Posted tagged ‘The Mystery’

The Highest Quality of Faith

February 10, 2019

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Our hope and destiny are in no way contingent on the fulfillment of Hebrew prophecy for Israel. Our blessings are found primarily in Paul’s revelations for this present secret economy. While we are to walk by faith and not by perception, this after all is the highest quality of faith consistent with the highest plane of spiritual blessings among the celestials in Christ.

— Melvin E. Johnson (1897–1979)
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The Above-Heavenly Sphere of Blessings

December 4, 2018

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Paul, in prison, wrote his last epistles, making known the subject of the special revelations he had received about the above-heavenly (epouraniois) sphere of blessings, and announcing a complete change of dispensation brought about by the temporary setting aside of Israel: no longer a chosen people, no longer any sign of the nearness of the Kingdom, no more fulfillment of the prophecies.

— S. Van Mierlo
The Development of Christendom
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The Gospel of the Kingdom Was Not Given to Us

November 26, 2018

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The Church which is the Body of Christ is associated with a calling that goes back before the foundation [disruption] of the world, a “mystery,” “hid in God” until it was revealed to Paul as the prisoner of Jesus Christ. As a member of this Church I can legitimately say with regard to the “Gospel of the Kingdom” and the calling associated with Abraham: because I do not now attempt to follow the teaching that belongs to the dispensation of the Kingdom of Israel, it does not follow that I do not believe the Gospels and the Acts to be inspired and true. I simply do not believe that their teaching was given to me.

Charles H. Welch (1880-1967)
Ephesians Via Romans
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Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

October 2, 2018

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Let us not “rob Peter to pay Paul,” for Paul has no need of anything which belongs to Peter. Everything we steal from Peter impoverishes us. It hides and hinders the enjoyment of the transcendent celestial grace which Peter himself was never able to apprehend, much less enjoy.

A.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
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Unscriptural? or Undispensational?

January 30, 2018

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A friend of this writer has written the following:

There are professing Christians who religiously practice the washing of feet. Are they scriptural or unscriptural? There are some who anoint the sick with oil, while others bless handkerchiefs. Are they scriptural or unscriptural? Some professing Christians claim to have visions and angelic visitations while hearing supernatural voices. Are they scriptural or unscriptural? Thousands of others break forth in some kind of speech which they call the gift of tongues. Are they scriptural or unscriptural to speak in tongues?

To which we add:

Scriptures can be found to substantiate all of these actions. However, it seems to us that it is less than intellectual honesty, much less a spiritual practice, to arbitrarily select certain Bible commands for obedience while completely disregarding others. Why not obey the mandates of Numbers 15:32-36 and Deuteronomy 21:18-21 where infractions were to be punished by publicly stoning the off ender to death? Why not build a tabernacle and offer sacrifices as God commanded in Exodus 25-31? Why not sell that ye have and give alms as Christ instructed in Luke 12:33? In short, why obey only certain Bible commands and ignore others? Why not obey them all?

The answer to these questions is clearly stated in II Timothy 2:15.

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.

Though all Scripture is most certainly for our admonition and instruction, all Scripture is not for our obedience today (Compare Genesis 17:10-14 with Galatians 5:2 and Romans 2:25-29. Also Matthew 19:16-21 with Romans 4:5 and Ephesians 2:8, 9). II Timothy 3:16-17 does not contradict or nullify II Timothy 2:15. To the Apostle Paul, the glorified Lord revealed God’s message and program for today. To him was committed the dispensation of the grace of God. (See Ephesians 3:1-9). In his epistles we find the commands given directly to the Body of Christ.

The question, then, is not only, “Is it scriptural?” but, “Is it dispensational?”

Win Johnson (?-1993)
Amazing Grace
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Dispensational Distinctions in Paul’s Epistles

December 28, 2017

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A very clear dispensational distinction exists between the revelations contained in Paul’s earlier epistles, viz., Romans, Corinthians, Galatians and Thessalonians, and his later epistles, viz., Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Timothy and Titus. To illustrate the striking difference between the teaching of the earlier and the later epistles, it has been calculated that the word “Jew” is mentioned 25 times in the earlier epistles, and only once in the later. Israel is mentioned 14 times in the earlier and twice in the later, while the word “Israelite” is mentioned 3 times, Abraham 19 times and tongues 22 times in the earlier epistles, and none of them is even mentioned in the later.

Moreover, during the earlier period, the apostles, Paul included, did much in the way of healing, but during the later period Paul had to leave Trophimus at Miletum, sick. If Pentecostal powers were still at his disposal, why need he have had this infirmity?

These facts are readily explained when we remember that the earlier epistles were contemporary with the events related in the Book of Acts, while the Jews still had the opportunity to repent of their sin in the rejection and crucifixion of their King, and that of accepting the teaching of the apostles, Paul included, founded on the offer of pardon conveyed to them through Peter in Acts 3:19-21. This offer was open to them for over thirty years, and it did not come to a conclusion until Paul in Acts 28:25-28 pronounced the final rejection of the nation by God, because they had persistently rejected these gracious offers of pardon.

H.W. Fry
Things to Come, April, 1910
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Recognizing Distinctions in Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

December 26, 2017

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In order to rightly divide the Word of God, we must recognize that there is a great distinction between the promises of the Old Testament, including the Gospels, as compared with the revelations of God’s abundant Grace in Christ as revealed to and through the Apostle Paul, and contained in His Epistles.

H.W. Fry
Things to Come (1910)
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