An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 9 - Prophetic Truth - Page 126 of 223
'There were false prophets also among the people' (2 Pet. 2:1).
Jude has one reference, namely in verse 5, and this to the people who were
saved out of the land of Egypt. These are the only references to laos in the
epistles of the circumcision.  Paul uses the word twenty -five times of which
one reference is in the plural (Rom. 15:11), and one reference in an epistle
written, so far as we know, after Acts 28, namely the epistle to Titus
He applies the prophetic utterance of Hosea to the calling of the
Gentiles (Rom. 9:25,26) but in 10:21 the 'gainsaying people' and in 11:1,2,
the 'castaway people' are Israel.  So too the three references in the
epistles to the Corinthians.  'The people sat down to eat'; 'with men of
other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people'; 'they shall be
My people' (1 Cor. 10:7; 14:21; 2 Cor. 6:16) all primarily refer to Israel
although applied by the apostle to the Gentiles at the time.
There are only two epistles left before our examination closes.
Hebrews contains thirteen references to the 'people' and as might be expected
in a book addressed to 'Hebrews' every reference is to the people of Israel.
The remaining epistle is that to Titus.  It is a matter of controversy as to
whether 1 Timothy and Titus were written before Paul's imprisonment in Acts
28, or whether they were written in the interval, after his release and
before the apprehension that issued in his death as indicated in the second
epistle to Timothy.  The matter cannot be discussed here.  For what it is
worth we give it as our opinion that 1 Timothy and Titus belong to the
interval of release after the imprisonment of Acts 28 had ended.  Some
lexical proofs of this have been given in volumes 14 and 15 of The Berean
Expositor, which should be consulted.  At the moment we are confronted with
the following alternatives, both of which are suggestive to a high degree.
On the assumption that Titus does not belong to the present
dispensation, then the word 'people' used so freely and
frequently throughout the rest of the New Testament is never used
by the apostle after the end of Acts 28.
On the assumption that Titus was written after Acts 28, the
reference is unique, and must be examined carefully.  The blessed
hope which is in the context is 'The appearing of the great God
and our Saviour Jesus Christ' and the use of the word epiphaneia,
rather than parousia or apokalupsis is one point in favour of its
relationship with the dispensation of the Mystery.  The result of
the Saviour's sacrificial work is stated as redeeming us from all
iniquity, and purifying unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous
of good works (Tit. 2:14).
The word periousios used by Paul in Titus 2:14, and
by the Septuagint in Exodus 19:5, which is translated 'peculiar', is not the
word adopted by Peter in 1 Peter 2:9, which is peripoiesis.  It is evident,
therefore, that while in the earthly sphere the people of Israel were called
to be a peculiar people or a peculiar treasure, 'above all the nations that
are upon the earth' (Deut. 14:2), there can be no competition, much less
usurpation of this peculiar privilege, if the same or similar title should be
given to the saints called out now during Israel's blindness and called to a
sphere of blessing where Israel's pre -eminence is not recognized.  This
solitary and isolated reference to a 'people' that characterizes the whole of
Paul's ministry after Acts 28 speaks volumes.  The people who have occupied