Sunday, June 29, 2014

When Did the Church Begin by Brother Mark Phillips







From the Acts 28 blog of Brother Mark Phillips, Appear In Glory, June 26, 2014:


When did the Church begin?
There are three main views as to when the Church of which Christ is head
began. Probably over 95 percent of believers are confused on this issue, and fail to rightly divide the Scripture to determine what things belong to Israel and what things belong to the Church in our age. That 95 percent fails to see that Acts 2 did not begin the Church today, but was prophecy taking place for the Jewish believers called the Church of God in the book of Acts.
The second group of believers try to see the difference in Paul's messages to the Kingdom Church of God and the Church today. Most of these believers believe the Church today started around Acts 9-13. They believe that throughout the book of Acts, Paul moved gradually away from the Gospel for the earthly Kingdom Church of a God and finally preached only to the Gentiles. The following is a general article that outlines their belief as to when the Church for our age began. Unfortunately, they fail to see that all through the entire book of Acts, Paul's hope was entirely in line with the earthly hope of the Jewish kingdom Church. One can read in Acts many times throughout Acts, in Paul's very own words, stating how his hope was of his father Abraham. It was not until Paul's last effort to get through to the Jewish leaders to accept their Messiah, that they refused to believe and God cut them off calling them "not my people " in Acts 28:28.

It was not until after Israel was cut off from God for the time being, in Acts 28:28, that God revealed to Paul in Prison about a new Creation, the Church which Jesus is the head. Finally One New Man, where both Gentile and Jewish believers are equal in stature. We finally read about this mystery that was finally revealed to Paul for the first time in history. It was a secret hid in the mind of a God and not revealed in the Old Testament or in prophecy about God's church for our age. Our Church age did not begin until after Acts 28:28.
When Did the Church of the One Body Begin?
We believe the passage in Acts 28:28-31 is when the Apostle Paul declares to the Jewish leadership that the final opportunity for their acceptance of Jesus as Christ is over. From that point on the message for the plan of salvation is now authorized to be sent from the Gentiles, apart from Israel. Prior to this point in scripture, salvation was always either through or with the Jew. At this point the nation of Israel has been put on hold but will be still receive the promises and blessings made to them through Abraham in the future (when Elijah restores the revealed plan of God). However, for the first time in scripture, Paul declares that whosoever will accept Christ, they become a member of the body of Christ where Christ is the head. This is now the beginning of the church which is of His body which has its own calling, blessings, and inheritance separate from Israel. To explain this “hidden plan”, Paul then begins to write the final 7 books in scripture, chronologically (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Titus, Philemon, 1 and 2 Timothy.) The reason we describe this calling as the hidden purpose is that it was hidden in God, before the foundation of the world and not revealed until Paul was told to do so in Ephesians 3:9. The primary name given to us by the Apostle Paul for the special body of truth during this timeframe is called “The Mystery” (Ephesians 3:9, Colossians 1:25-26) and it is our calling for today. There are several positions in Christendom on when the Church of the One Body began. Those would be in Acts 2, Acts 9, Acts 13, and Acts 28. We obviously claim it was after the announcement Paul made in Acts 28:28."
Thank you, Brother Mark, for that easy-to-understand comparison!

32 comments:

Brother Mark said...

Here is an explanation clearly explaining how blind certain believers are to clear Scripure as to when the Church which Jesus is the Head began, Post - Acts and not before when Paul's hope was then in line with Isreal and the Fathers and Abraham. Was in line then with the Jewsish hope and prophecy for the soon coming Kingdom of God on earth.
https://rightdivision.com/media-room/lessons/mid-acts-church-gospel-part-2

Deborah Collins said...

Thanks for the link, Bro. Mark! We can only show people the truth and hope they'll put aside their church teachings and preconceptions and consider it!

Deborah

Hoss Cartwright said...

Hello again Mrs. Collins!

Hmm. I have noticed that most Acts 28 works say "when did the church that has Christ as the Head start?" (emphasis on Christ as Head of the body)

Is that worded like that on purpose or is it just a coincidence? Because I know that some Acts 28 teachers will say that the body of Christ in Acts did not have Christ as the Head.

I am not sure I believe that Christ has bodies that He is not the Head of. For example, if I am "the body of Christ" (1 Cor. 12:27) and a "member of Christ" (1 Cor. 6:15) who would be my head? I would guess Christ would be the Head. You?

In Acts they are the members of Christ...

1 Corinthians 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.

They are the body of Christ by partaking of His death ("one bread" is Christ on the cross(also see Romans 6:3-4, same as Colossians 2:12)......

1 Corinthians 10:17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

And it appears I was right, these "members of Christ" have Christ as their Head.....

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

Then we have the plain statements from Paul that Christ is one body with many members and that the Holy Spirit baptized these members into Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:
[12] For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
[13] For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

[27] Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Just a few reasons while the one body with Christ as the Head that puts people in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection started before Acts 28. There is only one of those (1 Corinthians 12:12, Ephesians 4:4)

In Christ
--Eli "Hoss" Caldwell

P.S. Yes, I know 1 Corinthians 10:17 is in the context of taking the Lord's supper.

Deborah Collins said...

Thanks for your comments, Hoss! Although the body of Christ in the Acts period and the "church, which is his body" in the post-Acts period have some similarities, the fact remains that in Acts the focus is on the fulfillment of Israel's prophetic program while post-Acts, Israel is a non-entity and a heavenly fulfillment is in view. The Acts body enjoys spiritual sign gifts; the post-Acts church which is his body needs no visible proofs of its heavenly position as the one new man.

Any way you slice it, that's two different things.

Deborah

Hoss Cartwright said...

You said "Although the body of Christ in the Acts period", but is there any other body? 1 Corinthians 12:12 and Ephesians 4:4 both say that there is only one body.

You stated "the "church, which is his body" in the post-Acts period have some similarities, the fact remains that in Acts the focus is on the fulfillment of Israel's prophetic program while post-Acts, Israel is a non-entity and a heavenly fulfillment is in view."

Everything about the body of Christ in both pre and post Acts 28 epistles are the same. Both pre and post Acts members have been baptized by the Spirit into Christ (His death, burial, and resurrection). It is the same body, I think it would make more sense to believe that the body of Christ started before Acts 28 but changed programs.

The "bodies" cannot be different because there is only one (1 Corinthians 12:12, Ephesians 4:4). That isn't Acts 2, 9, 13, or 28 teaching, that's just a Biblical fact. But, I suppose you could make the argument that perhaps the body of Christ during Acts had a strictly earthly hope.

Do you agree with that? Thanks! --Hoss

Brother Mark said...

Body of Christ

Now, let us consider the things which differ about our subject matter: the corporate body of Christ from within the Mystery as opposed to the body of Christ in the Acts Period ( a time when the New Covenant was offered to Israel). We make a major point of the distinctions, because to treat these two as synonymous compounds the already existing error.

Our comments on the corporate body, along with the scriptures, Eph. 4:14-16; Col. 3:11, declare and demonstrate an equality not found in the descriptions of the body in I Cor. 12. When you read from the prophets concerning the fulfillment of that body, you will discover that the Gentiles are actually second-class citizens (humanly speaking), even though they seem to be satisfied (Isaiah Chapters 60 and 61, Jer. 31:31-37). Whereas, the members of the corporate body are already exalted to the place where Christ is now seated: far above all principalities and powers, etc. (Eph. 1:20-23; 2:6,etc).

Moreover, in the body of the New Covenant, its head has eyes and ears in its membership. In the corporate body, Christ, the Head, is ALL -- period! When you think about it, the most outstanding vision of the New Covenant body is in the Holy City New Jerusalem (Rev. 21 and 22). Please observe, even here the Gentile must come into that city through one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Whereas in the corporate body, only ONE WAY, through CHRIST, into blessing is ever even hinted! (I Tim. 2:5)

Lastly -- Fruit is Fruit -- but you should never confuse apples with some other fruit. Hence, it is written: "where there is no vision, the people perish" (Prov. 29:18)! It is therefore required to rightly divide (cut) the Word of God!

Pray about it!

Hoss Cartwright said...

Thanks brother Mark!

Mr. Kelson pointed out the eyes and ears in 1 Corinthians 11 to me, but after much prayer and study I found that Paul is likening the body of Christ to the physical human body. That each member has a different job, but are still the same body. Nobody was literally an eye ball I don't think, LOL.

Mr. Kelson also gave me the point about the Gentiles being second-class. So I studied that out heavily and found that God was "diminishing Israel", that they had "fall[en]", and "blinded". But then I saw that even though they were fallen and being diminished, that God has a "remnant according to grace" that God wanted Paul to reach. (Romans 11)

So I then realized that that is why the Gentiles were told to not offend the Jews with what they ate (Rom. 14, 1 Cor. 9), and that is why Paul went to the Jew first (Rom. 1:16), not because they were second class but because God wanted the elect remnant saved.

This belief was affirmed by these verses on the Gentiles standing.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

1 Thessalonians 2:
[14] For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
[15] 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:
[16] *Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost*.

From Bible study and prayer I can't believe that the Gentiles were second class but only that God was specifically trying to reach an elect remnant of Israel. (and God used the Gentiles to provoke them to jealousy, Rom. 11:11, 14)

Do you think that this conclusion is wrong? How would that interfere with the body of Christ in Acts being different from the post-Acts body of Christ? With there only being "one body" I would think that this would effect it (1 Cor. 12:12, Eph. 4:4)

Thanks again brother! --Eli "Hoss" Caldwell

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, Eli!

You wrote, "I think it would make more sense to believe that the body of Christ started before Acts 28 but changed programs."

If that turns out to be the way God did it, I have no problem with that idea. I do like the fact that you seem to see the program change occurring at Acts 28, which is undeniably true.

Thanks for writing,
Deborah

Brother Mark said...

If one cannot see things that differ in the Acts epistles and in Eph and Col, and one tries to drag things that belong in Eph back to Acts, confusion reigns . Signs and miracles were to prove to the nation of Israel that the Messiah had come. Clearly they rejected these sights and their a Messiah and we're cut off temporarily in Acts 28:28. There are clear differences in the church which is His body and the body in Cor.

Rom 15:17-19I have, then, a boast in Christ Jesus, in that which is toward God." 18 For I am not daring to speak any of what Christ does not effect through me for the obedience of the nations, in word and work,
19 (in the power of signs and miracles,) ........NOT FOR TODAY
in the power of God's spirit, so that, from Jerusalem and around unto Illyricum, I have completed the evangel of the Christ."

Gal 3:27
27 For whoever are baptized into Christ, put on Christ, 28 in Whom there is no Jew nor yet Greek, there is no slave nor yet free, there is no male and female, for you all are one in Christ Jesus." 29 Now if you are Christ's, consequently you are of Abraham's seed, enjoyers of the allotment according to the promise." AN EARTHLY promise. Ours is Heavenly.


I Cor 12:
" 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members of a part, 28 whom also God, indeed, placed in the ecclesia, first, apostles, second, prophets, third, teachers, thereupon (powers, )
(thereupon graces of healing, ). Not for the church which is His body today ....these things are a PAST AWAY .....!
supports, pilotage, species of languages."

Acts 28 does not believe all the letters of Paul are about the church which is His Body and thus MUST be rightly divided.
Acts 28 believes the MAs brethren confuse dispensational truths by dragging the later ones back into the Acts period.
This is the very basis of the Mid-Acts accusation that Acts 28 believes in two bodies.
By wrongly dividing the Word of Truth;
dragging later dispensational truth back into the Acts period,
MAs has created a set of dispensational conflicts.
These they need to explain away and many of their followers are less than convinced by their length explanations and their isolated use of Scripture. Wrath to the uttermost of 1Thess.2:16 is a classic example of Mid-Acts isolated eisogesis. They believe this proves Israel was nationally cast aside early in Acts whereas the context of Thessalonians proves otherwise.

http://bibleunderstanding.com/Two%20Bodies.pdf

Hoss Cartwright said...

I see how Acts 28 advocates get some of their teaching on Paul having the kingdom program in view, but I see it as an impossibility that the body of Christ (with Christ as the head) started AFTER Acts 28 when it is plainly stated that it was around DURING Acts (1 Cor. 6:15, 10:17, 11:3, 12:12-27).

Though I see a few reasons to consider that maybe the kingdom program was in view from Acts 9-28, I just can't go that far.

Paul said in Ephesians 6:19-20 and Colossians 4:3 that the "mystery of the gospel" (Eph. 3:1-9) is the reason he is in bonds. Would that not be an impossibility if Christ had not yet revealed it to him when he was put in bonds in Acts 22-28 as the Acts 28 position says? Supported by Paul's clear statement about him preaching the mystery in Romans 16:25-26. How could Paul be in bonds for a program that was not yet revealed to him?

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:17 that Christ sent him NOT to baptize. The kingdom program required a baptized nation of priests (Matt. 28:19, Mark 16:15-16, 1 Pet. 3:21, Heb. 10:22, Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3, Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, Acts 22:16, Ezk. 36:24-26, Isa. 52:15, Rev. 5:10, Rev. 20:6, 1 Pet. 2:5-9, John 3:25-26, Num. 8:6-7). It can't be the same program because water baptism was a big part of the kingdom commission and was apparently a requirement, but Paul said he was sent not to baptize and he didn't even baptize all his converts.

Those are just a few strong points on why I believe that Paul preached the mystery before Acts 28.

Oh, and I saw the pictures of you and Mr. Louhgrin. Y'all looked happy. He's a really friendly guy, thanks for putting us in correspondence.

--Bro. Eli "Hoss" Caldwell

Hoss Cartwright said...

Yes, I am familiar with the Acts 28 positions opinion on the sign gifts and Galatians 3-4.

When I know the body of Christ with Christ as the head started in Acts and that Paul said he was preaching the mystery (the reason he got in bonds) those things do not bother me.

See these posts I did on brother Kelson's and my correspondence.

HOSS VS BRIAN KELSON OF ACTS 28.NET (1 COR. 13:8-12)
http://av1611studyblog.blogspot.com/2014/06/hoss-vs-brian-kelson-of-acts-28net-1.html

HOSS VS BRIAN KELSON OF ACTS 28.NET (IS GALATIANS 3:28 THE BOC)
http://av1611studyblog.blogspot.com/2014/06/hoss-vs-brian-kelson-of-acts-28net-is.html

Acts 28 is notorious for taking scripture out of context, particularly in Galatians. Then there is the gross misinterpretation of Romans 11 and 1 Corinthians 13.

Paul said in Ephesians 6:19-20 and Colossians 4:3 that the "mystery of the gospel" (Eph. 3:1-9) is the reason he is in bonds. Would that not be an impossibility if Christ had not yet revealed it to him when he was put in bonds in Acts 22-28 as the Acts 28 position says? Supported by Paul's clear statement about him preaching the mystery in Romans 16:25-26. How could Paul be in bonds for a program that was not yet revealed to him?

I have listened to a good bit of brother Kelson's material about "two bodies".

ACTS: A body of Christ that has members in it that have been baptized into Christ by the Spirit and have Christ as the head. (1 Cor. 6:15, 10:17, 11:3, 12:12-27)

POST ACTS 28: A body of Christ with Christ as the head and have been baptized into Christ by God. (Eph. 4:1-6, 3:1-9, Col. 2:12)

1+1=2 (I think) LOL

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


Hoss Cartwright said...

Yes, I am familiar with the Acts 28 positions opinion on the sign gifts and Galatians 3-4.

When I know the body of Christ with Christ as the head started in Acts and that Paul said he was preaching the mystery (the reason he got in bonds) those things do not bother me.

See these posts I did on brother Kelson's and my correspondence.

HOSS VS BRIAN KELSON OF ACTS 28.NET (1 COR. 13:8-12)
http://av1611studyblog.blogspot.com/2014/06/hoss-vs-brian-kelson-of-acts-28net-1.html

HOSS VS BRIAN KELSON OF ACTS 28.NET (IS GALATIANS 3:28 THE BOC)
http://av1611studyblog.blogspot.com/2014/06/hoss-vs-brian-kelson-of-acts-28net-is.html

Acts 28 is notorious for taking scripture out of context, particularly in Galatians. Then there is the gross misinterpretation of Romans 11 and 1 Corinthians 13.

Paul said in Ephesians 6:19-20 and Colossians 4:3 that the "mystery of the gospel" (Eph. 3:1-9) is the reason he is in bonds. Would that not be an impossibility if Christ had not yet revealed it to him when he was put in bonds in Acts 22-28 as the Acts 28 position says? Supported by Paul's clear statement about him preaching the mystery in Romans 16:25-26. How could Paul be in bonds for a program that was not yet revealed to him?

I have listened to a good bit of brother Kelson's material about "two bodies".

ACTS: A body of Christ that has members in it that have been baptized into Christ by the Spirit and have Christ as the head. (1 Cor. 6:15, 10:17, 11:3, 12:12-27)

POST ACTS 28: A body of Christ with Christ as the head and have been baptized into Christ by God. (Eph. 4:1-6, 3:1-9, Col. 2:12)

1+1=2 (I think) LOL

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Brother Mark said...

Everything about the church which Jesus is head today, was a secret hid in the mind of a God since before the foundation of the eons. Every thing about the body in Acts was prophesy and written about in the OT. The Body you think is the same is not. Even Satan did not know the secret hid in God about the one New Man after Acts. It was first revealed to Paul in prison after Israel was set aside . I judge no man if He cannot recognize the church which Jesus is head or if he or she is ashamed of Paul's prison epistles that reveal our church age. Either God has caused us to see it now or see it at the Dias. In either case the truth will be revealed. Some will be made manifest with Christ in Glory, many will be ashamed. Amen

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, Eli (Hoss),

There was no difference between the Jew and Gentile believers as regards salvation by grace during the Acts period, but there was a difference as regards which had the preeminence ("to the Jew first") and whose olive tree it was that branches were allowed to remain or be broken off and wild (Gentile) branches graffed into (and possibly cut off also. (Romans 11:23-24) After Acts 28, there's no olive tree at all, but "one new man," of which Christ is the Head.

Deborah Collins said...

Hoss, If Paul knew Israel's prophetic clock had stopped and a mystery program begun from the time of his conversion in Acts 9, how could he write in Acts 13:40, "Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets," followed by v. 41 where he quotes, Habbakuk 1:5, "Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish; for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you." If you go to the OT passage, you see the warning concerns the raising up of the Northern army during the prophesied time of tribulation. If a new mystery dispensation had now begun, why would Paul threaten the Jews with the fulfillment of OT prophecy in their lifetime?

Deborah

Hoss Cartwright said...

PART 1

That's exactly what I said. Jew and Gentile were in equal standing BUT because God was calling out a remnant from the blinded Israel Paul went to the Jew first. How does that effect anything? Paul was purposefully going to the Jew first to get out the elect remnant.

What are you trying to say about the Gentiles being grafted in, but possibly cutoff?

The context of Romans 11 is talking to Jews (nationally) and Gentiles (nationally) and the subject is "riches" and blessings/fatness from God.

[12] Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?
[17] And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

Those who are broken off from God's goodness and blessing was due to unbelief (rejected God) which was Israel and so now His goodness has gone to the Gentile nations because they are standing by faith (received God).

[20] Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
[21] For if God spared not the natural branches *(for unbelief)*, take heed lest he also spare not thee *(for unbelief)*.
[22] Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity *(because of unbelief)*; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness *(keep receiving God and standing in faith)*: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off *(for unbelief)*.


That is the only thing the passage could be saying, for the saved Gentiles standing by faith do not have to work for salvation (Romans 3-5) and they have eternal security (Romans 8:31-39). How could it be saying anything else? There is nothing about saved Gentiles being cutoff from Israel's program or anything of the sort.

And history has proven the passage to be true. The Gentile nations that received God and as a whole served God got blessed by God and took part in blessings (God gave us a perfect Bible in the universal language of Gentiles) and those who did not accept God have not been as blessed (look at Africa and Asia). But now, for example, America has gotten high minded and has not continued in the goodness of God and the "rapture" (for lack of a better word) is clearly going to be soon. See 2 Timothy 3.

Especially considering, "Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in" is prominent today. People are claiming to have replaced Israel, they have claimed themselves as the bride of the Lamb, spiritual Israel, etc.

The olive tree has nothing to do with the "one new man", the "one new man" is the body of Christ that clearly and irrefutably started during Acts.


Also note that Paul says that the mystery of the gospel (Eph. 3:1-9) is why he is in bonds in the prison epistles.

Ephesians 6:
[19] And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known *the mystery of the gospel*,
[20] *For which I am an ambassador in bonds*: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Colossians 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak *the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds*:

Paul was put in bonds in Acts 22, how could he be in bonds for a mystery that was not yet revealed to him as the Acts 28 position suggests? I have irrefutably ;) proved that the spiritual body of Christ (with Him as the head) existed during Acts. I also just gave plain statements by Paul saying that the mystery is the reason he is in bonds, which was DURING Acts. What more proof do you need? Do y'all not think that Paul was in bonds for the mystery of the gospel? (Eph. 3:1-9)

Hoss Cartwright said...

PART 2

Also notice that the Colossians got their hope the same time they got the gospel back during Acts.

Colossians 1:
[5] For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof *ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel*;
[6] Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

They got the gospel during Acts which is when they their hope.

Notice none of what I have given you is MAD opinion or reading Ephesians/Colossians truth back into Acts. I have plainly proved FROM the Acts epistles that they were the body of Christ with Christ as their head. I just showed you in PAUL'S OWN WORDS that the reason he was in bonds was because of the mystery of the gospel. None of that is MAD opinion, is that not just what the Bible says?

So yeah, MAD right division of the KJB is correct. ;)

Smart alecky as usual,
--bro. Eli

Deborah Collins said...

Hey there, Smart Aleck, LOL! You definitely give it your best shot but the hope in Acts is definitely connected with Father Abraham and the earth so just picking verses here and there and trying to make them fit the MAD scenario will not cut it.

Re Romans 11 and the olive tree, if the wild olive branches were graffed in, they must be believers, right? They take the place of unbelieving Israelites who were broken off, so they can't be unbelievers too. You can't cut or break off something that wasn't in the tree in the first place! The warning that Gentiles might be "cut off" if they don't continue in God's goodness may simply be referring to the unprophesied invitation to the Gentile nations to share in Israel's earthly inheritance and blessings. That provoking role is what could have been withdrawn, cutting not-yet-believing Gentiles off from that invitation. This warning only makes sense in the context of Israel's prophetic promises, but not at all in a context of the revelation of the mystery hid in God and revealed to Paul post-Acts where salvation is offered apart from God's program with Israel.

Paul being in bonds for the mystery, "the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles," is in direct contrast to his "because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain" of Acts 28:20. Despite being physically imprisoned or free, Paul was held captive in the service of Christ according to God's will. It's telling that at the end of Acts, Paul was bound with a chain for the "hope of Israel," then after Israel is judicially let go, he is in bonds for the "mystery of Christ." Another clear indication that one dispensation had ended and a different one began.

Re the Colossians having heard of their [new] hope before in the word of the truth of the gospel [good news], they probably had heard of the revelation of the mystery previously hid in God at some point before actually receiving this letter, undoubtedly "of [from] Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ," who then turned around and "declared unto us [Paul & Co.] your love in the Spirit." I don't see any indication that Paul is referring back to the hope during the Acts period. He's talking about their new hope which they first heard about from Epaphras who reported back to Paul that they were cool with it.

MAD does read the "Ephesians" mystery back into the Acts letters of Paul and vice versa. Their premise is built on sand because they do not see that God was dealing with Israel, and the nations through Israel, during Acts while the kingdom was still on offer, but with the world apart from Israel following Acts 28.

Love,
Deborah

Hoss Cartwright said...

Part 1

Ah, prime example of Acts 28 positioners taking verses out of context. ;) Do you know what the "hope of Israel" is?

Paul has been talking about it and identifying since he was arrested in Acts 21-22.

Acts 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: **of the hope and resurrection of the dead** I am called in question.

Acts 24:
[14] But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
[15] And have **hope toward God**, which they themselves also allow, **that there shall be a resurrection of the dead**, both of the just and unjust.

Acts 25:
[18] Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed:
[19] But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, **which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive**.

Acts 26:
[6] And now I stand and am judged for the **hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:
[7] Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.
[8] Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead**?

Acts 28:20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.

The hope of Israel is the resurrection of the dead (Acts 2:27-31). That is the hope of Israel, but would you not agree that our hope is too the resurrection? (1 Corinthians 15:12-58, John 3:1-3, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

1 Peter 1:
[3] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively **hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead**,
[4] To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

I hate to be the one to tell you this Mrs. Collins, but that is the post Acts 28 hope as well. ;)

Philippians 3:
[9] And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
[10] That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
[11] If by any means I might attain unto **the resurrection of the dead**.

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, Eli,

The resurrection from the dead is indeed a hope for believers in every dispensation. Even Job, the earliest of all Bible books, declares:

19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

But Israel's hope in the resurrection was inextricably linked to the establishment of their kingdom on the earth so it was a package deal, so to speak. Our package deal concerns resurrection from the dead and a seat in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 2:6). Without a destination to which they and we will be resurrected, resurrection alone is not much of a hope now, is it?

Just as a side note, you cite Acts 21 as the place where Paul first identifies this hope of resurrection. Acts 21 also has Paul reiterating the four necessary things the Gentiles were asked to observe in order to not offend the Jews. Gentiles were to have a reverent attitude toward Israel in gratitude for the opportunity to share in their spiritual things and be granted a place in their coming kingdom. Paul expected the Gentiles to show that gratitude by sharing their money with the Jewish saints as well. This is just another indication that Israel's program was still given the preeminence although Gentiles had been invited to partake with them.

Acts 21 also has Paul observing a Jewish rite of purification, in contrast to the blotting out of ordinances of Colossians 2:14.

Acts 22:4 has Paul saying he "persecuted THIS WAY unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women." (Emphasis mine). He did not say anything about there being a new way according to the revelation of the mystery hid in God. He considered himself to be part of THIS WAY that he had persecuted.

There are many similarities between Israel's program and our mystery program as all believers hope for eternal life, and similar terms are used in both, but the fact remains that Paul came on the scene to be used by God to complete his offer to send Jesus Christ back to earth to establish their kingdom; and when that failed, to declare a secret formerly hid in God for us Gentiles.

Deborah

Hoss Cartwright said...

Part 2

I am not sure I understand your explanation of....

Ephesians 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

Ephesians 6:
[19] And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known *the mystery of the gospel*,
[20] *For which I am an ambassador in bonds*: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Colossians 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak *the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds*:

Paul was taken into custody back in Acts 22:21-22 because he included the Gentiles in God's plan. In Acts Paul was a prisoner for the Gentiles. The hope of the resurrection is everybody's hope, not just Israel's.

Paul said that the reason he was in bonds was the mystery of the gospel. Look in Acts 22:21, Paul was preaching that the Jew and Gentile are both fellowheirs, which is part of the mystery.

How could Paul getting a "new revelation" in Acts 28 change the reason he was in bonds in Acts 22? I personally don't think it could.

I am not sure I understand what your saying about Romans 11. The subject is God's blessing, i.e. the "fatness". Believing Israel had that blessing but then were broken off for their unbelief. Likewise for the Gentiles. If they become in unbelief God won't bless them.

You said "Re Romans 11 and the olive tree, if the wild olive branches were graffed in, they must be believers, right? They take the place of unbelieving Israelites who were broken off, so they can't be unbelievers too."

No. Romans 11:12 says that Israel's fall was the "riches of the world". Where in Romans 11 is Paul talking about individuals? Paul is talking about Jews nationally and Gentiles nationally the whole time, read it and see. The tree is God's "goodness" and "fatness" on the nations who stand by faith. If they become unbelievers they get broken off. The subject of the passage is not anybody's kingdom program. This blindness of Israel was a mystery (Rom. 11:25).

No nations are going to get cutoff from the "provoking" job. Unless the Bible lies, do you believe the Bible lies? Surely you don't believe the Bible lies, do you? Ok, now I'll tell you how it creates a lie.....;)

Romans 1:
[1] Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
[2] (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
[3] Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
[4] And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
[5] By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for **obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name**:
[6] Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

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**:

Paul is making the gospel known to ALL nations. None of them are going to get cutoff prematurely for not continuing in God's goodness. Paul was going to declare the gospel to all nations, just as he said he accomplished in Titus 2:11 and Colossians 1:6.

Hoss Cartwright said...

Part 3

MAD is not on a week foundation, but rather the strongest foundation.

MAD has Acts epistles that say Christ has a spiritual body of which he is the head. MAD has an Acts epistle that says Paul is preaching Jesus Christ according to the Revelation of the mystery.

Acts 28 positioners are forced to say, "Well that is not the same body of Christ and that isn't the same mystery".

You say, " Gentiles were to have a reverent attitude toward Israel in gratitude for the opportunity to share in their spiritual things and be granted a place in their coming kingdom. Paul expected the Gentiles to show that gratitude by sharing their money with the Jewish saints as well. This is just another indication that Israel's program was still given the preeminence although Gentiles had been invited to partake with them."

No offense, but you made all of that up. Paul told the Gentiles to not be an offense to the Jews because Paul was trying to reach the elect remnant of Israel (Romans 11:1-15). I have not seen you explanation anywhere in the Bible. Paul became as a Jew to reach them....

1 Corinthians 9:
[19] For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
[20] And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
[21] To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
[22] To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

Hoss Cartwright said...

Part 4

You say, " Our package deal concerns resurrection from the dead and a seat in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 2:6)."

We will not be resurrected to be seated in heaven. There is no verse in the Bible that says that directly. We are ALREADY seated in heaven IN CHRIST. When we get saved we become a member of Christ's body and get baptized into His death, burial, and are risen and seated with Him PRESENTLY. (Rom. 6:3-4, Col. 2:12, 1 Cor. 12:12-13, Eph. 4:5, Gal. 3:26-29)We are already there.

And all this stuff about the Acts believers being connected with Abraham and the earth is all confused nonsense.

Romans 4:
[11] And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
[12] And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
[13] For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
[14] For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
[15] Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
[16] Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
[17] (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

That does not say anything about the Gentiles getting the kingdom program, every connection that Paul makes between the Gentiles and Abraham is always by receiving righteoness by faith. Is that not true?

Also here is Galatians 3. The proof text of the Acts 28 position that the Acts converts were taking part in the kingdom program.

Galatians 3:
[6] Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
[7] Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
[8] And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
[9] So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

There it is in verse nine, the verse that MAD's are supposed to tremble at. Sadly most Acts 28 advocates never acknowledge what the blessing is--they try and make it out to be the land of Israel. Try again......


[10] For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
[11] But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
[12] And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
[13] Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
[14] That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

There it is in verse 14, the promise is receiving the Spirit by faith. Abraham is said to be the father of them which are of faith. That is always true. The justification by faith issue is always connected with Abraham because he is the main one in the OT that was said to receive righteousness by faith. He is the example to those justified by faith.

And then when it says we are Abraham's seed it is because we are "in Christ".

Hoss Cartwright said...

Part 5

On a side note, is there any verse that says we spend eternity floating around in heaven? I know we are said to be blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places, but I believe that is because we are Christ's body and that is where He (the head) is. Right now Christ's earthly kingdom is in heaven, (it descends out) and we are said to be "joint heirs with Christ". 1 Thessalonians 4:18 says "so shall we ever be with the Lord" and He will be reigning on earth.

Of course I realize you don't claim Romans or Thessalonians, but even so, you will have to say that the body spends eternity away from the head.

Meanwhile, by Acts 28 logic the hope of Ephesians is the hope of the OT.

Chapter 6:
[2] Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
[3] That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

There Paul is quoting an OT passage which has to do with Israel being blessed in their land.

Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Therefore the hope of Ephesians is an earthly hope and is not written to the body of Christ in the mystery age. ;)

And I realize that God's kingdom will extend beyond the earth, but some people believe that the body of Christ spends eternity floating around in "heavenlies" (not a Bible word) away from Christ. But we were baptized into Christ and we are seated where he is (Eph. 2:6).

You have read my post on that, but have you read this?

http://av1611studyblog.blogspot.com/2014/06/hoss-vs-brian-kelson-of-acts-28net-is.html

(against the Acts 28 position, not brother Kelson)

Thanks for responding,
--bro. Eli

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, Eli, Your zeal is impressive and your ability to split hairs is as well. I'm not saying I know all the answers, Eli. I'm learning this as I go along. I've been reading some material on the Gentiles possibly being cut off from Israel's "own olive tree," and I'm now convinced that it, of course, can never be about their salvation, but it can be about sharing in Israel's future blessings.

I still maintain that the hope of Israel was primarily their kingdom and the resurrection of the dead is a necessary component of that hope if they are to partake of that kingdom if they have died before it's a reality. Paul says in Acts 23:6, "I am a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called into question." It's kind of interesting that he doesn't say, "the hope OF the resurrection of the dead." Not sure if it means anything, but I'm of the mind that without a kingdom to be resurrected into, there's not much hope.

Deborah

Deborah Collins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deborah Collins said...

Eli has agreed to continue this discussion privately by email. Although he is adamant about the Mid Acts position and I am just as adamant about the Acts 28 divide, we honor each other as being saved by grace through faith In the Lord Jesus Christ and as such, brother and sister in him. Maranatha!

Deborah

Brother Mark said...

If we believe in the Sin of God, we are all believers. Oh how we all need to respect that. God will burn up all false beliefs for all believers and replace it with pure truth.

Brother Mark said...

Son of a God .I mean...how did I type that?

Deborah Collins said...

LOL, now I think you mean, "Son of God," not "Son of a God." right? Do you need a secretary, Brother Mark? Don't we all; don;t we all?

Deborah

BibleAmbassadors said...

It appears to me that nothing "began" in Acts 28 but that something "ended" then… God's program with Israel.

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, BibleAmbassadors, and thank you for your comment!

That's very true; nothing did begin at Acts 28 and Israel's program certainly did end. Paul received the revelation of the mystery at some point after Acts 28 and before he wrote his letter to the Ephesians that "one new man" destined to inherit heavenly places in Christ was now being formed by individual believers called out from the world's population and apart from the covenants God had with Israel.

I personally believe that the two years Paul spent in his hired house as mentioned at the end of Acts was a time spent proclaiming the earthly kingdom in order that the "fulness of the Gentiles be come in."

Thanks again,
Deborah