None Know Enough

Posted June 25, 2017 by SandreS
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None of us know enough to be dogmatic. All that we wisest can say is, “At the present time, such and such appears to be true”; if we be wise, we add, “But fuller knowledge may make a change of opinion necessary.”

Miles Hanson
Post Office Mission #4 (1925)
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The Current Era Is Limitless

Posted May 20, 2017 by SandreS
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Paul said that the previous era was limited (I Corinthians 7:29, CV). However, this current era, which began when he revealed the pinnacle of his revelation found in his latter epistles, is limitless – i.e., vast and seemingly boundless. The very nature of pure unadulterated grace makes it so. After all, “where sin abounds grace does much more abound.

Israel’s fall ushered in the expansive reign of God’s grace. While Paul anticipated the era of the Acts period to wrap up quickly with the Coming of Jesus Christ, the hope of Israel which he proclaimed was placed in abeyance, superseded by a previously unrevealed immensity of unparalleled grace.

The Coming of Christ graciously has continued to remain in abeyance for centuries now, and what an economy Grace has been! What else would we expect from the pure grace of God? It has, indeed, been vast and seemingly boundless. It has spanned nearly two millennia, which pales in comparison to Paul’s previous profession that “time is short” (I Corinthians 7:29).

The Law spanned just over 1,500 years. If the Law, which caused sin to increase, lasted some 15 centuries, does it not make divine sense that Grace would abound long past such a period? Grace now stands at nearly 20 centuries. Is it nearly over? Is Grace about to cease by our appearing with Christ in Glory? Or, has Grace another 5 centuries? Or, perhaps another 10 centuries to double the duration of the Law? Or, even well beyond that? What kind of show will God make of this great attribute of His?

None of us should dare to be so presumptuous as to estimate the end of the era of His Grace! Prophetic prognosticators are ignorant of God’s current unprophesied dealings with man. They misappropriate Scriptures addressed to Israel, as well as Paul’s earlier epistles, to promote the idea of an “imminent” coming of Christ (or “Rapture”). As a result, their hearers are encouraged to adjust their lifestyles unnaturally for this impending event.

One passage from Paul’s Acts-period letters that is sometimes used to advocate such an adjustment is:

This I say, brethren, the time is short: it remains, that both they who have wives be as though they had none (I Corinthians 7:29).

An approach to life based on this passage from a previous economy would be a dishonor to God and contrary to His present purpose as revealed through Paul’s further advanced revelations found in his latter epistles. As a result, it will also wreak unnecessary havoc in one’s personal and domestic life, bringing added sorrow to the heart and disgrace to the message of His Grace. A husband who erroneously attempts to conduct his life today as though he had no wife, most likely will find himself actually not having one!

Ephesians represents the pinnacle of Paul’s revelation. Here he lays forth the Secret Administration in which we now live today. In this epistle, rather than prompting singleness and a weaning of domestic life as he had done previously in I Corinthians 7, he tell us that domestic life now has a paramount place in spirituality. In the last two chapters of this unparalleled revelation, we are entreated not to be foolish in our domestic lives by making the mistake of thinking that these heavenly truths should somehow make us distant or disassociated from domestic life. He desired that we should understand what the Lord’s will is for us today, and he leaves no doubts as to what that will is: (1) that we are filled full with His spirit (5:18) and, (2) that we become focused on and dedicated to domestic life.

In Ephesians 5:17-6:9 Paul plainly lays forth what it means to be filled with God’s spirit:

– It enables us, from melodious hearts, to be an encouragement to ourselves and others (5:19).
– It enables us be to be thankful always for all things (5:20).
– It enables wives to be better wives (5:22-24, 33).
– It enables husbands to be better husbands (5:25-33).
– It enables children to be better children (6:1-3).
– It enables fathers to be better fathers (6:4)
– It enables servants to be better servants (6:5-8)
– It enables masters to be better masters (6:9)

Religion has its own list of what it suggests are the effects of a spirit-filled life; but here Paul lets us see exactly what spiritual life looks like in our day. Unlike Paul’s earlier instruction, domestic life now has moved front-and-center. The focus of our current era is marriage, parenting and employment, all done from melodious hearts always giving thanks for all things.

According to Paul, this is the advanced will of God for today. So much so, that single widows are instructed to “marry, bear children and guide the house” (I Timothy 5:14). Moreover, ideal family life is made a prerequisite even to taking care of the ecclesia, for “if anyone is not aware how to control his own household, how will he care for the ecclesia of God?” (3:5).

The details of life matter. The details of life are strategically designed by God to have meaning and purpose. Don’t waste your time imagining that you will be “raptured” (i.e., “snatched away”) from your divine training ground. It will be a costly mistake. Father is getting you ready for something bigger. Don’t come up short in your experience for celestial service.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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The Earthly Teaching Ministry of Jesus Christ

Posted March 17, 2017 by SandreS
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Much confusion arises from a failure to fully understand the Lord Jesus Christ’s earthly teaching ministry as found in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Although He came to be the Savior for all men, He did not actually make provision for that salvation until the completion of His three and one-half year earthly teaching ministry. Christ’s atoning work of redemption and reconciliation was performed at Calvary, an event recorded at the end of these books.

What was the purpose then of His earthly teaching ministry? What did He minister and to whom? What relationship does this earthly teaching ministry have with the Body of Christ? These questions are answered for us by Paul the apostle in the book of Romans when he wrote,

Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the Circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers (Romans 15:8).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Present Truth

Posted February 26, 2017 by SandreS
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Brother Gelesnoff and I agreed that the great need among the saints was an understanding of present truth, as found in Paul’s epistles, especially the prison group, which make known these riches of Christ which had been hidden during previous revelation. This aim will find its highest expression and fulfillment in the series on Colossians, which commences in this issue. In these we will reach the very summit of revelation.

The great truths revealed through Paul were rejected even before his death. All in the province of Asia, to whom Ephesians and Colossians were sent, turned away from him (II Timothy 2:15). We cannot expect it to be otherwise in these last days. Indeed, when very few are granted the spirit of wisdom and revelation (Ephesians 1:17) which is essential to a grasp of the present secret administration, we must expect it to be opposed and rejected once again, for faith is to decrease as the consummation of the eon approaches.

KnochA.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 31 (1940)
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The Celestial Ones

Posted November 18, 2016 by SandreS
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When it comes to the writing of Paul for the Body of Christ, the vocabulary of Scripture changes. He does not speak of a fig tree, a beautiful city, lambs or a promised land, but rather that which is not seen or perceived. We are told that our realm is inherent in the heavens (Philippians 3:20). He speaks of spiritual blessings among the celestials (Ephesians 1:3). He speaks of bodies celestial. Our blessing and expectation is not something just from the celestials, but something in the celestials. In I Corinthians 15:49 we learn that we will be the celestial ones.

G. Venlet
Faith Fellowship (Vol. 60, No. 2)
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The Gospel of the Kingdom

Posted October 26, 2016 by SandreS
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“The gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 4:23; 24:14; etc.) is the good news connected with, or relating to the coming kingdom. It is often erroneously said that there can be only one “gospel”; but gospel means “good news,” and this good news may be concerning “Christ,” or “the Kingdom,” or “the grace of God.” Hence, if words are used to reveal God’s mind and thoughts, we must not confuse or join together things which He has separated.

“The Gospel [or good news] of the Kingdom” was preached when the King appeared; but after His rejection that good news is necessarily in abeyance; and, in its stead, “the Gospel [or good news] of the grace of God” is preached to sinners, both of Jews and Gentiles, until the time of the King’s second appearing shall come, when the good news of the coming King and Kingdom will be again preached.

EWBE.W. Bullinger (1837-1913)
Figures of Speech
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Heaven and Earth

Posted October 6, 2016 by SandreS
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There is a delightful contrast between our Lord, the Servant of the Circumcision (Romans 15:8) and Paul, His minister for the nations (Romans 15:6). Christ was a carpenter, Who built permanent habitations on earth, since the Circumcision, to whom He ministered, will have their eonian dwellings on the earth. Paul was a tent maker, for those to whom he was sent have no allotment down here, but are merely camping, waiting for their eonian dwelling in the heaven.

KnochA.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Concordant Commentary
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