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Berean Expositor Volume 2 & 3
The Ministry of Paul
Its relation to dispensational truth
"It pleased God. . . . to reveal His Son in me" (Gal. 1: 15, 16).
It has been our endeavour during the last few years to emphasize the claims of the
apostle Paul upon believers of the present time; not that Paul is anything of himself, but
because to him was given the dispensation of the mystery (Eph. 3: 2-10).
In the endeavour rightly to divide the Word of truth we are sure to have difficulties,
one great reason being that centuries of neglect and tradition have left us prejudiced in
favour of a system foreign to the teaching of Paul, and further, the low spiritual state of
the church as a whole has rendered it incapacitated for the reception of the mystery
(I Cor. 3: 1-3).
Those who have had the eyes of their heart enlightened (Eph. 1: 18), still find many
difficulties and problems, which we must all expect while in the flesh, and among the
many causes of difficulty is the fact that the ministry of Paul has a two-fold aspect; in one
case he is seen severed from the teaching of the twelve, while in another he is found
working in harmony with them. His epistles, covering a space of some sixteen years, are
not confined to one period, some epistles being written while he worked in fellowship
with Jerusalem, and some being written after Israel was set aside and Paul was a prisoner
The book of the Acts records the conversion and early labours of the apostle Paul, so
let us turn to the book to learn something more concerning this wonderful ministry.
Three cities constitute the three turning points of dispensational interest in the Acts, viz.,
Jerusalem, Antioch, and Rome. Two ministries occupy the bulk of the record, those of
Peter and Paul. Peter's ministry commences at Jerusalem and ends (so far as the record is
concerned) with imprisonment. Paul's definite ministry commences at Antioch and ends
(so far as the record is concerned) with his imprisonment at Rome.
The Acts commences with "the Jew first" and closes with the Jew set aside. The
opening and closing verses are worthy of careful study:--
A | 1: 1 - 11. | a | Christ teaching concerning the kingdom of God. \ The Jew
b | "Wilt thou restore the kingdom to Israel?"
B | 1: 12 - 12: Peter's ministry and imprisonment.
B | 13: - 27: Paul's ministry and imprisonment.
A | 28: 25 - 31. | a | Paul preaching concerning the kingdom of God. \ The Jew
b | "Salvation of God sent to the Gentiles."
/ set aside