Friday, February 8, 2013

I AM A FORMER MID-ACTS DISPENSATIONALIST

My journey away from the Mid-Acts position began when a Mid-Acts Bible teacher I deeply respect began insisting that "the mystery" gospel Paul preached can be found in the Old Testament and that Paul himself says so over and over.  With Ephesians 3:8-9 firmly in my mind, I set out to disprove what this teacher was saying, even though he had on his side Romans 16:25-26 ("by the scriptures of the prophets"), Acts 26:22 ("none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come"), and 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 ("according to the scriptures" - 2 x).   I turned to "Dr. Google" for some help finding the answer and the very first link that came up was to a site called BibleUnderstanding.com hosted by Brian Kelson.   To my complete surprise - and horror - the answer to my dilemma is answered completely and fully by the Acts 28 dispensational position!  I contacted Brian who graciously gifted me with a copy of his manuscript, "The Appearing of Christ - Exposing the Traditional Rapture;" and I began a wild ride into the truth about what Paul was really commissioned for and doing during the Acts period.   What I've learned from Brian Kelson (testimony), who did not conceive of this evidence by himself but was fortunate to have been introduced to it many years ago in Australia by a Bible expositor, Stuart Allen, is that the Mid Acts position for the beginning of the "church, Which is his body" (Ephesians 1:22-23) is based on a faulty premise; to wit, that when Paul was called and commissioned in Acts 9, that he received the revelation of the mystery (as it is revealed by him in his letter to the Ephesians) which he then began to preach to the Jew first and then Gentiles on an equal basis due to God's temporary setting aside of Israel's kingdom program following the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7.   Mid Acts, of course, recognizes the fact that Paul went to the Jew first and made known to them that the Lord Jesus Christ was their prophesied Messiah who shed his blood for sin, was buried and rose again according to prophecy; but Mid Acts does not agree that Paul was also preaching along with Peter and the twelve that if Israel nationally showed repentance toward God they would receive their kingdom promises at that time.

Mid Acts dispensational teaching has had to come up with explanations for those odd Jewish bumps and lumps, such as all those references to faithful Abraham as being now our "father" in Romans and Galatians, the sign gifts and miracles in Paul's churches (and their sudden cessation following the Acts period), the heavenly Jerusalem being "the mother of us all," and Paul's hundreds of allusions in his Acts period epistles and the Acts narrative to the fact that he was preaching things found in the Old Testament prophets.   There are 70 OT quotes in the letter to the Romans alone – and only 8 in Paul's post-Acts epistles (Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon).

For those who would rather listen than read, I highly recommend Brian's audio page and just begin listening to them from the top down.   If any readers can disprove or discredit the points being made, please feel free to comment.  Keep in mind that attempts to discredit "the messenger" have no bearing on the authority and authenticity of the message but only serve Satan's policy of evil against the truth of God's word.

I maintain a lasting gratitude to all of those wonderful Mid Acts believers who have taught me to recognize Paul as our apostle for this dispensation of the grace of God and the fellowship of that mystery which he preached to us Gentiles.  It's my prayer that my Mid Acts friends will delight in this further understanding of God's awesome outworking of his plan to redeem both the heavens and the earth with his people.   If my move to an Acts 28 position results in a break in fellowship with any other grace believer, it will not be at my instigation as I love and respect you all as fellow mystery saints who love his appearing; and I look forward to a long and eternal fellowship with you all.


21 comments:

Brian Kelson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian Kelson said...

Eight is the number of new beginnings, praise the Lord for your progress in right division, you have searched and you have found by His grace. I know this will encourage many midacts brethren who struggle with similar issues

Deborah Collins said...

Thank you, Brian!

What I'm learning is doing so much to bring me peace about God's word and that it really does make perfect sense when you believe the words on the pages.

I appreciate your and your wife, Deborah's, encouragement in my studies.

Deborah

MarkM said...

Well I don't know what to think yet. I've been reading the web site but my brain is just scrambled.

I have to work 12 hour days without a lot of free time so it may take me a while to get to the bottom of this.

Especially since I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Mark

Deborah Collins said...

Don't put yourself down, Mark! You have a desire to understand God's word so you're way ahead of the average pew-packing church-goer.

The Acts 28 position is actually simpler to understand than Mid-Acts as all you need to know is that Paul was working toward the same goal as the 12 during the Acts period: giving Israel the opportunity to repent toward God and receive their promised kingdom and also allowing "righteous Gentiles" to join the kingdom church of God. All the references to OT prophecy in these epistles needn't confuse us when we understand their use by Paul to remind those living at that time that God had promised the very things that were happening and was faithful to keep the rest of his promises to Israel.

Thank you for taking the time to consider these ideas!

Deborah

Yannis said...

Its with praise and honour in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ that I learned of your "seeing"the truth of the "mystery" and the Acts28 position.

It is only by His grace that He has chosen you "before the kataboli of the world" to be part of this exciting and revealing truth.

It is not a matter of salvation but rather a position of standing and worship as a Head of the church which is His body. When we are told that principalities and powers in the above heavens learn of the manifold wisdom of God by the Church which is His body, means just that, that He is to be worshiped as a Head (and not mixed up with old Jewish ways).

His plans are perfect and faultless, but the enemy has done such a damage to His Word, by depriving believers in "seeing" the truth, but at the end Christ will all be "all in all".

Remember you are not alone, you have many friends who pray for you and yours.

I thank the Lord that you have chosen to trek along with this truth.

In Him

John Kontos

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, John!

Thank you for writing! Your comment has made me glad I didn't cave in to my impulse last night to take this site off the internet. I did remove a few posts that "prove" the Pre-trib rapture, etc., and there will be more coming off as I go.

I'm very grateful to know there are more of us out there who will share and live this great truth. I'm also finding out that grace is grace and my Mid Acts brethren have not flown from me but most simply want to hear me out - which is good! We're all saved by grace through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Head, and we all acknowledge that Paul is the apostle to us Gentiles in this Gentile age of grace. (Only one Mid Acts called me a "Hairy Tick" but he was only kidding, LOL!)

Please keep in touch and feel to email me: deborah.kuzenski@gmail.com.

Looking toward his glorious appearing with you,
Deborah

Anonymous said...

"...glad I didn't cave in to my impulse last night to take this site off the internet..."

No, please don't ever do that! Believe it or not, there are some of us out here in Internet-Land watching your new Acts-28 travels with great interest! :)

First found your site maybe 2-3 years ago, & always thought you were such an expert at explaining Mid-Acts (sort of like a female Les Feldick. ;)

So I would stop by now & then & catch up on your latest articles. Not sure when I saw your new blog title the first time, but I was like, "WOW! What does all this mean?" lol.

No wonder Peter was scratching his head over Paul's letters, lol. Who knew there were 2 hopes in Paul's letters alone! (though, funny, I always KNEW Paul quoted extensively from the OT. I always LIKED that actually. But didn't make a connection that "If you're quoting OT, then the hope must be that of the OT!" Duh!)

Another great thing is how the Acts-28 position totally explains the whole "sign gifts" snag that has haunted Bible lovers for centuries. We knew they "ceased," but WHY if the early Gentile converts had them as well? Ah Ha! Because Israel was always given the "signs" & the "miraculous." So when THEY were set aside as a nation, no more "signs" for ANYBODY. :D Now that totally makes SENSE! Even Paul couldn't heal Timothy's stomach ache!

The only bummer is that Pre-Trib Rapture let-down. I haven't read up on it yet, but if what I've read so far makes sense, I'm sure the "bad news" about the PTR will, too. ;)

Keep the articles coming, & please throw in your thoughts along the way so we know what you're thinking about it all as you progress. :)

"Hairy Tick"? Tell them you're now a "Lyme" carrier:

L = Leaving
Y = Yisrael for
M = More of
E = Ephesians

:)

Be blessed!
/GP

Deborah Collins said...

Dear Anonymous! Thank you for writing and letting me know that someone somewhere is actually reading this blog and learning things from it, LOL! I know I haven't written much in my own words and it's mainly because I feel like I've gone back to primary school and I'm not sure I have anything original to share. I need to work on that so thanks for the encouragement. Your comment made enough good points for a guest article from you! I'd welcome one if you'd like to send one to me, BTW! You can stay "anonymous"...

Love that LYME carrier acronym! Just may have some business cards made up with that on 'em!

I don't know if you're in contact with Brian Kelson, but I recommend him to all seekers of right division truth! His site is Acts28.net.

Thanks again for the smiles your comments brought me!

Love in our Head Jesus Christ,
Deborah

Anonymous said...

PART 1:

Hi again Deborah, Glad the attempts at humor brought some smiles your way. I was in a silly goofy mood! :)

If you "...feel like you've gone back to primary school..." then I haven't even entered kindergarten! So I definitely could not write authoritatively re Acts-28 at this early stage, but thank you for the kind offer!

My introduction to "positional truths" was via a Myles Stanford article I stumbled upon in late 2005 (right before I was going to hand over 50 bucks to TV-Judaizers for a "talit" >> Jewish prayer shawl, thinking the Lord might "hear me better" if I was draped in a prayer shawl!) Then WHAMO! that most beautiful article by Myles Stanford came into my path, all about our POSITION IN CHRIST ALREADY! What an eye opener! (after being saved almost 30 years already at that point!) Then about six months later I found Les Feldick on TV & thought, Hmm, some of what he says sounds like what Myles Stanford says. Later, of course, I learned Myles was "Classic Pauline" vs. Mid-Acts/Les, but since Les was on TV I kept on with him (loved the chalkboard/classroom setting!) Online I would visit your site & the GraceAmbassadors site & a few others.

But as for Acts-28, I didn't know any specifics about it, never having looked into it, until the articles after your "makeover." I knew of Bullinger only from his book online re: Numbers in Scripture. But that was it (besides the fact the mainliners consider it all heresy, Acts 9-13-28; anything but Gospels+Acts-2 they consider heresy, etc.)

Those 2 points I previously mentioned (OT verses weaved through Paul's letters & the "sign gifts") were just off the top of my head as I was writing the comment. I'm not sure they are even "truly valid," but just things that popped into my head at that moment.

The "traditional view" as I was taught decades ago re "sign gifts" was that they "died off when the apostles died off." That made sense to me all these years. Yet while writing the comment, it came to me that they must have "died off" even BEFORE the apostles died off because Paul did not even attempt to heal Timothy's stomach troubles but merely suggested he drink some wine for it.

Paul could have sent Timothy a "healing hankie" (like the TV preachers STILL do, for a small "donation" of course, lol) as Paul had done back in Acts 19:11-12:

http://www.biblestudytools.com/kjv/acts/19.html
11. "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
12. "So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them."

So if Paul himself had possibly lost his "sign gifts" BEFORE he was killed, then MAYBE the "setting aside of Israel as a nation-whole" (& all "signs" & "miracles" long associated with God's dealings with Israel) in Acts-28 explains it! (?)

Now I'm thinking someone might say, "But John had the "gift" of VISIONS much later in Revelation, year 95-98!" So I don't know for sure. I haven't "tested" my "theories" against every Scripture. I've heard Les F. say that Revelation was probably written much earlier, circa 55 I think he said. Blue Letter Bible puts it at the traditional late 90's A.D., of course:
http://www.blueletterbible.org/study/pnt/pnt02.cfm

Con't... Google says only 4,096 characters allowed... grrr...

Anonymous said...

PART 2:

No I haven't yet communicated with Brian, but I do plan to order the audios eventually (easier to put them on a CD player than have to sit online for hours). I actually am more of a print person/reader than an audio person. My old brain wanders too much when I am just "listening" to something rather than "reading print." But I plan to give it a go just the same. Impossible NOT to consider it at this point (how NOT go forward when there may be much more to learn?!) It will be very interesting to "Meditate upon these [Acts 28] things..." (1 Tim. 4:15).

BTW, you Mid-Acts'ers & former Mid-Acts'ers always write the most beautiful "Complimentary [Scriptural] Closings" (which I just learned is also called a Valediction in business letters = "refers to a complimentary closing - a courteous, formulaic phrase preceding the writer's signature that expresses the writer's good will toward the recipient")!

So I will close with a combo of all the glorious positional truths...

6. WITH CHRIST... (Eph. 2:4-6)
5. SEATED
4. ASCENDED
3. RAISED
2. BURIED
1. CRUCIFIED

...compliments of the WithChrist.org site, his Intro page, gorgeous, I was ecstatic the first time I saw it, check it out... (even though later learning he is Classic Pauline/Acts-2):
http://withchrist.org/

Take care, Deborah! I'll be around again in future days! Thanks for the mutual encouragement!

/GP

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, GP/Anonymous!

Thanks for writing in again and telling us more about yourself and your journey to right division. The prayer shawl made me wince a little because it brought back memories of me driving around with Israeli flags in my back window and a sticker that said, "Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem"! I guess it makes sense that when you first get saved and don't know right division, you are confronted with a very Jewish book so you naturally think God approves of that stuff!

Sorry about the word limit on here!

I would love to use your testimony here on my grace testimony site, or better yet, get a longer one from you. It can also be posted with just initials or anonymously.

Did you see that I used your turn of phrase about Paul quoting from the OT in the article I just wrote? Thanks! I like that!

John wrote the Revelation way before Paul even completed the canon with 2 Timothy. Paul himself says this dispensation was given to him for the church which is his body "to fulfill the word of God" - or, complete (Col. 1:25). Your point about even Paul no longer being able to heal when the Acts period closed is a valid one.

I'm not sure that the CD's on Brian's site are the kind you can play in a CD player; I think they're the MP3 kind that you download to iTunes in your computer, etc. My son says that some CD players can play them but not all.

I do still encourage you to contact Brian and even get his phone number. He lives to teach this to people that are interested!

It's cool that you're seeing these truths on your own! I'm fond of telling people that you cannot read the olive tree analogy in Rom. 11 and have it make sense any other way but that the Gentiles spoken to have been grafted in to Israel's kingdom hope in order to stimulate their belief!

Write anytime, GP! I hope you'll send me your complete testimony at my email address (in sidebar of blog).

Love your valedictions!

Waiting for his appearing,
Deborah

Brother Mark said...

Many forms of mid-acts that claim rightly dividing....
http://appearinglorytimeline.blogspot.com/2015/02/advanced-rightly-divided-not.html

Daniel Appoh said...

Where does all of Paul's Acts epistles fit in Acts 28 dispensationalism (Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians and 1&2 Thessalonians)

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, Daniel and thanks for your question. Since Acts 28 dispensationalists recognize that the church, the body of Christ, began to be formed following the "revelation of the mystery" Paul writes about receiving in Ephesians, after Israel was let go in Acts 28, we apply Paul's post-Acts letters to this new church specifically. We appreciate the grace doctrine taught by Paul in his Acts period epistles because we are also saved by that grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone without works, because Christ paid the penalty for the sins of the whole world, just as those joining themselves to Israel's kingdom hopes were during the Acts period. But we keep in mind that the focus of Paul's epistles prior to Israel being let go was the purpose of getting Israel to repent and accept their Messiah and King, even if it took inviting Gentiles into that hope "early" to do it (Romans 11:11).

Does that answer your question?

Deborah

Daniel Appoh said...

But Paul teaches the rapture in 1 Corinthians 15 and 1&2 Thessalonians. And he teaches the revelation of the mystery in Romans, 1 Corinthians and Galatians

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, Daniel,

I would have to ask, to which specific verses are you referring?

Also, I would ask you, would you be kind enough to give me the exact references for where the revelation of the mystery is taught in Romans, 1 Corinthians, and Galatians?

Thank you, Daniel!

Deborah

Brian Kelson said...

Hi Daniel,
You have referred to Paul's letters prior to Acts 28, prior to Israel being nationally set aside. In these letters we have "none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come". And so, 1Cor.15, Thessalonians are about the Feast of Trumpets and Thessalonians is about Israel's Temple. The Mystery of Romans is not the mystery of Eph.3. The rapture is an earthly hope at which event Christ returns to the earth and those believers go up to meet Him as he returns. Our hope, given at the revelation of The Mystery previously hid in God and away from ages and generations after Acts 28, is the Appearing not the rapture. These are two different events relating to completely different companies. We pray you consider these very different things in Paul. Blessings, Brian

Deborah Collins said...

Thank you for helping our understanding on this subject, Brother Brian. Everything becomes so much clearer when you recognize that Paul's pre-Acts 28 epistles are built upon the offer of an earthly kingdom according to prophecy, but after Acts 28, you find no mention of those promises as something to look for in Paul's writings. This knowledge makes everything just fall into its place. Israel will yet receive her preeminence but not while God calls out his heavenly company from among the nations.

Deborah

Daniel Appoh said...

In all of Romans 3-8, Paul describes justification by faith in the death and resurrection of Christ, our old man being crucified and the body of Christ not being under the law. He mentions the gospel being the power of God unto salvation without works of the law.

And in Romans 16
25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

These are the doctrines of the revelation of the mystery which he had to communicate to the kingdom believers at the Jerusalem council. And he teaches these same things in all the Acts epistles.

Paul never ministered the kingdom gospel, not to Jews and certainly not to Gentiles. The kingdom gospel was the exact opposite of what Paul taught in the Acts epistles i.e. obedience to the law. That was the reason the Jerusalem council happened in the first place. And the conclusion was clear Galatians 2
7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

I really don't get the feasibility of Acts 28 doctrine when all of Paul's letters are examined.

Deborah Collins said...

Sorry for the delay, Daniel; I was out of town. Thank you for your comment.

To keep this short and to the point, I will just explain that the gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Christ was the only gospel preached following Christ's perfect atonement. The destinies of believers in Acts and later, the church, the body of Christ saved following the letting go of Israel in Acts 28, were distinctly different: an earthly kingdom up until Paul received the mystery revelation that followed their letting go when it became a heavenly destination for those later believers (including us). (There is more than one mystery revealed to Paul.)

Paul was specifically converted and commissioned to not only preach to the children of Israel that Jesus is their Messiah who will fulfill their promises, but also to reach out to Gentiles desiring to have a part in the coming kingdom. This was an unexpected development but Paul explains in Romans 11 that it was to provoke Israel unto jealousy (and light a fire under them, so to speak). Gentiles invited in were not required to follow Israel's law program - and neither were Jews except that they were allowed to keep their religious observances as they desired, but not for salvation which was forever after to be by grace through faith. The entire letters to the Romans and to the Galatians makes this clear.

Mid Acts fails to see this glorious fact that Christ's death and resurrection paid the sin debt for all and the law reigns no longer, but only grace. As Peter declared in Acts 15:11, "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they [Gentiles]."

Daniel, please don't rob Israel of the marvelous grace we so enjoy. It was and will be theirs as well.

Love in Christ our Lord,
Deborah