The Berean Expositor
Volume 46 - Page 234 of 249
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"Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called
Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel,
and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and with God in the world"
(Eph. 2: 11, 12).
The Saviour Himself reminded the woman of Samaria that:
"Salvation is of the Jews" (John 4: 22).
The people of Israel occupy their pre-eminent place from Act 1:, until set aside in
Acts 28:, a period that covers and includes the seven epistles of Paul's early ministry.
Let us tabulate the references for the sake of brevity.
Arising out of the forty days opening up of the Scriptures of the O.T. and prompted,
not by blinded Jewish prejudice, but after being assured that He Who had thus
expounded to them, or "opened" the Scriptures, saw to it that their understandings
were also "opened", the disciples put to the Lord the one question to which such an
opening of the Scriptures must lead:
"Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1: 6; see
Acts 1: 3; Luke 24: 27, 32, 44-48).
It is a sad comment, that those who believe that "the Body of Christ began at
Pentecost" have to stoop so low in support of their traditions, as to label Acts 1: 6 as "An
Apostolic mistake"!
When we examine Acts 2:, we discover the following features. Those who had
gathered from "every nation under heaven" to observe this feast, are denominated
"JEWS".  They are addressed by Peter as "Men of Judaea", "Men of Israel",
"Men and brethren", "All the house of Israel" (Acts 2: 5, 14, 22, 36).
The Scriptures quoted in proving certain features, are the prophet Joel and the Psalms.
These O.T. Scriptures have nothing to say about a church, but associate Pentecost
with "the raising of the Lord to sit upon David's throne" (Acts 2: 16-21, 30, 33).
The Revised Text omits the word "church" from Acts 2: 47; but even though it
should be retained, Stephen's use of the word in Acts 7: 38 shows that the nation
of Israel was at that time spoken of as the "Church in the wilderness".
In Acts 3: 19-26, Peter provides the moral of the healing of the lame man. It was a
foreshadowing of the "restoration of all things", and in relation with this great
theme of prophecy, Peter said to Israel:
"Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our
fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be
blessed. UNTO YOU FIRST God, having raised up His Son Jesus, SENT Him to bless
you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities" (Acts 3: 25, 26).
Even after the stoning of Stephen, and the subsequent preaching in places as far off as
Cyprus and Antioch, such nevertheless preached the word "To NONE but unto the
JEWS ONLY" (Acts 11: 19).
Leaving the testimony of Peter let us turn to the teaching of Paul.