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One word more. The suffering apostle, though neglected, forsaken and forgotten, and
having to write in his old age the sad facts that all in Asia had left him, and that all men
had forsaken him (II Tim. 1: 15; 4: 16), desiring Timothy to bring his rough sleeveless
travelling cloak (II Tim. 4: 13), realized that the last drops of his heart's blood were soon
to be poured out as a libation (II Tim. 4: 6), yet above it all his eyes beheld the "crown of
righteousness." He had written, "If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him"
(II Tim. 2: 12); now the race was nearly finished, the fight nearly over, the glorious
"henceforth" gilded his last moments, and his hopes were centred in "His appearing"
(II Tim. 4: 8).
May we who believe the same precious truth be made willing to endure, in some
degree, the "afflictions of the gospel," realizing that they are after all but "light," and "but
for a moment," in comparison with the age-abiding weight of glory.
The Ministry of Paul
Its relation to dispensational truth
His two-fold Commission.
"For the hope of Israel" (Acts 28: 20).
"For you Gentiles" (Eph. 3: 1).
In preceding papers we have pointed out that the words addressed to Paul by the Lord
on the road to Damascus are not recorded in Acts 9: The reason for this is that it was not
expedient that the peculiar mission of Paul should be made known until Israel had had
every opportunity to repent and believe. It is not until we read Acts 26:, and find Paul a
prisoner, his synagogue witness over, his face turned toward Gentile Rome, it is not till
then that we have revealed the actual commission received by him from the ascended
Lord. The apostle says:--
"At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the
sun. . . . I heard a voice speaking unto me. . . . and I said, Who art Thou, Lord? And
He said, I am Jesus Whom thou persecutest. 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 (Eph. 1: 18), to turn them from darkness to light, and from the authority of
satan unto God (Col. 1: 13), that they may receive forgiveness of sins (Eph. 1: 7), and
inheritance among them which are sanctified (Eph. 1: 11; Col. 1: 12) by faith that is in Me
(Eph. 1: 13, 14)" (Acts 26: 13-18).
The apostle here speaks of a two-fold ministry, unless the word "both" has lost its
meaning. He was to witness concerning:--
(1). The things which he had seen, and
(2). Those things in the which the Lord promised to appear unto him.