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!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Answers to Certain Arguments Against the Acts 28 Dispensational Boundary

Dispensational Frontier

by Charles Welch (

Dispensational FrontierThe Dispensational Frontier of Acts 28:23-31.  The Analogy of a Frontier.  It is but reasonable to expect that any system of doctrine or interpretation that differs from or challenges orthodoxy, will be subjected to a fair amount of criticism, and this should be welcomed, for if our pursuit be the TRUTH, the faults discovered even by an enemy should be acknowledged and the quest continued. We believe that many whose interest has been quickened, but who have received a setback by some of the specious arguments advanced against us, would value a careful and constructive presentation of the reasons why Acts 28 should be considered a dispensational boundary. This we hope to provide in the text below.
Supposing Acts 28 to be a "frontier," what should we reasonably expect to justify the claim? The word "frontier" is a geographical term denoting the extreme limits and boundary of a country. Up to that limit the laws and customs, language and currency of one country will obtain, and immediately beyond that frontier other laws customs, languages and currency will obtain, and if we are justified in the use of the term in speaking of Acts 28, it will be incumbent upon us to show that certain features that are characteristic of the dispensation covering Acts 1-28 run from one end of the book to the other, and that immediately beyond the confines of this chapter a new set of features are in force. However, before we demonstrate these essential characteristics it will be necessary to deal with a related objection and to show that it has no bearing upon the question as to whether Acts 28 be the dispensational frontier or not. The objection we have in mind runs something like this:
"Whether we are in the 'Acts' or the 'Prison Epistles,' there is but One Saviour, One Redeemer, One God and Father. We read the same Bible, and resurrection is the constant factor in our hope whatever differences there may be in the way in which that hope is described. These features are fundamental and are of much more importance than the differences so often enlarged upon, and their due recognition reveals that we are all one family of faith, on whichever side of Acts 28 we may find ourselves."
It is difficult to be fair when attempting to summarize the many objections made by others, but we believe the spirit of these objections will be evident from this presentation. Let us rewrite this objection in geographical and racial terms and see how far we can then endorse the argument contained in them.  (Read more...)