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Volume 24 - Page 154 of 211 Index | Zoom | |
the Church during the Acts was the second coming of Christ in connection with the
thousand years reign--Israel's great day. This hope is entirely foreign to "the mystery"
which looks "far above all" for the realization of its hope. The hope that is expressed in
I Thess. 4: must never be read without the consciousness that II Thess. 2:, with its
reference to the "Man of Sin", was written to correct false ideas about the time of the
second coming. If I Thess. 4: be my hope, then II Thess. 2: reveals that it will not be
realized until the Day of the Lord. Moreover, the Archangel links I Thess 4: with
Daniel's prophecy and with the hope of Israel (Dan. 10: and 12:). The words used
throughout Acts and its epistles, together with the epistles of Peter and James, are
parousia, apokalupto, and apokalupsis. These are not used by Paul when speaking of the
blessed hope of the mystery. The one hope of the calling of the dispensation of the
mystery has nothing to do with reigning over the Gentiles, or the state of peace in God's
holy mountain. It belongs to heavenly places and the right hand of God, and refers to a
phase of the Lord's second coming unknown before Acts 28:
In answer to the question therefore, "To whom do the words `Till He come' refer?"
we say, that they referred to that Church of Jew and Gentile that had been called into
being during the Acts while the longsuffering of God waited on Israel's repentance: that
they who thus waited were marked off from the present time by the possession of
miraculous gifts, which, together with Israel and its hope, have been set aside until the
Church of the one body is complete.
The written testimony to the Mystery,
and "Things that differ".
pp. 217 - 220
Continuing the criticism which we have partly examined, "B" passes from the
question of the dispensational boundary of Acts 28: to the equally important question
of the written testimony concerning this new dispensation:--
"I find another difficulty in the assumption that of the Pauline epistles only four
should have validity for us, and that this fact is nowhere mentioned, nor are these epistles
in any way distinguished from the others by a special position in the New Testament:
indeed they are deceptively placed in the very middle of the other epistles that are not
supposed to be applicable to us. Though I find Mr. Welch a little inconsistent, and
quoting Romans and Corinthians with great cogency as undoubtedly authoritative."
"B" makes it clear in the above criticism that he is not very well acquainted with what
we actually teach. He seems to think that we have confined ourselves to but four epistles,
and that it is an act inconsistent with our position to refer, for example, to Romans. The
opening paragraph of our studies (which commenced in March 1926 and have now in
1934 reached chapter 7:) runs like this:--