be God, and the Personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit, and denying that Christ is a glorified Man at God’s right hand, they preach another Jesus, another spirit and another gospel, beguiled by the one who transforms himself into an angel of light. (II Corinthians 11:1 to 3 and 11:13 to 15). It is the duty of every minister of Christ to be a faithful steward of the mysteries of God and to obey Ephesians 3:9, “make all see what is ‘THE DISPENSATION OF THE MYSTERY’.” The knowledge of this truth is God’s sure cure for almost every ism and ill with which the Church of Christ is afflicted. One of the outstanding ‘grace’ teachers among the Premillennial Fundamentalists referred to the truth of Ephesians 3:9 and Colossians 1:24 to 26 as ‘THE LOST PRECIOUS GEM’. He wrote that that wonderful truth was lost for centuries because Christianity had been JUDAIZED. Surely then it is the duty of every minister of Christ to enthusiastically and earnestly enter the task of aiding in uncovering, recovering or rediscovering the truth for which the apostle Paul suffered as an evil doer. There are many conscientious, sincere, devout, zealous, splendid people in the Pentecostalist movement. They are not in sympathy with all of the religious doings of some of the extreme fanatics who likewise call themselves Pentecostalists. But they all have a zeal of God, not according to knowledge. They claim that on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit, in fulfillment of Joel’s Prophecy, was poured out and began His work of baptizing believers into the JointBody of Ephesians 3:6, that that first Pentecost Church was the Church of power and authority, working under the commissions of Matthew 28:19 and 20 and Mark 16:16 to 18. They are sure, therefore, that the Church of 1951 should contend earnestly for the full program of Mark 16:16 to 18 and the first chapters of Acts. If the Dispensation of the Grace of God of Ephesians began with Peter and Pentecost, are the present-day Pentecostalists right or wrong in their contention? Note the message and program of Mark 16:16 to 18 . . . believeth . . . is baptized . . . shall be saved . . . these signs shall follow believers . . . cast out demons . . . speak with tongues . . . drink poison without harm . . . lay hands of the sick for their recovery. Note the message of Acts 2:38; repent . . . be baptized for the remission of sins . . . receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Then note the order in Acts 8:1 to 15. If God did not change His message and program when Christ revealed to Paul the program of Ephesians 3:1 to 9 . . . Romans 16:25 . . . Colossians 1:24, if God began His program of grace on the day of Pentecost because the FALL of Israel took place when Christ uttered the words of Matthew 23:38, “your house is left unto you desolate”, are the Pentecostalists to be condemned or commended for contending for the full program of Mark 16:16 to 18 without revision or abridgment? The ‘grace’ Fundamentalists, who revise and abridge Mark 16:16 to 18 to read, “he that believeth and is saved shall be baptized with water as a witness to the world . . . no signs to follow”, certainly handle the ‘Word of God ignorantly, if not deceitfully. They have no
Scriptural answer to the Pentecostalists, with their ‘sign’ program and their Acts 2:38 gospel, because of their faulty dispensationalism. God’s answer is, that ‘THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD’ and ‘THE JOINT-BODY OF EPHESIANS 3:6’ began with Paul’s ministry after the FALL of Israel and not with Peter and Pentecost before the FALL of Israel. Neither the Pentecostalists nor the ‘grace’ Fundamentalists follow Paul (Philippians 3:17 . . . I Corinthians 11:1) in thanking God, as he did in I Corinthians 1:14 and 14:18 and 39: “I thank God I baptized none of you (but four or five)” . . . “I thank God I speak with tongues more than ye all” . . . “forbid not to speak with tongues.” Is there not a Scriptural answer to the questions, “why was it that the Corinthians, who were the least spiritual and least faithful of the first-century Christians, exercised the gift of healing (I Corinthians 12:9), that believers were to lay hands on the sick for their recovery (Mark 16:18), and Paul healed ungodly heathen in Acts 28:8 and 9, whereas we read in II Timothy 4:20, some years later, Paul left a faithful saint, Trophimus, sick?” This is explained in part in I Corinthians 13:8. From this verse we learn that we must recognize the principle of progressive revelation even after the FALL of Israel. Intelligent study of the Scriptures in obedience to II Timothy 2:15 is ‘DISPENSATIONAL BIBLE STUDY’. When we are told that ‘dispensationalism’ must not be carried too far, we ask, how far is far enough but not too far? In recognizing the principle of ‘PROGRESSIVE REVELATION’ in our ‘DISPENSATIONAL BIBLE STUDY’, surely we should ask why the Book of Acts suddenly ended when Paul reached Rome, although Paul continued to act for some years after Acts 28:31. Luke, the human author of Acts, was with Paul when Paul wrote his farewell message. (II Timothy 4:11). Note Acts 12:19, that Peter, right after James received his DEATH BAPTISM (Matthew 20:23 . . . Acts 12:1 and 2), abode at Caesarea. After Acts 12:19 there is no record in the Book of Acts of any of the missionary journeys of Peter and his fellow apostles. The last sixteen chapters of Acts record the doings and sayings of one apostle, Paul, and only those of such other persons as had dealings with him. But the Book of Acts suddenly ended before Paul’s ministry ended. Why? In Paul’s Epistles written after Acts 28:31 we learn that we are living in a timeless, a signless and a ‘religion-less’ period, with faith, hope and love remaining. Let every member of the Body obey Ephesians 3:9 and keep the unity of Ephesians 4:1 to 7. Every member of the Body should believe what the Moody Bible Institute has for more than thirty years printed in a book by A. E. Bishop, entitled ‘TONGUES, SIGNS, AND VISIONS, NOT GOD’S ORDER FOR TODAY’. This pamphlet has the unreserved endorsement of Dr. C. I. Scofield. This writer endorses most heartily the following statements copied from Mr. Bishop’s pamphlet:
“A careful study of the epistles, especially of the latest epistles of Paul, which give the normal course of the Church during the present dispensation, would dismount all from their hobbies, eliminate the last vestige of Judaism from their lives and teachings, and would adjust things in general, placing secondary things in their place and first things where they belong.”
“In the latest epistles of Paul not only is it noticeable that the sign gifts are nowhere in manifestation, but a different order is brought forth by the Holy Spirit for the correction of prevailing hobbies and fanaticisms.”
“There is no foundation in the word of God for the prevailing popular doctrine of ‘Divine Healing’.” “It is not true that healing is as much the will of God for every Christian as salvation
is for the unsaved. Some of the choicest of saints by the elective will of God, have been patient sufferers for years upon sick beds.”
“In contrast with the sign-gifts of I Corinthians 12, limited to a portion of the believers and operative only during the Book of Acts period, let us note the non-sign gifts of Ephesians 4:10.”
“The fact that the Bible does not give a hint of the manifestation of the sign-gifts after the Book of Acts, must carry convincing evidence to the careful student who compares Scripture with Scripture, that they have been retired.”
“If we give heed to this fact, it will be easy for us to see later on why God, who is sovereign in the giving of signs, afterwards retired completely the sign gifts.”
“Is it the spirit of God or Satan, who turns the eyes of sincere Christians back to Pentecost and away from the goal placed before them in Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians?”
“Is it the spirit of God or Satan who attempts to revive the sign-gifts that were divinely retired after having fulfilled their purpose? Every widespread attempt to revive them has, without exception, resulted in confusion, divisions, injury and disgrace.”
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