Monday, July 20, 2015


From Brian Kelson's latest newsletter:

Dear Friends,

As we arrive at the closing chapters of Acts we find the same themes, the same dispensational settings and the same opposition from the Israeli leaders and populace. The Kingdom and the call to it have gone out to Israel in the Land, outside the Land and now back inside the Land. Despite the recorded witness being outside the Land since Acts 13, there have been thousands of witnesses inside the Land as James mentions in 21:20. Yet the resistance to the truth remains.

Paul walked orderly; he constantly observed and guarded the Law during those times and because Christianity has failed to separate the Gospels and Acts from our calling today, the rise of Law observance among Christians is astounding. We are not to observe Sabbaths or abstain from any foods today, these things belong to Israel which was set aside at Acts 28 and those observances were set aside with her;

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Col 2:16-17

Acts 23 is yet another opportunity for the rulers of Israel to hear the message. Paul addresses the Sanhedrin just as Peter and Stephen had done back in Acts 4-6. The book of Acts is cyclic; It started in Jerusalem and comes back there towards the close. How true it is that during Acts, God had “all day long stretched forth (his) hands to a disobeying and gainsaying people”. Not only were they contradicting, but they began to plot to kill Paul just as they plotted to kill the Lord many years before; no change, no repentance, no submission of heart and mind to the words of the Lord.

The Kingdom and the call to it was given one more time to these rulers of Israel, but the moment they plot to kill Paul, the Romans are instrumental in transferring him to Rome for the final witness to the Jews of the dispersion. Multiple times during Acts, Christ was presented to the Israelis in the land and outside. From Jerusalem Paul was taken under guard to Caesarea where Felix was to hear trumped up charges against him.

In these later chapters of Acts It is important to recognize the basis of Paul’s faith given by his own testimony. Before Felix, Paul stated he believed all things declared in the O.T. Scriptures;
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:  Acts 24:14

This emphatic statement that Paul’s faith and hope was based upon the O.T. scriptures is repeated before King Agrippa just a few years later and remains the instrument of Paul’s final witness in Rome;
Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come Acts 26:22

King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.   Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.   Acts 26:27-28 
And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.   Acts 28:23

Paul was able to present the faith to Agrippa directly from the OT Scriptures; the Prophets spoke of Christ and justification by faith and Agrippa knew the scriptures. Paul is not preaching to Agrippa the Mystery truths revealed after Acts 28. Neither is Paul aware of them either, since they were still hidden in God when he made the statement in 26:22. Paul was a Christian during Acts but his hope and inheritance was that promised in the O.T.Scriptures. He was a Christian after Acts but with a completely new and previously unknown hope and inheritance.

Further evidence that Paul was not preaching the heavenly places of Ephesians and the one new man of our present calling in Acts is found in his statements regarding the orthodox Israeli position which he had not offended;
Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings.   Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.   Acts 24:17-18 
While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.   Acts 25:8

Paul was found purified in Israel’s Temple, he had not offended the Law or the Temple but was walking in a godly manner which included the observance of the Law, and this is not the faithfulness of Paul after Acts 28.  Christianity of the Acts period included faith in Christ the offered substitute, righteousness reckoned but the inheritance; the hope, was the hope of the Law and the Prophets which is not the case today. Look at Paul again: 
And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.

But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.   Acts 26:15-18 
Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come.   Acts 26:22

The truths of redemption and the consequences of those who believed in the Lord back in the Acts are “no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said was going to happen”. Moses and the Prophets spoke of the wonderful redemptive truths we love but the “inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Christ” they spoke about, and which Paul held at that time, is not the inheritance we have received today, after Acts 28. The redemptive truths continued across the Acts 28 boundary, but the inheritance truths were set aside with Israel.

In Acts, Paul’s hope was identical to that of the orthodox Israelis, in other words it was the hope of the prophets and Moses, this is not our hope today;

And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God, unto our fathers:

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.   Acts 26:6-7

Paul’s hope during Acts was exactly the same hope proclaimed by Peter in Acts 3; the return of Messiah to rule the world in righteousness, just as the prophets and Moses said he would do. Paul’s hope after Acts 28 was to be seated with Christ in our inheritance in the heavenly places.

Praise the Lord many Christians can see these beautiful differences.

I add my blessings to Ephesians 1:3,