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Friday, June 6, 2014
Another big Acts 28 refute!
Here is an email I sent to an Acts 28er. --Eli "Hoss" Caldwell
The biggest problem with the Acts 28 position is that it claim that the spiritual body of Christ made up of believers did not exist until Acts 28. That is a big false premise. Paul said in 1 Corinthians that those believers were "members of Christ", "joined unto the Lord", "the body of Christ and members in particular", and that Christ was on body with many members that those believers were baptized by the Spirit into. There was neither Jew nor Greek in that body (Gal. 3) and they were all crucified with Christ. To say that the body of Christ did not exist until Acts 28 is an error. I know brother Kelson says that since Paul called some of the members feet, eyes, etc. that this could not be the same body as that of Ephesians and Colossians, but I do not see how that makes any sense. These believers were said to be members of Christ, the illustration with the human body about the feet and all does not change anything or mean that Christ was not the Head. The point of 1 Corinthians 6 was that those believers were members of Christ and that they were not their own but belonged to God. These believers were said to have been "one body" because they were partakers of Christ's death, i.e. baptized into Him, crucified, buried, and risen as Paul said in Romans 6 and Galatians 2.
This doctrine is not found in the OT, there goes the so called "none other things" than Moses and the prophets said would come. Paul clearly teaches many things not found in the OT......the rapture (for lack of a better word) of 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4 is a mystery by the word of the Lord. I have yet to see where it has been proven that these believers are resurrected to the NJ in Israel and that this was of OT prophecy--though I have seen people try and read it into some passages in Exodus. The hope of Paul and his followers from Acts 9 onward is to be resurrected to heaven with new bodies like unto Christ's--again not in the OT. Another mystery would be the diminishing and fall of Israel--not in the OT. The blindness of Israel was a mystery according to Romans 11:25. The false claim that Paul only spoke the OT prophecy is terrible.....how come nobody ever finishes the sentence revealing the meaning of what Paul said? That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
There went several false premises of the Acts 28 position, Paul did know things outside the OT prophecy that you could not find. Paul did not preach an earthly hope, and the body of Christ did start before Acts 28. Where's the verse that says Paul taught the New Covenant? I know what the New Covenant is.....I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 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. 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.
That is something Paul did not preach. Where does Paul teach that Christ will gather all of Israel together into their land and takeaway their sinful heart? Where does Paul say that Christ will cause people to walk in His commandments? We see John telling people that in his epistles and that they must abide in Christ by keeping his commandments and that they must overcome the antichrist by THEIR OWN FAITH before they enter the land, I see James teaching that where their faith has to be proven and tried by WORKS. I have never seen Paul preach any of that, in fact he taught that we are justified by the faith of Christ and Christ's faith is already perfect--it does not have to be tried. I see Paul teaching that we are sealed with the Spirit and not to grieve Him (1 Cor. 1:22, 1 Thes. 5:19). I see Paul preaching that the body of Christ which is neither Jew nor Gentiles has NOW RECEIVED the atonement (Rom. 5:11) and that ISRAEL is the one who gets saved at the 2nd coming of Christ when the New Covenant is set up (Rom. 11:26-27).
The believers under the New Covenant got saved when Christ came the second time and set up the kingdom after gathering His people to the land (Eze. 36). That is what Peter preached (Acts 3:19-26, 15:11, 1 Peter 1:7-11) and that is what Paul said would happen with Israel (Rom. 11:26-27). In that, Rom.11:26-27, Paul SEPARATED himself from the New covenant--because he had "now received the atonement". What you mean is that Paul was a minister of the New Testament. The AV never has Paul doing anything with the New Covenant. There are two Testaments in the Bible, Old and New. The Old required blood sacrifices while the New requires a blood sacrifice. The body of Christ is under the NT blood, not the Old. Do you do animal sacrifices? Anyone not under the NT is obligated to do just that.
The body of Christ is neither Jew nor Gentiles as seen in Galatians 3. Paul gave us something that he received of the Lord--he did not command it. It is called the communion of the body of Christ and it is a communion of the NT blood. You don't have to do it, Paul just said "as oft as ye do it" it shows the Lord's death. This is a memorial for the body of Christ.....why did Paul do it?........"For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread". That is why they have the communion, for the body of Christ. It represents them being "one body" because they were all "partakers" of Christ's death. When a church observes the Lord's supper they are saying that they are one body for they partook of Christ's death, crucified with Christ being made a member of His body. Ephesians 2 explains that, the Jews and Gentiles are in one body by the death of Christ and that is what the memorial is for. It is NOT the Passover. The Passover meal was not "as oft as ye do it", there was a certain time for it. The Passover was the law, Paul said the Acts believers were not under the law but under the dispensation of grace in Romans 6. The Passover was an ordinance/commandment for Israel, Paul did not command the Lord's supper, he said "as oft as ye do it". Paul said that the communion was "FOR" the members of Christ who were neither Jew nor Gentile in "ONE BODY" who had been crucified, buried, and risen with Christ. Notice that fits perfectly with Ephesians 2. Now nobody is subject to the Lord's supper, people were subject to the Passover. "As oft as ye do it" does not contradict Colossians 2 because Colossians 2 only teaches us not to be "subject to ordinances" because we are complete in Christ. The issue in Colossians is completion, we can take the Lord's supper but we are not commanded to take it. The body of Christ does not have to be subject to ordinances and commandments like feasts, communion, water baptism, etc. because we are complete in Christ. That is not to say we do not have liberty in Christ--we can do those things. But we do have ordinances and commandments such as obeying government, obeying parents, and such like. The Passover was for Israel, the communion is for the one body--neither Jew nor Gentile. Notice the contrast between the Corinthians communion and that of what Israel and the Gentiles were doing in 1 Corinthians 10:16-21.
I know some 28ers don't like the judgment seat of Christ in the Acts epistles. However, it fits right in with the post Acts epistles. Notice in 2 Timothy 2:15, 2:9-13, and Colossians 3:22-25 that someone can be "ashamed", "denied", and not "receive" inheritance and rewards and that one can be a "workman" to shew yourself "approved before God" and "receive" reward if he is a servant. The judgment seat of Christ teaching is in the Acts epistles.
Here is the answer to the so called "problem" in Romans 11 http://av1611studyblog.
blogspot.com/2014/05/the- message-and-mission-of-paul. html (taken from a PDF study I did, just scroll until you find the Romans 11 exposition). The Jews were cutoff for UNBELIEF and the saved Gentiles were standing BY FAITH--could not be cutoff. Paul already said that nothing could separate them from the love of God in Romans 8. Paul is talking about Gentiles and Israel as NATIONS and the subject is the blessings from God--not salvation. The body of Christ has neither Jew nor Gentile (Gal. 3:27-28, 1 Corinthians 12:13)
Well there went the false premises of the Acts 28 position: that the body of Christ did not start until Acts 28, that Paul taught the New Covenant, that the Acts believers had an earthly hope, that the Acts believers were keeping the Passover, and that Paul only taught what was in the OT.
And I have more M.A.D.ness where that came from.......Paul did have a new gospel given to him by revelation. You know that nobody new about the death of Christ in the earthly ministry of Christ, not even the apostles (Matt. 16). However, they still preached the gospel and water baptized folks "for the remission of sins". Christ taught that one had to sell all that he had to inherit eternal life in Matthew 19, water baptism was for the remission of sins in Luke 7 and Mark 1 as well as Acts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Peter still thought it was needful in Acts 10. He said that it was required in 1 Peter 3:21 and John taught that works were required to abide in Christ in his epistles. James taught that one had to be justified by works in his epistle......I believe it says what it means and means what it says. Some have said that those things were required only for rewards but not for salvation, but that is an impossibility. "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.......For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith........Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" and on and on and on. The issue of proving their faith with works was for their "justification" and "salvation" of their souls, not rewards. Christ did not say that the rich fellow would have rewards if he sold all, the issue was eternal life. (or was that a parable too? )
Paul is the one who preached that Christ died for our sins and that we have now received the atonement, not that they would be saved after the trial of their own faith. Paul taught that those Acts believers were saved by the faith of Christ and that he paid for their sins and were now under grace. The gospel was given by revelation and it was preached according to the revelation of the mystery.....and guess what? That ain't in the OT!
However, it was made known by the scriptures of the prophets, but that is no issue. The death, burial, and resurrection was in the OT. Peter and Paul both used OT scripture to prove the resurrection of Christ. And guess what? I can find salvation by faith for all nations in the OT. 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. The scripture for saw that God would justify the heathen by faith and all nations of the earth have been blessed through Israel--but not their rise but their fall and blindness (which was a mystery). In this age of grace, by the fall of Israel, we are in Abraham because we are in Christ. We are children of Abraham--not by proselyting to Judaism--but because we receive righteousness by faith. In this age we have Jerusalem as our mother--not because we have an earthly hope--but because we are free and Abraham is our father through faith. That goes right in with the post-Acts epistles.
The mystery is this--That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel--and that is what Paul said he was in bonds for in Ephesians, not for the New Covenant. And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Paul said he was in prison because of preaching the mystery! How could anyone think he did not preach the mystery if he said himself that it is for that preaching he was in bonds? Read it in Acts 22:21, Paul is preaching "That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel" and that is why he is in bonds.
Also notice that the New Covenant involved a nation of priest that needed water baptism--as I have already said. The New Covenant required Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved......Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Paul did not teach that--For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.
The New Covenant looked forward to Christ taking away Israel's sins at the 2nd coming-- 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. Paul said that his converts had "now received the atonement" and he said that ISRAEL was the one who got their sins blotted out at the 2nd coming--contrasting himself and his converts from Israel (Romans 11:26-27).
Now about this "appearing and coming" business and the "earthly hope" stuff--I have to disagree. The hope of the Acts believers was to meet the Lord in the air and have a body fashioned unto Christ's glorious body (1 Thes. 4:13-18, 1 Cor. 15:51-58). That was PRE-TRIB according to 1 Thessalonians 1:10. The body of Christ was neither Jew nor Gentiles (Gal. 3:27-28, 1 Corinthians 12:13) and the tribulation is the time of JACOB'S trouble--not the body of Christ where there is neither Jew nor Greeks trouble. Compare the mystery hope of Acts--not in the OT--to the post Acts hope, it is the same thing 1 Thes. 4:13-18, 1 Cor. 15:51-58, Phil. 3:20-21, Col. 3:1-4, it is the SAME event. There is nothing in Paul's Acts epistles about going to the earth! Where is the "appearing" in Colossians 3 said to be an appearing straight into heaven? Where? I see when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. But "in glory" is not a reference to a place, it is a reference to the STATE we will be in when we appear with Him in the air--in a glorious body.
God was not working the prophetic program out until Acts 28--it stopped at a screeching halt at Acts 7. Israel's blessings as a nation are what was cutoff--but that does not pertain to anybody's salvation or prophetic program as you saw in my post--fairly simple. Israel's blindness in Acts and the fullness of the Gentiles was a "mystery", not in the OT. All were blinded, all were concluded in unbelief, that was part of God's "unsearchable" and "past finding out" judgments according to Romans 11:25-36--again not in the OT.
The goal of Acts was a dispensation of the gospel that was to call an elect remnant out of Israel and into the grace program--to do that Paul and his converts were provoking Israel to jealousy according to Romans 9-11 and 1 Corinthians 9. There were spiritual gifts as a sign for Israel and to edify the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-14, 1 Cor. 1:22, 14:3, 22). Timothy had a spiritual gifts AFTER Acts was over, Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Even if that was the gift of teaching, it was still a spiritual gift given to him that had not left yet.
I also realize the Acts 28 position does not like Paul saying in 1 Cor. 10:11 that the ends of the world had come on them--but I can find that in post-Acts epistles. Paul tells Timothy what will happen in the "last days". The ends of the world and last days are references to the ending of the dispensation of grace--after we're gone God pours out His wrath on thee world and Satan comes down and sets up his government (2 Thes. 2:7-17). Paul never told his converts that they would go through the tribulation, he told them the opposite (1 Thes. 1:10).
The Gentiles were not invited into the old program of Israel--Israel was the one being called into the new program of grace and the body of Christ (Rom. 11:1-12, Rom. 6:14). I have read in Acts 18 where Paul's converts taught a disciple of John the new program--no longer the ministry of John the Baptist and Peter.
Paul's gospel of grace was a mystery. Why else would the apostles have to have a big meeting in Acts 15 to decide if works were required? Why would Christ say "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved"? Why would Peter say "repent and be baptized"? Why would Peter say "repent and be converted"? Why would Peter be shocked that the Gentiles got salvation by the hearing of faith in Acts 10? Why would Paul's gospel be a "mystery", given by revelation? Why wouldn't Paul have just learned it from Ananias in Acts 9? Why would James, John, and Peter say that their own working faith was what brought the salvation of their souls and their justification?
I believe that in Acts 9 Christ showed exceeding abundant grace, mercy, and longsuffering by saving him by grace through faith putting him into the body of Christ for a pattern to them that would believe his gospel after him. According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust....And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus....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.
What made Paul a pattern and what was in him first if he was not put in the body of Christ and if he was not the first one to be saved by grace and justified by the faith of Christ?
Well sorry it took me so long to respond, I was cutting grass today in this Georgia heat. I wrote in general terms and I tried not to throw scripture.
Hopefully after reading that you are MAD again. Between this and my other email I sent before I think I answered most objections the Acts 28 position has to MAD. The false premise that the body of Christ did not begin until Acts 28 was proven an error. Think about this, Paul said "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.... Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?......For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." So if they were members of Christ in Acts than Christ was their Head in Acts. I know the 28 position makes a big deal about Paul not using the term "Head" in Acts, but does Christ have members and a body that He is not the Head of? Probably not......
In Ephesians 5 it says that Christ loving the members and giving Himself for them was a mystery, so 1 Corinthians and Ephesians both have to be written to mystery saints in the body of Christ or else there is a contradiction in scripture--for Christ giving Himself for His members is found in the Acts epistles.