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Volume 2 & 3 - Page 14 of 130 Index | Zoom | |
The very ones who as branches were broken off are defined in verse 28 "as concerning
the gospel enemies for your sakes," these selfsame enemies "as touching the election are
beloved for the fathers' sakes." Why? "For the gifts and calling of God are without
change of mind." There is, behind all, the unchanging God of love and grace. "For God
hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all." Here you have
the whole nation spoken of now not "cast away," but looking forward to a future
Rom. 9:-11: teaches exactly the opposite of the statement quoted above, and the
failure to view the remnant as God viewed it (namely as the olive tree), the failure to take
God's estimate, "some of the branches," has led some to think it says all the branches, the
stock and root as well. We cannot discover the "significant fact," and believe more
firmly than before that the longsuffering of God waited until the all-day conference of
Paul with the elders at Rome, and that it was then that the Pentecostal dispensation ended.
The firstfruits (Rom. 11: 16) were a pledge of future harvest, and that harvest shall surely
come; meanwhile, between the period of the end of Acts and "the end of the age - the
harvest," God has put into operation an hitherto unrevealed secret which has no reference
whatever to the olive tree of Israelitish privilege.
With regard to the other questions raised, we must consider them more briefly.
Dealing with the argument from silence the speaker above quoted said:--
"The epistle does not use certain words concerning the coming of the Lord, nor tell us
that He is coming at all. Are we to conclude that the Lord is not coming? . . . .
Further, I do not find any reference to the Holy Spirit in the epistle to the Colossians. Is
there no Holy Spirit, no doctrine of the Holy Spirit for us to-day because there is no
reference to it in the Colossians letter? I think, brethren, this argument from silence must
The argument, however, is not as represented in these words, neither can it be so
easily dismissed. When the reader knows that the subject of the conference was entitled,
"The epistles of Paul in connection with the parousia, the epiphaneia, and the
apocalupsis of our Lord's coming," he will see that much vital truth is brought to light by
considering the presence or absence of either of these words. The usage or non-usage of
the word parousia (coming) in Paul's epistles is striking. He uses it repeatedly in
I Thess., II Thess., and I Cor. in reference to the Lord's coming, but never uses it when
speaking of the Lord's coming after Acts 28: The same phenomenom is observed
with reference to apocalupsis (revelation). Parousia links the hope of the Pentecostal
believers to the "coming" of Matt. 24:, and apocalupsis links that same hope with the
revelation of the Lord as set forth in the Apocalypse, in the Book of the Revelation.
Epiphaneia used alone does not occur before Acts 28:, the reference in II Thess. 2: 8
is with reference to the parousia, and not of the "appearing" used by itself. II Thess. 2: 8
speaks of "the appearing of the parousia," Titus 2: 13 of "the appearing of the glory,"
already explained in Col. 3: 4. These are "significant facts," which cannot be lightly