| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 24 - Page 151 of 211 Index | Zoom | |
Here we must pause. Further items of importance come before us in the next
criticism. We believe that no one can ponder the teaching of the Word as written in
Acts 28:, Eph. 3: and Col. 1: without realizing that a great and drastic
dispensational change took place. We believe that "B" will be most ready to
acknowledge that closer acquaintance with Acts 28: does give "a clear indication' of
a dispensational crisis.
A dispensational "secret".
A dispensational hope.
pp. 193 - 197
After a consideration of the question of Acts 28: as a dispensational boundary, our
"One other prima facie difficulty in accepting it is this. St. Luke was the intimate
friend and companion of St. Paul: he must have known of this great Dispensational
Church. Surely he might have put in a clear warning as he describes the growth of the
Church in Acts, that this was not "the Church" of the epistle to the Ephesians. Surely
also St. Matthew might have quoted in 16: 18 that Christ is not referring to the Church
according to Paul, but to the Church according to Peter and surely he should have told us
whether our Lord's words in 18: 17 (words that I think have been sadly neglected in
our Church life) refer to the Pentecostal or to the Dispensational Church."
"B" has used the word "surely" three times. This, of course, merely expresses
opinion, and is entirely outside the realm of valid argument. The above criticism can be
reduced to the three following statements:--
(1) Luke must have known of the dispensational change which we see in Acts 28:,
because he was an intimate friend of Paul.
(2) He ought therefore to have warned the Church in the Acts period of its
(3) Matthew also should have told us, when he was writing 16: 18, whether this
Church refers to Paul or to Peter, and whether the words of 18: 17 refer to a
Pentecostal Church or the Church of the mystery.
We must not forget that Luke's confessed object in writing the Acts was to continue
the treatise begun in his Gospel, of all that Jesus began to do and teach, by a
supplemental account of what the risen Lord did and taught through His apostles. When
Paul was commissioned on the road to Damascus, Luke knew that Paul was a chosen
vessel to bear the name of the Lord "before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of
Israel", and he plainly states it. What he did not know (or if he knew, was not permitted
to record) was that at the same time that Paul received this commission, the Lord
promises that He would appear to him once more, and give him a second commission.
This is made known to us for the first time in Acts 26: 16-18, when Paul's
evangelizing is at an end, and the prison is his sphere. We must go into the question of
Paul's twofold ministry later. But we have seen enough to realize that Luke does indicate