Ministry of Paul

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Big Moose, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. Having @Complete Chris's permission, here is an excerpt to start a thread on the ministry of Paul:

    The Two Ministries of Paul:-
    It is worth noting that the ministry of Paul at the time of the writing of Romans (during the Acts period) was indeed verifiable through recourse to the Old Testament Scriptures. Whereas, following the laying aside of Israel in unbelief at the end of the book of Acts (ch. 28), and the revelation of the mystery described in Ephesians chapter three, to Paul while in prison, no such verification could be made, for it was a new revelation, which had been 'hid in God' until the moment of it's revelation (Eph 3:9). Hence the desertion of Paul by, 'all they which are in Asia' (2 Tim 1:15).

    This further ministry of Paul, made known in the epistles written from prison (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Timothy and Titus) are separate and unique and should be compared with those written prior to that revelation, in order to try the things that differ: that we may be found to be faithful witnesses of the truth of God in this dispensation; and not found muddying the waters by the introduction of practices which apply to either the dispensations that are past, or those yet to come.

    Thank you Chris. (y)
    Major likes this.
  2. This is something I have been working towards "coming to grips" with to fully understand. The concept is easy enough to understand, but the implications and ramifications of this is difficult to comprehend, or at least organize in my mind.

    This was first brought to my attention by Les Feldick, who has a televised Bible study ministry based in Oklahoma, USA. Anyone can sit in on his teachings via Youtube. He has 12 half hour lessons on Pre Trib rapture, where he goes into detail on this special dispensation given to Paul. In these and many other of his teachings, he often references that the 12 disciples were not given the gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the means of salvation, that the blood of Jesus covers our sin as The Sacrifice.
  3. #3 Complete, Mar 12, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
    Hi @Big Moose,

    The new ministry did not begin until after Acts 28, for it was during Paul's imprisonment at Rome that the revelation was given. The evidence I have for this, is the content of his meeting with the Ephesian elders on his way to Rome (Acts 20:17-38). He reviews his ministry to them, and declared that he had preached 'the whole council of God' (Acts 20:27), yet there is no mention made then of the doctrines revealed, subsequently, in his epistles written from prison. Also in his stand before Festus, he said,

    'Having therefore obtained help of God,
    I continue unto this day,
    witnessing both to small and great,
    saying none other things
    than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
    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.'

    (Act 26:22,23)

    He at this point, still ministered as described in Romans 1:1-4. The revelation of the mystery of Ephesians 3 had notyet been made known to Paul, it was still, 'hid in God', for the dispensation of the mystery was not the subject of Old Testament prophecy.

    I would like to talk over the 'implications' and 'ramifications' you mention. Perhaps you can help me to do so, by letting me know where you are coming from on this yourself.

    Thank you, Big Moose.
    In Christ Jesus
  4. Hi @Complete,
    By 'implications' I mean, what purpose did Jesus have in not sharing the mystery with the 12? Why did they have such difficulty in understanding Jesus' purpose on the cross even after the resurrection and ascension?
    The 'ramifications' are, what does this mean for Jews today? How do we handle teaching about the saving grace and the atonement of the blood, when it isn't taught in the Gospels? How do we handle teaching new Christians that Jesus' teaching was directed to the Jewish people and Paul's is the update to the original Jesus software, to use computer analogy. Is the Old Testament more useful as historical record as opposed to current religious directives?
    I'm not sure this is understandable. Maybe I will come back to it later when I have more time.
  5. #5 Complete, Mar 13, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
    Hi @Big Moose,

    Thank you for coming back so quickly.
    It was necessary that opportunity be given to Israel, as a nation, to repent. For the forty years (approx),following the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, the period covered by the book of Acts, the door was open for them to do so, but when the door closed (in Acts 28), and the kingdom purpose for Israel, (to be priests and kings unto God), was deferred until a time which is still yet future: the time had come for a change in administration.

    Until that moment, Gentiles had been grafted into the Olive tree of Israel and received the blessings of Abraham, with the sole purpose, to make Israel jealous and to stir them up to repentance. With Israel now in a Lo-ammi condition, that stopped. It was necessary for a new dispensation, a new administration of God to be established, which was independent of Israel entirely. To have made these plans known prior to that point, would not have been in the interests of Gods purpose.

    1b) The Lord did not share the mystery with the twelve, for their ministry was to 'the lost sheep of the house of Israel', and Israel and God's purpose for and in them was laid aside temporarily. It was Paul, in his capacity as 'The Apostle to the Gentiles' that this new dispensation was given to administer, for salvation had been sent to the Gentiles.

    The Jew today, like the Gentile come to God by means of the blood of Christ, shed on Calvary's cross. They come into Christ, and partake of the inheritance of the saints in light.

    They are not affiliated to Israel as a nation in any way in this capacity, neither do they partake of the blessings of Abraham, or look for a city made without hands, for their hope and blessings are in heavenly places in Christ Jesus their risen Lord.

    They come to Christ, and are found in Him, not having a righteousness of their own. They are so identified with Christ in God's estimation as to have died with Him and risen with Him, and are' complete' and 'accepted in the Beloved'. All is of the Spirit, and in spirit. Their baptism is of the spirit, as part of the identification of the believer with Christ (in His death, burial, quickening and resurrection). It needs no water to confirm it, or anything that the flesh can do, for it is of the spirit. All is of the Spirit and in spirit in fact.

    Praise God!

    In Christ Jesus
    Big Moose likes this.
  6. So, what do we make of those first saved after Pentecost who repented and were water baptised. They received the Holy Spirit without the knowledge of the mystery or knowledge of the atonement by the blood of Jesus. Faith, repentance and baptism was enough apparently.
  7. Hello @Big Moose,

    Those were Jews initially, weren't they? Not until Acts 10 were Gentiles given the opportunity to be brought into the kingdom, and that only to make Israel Jealous, to cause them to come to repentance. It was essential that Israel be saved, that they may carry out their divinely given role as priests and kings unto God to the nations. This did not happen and their role is still awaiting their repentance. The believing remnant of Israel, who were overcomers in their day, along with those believing gentiles grafted in, as overcomers in their generation, are part of the Kingdom of God.

    The ministry of the dispensation of the mystery given to Paul, and administered by him from prison, was largely rejected at that time, as we see from 2 Timothy 1:15. Believers who received knowledge of the new administration and rejected it, did not reject the faith in Christ that they had come into, they just failed to come into the truth concerning Christ and His Church, and the hope of the Church which is His Body, which is the case even today. They went on, but the truth concerning the headship of Christ, and the completeness of the believers position in Him was largely unknown. They were still bound by the limitations of a past dispensation. In doing so they became enemies of the cross of Christ, denying the fulness of the work of God in Christ, and the freedom it brings, but not salvation by grace.

    May God provide insight, for my understanding of these things is weak at best.

    In Christ Jesus
  8. Chris, would you agree that God laid the groundwork for the Jewish race with His call to Abraham?

    Then would it also be correct that they became a nation in Egypt and were then led by Moses to be a nation?

    So then, it seems to me that all of God’s dealings with mankind were mediated through Israel from Abraham to Paul. Based upon the Abrahamic Covenant, God’s blessings to Gentiles were to come through Israel. And all blessings to Israel were to come through the Messiah.

    So then, how could God bless Gentiles when the channel of blessing, Israel, had rejected their source of blessing? The Old Testament had no answer to this question. No provision to bless Gentiles apart from Israel had been revealed.

    Now then, with Paul’s commission, God created the Church, the body of Christ, and brought in a new age, the Church age. The Church would not operate under Law as Israel had but under grace (Romans 6.14). Thus, Paul stands at the headwaters of this new program. Would you then agree that as such, Paul is the founder of Christianity. He is THE man for the Church as Abraham and Moses were THE men (racial and national heads) of Israel.

    Would that explain why God revealed truths to Paul that He had kept secret. Even Jesus, during his three-year ministry on earth, never revealed these teachings and the Twelve knew nothing of them.

    Rom. 16:25-26........
    "Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery [secret] which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith".

    Just a thought.
  9. Hello @Major,

    Thank you for your input, I will respond to it soon (GW)

    What is coming to my mind right now is,

    ''To everything there is a season,
    and a time to every purpose under heaven'
    (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

    May God be praised
    In Christ Jesus
    our risen and glorified
    Saviour, Lord and Head.

  10. Israel wasn't replaced by the church. Paul wrote Romans well after the other books and in it he says the the natural branches can be grafted back into the natural tree. Furthermore, when Israel became a nation, the age of the Gentiles ended. In one day, Israel will be saved, because they'll see the scares and when He tells them where He got them, the vail of Moses will be removed and they will believe on Him. Their blindness is in part, just like our dark glass. We all suffer ignorance.
    Major and Complete say Amen and like this.
  11. "I say then, Hath God cast away His people? God forbid.. Romans 11:1. "What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the ELECTION hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.. Romans 11:7. So then, Believing Gentiles were grafted in. The true Israel! True Israel is by spiritual birth, not physical. By the election of grace! So yes the church (both Jews and Gentiles) is true Israel. And the promises are in Christ by faith.. This is the mystery Romans 11:25. Christ is all that matters and is Lord of all.. So since u all on here deny salvation by the election of grace and hold to dispensationalism futurism, you will hate the truth being spoken of in scripture. Age of the Gentiles ended?? By those Ashkenazi Gentiles in the land today? Unless you can say all twelve tribes of Israel are in the land today, how can you make a comment that "Israel became a nation"?? They bear the star of Remphan Acts 7:43. The pagan occult hexagram symbol on their flag! That land is controlled by the beast system, much like Babylonian america! Papal Rome bears its image across all these lands, and its that man of sin, the antichrist itself. But the futurist believe in a Jesuit lie that came out from the mouth of the beast. The Lord Jesus Alone be glorified
  12. Agreed!
  13. I am not completely sure what you are saying, but it seems that you have a real dislike for the Jews. It also seems to me that you are trying to say that the church has replaced Israel. Not true in any way especially in Biblical terms.

    Many people, and it seems you as well, try to transfer the promises and the covenants of Israel to the Church, but there is absolutely no reason to do this. The Church is not spiritual Israel. Look up this phrase; you’ll never find the term or concept in the Bible. There are only two verses that are used to validate this view, both are unsupported when they are read in their full context.

    There was no Church in the Old Testament because there was no incarnation, no revelation of the Son, nor his sacrifice that broke down the middle wall of partition that separated the Jews from the Gentiles (Eph.2:14). For the Church is made up of both believing Jews and Gentiles, not so for Israel.

    Gal.3:29 says that those who belong to Christ are Abraham’s seed. The seed of Abraham does not mean one is Israel. It means those who are justified by faith are spiritual descendants of Abraham but this does not make them descendants of Jacob, who is Israel.

    They partake in the spiritual blessings that come through Israel. While there are two different groups of people who can be descendants of Abraham one of which is the Arabs, they do not share in the promises of Jacob. Only Israel is descended from the physical posterity of Jacob. God had specially promised to Israel salvation and the believing Jews received it through the gospel.

    But Paul explains that not all the natural descendants of Jacob were embraced in this “Israel;” for that “they are not all Israel, which are of Israel” (Rom. 9:6). As Paul already declared in an earlier chapter: “He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly” (Rom. 2:28, 29). The seed which is Israel is from Jacob and the apostle and other writers make a clear distinction between this and Abraham’s seed.

    It is a nation that is being gathered today for the tribulation in their original homeland Israel, they are gathered first in unbelief until that fateful day where in Romans 11 Paul says they will all be saved, after the fullness of the gentiles has come in. The Church (made up of both Jews and Gentiles) and is dealt with differently than the nation of Israel, God obviously has a different plan for both.
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