| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 1 - Page 82 of 111 Index | Zoom | |
Berean Expositor Volume 1
The Dispensation of the Secret.
When this series of studies was commenced we desired to set forth the wonderful truth
contained in the Prison Epistles (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and II Timothy), but
we found it necessary to prepare the way by showing the position of the pentecostal
dispensation, its kingdom and Abrahamic connections, and the great division that
occurred in the dispensational dealings of God recorded in Acts 28:
Election and predestination, a choice that antedates all time, and unconditional purpose
are at the very threshold of this dispensation (Eph. 1:). Why is this? Let us endeavour to
place ourselves in the position of the Gentile believers somewhere about A.D. 68-70.
Let us suppose that we have been brought out of heathen darkness into light and liberty
through the ministry of the apostle Paul. We had heard of that glorious kingdom which
was to be set up over all the earth when the Son of God and Son of man should reign
upon the throne of David. We had bowed before the teaching that we were but wild
olive branches grafted into the true olive tree; that the "Jew first" was the divine order
(Rom. 1: 16), and that "in that day" not the Gentiles, but Israel, shall be a kingdom of
priests. Very willingly we took our appointed place, glad that we Gentiles should find
any place of blessing at all. We earnestly joined our prayers with the apostles that Israel
might repent, so that the long promised kingdom, with all its blessing, might be set up.
Imagine our consternation when tidings came to us that the apostle Paul had been
inspired by God to pronounce the words of judgment written in Isa. 6: upon the apostate
nation. How would this affect us? Could the blessings flow to us if the channel were cut
off? What was our dispensational position now? Were we still to look for the return of
the Lord, and the setting up of the kingdom? None could answer the question, until one
day a letter written by the apostle Paul came to our little assembly (the Epistle to the
Ephesians). Therein we read no more of earthly blessings, or Abrahamic promises, but
heavenly, and a secret purpose hitherto unrevealed. How we praised the infinite wisdom
and grace that, out of such apparent failure, could bring forth such a glorious treasure.
We did not quibble about predestination; it was the word of our salvation. We did not
seek to explain away "chosen in Him before the foundation of the world," for it answered
all our misgivings as to our relationship with Abraham. We no longer looked forward to
"inheriting the earth," nor to the "heavenly country," nor to the "city that cometh down
out of heaven," for we read that we were "blessed with spiritual blessings in the
heavenlies in Christ, according as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the
world" (Eph. 1: 3, 4). "Who blessed us. . . . according as He chose us."
This is the key to all favour in this dispensation of grace. In whom did He choose us?
In Abraham? No! In Christ. Abraham is never mentioned by Paul after Acts 28:
When did He choose us? Since the foundation of the world? No! Before. What are the
blessings? Are they connected with an earthly kingdom? No! They are "all spiritual