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From the introduction:
Hyper-Dispensationalism developed in the 1800s before there were any coordinated arguments over the authority of the King James Bible. The reason there were no books on the defense of the KJB is that there was no need–almost all English speakers accepted the A.V. 1611 as the word of God in the English language. The manuscript basis of the KJB were the Massoretic Hebrew text and the Majority Greek Text. The great revivals and establishment of churches in the developing USA from the late 1600s into 1800 were a direct result of preaching the word of God to common men.
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(1) Any person is a dispensationalist who trusts the blood of Christ rather than bringing an animal sacrifice.
(2) Any person is a dispensationalist who disclaims any right or title to the land which God covenanted to Israel for an everlasting inheritance.
(3) any person is a dispensationalist who observes the first day of the week rather than the seventh.
(Dispensationalism. Dr.Lewis Sperry Chafer. Highlight Loc. 37-40)
We do not believe Dr. Chafer is the final authority on dispensationalism. But his remark above is correct. In addition to the above we might add a practical note that every person who has a Bible with an “Old Testament” and “New Testament” division in it, is a dispensationalist. But when dispensationalism becomes an obsession that ignores “All scripture is given (not WAS) by inspiration of God, and is (not WAS) profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness” that is wrong division of the word of truth. That scripture comes from Paul’s prison ministry so lauded but misapplied by Hyper-Dispensationalists. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJB).
When I began to see the real Bible differences between Israel and the church which is the body of Christ, the difference between the first coming of Christ and His second coming, and the preaching of the coming Millennial Kingdom of Christ on earth as different from the preaching of the cross and the period known as the “church age”, I became the object of “Neo-Berean” (Hyper-Dispensationalism) recruitment.
These proselyters, at the very beginning, were adamant in showing me that “water baptism is a Jewish tradition” and that I should immediately drop the name of Baptist, and stop baptizing converts. Without question, the issue of water baptism (in my case) was the first item; other issues came later, but the anti-water doctrine was the focal point of all I was supposedly doing wrong. I am persuaded this anti-water emphasis is the same as most of those courted by the rabid Hyper-dispensationalists.
Although they claimed the name, “Bereans”, these men did not resemble the Bereans of Acts 17 in any sense. Later, I discovered that more important doctrine was never mentioned compared to the incessant denial of water baptism . I baptize converts as an illustration of the believer’s faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ–not as a means of salvation or Christian service. Baptism is not a sacrament, but it is a figure of the gospel as described by inspiration in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. My conviction of that has not wavered since then to this day.
Later, I learned why and how this particular tactic was used. It is of utmost importance to realize how Hyper-Dispensationalism (hereafter designated by a shorter form “Hyper-Disp”) gets a foothold on unsuspecting pastors and Bible students. It is also important to see that Hyper-Disp is a heresy, and that its adherents are professing Christians who sincerely believe some correct Bible doctrines. We do not question their salvation, but we do oppose their teaching methodology and the resultant errors.
In a nutshell, here is the type approach the Hyper-Disp uses on a Baptist:
Compare Peter’s statement in Acts 2:37-38 with Paul’s in Acts 16:30-31:
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, 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 Ghost. (Acts 2:38 KJB).
Compare this with Paul:
30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:30, 31 KJB).
It will be pointed out that Peter was preaching to the “men of Israel” in Acts 2 and that when they asked, “what shall we do?” he required that these be baptized with water “for the remission of sins” as well as “to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” just like John the Baptist in Mark 1. Then it will be compared to Paul, who preached (not to Israel in Acts 16, but to Gentiles. What they don’t mention is that Paul never connected remission of sins or receiving the Holy Ghost with water baptism to any Jews either!) in Acts 16:31. The Hyper-Disp will ignore or attempt to show how that Paul was baptizing just like Peter and continuing Peter’s ministry to Israel. Acts 16:31 has no mention of “for the remission of sins” or “ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” but the Hyper-Disp presumes it does. The Hyper-Disp will show how Paul went to the Jew first in every area
during Acts. (None of them understand why Paul went to the Jew first in Acts, although it is clear in Romans 9-11).
I hasten to say that Mark 1:4 and Acts 2:38 and Acts 16:31 are absolutely correct in the KJB! The subject of understanding them and the reason for thedifferences is indeed one of “right division”. But we are not to correct them to make all of them say the same thing to fit our little theological box or amalgamate them by diminishing the words, changing the words, adding words, and subtracting words.
The end result of all of this is the mass confusion among the Hyper-Disp among even themselves, brought about by the guesswork that starts the body of Christ in Acts 9, 22, 28 or wherever they pick, and the gross assumption that Paul was ignorant of what he was doing in the book of Acts. Some Hyper-Disps call themselves “Mid-Acts” which simply means “We don’t know where the body of Christ started, but it must be somewhere in the middle of the Book of Acts.” These have the carnal impudence to refuse Christian fellowship with any Christian who disagrees with their ‘unknown’ body start! (God never states WHEN the Church age began or WHERE the body of Christ began). Some go so far as to make “two bodies of Christ”: one in Acts and a different one in the Prison ministry of Paul (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians). Others have ‘found’ removal of world evangelism, practice of polygamy, homosexualism, and salvation of the devil and his angels, etc., in the Prison epistles. There is no end to their theological cancer. Just as Paul warned, “their word will eat as doth a canker.”
I was a third year student in graduate school when they first crossed my path. Upon graduation in 1970, I took a church of about 15 people in Alabama (Bible Baptist Church). Unbeknownst to me, a couple of these Hyper men had been teaching their doctrine to the pastor and people before me. The former pastor had resigned the church and went to another city to pastor a Baptist church, which within a short period, dropped “Baptist” and changed its name to a “Bible Church”. When I took the pastorate at Bible Baptist Church, the church barely paid the rent on the old building and had absolutely no funds for the pastor’s salary. My family of 7 lived on outdated meat from Zeigler packing company and the grace of God for the first 6 months. Evidently, the Hyper-Disp theology had managed to keep the church “high and dry” from growth and new converts. Although the “Bereans” contacted me once or twice, we were not too much of a prize with our small number and almost no finances at the beginning.
God blessed our “Baptist” ministry there and the church increased dramatically in both number and finances from 15 to about 120. We saw new converts come into the church and started a Christian school . When I resigned that church, we had bought a piece of property and were building a new building. My Assistant Pastor took the church and I accepted the call to pastor another rural church in Alabama where I had helped start a Christian school. (During my ministry in Alabama, I actually helped three other churches start a Christian school.) After starting the school in Millbrook, within a couple months, the pastor resigned and went into foreign mission work. (He was a good man and has continued for all these years). The church contacted and called me as pastor. I accepted, believing it was God’s will. This seemed to be so, and I do not doubt it, for souls were saved and I baptized converts every week for the first six months. Our high attendance there was over 350 on a special Sunday.
Without going into all details, the ministry at Victory Baptist Church was, and still is, a testimony of God’s grace. I pastored that church for a total of almost twenty years. I worked myself out of a job, resigned the church in 1993 to start Ends of the Earth Mission, which is now going into its twenty-first year. My Assistant Pastor at Victory took the leadership of that church when I left and has had a tremendous ministry there since I left. That church has faithfully preached the gospel and supported mission work all these years in many countries around the world.
I mention these things because I am firmly convinced that had I fallen for any of the deceptive tactics of Neo-Berean, Hyper-Dispensationalism, Hyper-Calvinism, fanatical Charismatic errors, these ministries would never have happened. I do not presume to know all the reasons why some ministries grow and souls are saved, but after over 50 years in the ministry, my experience has been that if a man allows any restricted, narrow view of the Bible such as Hyper-Dispensationalism, Hyper-Calvinism, or any other ‘Hyper’ become the focus–God cannot bless it. The blessings came because of God’s grace and mercy, I take no credit! Every pastor knows that without godly men to help and under God’s mercy, he makes enough mistakes in the ministry to never do anything. But God uses men, and God’s preachers must work hard, believe God, and avoid a thousand pitfalls that come their way. Gimmicks like social programs, providing a “one stop” plethora to meet every community whim may attract numbers, but none of those convert souls and build solid church membership. Preaching the whole counsel of God with balance and without fear or favor does the job.
After over twenty years in foreign missions we have been able to help scores of folk get into “closed countries”, start two resident Bible schools and several extension schools in the Philippines, started and built over one hundred independent Baptist, King James Bible churches in remote areas. (I believe every word in the King James Bible but I don’t harp on it in every message or claim those who have some other’ Bible’ are lost. When some half-baked nut claims it has errors, we correct him in the proper setting. Preach the Book; It will take care of Itself!) Again, apart from the mercy and grace of God–how well we know this–none would have been possible. But I mention these experiences because I know that had I allowed any of the Hypers to creep into my ministry–none of this would have happened.
I have discussed with the Hypers all these errors of which I write. My information is not second-hand. I know their tactics and the deception because I was a target. I seriously considered and studied their claims face-to-face and in written, as well as recorded material from their taped lessons and books. Names could be given but no benefit will come from that. Some of these men have gone on to meet the Lord, but many of their parrots remain. Some of the doctrine they believe is sound but too much is speculation. I do not doubt their salvation, but even a saved man can be snared by the devil and wreck havoc.
More important to all the building, and sending, training, and–yes–‘right division’ is that quite literally, thousands of souls have come to know the Lord from simply believing what the Book says. Jesus came “to seek and to save that which was lost” and that fact can never be divisively manipulated away. With all of my being, I am firmly convinced from experience and the Bible that Hyper-Dispensationalism is one of the most deadening heresies to evangelism and Christian growth. All the ‘Hypers’ during this age before the Rapture have done irreparable harm to the cause of Christ. Hyper-Dispensationalism is more dangerous than any cult because it is a heresy that has enough truth in it so as to make it appear doctrinally sound.
The very “table” of Israel became a snare to them (Romans 11:7-10) and the grace of God, if misused can be a snare in this age. Method of teaching is just as important as the message. Using a doctrine with a skewed dispensational method can overthrow the faith of others.
“15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2 Timothy 2:15-18, 24-26 KJB)
–Dave Reese January 2015
(Dr. Reese’s book Deception of Hyper-Dispensationalism may now be purchased here.
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36 KJB)
How much simpler can it be? Believe on the Son and you have everlasting life. Two Jehovah Witnesses came to my door one day and said, “We want to share the good news of God’s coming Kingdom.” My reply, “I already have The Lord Jesus Christ, and all of God’s blessings in Him. I don’t need your ‘kingdom.”
Simplicity is the essence of God’s blessings upon man; organized religion is complicated, man’s added twists and wrinkles are created to insert man himself as God’s divine representative.
No matter how sweet, loving, and dedicated they may appear, men who put some effort, ritual or rule between “the Son” and “everlasting life” are nothing more than religious opportunists.
Those who require some religious law obedience to reach God or His blessings, are known as Pharisees. Even a perfect observance of the Law of Moses never gained acceptance with God. A heart that earnestly sought God, without the Law of Moses, was accepted before any person that sought God with sacrifices, rules, and offerings of the Law.
“1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat.
2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.” (Matthew 12:1-7 KJB)
The Pharisees in Jesus’ day put rules and regulations before “judgment, mercy, and faith”. Permit me to give other words Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matthew 23 in an abbreviated form:
“Then spake Jesus… Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat…
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go…
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves…
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith…
Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres,…
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity….
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!…
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”
That is a description of religion without God—access to the blessings of God, blocked by man’s rules. And, it shows us what God thinks about the practice. Read the whole chapter of Matthew 23 and see the full condemnation of the Pharisees.
The Pharisees are among us today. A Pharisee always places some work or deed they have invented before God’s salvation and/or blessings while claiming all is by grace, without works.
Roman Catholicism places the Pope, mass, confessional, baptism, purgatory, and money in the church coffers before God can be reached. While condemning the Roman system, Hyper-Dispensationalism places another form of the Pharisaical system before the sinner.
According to Hyper-Dispensationalism, you may be saved by grace BUT in order to get the best of God’s blessings, you MUST “rightly divide” the Bible as they define right division.
You MUST know the difference between Paul and Peter.
You MUST believe that the real church, the Body of Christ began with the revelation from God to Paul in prison.
The Hyper insists that this Body beginning is the key to all spiritual blessings from God, and that nothing of this Body was anywhere in any form in any inspired scriptures before Paul.
If you baptize–FOR ANY REASON–symbolic, illustrative, or otherwise, it is a sin.
If you call yourself by ANY NAME other than that the Hyper designates, you are following “tradition” and therefore, a sinner.
If you believe the Book of Psalms, the gospel of John, Genesis, etc., have just as much FORCE as Paul’s epistles, you are sinning.
Unless you recognize that EPHESIANS, PHILIPPIANS, AND COLOSSIANS by Paul, are of more FORCE, greater revelation, than even all of the other inspired epistles by Paul, you are ignorant, following traditions of men, and you will miss the “high calling of God” and get the lower rapture of 1 Thessalonians 4, being a lowly member of the Romans12 “body of Christ”, a lower rung of spiritual blessings in Christ.
Hyper-Dispensationalism has hijacked Bible dispensational study and created a Pharisaical monstrosity. Like the Pharisees of Matthew 23, they compass land and sea to find saved men and women in Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, and other Protestant churches where saved people may be, in order to gain proselytes. The Hypers do this without a shade of conscience or shame, even while the Books they claim are superior to all others, condemn their misuse of them:
My friend, if you have The Lord Jesus, you have One greater than all religions, the Temple, the cornfield, Catholicism, Campbellite, Charismatic, Berean and Baptist church! If you have accepted Christ, you already have all spiritual blessings in Christ. You are not required to learn at the “deep” theology of anybody, including the Hyper-Dispensationalists:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3 KJB)
As far as the Hyper-Dispensationalists go:
Paul does not exclude his prior epistles and even includes the things the Philippians had “seen” him do (baptism) during the Acts period. (The Philippians were not with him in prison!)
“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”(Philippians 4:9 KJB)
A sinner is “complete” in Christ not because he learns the system of the Hyper; the sinner is complete because he is IN CHRIST.
“8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” (Colossians 2:8-10 KJB).
The only wonder more amazing than the Hypers’ brazen manipulation of Scripture to produce such lies and their own devilish “traditions” is the ignorance and superstition of the gullible proselytes to this Pharisaical heresy.
We were in the Amazon jungle in 1984 and met a tribal group that called themselves “Yanomami” (THE People) who were firmly convinced there were no other peoples on earth except themselves. Of course that proud, pagan idea even extended to the other Yanomami villages. When someone in one village died of infection, or was attacked by a jaguar, it had to be because someone in another village had cast an evil curse against them. The only answer was retaliation. Many missionaries have found themselves ducking the long 8′ curare tipped arrows flying from the bows of neighbor Yanomami villagers.
Preparing us for one of these attacks, a friend who was with us on this trip, related a lesson he had learned earlier.
During one of these attacks at a Yanomami mission station years before, he told us of his surprise when the veteran missionary, standing up in the open, yelled: “Stand up and let them see you! Otherwise, you may be accidentally hit by an arrow!” Our friend had found out the Yanomami wanted to kill each other, not the “white ghosts of Yanomami ancestors”.
Of course, when first seeing pale, white missionaries with the fantastic tools of deity such as flashlights, sticks of fire (matches), clothing not made of leaves, and coats that send water away, these beings made the Yanomami rethink their “only us and no more” position. A combined “theological/anthropological” committee met, and the consensus was spread throughout the villages: there was no mistake on their part, Yanomami are indeed the only people on earth. Did not the strangers come from the sky in a bird? Don’t they speak our language? They have white leaves that say the same words today the leaves said yesterday. They are the spirits of our ancestors, come back to visit us!
Failing to see the forest because of a few trees is not only found in the jungle; proud, exclusive club attitudes also thrive in USA churches, Bible study groups, and among individual Christians. It matters not that you claim Jesus Christ is God, it matters not that you have accepted Him as your Savior, it matters not that you believe He saves by His grace and there is nothing you can do to get it or keep it, it matters not that you believed ON Him and His work for your eternal salvation: “IF YOU DON’T AGREE IN TOTAL WITH OUR SYSTEM, WE CAN HAVE NO FELLOWSHIP WITH YOU.” This proud, know-it-all attitude implies that perhaps other Christians are not even saved since they are continually sinning against God by disobeying THIS EXCLUSIVE HYPER position.
The issue is not that every doctrine Hyper-Neo-Dispensationalists believe is wrong; I do not question their salvation or sincerity. In fact, my fellowship with them, as members of the body of Christ, is not affected by their foolish and popish edicts. I know Whom I have believed and His words are pure and sure. Like my friend who is now in glory, Dr. Herb Noe, whispered to me as we sat in a preachers’ meeting, upon hearing a preacher issue forth some silly demand: “All the popes are not in Rome.”
Many of the Hyper doctrines are sound and that is why their conclusions are so easily swallowed by gullible Christians. They believe in the Deity of Christ, salvation by grace, etc., and all of what men would call “fundamentals of the faith.” The error of Hyper-Dispensationalism lies in exaltation of a private interpretation that excludes much biblical truth; one verse here is combative to another verse there. Analogy of scripture is secondary to a divisive chopping apart passages and even books, so that the complimentary whole of the Bible is destroyed. Some small attempt is made to avoid this accusation by their critics, but the practical results and outcome of their system belies any real effect. Law and Grace are absolute opposites in their scheme. The Hyper view cannot realize the dual concept that a Christian is not under the Law but yet, in Christ, fulfills the Law, and thereby validates the unity between Law and Grace that proceeds from God, Who is Righteous, Just, Merciful, and Gracious. Baptism by the Spirit cannot co-exist with a water baptism of any kind for any purpose. Hypers cannot comprehend the many non-essential and non-effectual specks in their own eyes, for the bloated, ponderous beam they have crammed into their practice of theology. Absolute truth it is that man does not live by bread alone–but just try to live 6 months without any! Jesus’ never condemned non-essentials, His condemnation was reserved for those who put temporal matters above eternal values.
All men are dispensationalists, whether they call the grand division of any Bible translation “Old Covenant-New Covenant” or by the correct “Old Testament-New Testament”. Covenant and Testament do not carry the same definition in English or in Biblical Greek–a critical distinction both Hyper-Dispensationalists and Covenant Theologians have missed.
“Dispensation” is not strictly a period of time; the word by contextual definition is an administration or stewardship. Generally, a “dispenser” may give out soap, towels, candy, etc., at various times to various people. God gave (dispensed) the OT/NT. Anyone who recognizes that division, is in some sense, a “dispensationalist”.
When we read, “If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: (Ephesians 3:2 KJV)” there is no specificity as to a “time boundary”. Some aspect of the eternal grace of God was given to Paul for the purpose of the church’s information. Sound interpretation allows that grace, or the application of it, did not necessarily begin with this revelation to Paul, what had already existed could have been simply revealed through him, then to others. This is important to note, because in a strict sense there are not various periods of time called “dispensations”. However, in a GENERAL sense, Bible teachers for many years have used the term for certain periods of time in which “Innocence” “Conscience” “Law”, etc., were characteristics of an age or time. Therefore, in my study chart we have used in Open Bible College since the 1970’s and painted in 1980 on an 18′ x 4′ canvas in acrylics, I simply designated sections of the KJB, in order as God ordained them, not as “Dispensation of Innocence” “Dispensation of Conscience” etc., but “1” “2” “3”, on through “7”, and indicated by brackets, between each number, the leading person in the previous administration or economy, (“1″[Adam] “2”[Noah] “3”[Abraham], etc. The chart is merely a teaching tool, and never have I claimed it to be infallible, or the only way to study the word of God, or “the doctrinal basis for salvation and fellowship.”
But what makes a Christian become a HYPER or a NEO dispensationalist or Berean? Hyper-anything in Bible teaching takes a Bible truth and twists, magnifies a portion, or exaggerates it into a false doctrine that is non-biblical in both spirit and letter. That main group which claims of the title “Berean” today are a far cry from the Bereans in Acts 17:11. Instead of “rightly dividing” the Bible with the result being edification and increased unity among Christians, the HYPER chops the Bible here and there, constructing a man made system that actually separates scripture from scripture, and Christians from other Christians. Here is an example of a current “Hyper-Dispensation” demand:
“We believe that Eph. 4:1-6 sets forth the doctrinal basis necessary for fellowship in the dispensation of grace.”
Listen to this man’s teaching and his private interpretation of Ephesians 4:1-6 and you will find exactly what he states and means in this preamble and disclaimer to his “Statement of Faith”. I do not give his name because I believe he is a saved man. Although wrong in some of his interpretation and applications, enough naming and attacking individuals has gone on among Christians. The world, flesh, and the devil has enough ammunition to harm the testimony of Christ; I will not give more. Instead, I will show the errors of the system and leave the man alone to answer to his Savior—and Judge. He already knows what I believe and I know very well what he believes. His teacher (now with the Lord) and I spent hours on the same subject, one-on-one, years ago.
What he does not say in his “detailed” Statement of Faith is his one main bone of contention. After you bite the various pieces of seemingly harmless bait, he sets his quantitative hook of Ephesians 4:1-6. The Hyper claims the usage of “one” in Ephesians MUST BE QUANTITATIVE, OR DEALING WITH THE NUMBER OF, RELATED TO EXISTENCE . HE INSISTS IT CAN NOT BE DEALING WITH EFFECTUAL OR ESSENTIAL QUALITY. According to Hyper interpretation, it is not One omniscient Lord among many lesser lords; it is not One Faith, the faith of Jesus Christ, essential and effectual beyond the weak or strong faith of man or creeds; it is not One Spirit, the Third Person of the Godhead, who is above all spirit beings; it is not One Body, the body of Christ, essential and above all material bodies, spiritually and physically; and it is not even One baptism that is essential to being a member of the body of Christ, among several other baptisms in the Bible. The man doesn’t recognize or know the rules of his own native (English) language.
The Hyper ASSUMES the only sense of ONE in Ephesians is, “there is only one that CAN EXIST AT THIS TIME” (while, by implication, God approved many Lords, Faiths, Gods, Baptisms, etc., in other periods of time. God only reduced them to One when Paul went to prison!!!!). By his extrapolation, during the so-called time of the dispensation of Grace (of which time or where it began, he has no Bible proof–only his guesswork) there can be no other baptism, of water or Spirit but the Baptism by the Spirit into the body of Christ (of which manner and how that body is formed, he has no scripture except the Acts epistle of 1 Corinthians 12:13. However, since he has previously determined that all Acts epistles were written before Paul really knew what he was doing, the Hyper cannot be sure that this One Baptism of the “Acts body” actually exists!)
Upon this conjectural and shifting sand of interpretation, the Hyper condemns the dreaded, carnal and even evil practice of water baptism-no matter the mode, no matter the meaning, no matter that Jesus was baptized, no matter that Jesus sent his disciples to baptize in His Name, no matter that Peter baptized, no matter that Philip baptized, no matter that Paul baptized, no matter that Paul never said “Don’t baptize”, no matter that Paul never repented of baptizing his converts after he got the “full revelation of when the dispensation of grace occurred and how it is applied” (according to the Hyper-Neo), no matter anything.
By forcing the “ones” of Ephesians 4 to be quantitative or number that exists, instead of quality or essentiality, he has excised himself from sane exegesis. There are right now as well as in the first century:
Many bodies (physical, heavenly, etc.), although essentially, “There is one body”: many spirits (angels, etc.) although there is essentially “one Spirit”: many lords (Lord Byron, Lord Nelson, etc.) although there is essentially “One Lord”: many different faiths (faith of a man, weak, strong, faith without works- dead faith, statement of faith, i.e., body of doctrine) but there is “ONE FAITH”, and only one, that guarantees your justification-THE FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST, your faith and mine is weak one moment and stronger the next, but always imperfect, THE FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST, HIS FAITHFULNESS, IS THE ONE FAITH THAT IS ESSENTIAL FOR JUSTIFICATION (Romans 3:22 KJB). There are several kinds of baptisms in the Bible, unto Moses, with water, in water, no water, for a future remission of sins, and many outside the Bible, but there is ONLY ONE BAPTISM THAT IS ESSENTIAL AND EFFECTUAL, THE BAPTISM BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD INTO THE BODY OF CHRIST (1 Corinthians 12:13 KJB. That is only found in an Acts epistle): “There is One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” but there are many other “gods”(Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods…”John 10:34, 35 KJV)and there are many other “fathers” (“Father Abraham..” “all our fathers were baptized unto Moses…”, physical fathers, etc.) but there is ONLY ONE WE ADDRESS, “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…” (Ephesians 4:4-6 KJB)
Now this phobia of anti-water baptism is magnified by the Hype-Neo even though his own selection of scripture as “the doctrinal basis of fellowship” warns him before he arrives at the “Ones” in verses 4-6:
“1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3 KJV)
Somehow throwing your brother in Christ out of your fellowship because he does some non-essential practice that both of you agree does not save or make a man more spiritual, does not fit with Paul’s descriptive: “with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace…” Especially when you do non-essential religious traditions yourself…such as, How about Sunday morning 11AM services? Want to try and justify your Wednesday prayer meeting in a prison epistle? We’ll even let you use an Acts epistle–go ahead. Shall we mention “church furniture”, design, and decor? Paul never built a “steeple house” (John Wesley) and even in Acts, Paul said that God “does not dwell in buildings made with hands”. Paul addressed churches “in thy house”. How about your modern advertising methods? Must we list other Hyper-Dispensational “traditionalism” such as church marriage ceremonies? Why, in the name of all that’s whatever, should a man stop half way on a path to total Hyperism??? Go all the way, man! God hates lukewarm, half in, half out, professions. Of course, “I speak as a fool” but sometimes in order to show…well, I think everybody but the Hyper will get the picture.
Lest some might think the above are trivial and not so serious, in the forthcoming book there is an entire chapter devoted to the doctrines of Paul’s Acts ministry–proven by the Hyper’s “Prison Ministry” to still be in effect. The Hyper-Neo-Dispensationalism system is a house of cards, easily broken down when even the books of Philippians-Colossians are believed. One example:
“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: (PAST TENSE: LEARNED, RECEIVED, HEARD, SEEN IN ME, in the Acts period, DO (PRESENT TENSE: CONTINUE TO DO NOW) and the God of peace shall be with you.” (Philippians 4:9 KJB, my emphasis. The full book will be available August 1, 2014)
Bible with Bible, who could make Ephesians 4:1-6 (among Christians) the “doctrinal basis necessary for fellowship”? Even Paul, whom the Hyper-Neo claims to follow as the “pattern” never severed fellowship with the “carnal babes” in Corinth. With longsuffering and patience, and with charity (the bond of perfection) Paul carefully outlines and defines in 1 Corinthians all the Corinthian church problems, but he sought, and did continue his fellowship with them. All of us have “social circles” of close and far fellowship (some farther than others) but we do not have the right nor do we have the necessary wisdom to divide what God has joined together: the church, which is His body. This is not a plea for ecumenical sweetness and compromise, but when a man falls out with another brother in Christ over matters that both agree are non-essential for salvation and practical sanctification, somebody is making “mountains out of molehills”. It smacks too much of doctrines and practice like that of Seventh Day Adventists who claim that if you attend Sunday services, you have the mark of the Antichrist.
I have never read that our fellowship is based solely upon the interpretation or application of 6 verses in Ephesians.
I read that our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ:
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3 KJB)
I also read that God does the calling into fellowship with Jesus Christ and regarding the church at Corinth with all its errors, sin, and carnality, Paul says:
“God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9 KJB)
At least the Yanomami repented and revised their exclusiveness. Evidently, jungle living is more conducive to the Bible truth in 1 Corinthians 8:2 than living in LA, Chicago, or Atlanta:
“And if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” (1 Corinthians 8:2)
Here are the sad, nebulous, and deceptive doctrines that characterize the Neo-Berean-Hyper-Dispensationalism. When followed to the logical end of such Bible interpretation, every Hyper must swallow “hook, line, and sinker” some form of the doctrines, or take none of them.
Basic to all of the following is the issue of which “Bible” is the perfect word of God. If it is NOT the King James Bible in your hand, you might as well throw your hands up, and “go drifting with the tide”. Some Hebrew, Greek, modern language translation will not be your sword and shield simply because you believe not ONE BIBLE among them, wholeheartedly. You are a practicing Gnostic, still trying to find out where absolute truth exists. You may squeal and yell about originals, but your infallible anchor line has broken. Here are the tenets of the Hyper-Neo:
The inevitable result of all this foolish system is to spend almost all the ministry in getting people to accept the above. Evangelism dies and proselytization becomes the priority.
Wow! Aren’t you glad that in eternity you will be recognized as the “super body of Christ”(according to the deceased Hypers, C.H. Welch, E.C. Moore, and others)–far above those spiritual babies like William Tyndale, John Rogers, Martin Luther, John Calvin, all 54 translators of the KJB, John Wesley, Sam Jones, Peter Cartwright, Fanny Crosby, D.L. Moody, C.I. Scofield, Arno Gaebelein, Bob Jones Sr., Lee Roberson, Peter Ruckman, M.R. DeHaan, etc., plus thousands of poor tribal Christians who struggle to learn the few Bible verses in their language, along with millions upon millions of unknown Christians who lived and died, some that sealed with their blood the testimony of Jesus Christ. Sitting up there on your high horse above all those who knew not what you claim to know, all because you practiced the “high calling” matters—you really will be “a trophy of his grace”.
Good advice to all of us is that we cannot put the word of God into our little theological box. God’s word is alive. (Hebrews 4:12) We will have more success in handling a man-eating 850 pound male lion with a fly swatter than try to force the word of God into any puny system of man.
Hyper-Neo-Dispensationalists are hard to corner. Persecuted in one text, they flee to another. Not all Hyper-dispensationalists have come to the “perfection” that Charles H. Welch did (9). Undisputed identification of all Hypers are numbers 1-5 above. Every teacher on his way to being a Hyper teaches that water baptism is disobedience to God.
All dispensational Bible teachers are not Hyper-Dispensationalists. Hypers DEMAND a denial of water baptism.
To those who have begun to whine over my comments, I offer this one illustrative advice: Dr. Robert G. Lee stood at the door of the church after delivering his sermon, “I Love Jesus Because…”. As the morning crowd exited, one woman said, “I didn’t like your sermon today, Dr. Lee”. Dr. Lee, ever the quick wit, replied, “The devil didn’t either, Sister. Classify yourself and come back next Sunday”.
So, if my above remarks make your eyes water or blood pressure rise, all I can say is, “if the shoe fits, wear it. If not, I wasn’t talking about you.”
We should obey the first principle of “rightly dividing” the word of truth: Study to shew THYSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD” instead of showing everybody else what they must do. Far better to follow the “prison epistle” order to “work out YOUR OWN salvation, with FEAR and TREMBLING.” (2 Timothy 2:15; Philippians 2:12)
(Excerpts from “The Danger and Deception of Hyper-Dispensationalism” by Dave Reese available August 1, 2014)
“10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.” (Acts 17:10-12 KJV)
Bible Bereans are believers from the area of Berea (Acts 17) and bear no resemblance to the contemporary denomination that calls itself “Bereans”.
Dispensationalists, generally, are those who believe normal-literal interpretation of the scripture is a sound method of understanding the various differences, as well as the similarities, of Bible economies. Those who claim to be dispensational in their Bible study are found in various denominations.
Neo-Bereanism and Hyper-Dispensationalism are closely related in that both groups claim the prison epistles of Paul dominate all Biblical doctrine; they deny water baptism by any mode and for any reason. Historically, “Bereans” such as Darby, Bullinger, and Welch did get along with those who differed on some of their doctrine. They were not narrow on fellowship with those who differed. (Bullinger, although not agreeing with some writers, nevertheless placed many of their articles in his seven volume set, “Things To Come”) Neo-Bereanism DEMANDS agreement with their position on baptism, etc., for fellowship. This contemporary crowd are the new breed of “Bereans”. Hypers and Neos disagree among themselves as to where the body of Christ began, observance of the Lord’s Supper, and other doctrines and practice. Those differences among themselves are so important in their view that they have split and splintered into different churches, and severed individual fellowship even with their “Berean” compadres.
I am dispensational in my Bible study but have not wavered from identifying myself first, as a Bible believing Christian and secondarily, a Baptist, for over 50 years. Regardless of theological beliefs, a man denominates himself when he takes any part or whole of a theological position. Like politics, you may be “Independent” “Libertarian” “Democrat” or “Republican” or even differ from all or some of those tenets; you have already denominated yourself, it is the “nature of the beast”. Man may call himself, or be called a “cuddy” “neddy” “dicky” “moke” or “burro”. You may indeed be a member of the family “Equidae” but if you are of the subspecies, “E. a. asinus”, you are a verifiable, real jackass, no matter which moniker is hung around your neck. (Jeremiah 2:22-24)
In 1980 I designed a dispensational chart that illustrated one way to understand some of the different economies or programs found in various periods of Bible history. Following several precedents before me, I named these as “Innocence” “Conscience”, etc., for relevance and general description but indicated the Bible order of references for each period, leaving gaps between each to allow transition periods from one economy to the next. Since the beginning of my college Bible studies, although many confuse it with time, I understood the term “dispensation” did not refer exclusively to a period of time, but better defined by “economy” or “program”. To my knowledge, the unique design of my chart was the Bible references to each period exactly as they are ordered in the Bible. The chart is still available on this website and has been used worldwide in many places to help believers understand the supposed contradictions in the Bible. The Bible has no contradictions; contradictions lie in our attempt to fit the Bible to our thinking instead of simply believing the Bible is right and men are wrong.
Never have I insisted that this chart was the ONLY way to understand the Bible or to “rightly divide” it. It was designed as one tool among many ways to understand the word of God. Only a fool would claim to have discovered what millions of other Christians over centuries have never seen, or that his way was the ONLY way to study the Bible.
When I say “Bible”, the reference is to the King James Bible, commonly known as the Authorized Version of 1611. I differ somewhat (don’t we all) from others in that I believe the translation of the word of God into English was simultaneous with the development of the English language over a period of c. 500 years, reaching the peak in 1611. I do not believe that ONLY the “original manuscripts” were inspired and copies were merely “preserved”. In my understanding, inspiration and preservation are inseparable. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35). Inspiration, if limited to the original manuscripts being God-breathed, then preservation means nothing more than the attempt to preserve dead words. Details of my view on inspiration may be found in my sermons and writings.
I believe normal-literal language communication is the only way we can understand each other, as well as understanding that which God has revealed in His Bible. The Bible does not hide, make difficult, or allow only the intellectuals to know the essential things a man must know about God, or what God wants man to do. God is more interested in your heart than your head. David was a man “after God’s own heart” and not a man after “God’s head”.
Education in the writings of men (secular and religious) will not necessarily make you closer to God but it may very well drive you away from God. Many “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools…”(Romans 1:20-22).
Above all things, salvation and service to God are personal matters. The salvation of your soul and how you serve Him are One-on-one, between God and you alone: Entre Dios y sólo a ti. No man is to have dominion over another man’s soul or be his Judge. The reason for these things are plain: all men are sinners and in the same boat before the Eternal God. In the course of living everyone must make “judgments” but before we undertake to condemn a man for his religion, we had better do a double-take on our own.
Since all men are liars in one way or another, and put on their pants just like all others do, one leg at a time, we must be very careful before swallowing any man’s words—hook, line and sinker. Absolute Truth resides in one place on this earth: the Bible. When men (liars as we are by nature) tell us what God means in the Bible, this is where it hits the fan. Red flashing lights should go on and “PROCEED WITH CAUTION” signs begin to blink.
“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:20 KJV)
A simple story about spiritual fruitfulness: Bill and Joe, friends for many years, attended a gospel meeting out of curiosity. The preacher quoted the Bible and made a powerful but clear gospel message. Declaring that all men are sinners and that the wages of sin is death, the preacher said Christ came into the world to pay the penalty of sin, died on the cross, and that “Whosoever” trusted His finished work on the cross for salvation, would have everlasting life. Both men, realizing they had sinned and were sinners under the wrath of God, believed on The Lord Jesus Christ that night.
Bill and Joe began to study the Bible and rejoiced in all the blessings, peace with God, and joy they had. Joe began to study under a system called “dispensationalism” and listened, almost exclusively, to only a small group who referred to themselves as “Bereans” and claimed to “rightly divide” the Bible. Bill also listened to the dispensational views and saw some value in understanding but noticed the studies left a few critical questions unanswered. Their close fellowship began to fade as Joe became more and more involved in what Bill saw as Joe “splitting hairs” and making “mountains out of molehills”.
Joe finally declared that if Bill did not deny water baptism and believe the body of Christ (the Church) began with Paul, he would not have any more fellowship with him. He demanded many other “doctrines” such as: the Bible order of books was wrong, the New Testament was not Matthew through Revelation, water baptism was totally Jewish tradition, the grace of God came with Paul’s revelation, the body of Christ began after Paul got that revelation, those who believed Paul’s doctrines had a “high calling” and would be caught out before the rest of the “low calling” believers, etc.,,etc.
Bill tried to reason with Joe that these matters were not more important than their fellowship as members in the body of Christ. Both of them believed on Christ and salvation by grace, plus nothing and minus nothing. Bill did not believe water baptism saved or had any power to make a person a better Christian; he believed it was a sImple illustration or identification with the gospel message of the believer’s union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. He reasoned that Christ did not intend that they become virtual enemies over these lesser matters, but all of his pleas went unneeded by Joe.
Joe went on to become a pastor of a dispensational church that had split from another dispensational church across town–not because they baptized converts–both groups denied that. The church split because some believed the Lord’s Supper should be observed, while the splinter members did not. When Joe tore down his church sign and put “Berean Fellowship” removing the old traditional words “Calvary Church”, (because “Calvary” was not found in Paul’s letters) Bill tried again to reason with Joe that many words were not found in Paul’s letters but that did not mean Paul denied them. When Bill mentioned that Paul established many churches and even addressed his letters to them, Joe insisted that the word “church” had been ruined by old traditionalism and was no longer of any value. When Bill asked Joe if he was going to stop meeting in a building, throw out the “pews” “pulpit” and of course change or drop his “Sunday School” “morning Worship service” at 11-12 AM, and begin meeting only in houses, Joe was strangely silent.
The illustration is a real one except the names. Can any saved and reasonable Christian believe that Joe’s fanaticism is pleasing to God? Do you really believe that God sent His Son to the cross, saved Paul and gave His apostleship to bring about such “fruit”?
(to be continued….)
Recently, a snake handler (a “Reverend” of Kentucky) like many others before him, bit the dust after a snake bit him. Finding the verse in the Bible that mentions several Kingdom signs, including “taking up serpents” without any harm, these preachers walk by fate instead of faith and fail the test of believing the word of God–rightly divided. While they kill themselves, they also give many people cause to ridicule the Bible and Christ.
Let’s be clear: the Bible covers different ages and each of these ages or economies (dispensations) have significant differences as to what God wants done. God never changes in His attributes: Holiness, Righteousness, Justice; God is the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8) but He does change His dealings with men.
In Leviticus Israel was told, under the Law, to offer animal sacrifices for forgiveness of sins. In this present age of Grace any man who trusts an animal sacrifice for forgiveness of sins is ignorant of the Bible and what God says to him today. Christ offered Himself on the cross once for all and for the sins of all over 2,000 years ago and set aside all animal sacrifices. Any man who follows Leviticus today and ignores what Romans 5 says about sin will have no forgiveness.
The Bible gives the rule for understanding and obedience to God: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15). We are not to add to the word of God nor are we to subtract its words. We are not to DO EVERYTHING the Bible says; We are to “rightly divide” the Bible and compare the things that differ. Everything in the Bible is NOT TO US but all of it is FOR OUR LEARNING.
Noah built an ark to escape judgment by water on earth; the next judgment on earth is by fire. A Noah’s ark of gopher wood will not save men in the coming judgment by fire. The command to keep the Sabbath Day (7th day of the week under the Law) by not working or even building a fire to cook food was given to the nation of Israel; men who are woefully ignorant of God’s word claim to keep it today, while ignoring what Israel was told not to do on that day–they even miss the whole Sabbath observance which includes the Land Sabbath every seventh year and the Sabbath of Sabbaths every seven times seven years!
God tells us today to let no man judge you in respect of sabbath days (Colossians 2:16). Any man who believes that keeping a sabbath is essential to pleasing God, does not know what time it is! The list goes on and on revealing a gross ignorance and misunderstanding by millions of what the word of God actually says to us today.
To find a verse in the Bible, regardless of to whom it is spoken, and then make it your denominational law, is a sure way to make a fool of yourself, give rise to mockery of the word of God, and put many souls in confusion to their eternal peril.
God promises the nation of Israel a future Kingdom of peace on earth. In this Kingdom on earth there will be no dangers from wild beasts, poisoned foods, tainted medicines, cancer and even false prophets and ignorant preachers. There will be no wars and no weapons of war. In short, God will do by His power what the United Nations has most ineffectively tried to do for decades. The Kingdom will be a Theocracy; Jesus Christ will rule the whole earth as King of Kings from His throne in the city of Jerusalem.
The gross errors of religion and its useless power during this present age is a result of men ripping Bible verses out of context and trying to be what they are not and trying to do what they can not do and should not do.
J. D., Edinburgh. “Will you please explain the difference between ‘the Gospel of the Kingdom’ and ‘the Gospel of the grace of God’ ?”
(This is an excellent article from 1897 on the difference between these two gospels. However, I have taken the liberty to edit some remarks which are not related to the issue. –Dave Reese )
“There are some who maintain that there can be only one Gospel. Such forget that the word Gospel means good news, and that news may be of various kinds, though it may concern the same person.
The difference between the good news concerning the Kingdom and the good news concerning the Grace of God may be briefly stated thus:In the Gospel of the Kingdom the Lord Jesus is proclaimed as the seed of David, the Man raised up and Anointed by God to reign over the people of Israel and over the Gentiles (Rom. xv. 12).
In the Gospel of the Grace of God, the Lord Jesus is declared to be the Son of God, the Man in whom God came down to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, that sinful men might be justified and sanctified, made fit for the presence of the glory of God (Col. i. 12).
The former was preached to the Jews and in association with Jerusalem. The latter is the present testimony of God among the Gentiles while Jerusalem is trodden down of the Gentiles.
Jesus was born into the world, King of the Jews (Matt. ii. 2), to reign over the house of Jacob (Luke i. 33). The kingdom which John the Baptist proclaimed as at hand was the kingdom foretold by Daniel the prophet (chap. ii. 44) : “The God of heaven shall set up a kingdom.” This kingdom is the literal and yet future reign of Christ over the earth when He “shall sit upon the throne of His glory” (Matt. xxv. 31), as “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. xix. 16)—the time commonly spoken of as the Millennium.
The kingdom, which is the subject of the Old Testament prophets (Acts iii. 24), was proclaimed to the Jews ; by John the Baptist, by the Lord Jesus, by the twelve apostles, from Matt. iii. 2 into Acts.
The rulers of the Jews, those responsible for the nation rejected the testimony in all its phases ; they crucified the Lord Jesus, and persecuted His apostles. Consequently as a nation they were cast out (though not “cast away forever”), Jerusalem was destroyed, and testimony to Christ Jesus as the King, as an official testimony from God was ended.
There is no proclamation to the world of Christ as King, with Divine authority and power while the people of Israel are not a nation. Through the fall of Israel “salvation is come unto the Gentiles” (Rom. xi. 11), and the grace of God is manifested to those who were “without God in the world” (Eph. ii. 12). This ministry of grace was not committed to the twelve apostles, whom the Lord sent to preach the kingdom (Acts i. 3), but to Paul.
God revealed His Son to Paul “that he might preach Him among the Gentiles” (Gal. i. 15, 16). Immediately Paul preached Christ at Damascus “that He is the Son of God” (Acts ix. 20). Paul’s first apostolic mission as sent out by the Holy Ghost is recorded in Acts xiii. 4, and his discourse declares the first principles of Christianity ; the Sonship of Christ, forgiveness of sins and justification by faith, and the issue—eternal life (vers. 33, 39, 46).
“When these things were ended” (Acts xix. 21) Paul began to write his epistles to the Gentiles, in which is committed to us the order for the Church of God among the Gentiles in separation from Jerusalem, and “the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ” (Rom. xv. 19). Christ is declared to be the Head of a New Creation and the Head of the Church which is His Body. “The Mystery hidden from ages and generations.”
The Gospel committed to the Church among the Gentiles is concerning “Christ no more known after the flesh,” i.e., as the seed of David and as the King of Israel (2 Cor. v. 16), but as a Divine Person (ver. 19)— “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself,” and as the Sin- offering for us (sinners). “For God hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin : that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (ver. 21). This is the Gospel of the Grace of God ; to be preached to Jew and Gentile alike as lost sinners while Jerusalem is desolate.
When 1 Thess. iv. 16, 17 is fulfilled ; when the Jews are restored to their land and are again become a nation, then the Gospel of the Kingdom will again be preached by a Jewish ministry, a revived Apostleship, according to Matt. xxiv. 14 ; xviii. 19, 20 ; and Rev. xiv. 6. It will be the proclamation to the nations that God is about to deliver His people Israel, according to Dan. xii. 1-3, to set His King upon His holy hill of Zion and to execute judgment upon His enemies (Psa. ii. 6-12).
This immediately precedes “the Day of the Lord,” the subject of the prophecy of Joel, and the complete fulfillment of what began on the day of Pentecost (Acts ii.), but was not completed because the nation did not obey the call to repentance.”