An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 5 - Dispensational Truth - Page 232 of 328
Yet the booklet under criticism, viz. Things most surely believed
itself contains, in chapter 3, the following passage directly bearing on the
`The ways of God with men are differentiated into dispensations.  This
word, used by Paul of the present dispensation of the grace of God to
Gentiles (Eph. 3:1,2) means "the administration of a household" or, as
it is translated in Luke 16:2, "stewardship".  The church at Jerusalem
was compelled to recognize the distinctive "stewardships" or
"dispensations" given to Peter and Paul (Gal. 2:6 -10), and saw that
the distinction involved not only "apostleship" but "gospel"`.
It would, surely, be difficult for a reader of the criticism to believe
that the booklet criticized contained the passage we have just quoted.  We
can only add that, as the criticism contains no point wherein it is
considered we have erred, we but restate, as above, what we have already
`Yet another point.  Chapter 10:3. 1 of Things most surely believed
says of the eventful scene in Acts 28: "A new dispensation with new
terms is ushered in -- the dispensation of the grace of God for the
Gentiles committed to Paul".  But was this new?  Was it not rather
God's revelation to Paul from his prior calling on the road to
Damascus?  Well, let us see what Paul himself says (Acts 26:17 and 18,
and again 22:21)'.
Here we find ourselves echoing our brother's words, `Well let us see
what Paul himself says (Acts 26:17,18 and 22:21)' only we suggest that a
commencement be made, not at verse 17, but at verse 16 of Acts 26,
particularly noticing the word `both', which indicates Paul's twofold
ministry, and the words `in the which I will appear unto thee', which make
clear the fact that when Paul received the commission on the road to Damascus
he also received intimation of another commission which would be given when
it should please the Lord to reveal it.
In Acts 20 this new commission is associated with `bonds and
afflictions'.  It indicated that Paul's earlier ministry had come to an end,
and that the Ephesians should see his face no more.  He looks forward to
`finishing his course' (Acts 20:24), and, as recorded in 2 Timothy 4:7, he
does finish that course.
No careful reader of Acts 20:17 -38 could fail to see that Paul is
summing up one ministry and looking forward to another, but this new ministry
is directly associated with `bonds', in other words, it is `a prison
ministry', with its new revelation and dispensation.  Acts 22:21, like Acts
20 and 26, makes known for the first time what the Lord said to Paul.  The
words of Acts 26:16 -18 were kept secret until Paul was a prisoner.  In face
of these Scriptures then, our brother's suggestion: `Was it not rather God's
revelation to Paul from his first calling on the road to Damascus?' is flatly
negatived.  It was not revealed at his first calling.  Paul himself says so,
and the very passages to which our brother refers us entirely overthrow his
We believe that those of our readers who have followed this criticism
will feel that if that is all that can be brought forward against our
position, those responsible are justified in the general pursuit of their
policy of expounding positive truth, for very occasionally only would the