Paul’s New Revelation

Posted June 10, 2021 by SandreS
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That God would save Jews was no mystery; that He would save Gentiles was no mystery. The mystery was that God would put Jews and Gentiles into one body and make them fellow members, fellow heirs, and fellow partakers of His promise in Christ. This was a new revelation revealed to Paul.

Paul R. Van Gorder (1921-2009)
Which Gospel When (1967)
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A Sharp and Wide Contrast

Posted May 26, 2021 by SandreS
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In such sharp and wide contrast does this revelation in Ephesians, Philippians* and Colossians stand over against all the other Scriptures. It illumines all. The procession of His eonian purpose appears emblazoned with a glory commensurate with its goal — “that God may be All in all.”

The line of partition across the created universe marks the Scriptures between those of Paul, concerning the Heavens, and all the rest concerning the Earth. In all of these the Heavens are in continuous recognition, in those of Paul they are brought forward in sustained exposition.

Ike SidebottomE. Lynwood Crystal (1872-1946)
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 32 (1941)
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*Most who came to see the Secret Administration included the Philippians epistle along with Ephesians and Colossians. It is easy to understand why they did so. Yet, rather than being a part of the Secret Administration, Philippians stood on the threshold of the grand Ephesian-Colossian writings. It was the gateway epistle to the Celestial writings of Paul. For a look at the unique nature of Philippians, see:

“Philippians: Paul’s Pivotal Letter Pressing Toward the Mystery,” Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr., Bible Student’s Notebook #788.

Two Different Hopes and Callings

Posted May 20, 2021 by SandreS
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We must be careful not to confuse the hope and calling of Christ’s earthly inheritance, “Israel,” with the hope and calling of His heavenly inheritance, the present-day believers, the Body of Christ.

We must also be careful not to confuse the earthly glory that awaits Israel with the heavenly glory that awaits Christ’s Body. The following Scriptures will enlighten us concerning our position in Christ and Christ in us our “hope of glory” (Colossians 3:1-4; Philippians 3:20-21; II Timothy 4:8).

During his Acts period ministry, Paul was bound with a chain for “the hope of Israel” (Acts 28:20), but immediately following his proclamation to the Jews in Acts 28:28, he was in bonds for “the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:18-20). This means that, from the beginning of Paul’s ministry (Acts 9:20) to the setting aside of national Israel (Acts 28:28), a period of about twenty-one years, he suffered for Israelites; but after he had delivered God’s final appeal to Israel as a nation, he became a prisoner for the “Gentiles” (Ephesians 3:1).

Ike SidebottomIke T. Sidebottom (1899-1970)
The Fellowship of the Mystery (A Study of the Book of Ephesians)
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The Surpassing Secret

Posted May 18, 2021 by SandreS
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The Acts of the Apostles is the inspired record of the re-offer of the King and kingdom to Israel (Acts 3:19-21). It hinged upon a national repentance. Israel failed, they did not repent; and the outcome of the conference called by Paul (Acts 28:17) brought on another crisis in God’s dealing with this nation. In this dark hour, the all-knowing and all-wise God lifts the veil and makes known a Secret. He makes known to His chosen vessel, the Apostle Paul, the great mystery or secret of a heavenly Body, the Church. This Secret surpasses anything yet revealed that had previously been hidden from the enemy, from Israelites, and from Gentiles. This Secret has to do with the heavenly triumph of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is revealed in the Prison Epistles of Ephesians and Colossians.

William B. Hallman (1902-1985)
Biblical Hermeneutics, page 147
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Ephesians and Colossians

Posted May 12, 2021 by SandreS
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In Ephesians and Colossians we learn that the Holy Spirit speaks of the mystery in connection with the Body of Christ. The word “mystery” means “secret.” It is apparent, then, that up to the time that Paul wrote Ephesians and Colossians, God had kept the truth concerning the Body of Christ a secret. It was God’s secret.

J.C. O’Hair (1876-1958)
“Some Simple Thoughts Concerning Body Truth”
Bible Study for Bereans (November 1935)
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The Turning-Point at the Close of Acts

Posted May 10, 2021 by SandreS
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I cannot definitely fix the time when the risen Lord revealed the mystery of Ephesians and Colossians to the Apostle Paul, but I do know that there is no statement concerning the “Dispensation of the Mystery” during the “Acts” period. There must have been some reason, in the mind of God, why He withheld the writing of Ephesians 3:8-9 until after He pronounced His judgment upon the Nation Israel in Acts 28:25-28. I believe that there is a very definite turning-point with the close of the “Acts” period, whether or not we call it the close of the transitional period or the beginning of a new dispensation.

J.C. O’Hair (1876-1958)
Wrongly Deriding Christian Brethren (1935), pages 15-16
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The Turning-Point at the Close of Acts

No Longer Jews and Gentiles

Posted May 6, 2021 by SandreS
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The present-day church, which is the Body of Christ, is not made up of Jews and proselytes, as in Acts 2:10, but it is the “New man” in which there is “neither Greek nor Jew” (Colossians 3:10-11). Neither is the church of this dispensation made up of Jews and Gentiles, as in Acts 21:20, 25, but in it they are “both one” and the “middle wall of partition” has been broken down (Ephesians 2:14-18). The saved Jew and the saved Gentile of this dispensation are no longer recognized as Jews and Gentiles.

Ike SidebottomIke T. Sidebottom (1899-1970)
Through the Bible Dispensationally
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Grace in a Dispensation? or Dispensation of Grace?

Posted May 4, 2021 by SandreS
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God has always been gracious, but there is a difference between grace in a dispensation and a dispensation of grace (Romans 5:20-21). For example, Noah found grace because he was “perfect in his generations” (Genesis 13 6:8-9), yet to Paul was committed “the Dispensation of the Grace of God” (Ephesians 3:2).

Ohair Oval

J.C. O’Hair (1876-1958)
Bible Study for Bereans
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A Great Blunder

Posted May 2, 2021 by SandreS
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The “Dispensation of the Mystery” was committed to the Apostle Paul. It was not made known until the crisis was reached, in Acts 28, by the setting aside of Israel. In this dispensation “tongues” and other sign gifts have ceased. These passed away with the setting aside of the people Israel (Acts 28:25-28) and connected with this distinct message, we are enjoined to keep the sevenfold unity (Ephesians 4:4-6). It is a great blunder to have Israel set aside before Acts 28:25-28 or to confuse the one baptism of Ephesians 4:5 with Israel’s water ceremony. Water could never add a sinner to Christ.

Vincent Bennett
“The Dispensation of the Mystery”
Bible Study for Bereans (October 1935)
(edited excerpt)
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Inviting Confusion and Failure into Our Lives

Posted March 20, 2021 by SandreS
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All of the Bible is God’s Word. All of the Bible is for our admonition, learning and profit. But all of The Bible is not written about us. God has more people in His plans and purposes than the Body of Christ of which saints today are members. In fact, He has a whole separate program for a completely different agency: the nation Israel. To fail to distinguish between these two distinct purposes is to invite confusion and failure into our lives.

C. Richard Jordan
From the “Forward” of My Journey, by Johny Varghese (1998)
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