Monday, August 11, 2014

25 reasons why the body of Christ did not begin before Paul

1.) If before Paul got saved people were already being saved by grace through Christ's faith and were already being put in the church which is the body of Christ and if the dispensation of grace had already begun, then HOW could Paul be any kind of pattern or lay an kind of foundation?

"And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 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. 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.......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." (1 Tim. 1:14-16, 1Cor. 3:10).

2.) It is true that a dispensation is NOT a period of time, though what is being dispensed does have a beginning and an end.

3.) 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).

4.) If the Lord was revealing the teaching of the church which is the body of Christ in Matt. 16, then how come Peter had a problem with going to the Gentiles (apart from the Jews) in Acts 10? Christ taught the "gospel of the kingdom" (Matt. 4:23, 9:35, 24:14, Mark 1:14), that "the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 4:17, 10:7), that His disciples would go through the great tribulation (Matt 24:3-34) [not that they were "not appointed unto wrath" like Paul does in Rom. 5:9, 1 Thes. 1:10, 5:9], that His disciples should preach to the Jews only (Matt. 10:1-7), and that they should sell that they had and keep the law (Matt. 10, 19, Mark 10, Luke 12, 18, Acts 1-5). Paul did not tell us to "sell all" (2 Thes. 3:6-12, 2 Cor. 12:14).

5.) How is the commission of Mark 16 and Matthew 28 related to the body of Christ? True, we should preach the gospel to the whole world, but we do not preach "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved", we do not take up serpents, drink poison, speak in tongues, etc. Wasn't the commission in Mark 16 and Matthew 28 the commission for the tribulations saints? (Matt. 24:14)

6.) Do we have to endure to the end of the tribulation to be saved? (Matt. 10:22, 24:13, Mark 13:13 compare with 2 Tim. 2:10-13, Eph. 2:8-9)

7.) Can we be "scarcely saved"? (compare 1 Pet. 4:18 with Gal. 2:16-20, Eph. 1:6-14, Rom. 5, 2 Tim. 2:10-13)

8.) Do we have to worry about our own faith drawing back unto perdition (Heb. 10:38-39) or do we have no need to worry since we are justified by the faith of Christ (Rom. 3:22, Gal. 2:16-20, Phil. 3:9, 2 Tim. 2:13)?

9.) It is true that "grace and truth came by Christ" but that does not mean that grace started with Christ's earthly ministry. God has always been gracious (Gen. 33:5, 11, 43:29, Exod. 33:19, 34:6, Psa. 86:15, 103:8, etc.) but Paul says that he was the pattern for exceeding abundant grace and longsuffering and that the "dispensation of grace" given to him to us (Eph. 3:1-9, Col. 1:25-27, Rom. 6:14, 1 Tim. 1:14-16). Paul says that it is according to that grace given to him that he "laid the foundation and another buildeth thereon" (1 Cor. 3:10). Paul is also the one who revealed that the dispensation of law had ended and that the grace dispensation had begun (Rom. 6:14), the twelve apostles were still observing the law and ordinances in Acts (Acts 2, 10).

10.) Peter was sent to "every creature" and "all nations" and this gospel committed to him was called the "gospel of the circumcision" (Gal 2:7) and that Paul was given the "gospel of the uncircumcision" (Gal. 2:7). Doesn't that mean that Peter and Paul were preaching DIFFERENT gospels? Clearly "of the circumcision" and "of the uncircumcision" are not references to whom Peter and Paul were to preach....they were both sent to every creature and all nations. Yes Paul said that if anyone preached any other gospel to the Galatians than they would be accursed, but he did not say "if any man preach any other gospel unto anybody anywhere let them be accursed".....he said "If any man preach any other gospel UNTO YOU than that ye have received, let him be accursed" (Gal. 2:9).

11.) Isn't Paul the only one who talks about the body of Christ and the dispensation of grace?

12.) Isn't baptism by Christ with the Holy Ghost into a man (Matt. 3, Acts 2) DIFFERENT from baptism by the Holy Ghost with you into Christ? (1 Cor. 12:12-13, Col. 2:12)

13.) Yes people were "in Christ" before Paul, but "in Christ" is not JUST a reference to the church which is His body. "In Christ" refers to all those who are redeemed by His blood and have the Holy Ghost (John 17). Ephesians 1:10 says "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:". The body of Christ will be in heaven (1 Thes. 4:13-18, 1 Cor. 15:51-58, Col. 3:1-4) and the tribulation saints will be on earth when the dispensation of the fulness of times is here. Both are said to be "in Christ" but the Jewish kingdom saints are not members of Christ's body.

14.) The church which is Christ's body where there is neither Jew nor Greek was made possible by the cross (Eph. 2) but it says "BY" the cross, not "AT" the cross. How could the body of Christ exist before anyone believed the gospel which makes one a member of the body of Christ (Eph. 3:6)? The body of Christ hinges on the burial, resurrection, and ascension (Gal. 2:16-20, Rom. 6:3-4, Eph. 1:20-23, 2:6, Col. 2:10-12).

15.) If Peter had already been preaching the doctrines of the dispensation of grace (not under the law, in the body of Christ, etc.) YEARS BEFORE PAUL (Acts 1-10) than why did Peter say that the content of Paul's letters were "hard to be understood" (2 Peter 3:15) ???

16.) How does 1 Corinthians 15:11 prove that Peter and Paul preached the same things? (Gal. 2:7) All it proves is that Peter and Paul preached the same risen Christ.

17.) Did the twelve apostles believe that the dispensation of grace ("church age" so called) was going to happen? No, they were still looking for the 2nd coming of Christ (Matt. 24, Acts 1:6).

18.) Why did Peter tell the Jews that if the repented and got converted that Christ would come at the 2nd advent and take away their sins? Acts 3:19-21  "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." That is quite different from what Paul preached....."Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.....Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began," (Acts 13:38-39, 16:31, Rom. 16:25)

19.) It is clear that the twelve were expecting the earthly kingdom of Christ (Acts 1:6), but it was Paul that revealed that the kingdom program was on hold. Romans 11:25 "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."

20.) Paul is our apostle (Rom. 11:13), he is our pattern (1 Tim. 1:16), we are to follow him (1 Cor. 4:16, 11:1-2, Phil. 3:17, 1 Thes. 1:6, 2 Thes. 3:7-9), and he said to consider what he said to have understanding in all things (2 Tim. 2:7). He is the one that was given the dispensation of grace to us (Eph. 3:1-9, Col. 1:25-27), therefore I conclude that Paul's epistles are the books of the Bible written directly to the body of Christ as far as our distinct dispensational doctrine. I do realize that ALL scripture is FOR us (2 Tim. 3:16, Rom. 15:4) but I do not believe that all scripture is TO us.

21.) If the twelve apostles were preaching the same gospel that Paul preached (salvation by Christ's sacrificial death and justification by His faith) then how come there had to be a meeting in Jerusalem to decide whether CIRCUMCISION was a requirement for salvation (Acts 15)???

22.) How come Peter never preaches in Acts 1-10 that Christ died for their sins? That is what Paul said the gospel is (1 Cor. 15:1-4, Rom. 1:1-4). Peter preaches the death of Christ as a BAD thing--read it in Acts 2-5. Paul preaches it as a GOOD thing (Rom. 3-5).

23.) Peter said that they got their sins blotted out at the 2nd coming (Acts 3:19-26) and that they had to receive the end of THEIR faith, even the salvation of their souls (1 Pet. 1:7-11). That is the prophesied plan of salvation for the Jews (Jeremiah 31-32, Ezek. 36, Rom. 11:26-27) but it is not the plan of salvation for this dispensation--salvation by Christ's blood and justification by His faith (Rom 3-5, Phil. 3, 1 Cor. 15:1-4, Gal. 2:16-20, 2 Tim. 2:10-13). Paul said "we have now received the atonement" (Rom. 5:8), not that we must wait for it.

24.) Was Paul under the commission of Mark 16 and Matthew 28? The commission of Mark 16 and Matthew 28 says "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.....Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" (Mark 16:15-16, Matt. 28:19). But Paul said "I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect." (1 Cor. 1:14-17). If Paul was under the commission of Mark 16 and Matthew 28 than he WOULD HAVE been "sent to baptize" and he would not be thankful that he baptized so few of the Corinthians under any circumstance if it was truly a commandment Christ gave to Paul. Paul apparently wasn't told to baptize and he didn't tell any of us to continue the practice. He didn't even baptize all his converts, just those in Acts 16 and 18 after the meeting in Jerusalem and Silas joined him. Paul did not baptize in Acts 13 and he is not said to have baptized after Acts 18:8. Now we are baptized by the Spirit into Christ through the faith of the operation of God upon salvation (1 Cor. 12:12-13, Col. 2:10-12, Rom. 6:3-4, Gal. 3:26-28). That baptism is the only baptism concerning our "walk", "calling", and the "unity of the Spirit" according to Ephesians 4:1-6.

25.) Where is water baptism said to be a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ? We don't. Here is an excerpt from this other post I did....

"Luke 3:2-17 is basically what we read in Matthew 3 accept now we see that this baptism is "for the remission of sins" (v. 3) and that the gospel of the kingdom is being preached and that Christ is being offered to Israel as King on earth (Matt. 4:23, Matthew 9:35, Matt. 24:14, Mark 1:14, Matt. 3:2, Matt. 10:5-7, Mark 16:15-16, Acts 3:19-26, Romans 11:25-26, Matthew 19:16-30). 

Now let's look into John 1 as we are looking into this issue of why somebody was water baptized. 

John 1:
[23] He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
[24] And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.
[25] And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?
[26] John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;
[27] He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
[28] These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
[29] The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
[30] This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
[31] And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
[32] And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
[33] And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
[34] And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

There in John 1 we see why John baptized, to make Christ manifest to Israel and demonstrating that He is the Son of God (v. 31,34). Nothing about the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. 

We see John say "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world", but that is clearly not talking about the death of Christ. The twelve apostles believed John's and Christ's preaching but they knew nothing about the death of Christ. 

Matthew 16:
[21] From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
[22] Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
[23] But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. 

Mark 9:
[31] For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.
[32] But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.

Luke 9:
[43] And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples,
[44] Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.
[45] But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.

If John preached the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ he did a poor job of it! The 12 apostles did not know anything about it until after it was over (Luke 24). Yet, they got baptized and they baptized other people. Therefore, water baptism has nothing to do with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. The purpose of water baptism was to make Christ as the Son of God manifest to Israel (John 1:31-34)."

Also see Acts 8:37. Water baptism had the purpose of manifesting Christ to Israel and it was a "like figure" of the washing away of sins. 

Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord

1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ

26.) Why should we practice water baptism in this dispensation since Christ didn't tell Paul to do it and Paul didn't tell us to do it? We have the baptism by the Spirit into Christ! This is the only baptism we need (Col. 2:10-23).

Ephesians 4:
[1] I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
[2] With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
[3] Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
[4] There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
[5] One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
[6] One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all

Concerning our walk, calling, and unity....

1.) "One body": by context this is referring to the spiritual church--the body of Christ. There is only one of those. (contrary to Bullingerism and Briderism)

2.) "One Spirit": There is only one Holy Spirit 

3.) "One hope of your calling": There is only one hope of our calling--the rapture (1 Cor. 15:51-58, 1 Thes. 4:13-18).

4.) "One Lord": There is only one Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ.

5.) "One Faith": The faith here is the doctrine of this dispensation--our statement of faith. (Col. 1:23, 2:7, Eph. 4:13, 1 Tim. 4:1, etc.)

6.) "One baptism": The baptism by the Spirit into Christ. (1 Cor. 12:12-13, Col. 2:10-12, Rom. 6:3-4, Gal. 3:26-28).

7.) "One God": There is only one God and Father of all.

"But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." v. 20 " But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance."

"I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;  Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect."

Therefore water baptism has nothing to do with the following:
#1 Opening somebody's eyes to spiritual matters
#2 Turning somebody from darkness into light
#3 Turning someone from Satan unto God
#4 Receiving the forgiveness of sins
#5 Receiving inheritance with the saints
#6 Doing works meet for repentance

26.) On that basis I conclude that the body of Christ began with Paul in Acts 9 when he got saved and received the gospel of the grace of God and became our pattern.



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