Friday, July 18, 2014


 Here's another one of those weird and hard to follow debates between Dr. Herb Evans and I. Enjoy! --Hoss
1.) Paul is the only one who talks about the body of Christ
        Herb Evans: That is like saying that Paul is the only one that wrote the Pauline epistles.
HOSS: Not when you have my premise, that the body of Christ is a spiritual and universal church that began in Acts 9 with Paul's conversion.
        2.) Paul seems to be the first one to know about the body of Christ and the new dispensational changes.
        Herb Evans: Being taught in the dessert for two years may have something to do with Paul bring the one to explain church truth and symbolism. Still, he is the first to clothe the church in the metaphor of a temple and a building but not as a flock or a bride. Still, Paul was  not the first to mention the church by any means. 
HOSS: True, Christ revealed much to Paul personally. But like I said, I don'y believe that the body of Christ is symbollism. A church is a called out assembly or congregation and God has always had one. By definition Noah and his family were a church (though not called that by name). Israel in Exodus were a church (Acts 7:38). "Church" and "congregation" are synonyms, the Bible uses them interchangeably quoting OT to NT (Heb. 2:12 with Ps. 22:22-28).
      Ephesians 3:[2] If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to youward:
        Herb Evans: Obviously from this verse there is the possibility of some hearing this before hearing Paul, nevertheless it is the Ephesians that are the latest benefactors of the dispensation of grace in this passage. The verse does not say when the dispensation was started or that it was a revelation to Paul.
      John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
        John 1:16, 17  And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
      Mark 1:1 - the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
    HOSS: Well Colossians 1:25 says, "Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God" 
   And I agree, grace starts from Genesis 1-Revelation 22. Grace is unmerited favor that God shows you. John the Baptist was still under the law, it was Christ that fulfilled the law and His death that changed it Hebrews 7:12 "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law". Though I do realize that John the Baptist and the twelve did have some new teachings that came along with the gospel of the kingdom. There wasn't a passibility of anyone hearing the mystery before Paul. Paul just asked if the Ephesians had heard that Christ had revealed it to him and that he had wrote about it before but only briefly.  
        [3] How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, [4] Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) [5] Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; [6] That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
        Herb Evans: First of all, who was the mystery revealed to? To Paul alone or to the holy apostles and prophets? Second. what was the mystery? Was the mystery not that there would be an invisible, universal body or rather that the Gentiles would also be fellow heirs of that body and partake of the gospel?
HOSS: As seen above it was revealed to Paul. It was (at the writing of Ephesians) "NOW REVEALED" to the other apostles by the Spirit. Before (such as Acts 15) they had only heard about it through Paul. But now the Spirit was revealing it to them for them to teach. It is clear by the events with Peter in Acts 10 and 15 that Peter didn't know the mystery.  As for question #4, here is this from my FAQ to hyper dispy post.
   "The body of Christ was a mystery "hid in God" and "a great mystery" until made known to Paul in Acts 9. (Eph. 3:1-9, 5:22-32) We don't see any other writer of scripture mention it or preach it. After Acts 7 (the temporary fall of Israel) all men were considered "heathen" and in unbelief.
Galatians 2:9 And when James, Cephas, 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 heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

However, Paul still went to the "Jew first" all through the book of Acts. Israel had fallen and were not God's people (Rom. 11:25), they were "HEATHEN". That is unless Paul just lied to the apostles.

Romans 11:

[30] For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
[31] Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
[32] For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Also note that Peter preached his message to Jews and Gentiles in Acts 2 (Acts 2:10, 39), but he did not know the mystery (Eph. 3:1-9, Acts 10, Acts 15, Gal. 2).
      Ephesians 5:[30] For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. [31] For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. [32] This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Romans 11:25 
      Herb Evans: The second part of the mystery is that the CHURCH as a BODY  are united with Christ in a special way just as the husband and wife and also a fornicator and a harlot are AS ONE FLESH. Does that mean that there exists an invisible, universal husband, wife, fornicator, and harlot?
HOSS: The mystery in Ephesians 5 is that we are members of Christ and that Christ loves us as His own body. Just as the husband should the wife. 
        For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
      Herb Evans: Again, the mystery mainly has to do with the rights and privileges of the Gentiles in regards to the church.
HOSS: I assume you are talking about rights and priviledges in the local church? But that isn't a mystery, Gentiles were already supposed to have  equal rights. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. (Matthew 23:15)
        3.) Paul seems to have been the "pattern" and start for something new.
      Herb Evans: Seems to have? Seems to have? IS that more doctrine by suggestion?
      1 Timothy 1:[14] And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.[15] This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.[16] 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.
      Herb Evans: Now, just exactly what is your pattern? The pattern here is the pattern of longsuffering of Jesus Christ being shown in Paul.
HOSS: Which is why I believe that the dispensation of grace began with Paul. 1 Timothy 1:
[12] And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
[13] Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
[14] And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
[15] This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
[16] 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

If the dispensation of grace had already begun than Paul really couldn't have became a pattern as far as grace and longsuffering goes.
       1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
      Herb Evans: Foundation of what? Certainly not a building in the sky.
HOSS: Foundation of the new dispensation. This foundation Paul laid is in connection with the grace given to him. (as we saw in Ephesians 3 above)
      My guess is that it started with Paul in Acts 9.
      Herb Evans: And that is another guess that is assumed.
HOSS: God didn't tell us in His Book when the body of Christ began, we have to assume. But we can pretty much narrow it down to a couple of places. The fact is, if God wanted us to know when it started than he would have told us. However, He did let us know that Paul is the one who revealed the doctrine of it. That's the main thing. 
      But I can't prove it.
      Herb Evans: Neither can your buddies. We are to prove all things and not merely to claim them.
HOSS: You are correct. We are to base our doctrine on what the Bible says (2 Tim. 2:15) and not other peoples assumptions and guesses. If you believe the Bible teaches that the body of Christ is a local church that began with John the Baptist than that is what you should believe and teach. But I don't have to prove anything that the Bible doesn't plainly state. 
   All I have to prove is that Paul is our pattern, that the new dispensation was given through him, that Christ revealed grace dispensation doctrine to him, and that he is our apostle.
      Acts is a transitional book so it is hard to pin point it exactly. I know it started WAY BEFORE Acts 28. It can't really be proven to have started at Matthew 10, the cross, Acts 2, or Acts 9.
      Herb Evans: So is Corinthians a transitional book which proves nothing.  The gospel, salvation, the church, and the flock existed in the gospels, so can they exist without being started?
HOSS: I have no idea what you just said. But let's stick to the universal vs local debate for now. 
      The important thing is I know it started and that Paul is the one who revealed it by inspiration.
      Herb Evans: Just what is the "IT" that Paul revealed. Certainly not the church that was mentioned before Paul mentioned it. And Paul equated the church with the body. Can the church exist not being the body, except generically?
HOSS: What church are you talking about? A church is a called out assembly or congregation and God has always had one. By definition Noah and his family were a church (though not called that by name). Israel in Exodus were a church (Acts 7:38). "Church" and "congregation" are synonyms, the Bible uses them interchangeably quoting OT to NT (Heb. 2:12 with Ps. 22:22-28).
      My guesses to when it started are the cross, Acts 2, or Acts 9. I see no other possibilities.
      Herb Evans: There you go guessing again. How could it be at Acts 2 or at the cross, when Paul was not saved yet?
HOSS: I HAVE TO GUESS, because the Bible doesn't say when, EXACTLY. I gave Acts 2 and the cross as possibilites, I believe it started with Paul though.
      Further, I think the cross, burial, resurrection and seating of Christ are needful for the universal church to exist because those seem to be enablers of the universal church's existence.
      Herb Evans: I thinker your thinker is broke. There is no universal church. That is Catholic and Martin Luther and the thinking that they thunk.
 HOSS: Now that is something we can prove.
      Ephesians 1:[20] Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,[21] Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:[22] And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
        Herb Evans: Unfortunately, this does not demand an invisible, universal body. Christ is the Head of the local church body. If not, let's all worship on the creek bank.
HOSS: We can worship anywhere at anytime. We are the temple of the Holy Ghost and we are in Christ. A church building means nothing.  Also, what is a "local church body"? I really wonder about all these terminologies people have for their denomination that do not appear in scripture.
      Ephesians 2:[6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:........[13] But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.[14] For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;[15] Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;[16] And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
      Herb Evans: We have already discussed what part of you is sitting in heaven and what part of you is still here. Still, this is discussing the broken down wall between Jew and Gentile, who were now ONE, a commonwealth with the same obligations and privileges for Jew and Gentiles that believe. Notice that they were reconciled BY THE CROSS and were MADE NIGH BY THE BLOOD rather than put into heaven or Christ's physical body. 
HOSS: I agree, BY the cross and BY the blood of Christ is how we get into Christ.
      I'm not as hyper as you might think. I do believe we (the body of Christ) take part in the kingdom on earth primarily and I have even debated my pastor, David O'Steen, on the matter.
      Herb Evans: Oh? The problem here is that we do not agree on what the body of Christ is.
HOSS: Yep. 
        I also believe that the 12 apostles got in the body of Christ at Acts 28 because as seen above the mystery got revealed to other apostles and prophets besides Paul. Some MAD leave the 12 out of the body.
      Herb Evans: While you are correct that the apostles and prophets were revealed the same thing, if it gets you back peddled back to Acts 28 why not before Acts One? Moreover where is your record of an Acts 28 revelation, Acts 9, or anywhere. I don't have that problem, for I do not see the church as a body to be a revelation but rather an illustrated metaphor of the Church just like the flock, the temple, the building and the bride.        
HOSS: I say Acts 28 because they did not seem to know about it at any other time. Did you read my FAQ post? It is too long to post in point counter point debate. 
      See, I posted my scriptures with rationale.  --Hoss
      Herb Evans: Amazing turn about!
P.S. You might note that the dispensations in the O.T. overlapped, hence also as they do in the gospels and Acts with law and grace and beyond. This could be the source off your problem.
HOSS: I'm not sure I understand what you are saying. 

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