Pentecost — The Kingdom — And the Body of Christ
Pastor J. C. O'Hair
First, let us carefully note two statements of the Apostle Paul: “But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter.” Galatians 2:7. “For, this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles. If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward.” Ephesians 3:2.
There are many zealous religious people, among whom are a number of splendid spiritual saints, who have formulated their creeds and adopted their religious programs on the assumption that Israel had been set aside “when the day of Pentecost was fully come” (Acts 2:1), and that. the dispensation of the grace of God, mentioned in Ephesians 3:1 to 9, began the day that Peter and the Eleven stood up in Jerusalem.
They speak much of the “Apostolic Church,” “the Pentecostal Church,” but never of the “Joint-Body” of Ephesians 3:6, “the Church of the Mystery,” “the One New Man” of Ephesians 2:15, “the Body which is the fulness of Christ,” Ephesians 1:19 to 23. They never give any Scriptural proof that the Pentecostal Church of Acts Two is identical with “the Church of the Mystery.”
In referring to the Body of Christ, and God’s spiritual program under the dispensation of grace, Paul mentions “the Mystery” in Ephesians and Colossians. It should be obvious to any intelligent student of the Scriptures that anything that. has to do with “the Pentecostal dispensation” has nothing to do with “the dispensation of the Mystery.” Believers are to “make all men see what is the dispensation of the Mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God;” but those who begin the dispensation of the “Secret” with Peter and the Pentecost of Acts Two never attempt to obey Ephesians 3:9.
“The dispensation of the Mystery” is “Gentilish,” Ephesians 3:1,2 and 8. Pentecost is Israelitish. There can be no genuine Pentecost without the Jewish priests, the Jewish temple. the Jewish city, and the Jewish people. The Gentiles in the day of grace have no Pentecost.
About twenty-five years after Peter and the Eleven, in Jerusalem, on the day of Pentecost addressed devout Jews from every nation under heaven, Paul said, “I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.” I Corinthians 16:8. In Acts 20:16 are words concerning Paul that will throw light on his statements to the Corinthians: “For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus because he would not spend the time in Asia, for he hasted, if it were possible for him to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.” Acts 20:16. Peter and the Eleven addressed the Jerusalem Jews fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Peter and the Eleven were in Jerusalem tarrying, after the command of Christ: “And behold, I send the promise of My father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.” Luke 24:49. Then Christ added, “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of earth.” Acts 1:8.
Concerning the apostles. we read “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.” “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Acts 1:14 and 2:1. Let us keep in mind that the tarrying-place was in Jerusalem. About twenty-five years later Paul wanted to be in Jerusalem on another day of Pentecost. In Acts 2:1 Pentecost was fully come. Pentecost was observed annually, but the phenomena of Acts two was not repeated.
When Paul reached Jerusalem the last. time, about 60 A.D. (Acts 21:17), he found his people Israel conducting their Covenant ceremonies in their temple. Even after that time Paul apologized after he had spoken disrespectfully to Israel’s Jerusalem high-priest, whom he had not recognized as priest. Acts 23:3 to 8. God permitted Israel to remain in their land, and use their temple, years after Christ announced the city’s and the people’s doom in Matthew 23:30 to 39.
After the Pentecost of Acts 2, the twelve apostles had entered into the temple with their message concerning Israel’s rejection and the resurrected Messiah “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” Acts 5:42.
From these facts we are taught that for some reason God extended extra years of grace to Israel and Jerusalem and deferred the execution of the judgment pronounced by Christ, in Matthew 22:7 and 24:1 and 2. Undoubtedly the prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross brought the amnesty and postponement of Jerusalem’s destruction. Christ prayed, “Father, forgive them. for they know not what they do.” It is true, that even before His death the Messiah said to Israel, “ Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” “Behold, your house is left unto yon desolate.” Matthew 23:33 and 38. But let us read, with this judgment, Luke 21:20: “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” The desolation of the holy city was to take place when armies surrounded it.
Jerusalem was not compassed with armies when Peter and the Eleven preached to the rulers of Israel on the day of Pentecost. Peter’s message to them was one of tenderness and mercy. “And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it as did also your rulers.” “Ye are the children of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham. And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” Acts 3:17, 25 and 26. What a contrast between these words and the awful judgment of Matthew 23:28 and 29: “. . . within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you. scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” “Ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? . . . Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.” What is the only intelligent explanation of God’s change of attitude toward Israel? God, in the Book of Acts, was giving Israel another chance. The kingdom of heaven was presented to Israel in the first chapters of Acts as much as it was while Jesus Christ was on earth.
Israel sinned against the Son of man. Luke 12:9 and 10. Now they were given the opportunity to either repent or to sin against the Holy Spirit and thus commit the unpardonable sin. Matthew 12:30 to 33. Note carefully God’s message to them “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, Whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Spirit, Whom God hath given to them that obey Him. When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.” Acts 5:29 to 32. They sinned against the Holy Spirit. They again sinned against the Holy Spirit when Stephen saw the Son of man standing in heaven. Acts 7:43 to 60.
The resurrected Christ was Israel’s Prince and Saviour. Where did the Gentiles come in? They didn’t come in. You may ask how about Acts 2:39. “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.” You may answer this question yourself by reading Acts 10:28 and Daniel 9:7: “And he said unto them, Ye know that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” Acts 10:28. “O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto Thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, AND THAT ARE FAR OFF, through all the countries whither Thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against Thee.” Daniel 9:7.
If seven years after Christ was raised from the dead, it was not lawful for the twelve apostles to preach to Gentiles, we may be sure that the “far off” of Acts 2:39, referred to the “far off” Israelites of Daniel 9:7. Also Acts 11:18 is proof of this, with Acts 10:28.
In II Corinthians 3:9 to 16 we learn why the religious Jews were still holding on to Pentecost and other Old Testament feasts after Acts 2:1. “There was a veil over their eyes.” There is a veil over the minds of many Pentecostalists today.
In Matthew 10:5 to 8, the twelve apostles were especially instructed by Christ to stay away from Gentiles and go to Israel. Twelve men (and no women) stood up on the day of Pentecost and addressed all the house of Israel (twelve tribes). Acts 2:14 and 36. Years later they agreed with Paul that they would continue to do the same thing. Galatians 2:9. Every student of the Word of God should understand the important truth of Galatians 2:7 to 9. Read these verses very carefully. Then think of the great blunder the Roman Catholics have made because they have ever been ignorant of the difference between Peter’s keys of the kingdom and Paul’s dispensation of grace. Note Paul’s words in I Corinthians 3:10.
In Matthew 10:23 the Lord Jesus said to the Twelve, “Ye may not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.” In the Book of Acts we learn that the Twelve remained in Jerusalem. Acts 8:1. So far as there is any record in the Book of Acts, not one of the Twelve preached the gospel in places other than in the cities of Israel. Note, in Acts 7:47 to 60, that Stephen saw the Son of man standing in heaven. Then and there Israel committed the unpardonable sin. This they repeated in the Thirteenth, Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth chapters of Acts.
Now carefully consider the truth of Galatians 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.” The important point here is that the gospel OF the circumcision was committed to Peter after the death and resurrection of the Son of man. Unto Paul was committed the gospel OF the uncircumcision. After Saul became Paul Israel was set aside. The ministry of reconciliation for Gentiles was committed to Paul. Romans 11:15—II Corinthians 5:18 and 19. Read II Corinthians 5:19 with Acts 20:24, Romans 15:16 and Ephesians 3:8, and you will learn the great commission under which Paul labored.
And then if you will compare “disciple all nations” with Acts 10:28 and Galatians 2:9, you will have plenty of food for thought and the realization of the need for obedience of II Timothy 2:15, “rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” If it was unlawful for the Twelve to preach to Gentiles about seven years after they received the great commission of Matthew 28:19 and 20, and then they later agreed to confine their testimony to Jews, then what meaneth “disciple all nations” in the so-called great commission? In Galatians 2:9, were the Twelve and Paul all out of the will of God, or, rather, is there not something wrong with the general teaching of the great commission and the Body of Christ?
Compare Acts 15:13 to l5 with Galatians 2:9—“And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name. And to this agree the words of the prophets.”
“And when James, Peter, 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 Gentiles, and they unto the circumcision.” Note, the same two men who declared that God’s will and purpose was to visit the Gentiles agreed to go to the Jews.
Now apply II Timothy 2:15. In applying the Divine principle we learn that the ministry of the twelve in the first eleven chapters of Acts, was in agreement with the words of Israel’s Old Testament prophets. This included the salvation of Cornelius and his household. To this company of Gentiles Peter and James referred in Acts 15:7 and in Acts 15:13 to 15. But Israel’s Old Testament prophets said nothing, and knew nothing, about God’s spiritual program for the Gentiles about which Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:1 to 11 and Colossians 1:24 to 28. All of this was hid in God. And therefore the Holy Spirit called it “the secret hid in God,” not made known to other ages, “the unsearchable (unprophesied) riches of Christ,” “the dispensation of the mystery.” Read Colossians 1:24 to 26 and Ephesians 3:3 to 11. In Philippians 1:10 (in the Greek) God says, “distinguish between things that differ.” Then we should know that the Divine movement of Acts 15:13 to 15, which agrees with the words of the prophets, is different from the Divine movement of Ephesians 3:8 to 11 and Colossians 1:24 to 27, which was not in agreement with the words of the prophets.
In the first eleven chapters of Acts, the Lord, by the Twelve, presented a kingdom program different from the present “Body” program. Note that twelve men stood up on the day of Pentecost of Acts 2, and presented a message to the twelve tribes of Israel. Acts 2:14 and Acts 2:36. The resurrected Christ was presented as Israel’s Prince and Saviour. Acts 5:29 to 32. How different is the message from the truth of Christ far above, Head unto His Body. Ephesians 1:19 to 23.
In Acts 3, if Israel would repent, God would send Christ back to earth to establish His Messianic earthly kingdom. Acts 3:19 to 21. Unless we know that God was carrying on a twofold program in the first chapters of Acts, we will not rightly divide the Word of Truth. God was offering salvation to individuals, Jews and proselytes, the kingdom to the nation. Christ was raised from the dead to sit on David’s throne, Acts 2:27 to 33.
Note Acts 3:24—“Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after as many as have spoken, have likewise FORETOLD OF THESE DAYS.” What a contrast with Colossians 1:24 to 26 and Ephesians 3:8 to 11.. All of Israel’s prophets knew of the days of Acts 2 and 3. None of Israel’s prophets knew of the days of Colossians and Ephesians. Do you think it is pleasing to the Lord to confuse them? Even the babe in Christ should know the difference between Peter’s keys of the kingdom of heaven and Paul’s dispensation of the grace of God. The messages that Peter preached in the first chapters of Acts were in fulfillment of the Prophecies of Moses, Samuel, David, Joel, Amos, and others. None of this had anything to do with Ephesians 3:8: “Unto me who am less than the least of all saints is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” “Unsearchable” means “untraceable” or “unprophesied.”
Do you think it is pleasing to the Lord or satisfying to the earnest spiritual student of the Word to teach or believe that the Jewish feast day (Pentecost) marked the beginning of the Divine Gentilish movement described as a “mystery”? Note again Ephesians 3:1 to 3—“For this cause I Paul the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation He made known unto me the Mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words.”
Now read II Peter 3:15 and 16—“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved 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, unto their own destruction.”
Are you numbered with those who wrest Paul’s writings? You certainly are, if you are following the interpretation of the Pentecostalists, or even the (anti-Pentecostalist) Fundamentalists, who teach that this present Divine economy began on a Jewish feast day. Pentecost, Leviticus And Joel’s Prophecy
ACTS-PETER AND THE ELEVEN
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Acts 2:1.
“And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.” Acts 2:5.
“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: for these are not drunken as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; and it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on My servants and My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy; and I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Acts 2:14 to 21.
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, Whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 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 Spirit. 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.” Acts 2:36 to 39.
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:19 to 21.
“Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have like. wise foretold of these days. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.” Acts 3:24 and 25.
“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, Whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” Acts 5:30 and 31.
“In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord’s passover.” Leviticus 23:5.
“And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the waveoffering: seven sabbaths shall be complete; Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat-offering unto the Lord.” Leviticus 23:15 and 18.
“Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly.” Joel 2:15.
“And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil.” Joel 2:13.
“Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things.” Joel 2:21, “Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God; for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.” Joel 2:23.
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered; for in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.” Joel 2:28 to 32.
“Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.”
“So shall you know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.”
“But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.” Joel 3:12, 17 and 20.
In the twenty-third chapter of Leviticus the feasts of Jehovah are recorded. First came the feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits. These pointed forward to the once-for-all death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who put away sin when He appeared ONCE in the end of the ages. Hebrews 9:26. This was accomplished by offering Himself once. Then He arose from the dead and became the firstfruits of them that slept.
One of the great blunders, the spiritual crime of the Roman Catholics is that in their eucharist they re-sacrifice the Lord Jesus Christ, keeping Him in the chalice for that purpose in their mass. The letters I.H.S. mean “Jesus the Saviour of Man.” God’s Word is clear. “There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” Hebrews 10:26 and 10:18. The Roman priests have overlooked Hebrews 9:25 and 26—“Nor yet that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world; but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”
The Pentecostalists blunder in that they claim to perpetuate, duplicate, or re-enact the Pentecost of Acts Two. In Leviticus 23:15 and 16 we learn of the feast of Jehovah on the fiftieth day after the feasts of Passover and Firstfruits. In Acts 2:1 we learn that the feast day is called the day of Pentecost. Pentecost comes from “Pentekonta.” “Pentekonta” means “fifty.” “Pente” means “five.” As the Lord Jesus, our Passover (I Corinthians 5:7), was sacrificed for us once-forall, so the phenomena of Acts 2, in the city of Jerusalem, with the advent of the Holy Spirit, is not to be re-enacted during the dispensation of grace, outside the city of Jerusalem. Neither is there to be another Pentecost movement in the closing days of this age of grace.
In Acts 20:16 and I Corinthians 16:8, we learn that the Jews at Jerusalem were still keeping Pentecost in that city. Why? Because “their minds were blinded; for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the Old Covenant which is done away in Christ.” II Corinthians 3:14. Like those ignorant blinded Jews, the Pentecostalists today, with the vail untaken away, have a counterfeit Pentecost.
In their interpretation, application and appropriation of the prophecy of Joel, they certainly wrest the Scriptures. They do exceedingly err in taking certain promises of that prophecy completely out of their dispensational setting and force them “undispensationally” into what little they know of “the dispensation of the grace of God” and “the dispensation of the mystery.” Ephesians 3:1 and 2 and 3:9. This present age of grace is a parenthetical period unknown to all of God’s servants until the glorified Christ revealed it to Paul.
Joel’s prophecy foretells Israel’s tribulation, the battle of Armageddon, God’s judgment upon Israel’s Gentile adversaries, and Israel’s deliverance and restoration and kingdom blessings. One key of the prophecy of Joel, that should keep any student of the Word of God from the fallacy and folly of Pentecostalism, is Joel 2:18—“Then will the. Lord be jealous for HIS LAND and pity HIS PEOPLE.” Palestine and Israel cannot mean America and the Gentiles. Note also Joel 2:21 and Joel 3:17 and 20: “Fear not, O Land; be glad and rejoice; for the Lord will do great things.” “So shall you know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain; then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.” “But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.”
What has any of this to do with the members of the Body of Christ in the United States? We are not Israel. The United States is not Israel’s land.
How absurd, when Pentecostalists claim the dreams and visions of Joel 2:28 and 29, “the former and latter rain” of Joel 2:23, but make no claim to the abundant material harvests and wealth of Joel 2:24 that are to be produced by the former and latter rain, which have nothing to do with the Holy Ghost’s work in the believer.
They interpret the former and the latter rain spiritually and claim that in the last days, before the coming of the Lord, the modern Pentecostalist movement is fulfilling prophecy. One can frequently hear the chorus in one of their unscriptural tarrying-meetings, “this is that,” repeating what Peter said on the day of Pentecost, more than 1900 years ago. “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.” Acts 2:16.
Then note the first part of the statement in Acts 2:17—“And it shall come to pass IN THE LAST DAYS.” Peter declared “this is that.” This is what? Something that was to happen in what LAST DAYS? In the LAST DAYS of the Body of Christ? Certainly not. Joel did not know one thing, or say one thing, about the last days of the Body of Christ, or about the first days, or about any other days that had anything to do with the Body of Christ. The LAST DAYS of Joel spake of Israel’s LAST DAYS, their tribulation and millennium. The truth concerning “the Body of Christ,” “the Church of the Mystery,” was not made known to them. Colossians 1:24 to 27. The LAST DAYS in fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy most assuredly were not the FIRST DAYS of the Body of Christ.
God’s message by Peter was a message to Israel. Twelve men stood up. No women. The number “twelve” is very significant in the Bible and speaks of Israel. When religious people cry “back to Pentecost” they should demand that twelve Pentecostal preachers, all men, stand up. No women. They should see to it that in the assemblies, when the Pentecostalists are speaking with tongues, the women keep silent, I Corinthians 14:34. Some one has truly said, if you take the women out of the Pentecostal tongues movement, it would stop moving.
But the Pentecostalists are not the only deluded ones, who have the last days of Israel, in Acts 2:17, mark the first day of the Body of Christ. What confusion and misunderstandings result when the endeavor is made to begin the Body of Christ with Peter’s keys of the kingdom of heaven instead of with Paul’s dispensation of grace and ministry of reconciliation, after His name was changed to Paul. How important are the messages of Acts 13:46— Acts 14:27— Acts 18:5 and 6 and Romans 11:15. Read these, and do not begin the dispensation of the grace of God and reconciliation for Gentiles or open the Gentile door of faith before God did.
The postponement of the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, the tribulation, and the Messianic kingdom, meant the beginning of the dispensation of the mystery and the Joint-Body of Ephesians 3:5 and 6. But neither the death of Christ, nor the sermon of the Twelve in Acts Two, marked that postponement. Acts 5:29 to 32 is God’s answer to the foolish statement that Israel had been set aside on the day of Pentecost. On the other hand, Romans 11:15 and II Corinthians 5:16 to 19 is the answer to the foolish statement that the Body of Christ did not have its historic beginning until after the close of the “Acts” period, after the judgment of Acts 28:25 to 28.
It does seem that God is using the rod of Pentecostal fanaticism to bring to their senses the “grace” preachers, among Fundamentalists, who teach that the dispensation of the mystery began with Peter on a Jewish feast day, instead of with Saul, after his name was changed to Paul. They will still say that there was no difference between the gospel OF the circumcision committed to Peter and the gospel OF the uncircumcision committed to Paul (Galatians 2:7). They add to the confusion by teaching that Paul perpetuated the same message and spiritual program which began with Peter and Pentecost.
The answer to Pentecostalism, Seventh Day Adventism, Anglo Israelism, and every ill and “ism” with which the Body of Jesus Christ is afflicted, is Pauline Grace Truth, the understanding of Ephesians 3:1 to 11 and 4:1 to 14.
Note one reason why these truths are written:
“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” Ephesians 4:14.