Mid Acts Dispensationalists

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. evangelist6589

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    Amill & Post Mill may look at all Dispensationalists as the same, but we are not all the same. I remember once a little over a year ago I gave a speech in a SBC church trying to get people interested in doing evangelism. After my presentation a older man greeted me and we got into a conversation about Dispensationalism. About 5 minutes into the chat I knew he was trying to preach his mid acts views on me of which I disagreed. I was going to buy a book by Ryrie on the topic but never got around to it. Okay guys how is the mid acts view corrupted? Is it possible that this new perspectives on Paul nonsense is a result of these kinds of false doctrines?

    John
     
  2. Greektim

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    First... this has nothing to do w/ the not so new perspective of Paul.
    Second... it (the NPP) is not nonsense (jury is still out for me). I would hear out the argument before casting stones (i.e. read Wright; most assume his arguments who have never read one word of him).
    Third... why don't you read their own books (Hyper-Dispos) instead of someone who disagrees with them?
    Fourth... if you don't know, then maybe it is not corrupted. Why pre-judge? Just because you disagree? I think the system has way too many flaws, but at least I know why and so can say it is corrupted. But I don't think it wise to say it is corrupted before you put in the research.

    Just some brotherly advice.
     
  3. Tom Butler

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    Sorry, I'm out of touch, obviously.

    What is the mid-Acts view?
     
  4. evangelist6589

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    I am currently reading 7 books and got 3 in the mail coming. I am also listening to 1 audiobook. I cannot read everything. I want to buy even more books, but have to cut back due to time & budget restraints.


     
  5. beameup

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    I never "read a book" on Mid-Acts Dispensationalism.
    I never even heard the term prior to reading the following 3 verses about a year ago:

    Rom 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles,
    I Tim 2:7 ...I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, .... and a teacher of the Gentiles...
    2 Tim 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

    Completely on my own, I came to the conclusion that I should use Paul's Epistles as my "foundation".

    And then I read:
    I Cor 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon.

    About a year later I happened to stumble upon the phrase "Mid-Acts Dispensationalism" quite by accident.

    Since I appropriated this principle a year ago the scriptures all "fall into (their proper) place".

    2 Peter 3:15-16 Peter testifies that Paul is writing SCRIPTURE:
    And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
    As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest,
    as they do also the other scriptures
    , [Old Testament] unto their own destruction.

    I am a Gentile, Paul is my Apostle. It is as simple as that.
     
    #5 beameup, Apr 28, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2012
  6. Greektim

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    Glad to hear it. I just hope some of those books are for the position rather than all against it.
     
  7. evangelist6589

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    I am reading 2 books by David Jeremiah, and I have 2 more by other authors coming in the mail. All are Disp premill positions.
     
  8. Greektim

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    That's unfortunate. Thinking critically doesn't mean you parrot other people. You should read proponents of the view you disagree with.
     
  9. evangelist6589

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    I did plenty of that in seminary. However since their views are unbiblical there was no need to pollute my mind with their nonsense. Therefore I would never buy a book advocating Postmillenialism, Amillenialism, nor the Mid or post trib views.
     
  10. Greektim

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    Did they teach you to pontificate in seminary? Just because you disagree does not mean they are unbiblical... that is unless you have a further revelation from God that the rest of us don't. And anyone afraid to entertain other views is lacking confidence in his own view. It is not about mind-pollution but iron-sharpening.

    For what it is worth, yours is a sad commentary on the mindset of many Christians (mostly of the fundamentalist ilk). You are so certain of your view that you put yourself in the chair of arbitration and rule out all other possibilities. You have no authority higher than your own opinion (your own verbage above makes that point). It is taking me some time to deconstruct myself from this kind of thinking. I still desire to discern truth from error, but I seek to do so reasonably with the concept that I am able to be wrong about much that I believe. I want to learn from others who have taken the time to consider all views. To write off many brethren just b/c you disagree w/ them about eschatology is foolish in my opinion.
     
  11. 12strings

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    I would at least recommend Erickson's Book, Basic Guide to Eschatology, A: Making Sense of the Millennium.

    He is a Pre-mill Dispy (I think), but seems to fairly discuss and evaluate the other views. This book looks at 4 different views, I think.
     
  12. Greektim

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    I don't think Erickson is dispo. But he is pre-mill. Could be wrong on that, but I am fairly certain.
     
  13. AresMan

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    I have to deal with mid-Acts dispensationalism a lot where I live. In fact, the variety that I have to deal with is more extreme than the flavor that beammeup would promote here. To be a full mid-Acts dispensationalist, you CANNOT be a "Baptist" in any form. You have to reject water baptism for "the church age" and you have to believe that the gospel for today is entirely different from any other means of salvation for any other dispensation.

    Joel Finck is a major proponent of mid-Acts dispensationalism. His book The Mystery is available as a free PDF from his ministry if you need to read it from the horse's mouth.

    It is difficult to pinpoint a precise hermeneutic among mid-Act dispensationalists because there are many significant flavors. However, from what I can see, there are generally these points in common:
    1. Israel is ontologically distinct from The Church (Which is His Body). Israel's eternal destiny is the earth ("the new heavens and new earth"). The Body of Christ's eternal destiny is heaven ("the third heaven"). Never should the two be mixed at any time and they will be eternally distinct.
    2. The Paul taught an entirely different "gospel" than did Jesus (during His earthly ministry) and "The Twelve" apostles.
      a. The "gospel of the kingdom" that Jesus and The Twelve taught was a gospel of law-keeping (including baptismal regeneration) to Israel. The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ was not a necessary part of this gospel, but is primarily support to convert Israel back to the law.
      b. The "gospel of the grace of God" that Paul taught was by faith alone in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ alone. Eternal security is available only for the Body of Christ, and is never available for anyone else under any other dispensation.
    3. Water baptism is NOT for today. It was part of the requirements for salvation for Israel ("the church of Israel"). It has no part in the Body of Christ. When people were baptized under Paul's ministry, it was either because Paul was deceived or ignorant about its necessity, or that Paul did it only in circumstances where it was needed to avoid offending the Jews.
    4. The Body of Christ is entirely absent from any prophecy, including the Old Testament, the four gospel accounts, and the first eight chapters of Acts. It was a "mystery" from God revealed to the Apostle Paul, and was only revealed because Israel rejected "the kingdom" after God inaugurated it at Pentecost.
    5. The Old Testament; the four gospels; Acts chapters 1-8; the epistles of Hebrews, Peter, James, John, and Jude; and the book of Revelation are "the subject of prophecy." The epistles of Paul are "the subject of The Mystery®." Paul's epistles and Acts chapters 9-28 are a "parenthesis" that fits between Scriptures that otherwise have perfect harmony and continuity.
    6. The "Rapture" is one of the "mysteries" revealed to Paul for The Body of Christ. When the immanent rapture occurs, the Body of Christ is raised into heaven where they will remain for eternity. After that, the "seventieth week of Daniel" begins and "the prophetic time clock" resumes exactly where it left off. The temple will be rebuild during the seven-year tribulation with the covenant with Israel from the antichrist.
    7. During the tribulation, the New Covenant begins (the Body of Christ has virtually nothing to do with the New Covenant). The "tribulation saints" must be saved by law-keeping and physical circumcision again.

    There are more notable distinctions, but these are the most common in discussion.
     
    #13 AresMan, Apr 30, 2012
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  14. AresMan

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    mid-Acts dispensationalism

    Here are some posts that I did on another forum where I examined some of this doctrine from the Scriptures:

    Verses for mid-Acts dispensationalists to consider:

    Gal 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
    Which "church of God" is this? How do you prove that it is different from the "church of God" for the "grace dispensation"?

    Gal 1:22 And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:
    Gal 1:23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.

    If Paul preached the faith He once destroyed, how can it be a "different gospel"?

    Gal 2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
    Gal 2:15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

    If Peter lived under the so-called "kingdom gospel" the remainder of his life (law-keeping for salvation), how was it that he was "living after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews"?

    Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
    Paul say that "a man is not justified by the works of the law" NOT "a Gentile under the 'grace dispensation' is not justified by the works of the law." Also, he is referencing himself and Peter.

    Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
    This is a hard pill to swallow if the "kingdom gospel" includes the death of Christ AND righteousness by the law!

    Gal 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
    Gal 3:8 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.
    Gal 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

    According to mid-Acts dispensationalists, this "gospel" preached to Abraham was only the aspect of justification by faith and not the Person and Work of Christ. Yet Christ said of Abraham that he "rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it, and was glad" (John 8:58). Paul's context of "the gospel" is still what he is talking about up to that point (i.e. "the truth of the gospel"). The promise to Abraham was that he would be "the father of many nations" (not just one, v.17). How can that be other than that of the promise that his seed ("one seed which is Christ") would be the Saviour of the world?!

    Gal 3:10 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.
    Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
    Gal 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
    Gal 3:13 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:

    If Paul calls the law "a curse," how can it then be the blessed salvation of the "kingdom saints"?
    When Paul "no man is justified by the law in the sight of God", he was only talking about those in the "grace dispensation"?! Really?!

    Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
    Kind of blows away the whole premise of an eternal promise to physical descendants, doesn't it? The promise of Abraham by faith ONLY (to Jew and Gentile), NOT by physical lineage, or physical lineage + faith.

    Gal 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
    Gal 3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
    Gal 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

    Hmm. If "the law" (ordinances and national privilege) was "added..until the seed should come," then the work of Christ nullified the law. It is not perpetual for "kingdom saints," it is not for ANY "saint."

    Gal 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
    Obviously, righteousness was never by the law. The argument from Paul is that if one could be saved by the law in any "dispensation", then that would have been the finality of all things. However, that was never the point of the law. I am not seeing this separation of "kingdom saints" who would be saved by the law and "grace saints" who would be saved by faith only!

    Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
    No distinction between "kingdom saint" and "grace saint." The [Old Testament] Scripture has concluded ALL (Jew and Gentile) under sin so that they would receive "the promise by faith." You mean what the "Body of Christ" receives was "promised" in "the Scripture"?! Say it isn't so!

    Gal 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.
    Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
    Of course, the mid-Acts dispensationalist says that the "Jew and Gentile being equal" applies only to "the Body of Christ" and that it is not true of "the kingdom" or of any other "dispensation." Yet, if we are "Abraham's seed" (according to the promise given to Abraham in the Old Testament Scriptures), how can we be this "mystery" body not prophesied in the Old Testament and "neatly inserted" where the "prophetic clock stopped"?

    There is SO MUCH MORE that could be said that destroys hyperdispensationalism that some large books could be written--and this is only part of Galatians!
     
  15. AresMan

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    mid-Acts dispensationalism

    More verses for mid-Acts dispensationalists:

    Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
    Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
    Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
    1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
    1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

    Eph 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
    Eph 5:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
    Eph 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

    What is this "kingdom of God" of which Paul speaks? Why should anyone think that this is different from this kingdom of God? Seems like the same concept:
    Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

    1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
    If "flesh and blood" cannot inherit "the kingdom of God," then why is "the kingdom of God" always elsewhere (by dispensationalists) associated with a "literal, earthly kingdom"?

    Gal 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
    Gal 6:16 And as many as WALK according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

    If "the Israel of God" is ontologically distinct from "the Body of Christ," and must be physically circumcised for their [kingdom] salvation, how is it that "the Israel of God" can rightly have "peace and mercy" if they WALK according to the rule that circumcision does not matter?!

    Jer 11:16 The LORD called thy name [Israel], A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken.

    Rom 11:17 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;

    If Paul is referencing Jeremiah 11:16 in Romans 11:17, then into what were the Gentiles grafted? Israel! Not a "plan" or an amorphous blessing from God, but Israel as a people of God. True Israel has always been people of "the promise," which is those of faith blessed with Abraham, which includes Jew and Gentile alike in Christ. True Israel was never intended to be based on ethnic privilege, but always by faith in the "One Seed" of the promise, which is Christ.
     
  16. AresMan

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    mid-Acts dispensationalism

    1 Tim 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
    1 Tim 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

    Mid-Acts dispensationalists use this passage to support their idea that Paul is the first convert in the "Body of Christ." They do this by overriding the traditional idea that when Paul said he was "chief [of sinners]," he was making a statement of humility that he was the worst of sinners. According to them, he was really saying he was the "first" chronologically. Although the Greek prwtos can mean "first" chronologically, it most certainly can mean "first" in other ways. When Paul repeated the same word in v.16 to say that Christ would show "in me first" all longsuffering for a pattern," we do not have to take this message with a dispensational presumption. The example of the sovereign grace of Christ in converting Saul the enemy of the church to Paul the apostle shows that God would convert more enemies of the cross in a similar way, such as those to whom Paul ministered in Caesar's household (Php 4:22).

    Prwtos cannot mean "first" in the chronological sense, because of the passages below:

    Gal 1:22 And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:
    Gal 1:23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.
    Gal 1:24 And they glorified God in me.

    As I brought up this passage before, it applies here as a commentary to the meaning of 1 Timothy 1:15-16. These churches of Judea (arguably the "kingdom saints" according to hyperdispensationalists), did not know Paul in person. They were not his converts; they were converts of "The Twelve." They had to have been converted before Paul, yet he says they were "in Christ." This is a phrase that Paul uses frequently for those of the "Body of Christ."

    Rom 16:7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
    These two Jews ("my kinsmen") also suffered persecution and imprisonment like Paul. They were "of note among the apostles," which would seem to indicate that they endorsed their ministry. Of these two Jews, Paul says they were "in Christ before me."

    The mid-Acts dispensationalist would argue that "in Christ" does not have to refer specifically to the "Body of Christ," but could refer to any relationship to Christ. In other words, Paul could have described these two as being "in Christ" by virtue of their being in "the kingdom" (an ontologically separate group of saints saved by the Law and could lose their salvation). However, Paul uses this phrase earlier in the same epistle:

    Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    There is no condemnation to those "in Christ" who "walk not after the flesh" (including the fleshly seal of circumcision). Would it not be highly unreasonable to understand Paul as using the same phrase in the same epistle in two different ways for two different peoples. If Andronicus and Junia were "fellow-prisoners" in relation to Paul, and they were "in Christ before [Paul]," how in the world could anyone come away from this statement believing that these two were not part of the "in Christ" in 8:1 to which there is "no condemnation" and they walk "not after the flesh, but after the spirit," unless one brings to the table a presupposition from a hermeneutic that requires a very strained eisegesis?!
     
  17. AresMan

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    mid-Acts dispensationalism

    Joh 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
    Joh 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
    Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
    Joh 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
    Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    Hyperdispensationalists emphasize that this passage has to do with a geopolitical Jewish kingdom and has nothing to do with the "Body of Christ." They will explain that the "born again" here is more a corporate "rebirth" of the nation of Israel from their apostasy, and not the common idea that we have today of individual regeneration of the heart. They will say that there is no instance of "born again" applied to the Gentiles, because there is no "again" for them as a nation of God. The concept of being born again is mentioned in 1 Peter 1:23, but never in Paul's epistles.

    However, we must look at Jesus' elaboration on what He means to see if there are any parallels elsewhere:

    Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
    Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
    Joh 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

    Only in v.5 does Jesus mention "water." He then emphasizes being "born of the spirit" as opposed to being "born of the flesh." This is what makes "born of water and of the spirit" not two things but one. It really means being born of cleansing and of the spirit, and it is the spirit that cleanses, and this is through the Word of God:

    Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

    Jas 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

    Jesus said that it is the Spirit that makes one alive, and that "the flesh" profits nothing. How can Jesus say this if He also taught that physical circumcision and water baptism, among other fleshly things, were necessary to being "born again"?! Also, if it is the spirit, as opposed to the flesh that makes alive, and the spirit and the word are one (really, the word through the spirit), then it is the Word of God alone that is sufficient for salvation.

    Like the Campbellites, some hyperdispensationalists will interpret the "water" in John 3:5 as water baptism. However, this would be the only place in the Bible where water baptism would be described as being "born of water." Many other passages shed light on what Jesus was communicating:

    Eze 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
    Eze 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
    Eze 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

    Psa 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

    Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

    Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it [the church] with the washing of water by the word

    When comparing Scripture with Scripture, the "water" in John 3:5 is not the physical water of water baptism, but the cleansing of water applied in a spiritual context, and this cleansing is through the Word.

    To the charge that Paul do not teach what Jesus taught in John 3, we must compare what Jesus said here to what Paul said in Galatians 4:

    Gal 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
    Gal 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh [Ishmael] persecuted him that was born after the Spirit [Isaac], even so it is now.

    So, Paul says that Isaac was "born after the spirit"? He also says that we as was Isaac are "the children of promise." Galatians is full of doctrine that clashes with hyperdispensationalism. Now, Paul is using the same phrases that Jesus used in John 3: "born after the flesh" and "born after the spirit." He then says that just as the one of the flesh [Ishmael] persecuted the one of the spirit [Isaac] even so it is now. This is clearly about the Jewish law-salvationists persecuting Paul. Paul was "born after the spirit," and this clearly mirrors the same distinction that Jesus made in John 3.

    If a mid-Acts dispensationalist is tempted to assert that Paul could have been talking about the Jews persecuting the kingdom saints, we see the context in chapter 5:

    Gal 5:10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
    Gal 5:11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
    Gal 5:12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.


    Paul is clearly talking about Pharisaical Jewish influence on the Galatian Gentiles and himself as "the apostle to the Gentiles." He clearly implies that if he taught physical circumcision, he would not be facing persecution (4:29). The "offense of the cross" is a non-circumcision message, and "he that troubleth you" is "born of the flesh" and not "born after the spirit."
     
  18. AresMan

    AresMan
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    the logistics of the so-called "two gospels"

    According to mid-Acts dispensationalists, the Acts period was a "transitional period" between the "gospel of the kingdom" and the "gospel of grace." Supposedly with Paul's conversion (or sometime not too long afterwards), God gave Paul "The Mystery®," which was "the gospel of grace" primarily toward Gentiles. During this transition period two gospels were active. The "gospel of the kingdom" was for corporate Israel consisting of mostly Jews, but some Gentiles. The "gospel of grace" was NOT for Israel, and was mostly for Gentiles, but also some Jews.

    Obviously, this resulted in confusion among the apostles because "the Twelve" were fulfilling the "Great Commission," with sign gifts, yet Paul's Gentile converts were also exhibiting the same sign gifts. They had to figure out "what in the world is going on here."


    The Genitives of Galatians 2:7

    Allegedly at the Jerusalem council in Acts 15, the apostles with Paul and Barnabas concluded that there were two legitimate gospels going on. The mid-Acts dispensationalist argues this from Galatians 2:7

    Gal 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;

    It is true that of the uncircumcision (tes akrobustias) and of the circumcision (tes peritomes) are both gentives. A basic rule of thumb for first-year Greek students is to treat gentives as "of" prepositions, which is most often what a genitive expresses--source or possession. This allows mid-Acts dispensationalists to make a seemingly easy case for the "two gospel" theory.

    The problem is that there are many exceptions to the first-year Greek rule of thumb because there are at least 12 types/uses of genitives (without counting subtypes) that must be determined by context. In intermediate or advanced Greek, the student must throw away the basic rule of thumb and determine types of genitives by translating other words in the context. This is what we must do for the two genitives in Galatians 2:7.

    Gal 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
    Gal 2:9 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 would argue that vv.8-9 provide the context of v.7 and indicate the type of genitives there. One type of genitive is the genitive of direction. The phrases "toward the Gentiles" and "unto the heathen" would strongly indicate direction; therefore, it would be reasonable that the genitives in v.7 are parallel to complete the flow of thought. Thus, they are genitives of direction, and the difference between the distinction in gospel in v.7 are direction, NOT type of gospel.


    The scope of the apostles' ministries

    According to mid-Acts dispensationalists, the "Great Commission" expressed in Matthew 28:29-30 (and parallel passages) was only for the "The Twelve."

    Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


    This commission was for rebirthing Israel as a holy nation and preparing them for the impending "Great Tribulation." The commission included water baptism and perpetual law-keeping as requirements for salvation, with sign gifts as necessary evidence.

    The obvious thing to note is that Jesus told these apostles to preach this gospel to all nations. Obviously, this is intended to mean more than just the nation of Israel. They are to be "my salvation unto the ends of the world." Acts 1:8 gives the progression for how they should preach this gospel:

    Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

    1. First, at Pentecost, they were in Jerusalem (1:12; 2:1,5).
    2. Then, they went "in all Judea" (4:10; 5:14-16,42).
    3. Then, they went to Samaria (8:4-8).

    However, the "uttermost part of the earth" (obviously Gentile nations) did not seem to happen before the conversion of Saul. The first occurrence is with the Gentile Cornelius through Peter's vision and preaching.

    The mid-Acts dispensationalist would argue that the "Great Commission" was interrupted with the "gospel of grace" and the preaching of the "gospel of the kingdom" to "all the nations" was put on hold in favor of "the gospel of grace" going to the Gentiles.
    Others would see Paul's calling and ministry as an apostle "born out of due time" the fulfillment of the last part of the "Great Commission."


    The problem of "another gospel"

    When mid-Acts dispensationalists present their case, the obvious knee-jerk reaction is "What about Galatians 1:6-9?!"

    Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
    Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
    Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
    Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.


    The Twelve were told to preach "the gospel of the kingdom" to all nations. What happens to Peter if he preaches his gospel to these Galatian Gentiles in obedience to his commission from Jesus unaware that Paul had already sealed them with "the gospel of grace"? Would Peter be accursed?

    The mid-Acts dispensationalist answers as follows:
    1. Paul wrote Galatians after the Jerusalem council in Acts 15 (and referenced in Galatians 2).
    2. In this preceding council, the apostles had already resolved the matter:

    Gal 2:9 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.

    In other words, the apostles had already determined what was going on with the two gospels. they handled it by halting the "gospel of the kingdom" at that time to the Gentiles so that Paul could carry out his own commission. Therefore, Peter already knew at that time not to spread the kingdom to the Galatian Gentiles. They emphasize that Paul's "curse" is specifically only applicable if someone preaches another gospel "TO YOU" (i.e. to these specific Galatians). Problem resolved, right?


    A restraining order

    It would seem that the mid-Acts dispensationalist has resolved the dilemma of "another gospel" to the Galatians--or have they? A true resolution requires that we determine who was given the Great Commission.

    It is true that Scripture only records specifically "The Twelve" receiving the "Great Commission" from Jesus. The mid-Acts dispensationalist would simply assert that the duty of Great Commission was given strictly to the Twelve at the time of Christ's ascension. However, several problems occur:

    [list type=decimal]
    [li]The number may have been 120, not just the Twelve (Acts 1:9,14-15,22).
    a. Jesus told his apostles that "you shall receive power after the Holy Spirit comes upon you" (Acts 1:8). This is an obvious reference to Pentecost.
    b. There were 120 assembled in the upper room who received this power (Acts 1:15; 2:1).[/li]
    [li]Given the above, did all 120 disciples show up at the Jerusalem council? Acts 15:6 says that "the apostles and elders" assembled, but it is doubtful that this would include ALL the original 120 disciples without exception. Peter, James, Paul, and Barnabas are noted as speakers, but no one else outside the known disciples.[/li]
    [li]Paul makes note that the risen Christ was seen "of above 500 brethren at once" (1 Cor 15:6).
    a. Could these "more than 500" join (or include) the 120 who were among those that witnessed the ascension and/or received the Great Commission? If so, we have an even greater problem.
    b. If not the above, then these "more than 500 brethren at once" witnessed the resurrected Christ before the ascension, but during the 40 days post-resurrection.[/li]
    [/list]

    Problem: would not all this multitude of witnesses to the bodily resurrected Christ WANT to proclaim to others what they saw?! If so, what would restrain all them from preaching "the gospel of the kingdom" to Gentiles (or to other Jews who at some point would propagate to the Gentiles)?

    Mid-Acts dispensationalists are quick to point out that the command of the Great Commission was given specifically to The Twelve alone. The problem is, there is the possibility that this number included 120 or more than 500. What happens to Paul's curse upon anyone who would preach "another gospel" to the Galatians? Sure, the Twelve allegedly handled this problem for themselves. What about the OTHERS?!
     
  19. AresMan

    AresMan
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    the logistics of the so-called "two gospels"

    Another problem is with the converts of the Twelve. Did the converts receive the Great Commission? Obviously, not directly from Jesus. Does the Great Commission include its propagation?

    Act2:38 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. [see Matthew 28:28-29]
    Act2:39 FOR the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.
    Act2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.


    What do we have here? The "promise" of the Great Commission is not just "to you" (those in the room), but "to your children"! Were all their children in the room? No? Well, they would have to proclaim this gospel to their children outside the auspices of the Apostles' preaching. Also, Peter told them to "save yourselves."

    The problem of Galatians 1:6-9 is NOT solved by merely proving that the duty of the Great Commission was given only to the Twelve (which may not even be true). Along with this, there must be a restraining order by God to the Apostles' converts that they refrain from spreading this good news to ANYONE else! Only the Apostles are ALLOWED to preach "the gospel of the kingdom." The message of "save yourselves" is only to those DIRECTLY under the preaching of the Apostles. For anyone else, the "good news" and deliverance from God's wrath would have to be "hush hush."


    Conclusion

    Did God plan for the Twelve (and them alone) to proclaim "the gospel of the kingdom" face-to-face with people from "ALL nations"?! With all the thousands upon thousands of converts in the early church BEFORE Paul, God would have had to issue a sovereign restraining order of EPIC proportions to keep their mouths shut when God allegedly "changed His mind"! The potential for many uninformed people falling under Paul's curse seems to be an insurmountable challenge



    or...




    Peter and Paul preached the same ONE gospel as orthodox Christians have believed throughout the history of the church.

    What do you think?
     
  20. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    As Hank Hanegraaf says often (yes I disagree wit his views in this area) we can argue and argue over this issue, but we do not need to divide over it. Eschatology is a big field of which there are thousands of books and web sites. I myself have several books, with 2 more coming in the mail. I was thinking about getting a good Walvoord book or Pentecost, but its okay as my mind may explode due to overload.
     

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