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patrick jane

Salvation, Doctrine and Rightly Dividing - MAD

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Posted (edited)

I picked this forum/sub forum but thought about using the Theology Forum. I am a MAD Bible Believer : Mid-Acts Dispensation - This will be a thread for sharing the MAD position based on Paul's unique gospel received through progressive revelation from the Risen Ascended Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

I am certainly open to debate and expect it. I also expect slight disagreements because "everybody knows" sometimes, it seems. I intend this thread to be more for study and observation but I welcome and encourage anyone and everyone to contribute anything and everything Christian. Not as a catch all thread, but a serious discussion about the gospel of grace and doctrine and the first to preach it, who is Paul. I will show that with strictly scripture and nothing more. That makes this not apologetic in my opinion, unless I misunderstand the term. 

To be clear, I am firm in my beliefs and doctrine, in fact there is no other, as scripture tells us. I am not confused nor am I looking for "guidance" or a "new and better way" to interpret the word of God. I will mostly be posting from my favorite site and pastor : Justin Johnson of graceambassadors.com - Hopefully, I don't have to post a link to the site in every post since he encourages sharing his work and content, and as an educational and public site/content it should fall under fair use anyway. Then again, I don't know the laws on that. 

If links show up when I copy/paste from Grace Ambassadors then every link will link to their main website. I am not recruiting or trying to push this doctrine on anybody. I have no ministry of ANY kind and I do not seek one. I am simply sharing what I believe and adhere to, and rational, reasonable adults can decide for themselves. I am also NOT a pastor and have no degree in theology or divination. I'm just a guy who understands what God clearly says in scripture and I am not infallible. I make errors and fall short like everyone else. Thanks in advance to any and all who read this thread or participate in any way. 

I'm trying to think of a good post to start off with and there are endless choices for me. I am also curious to see how they post on this forum so I will post shortly after this after some quick re-study of some introductory lessons/sermons to start with. I would appreciate no comments until after I post the second post, but I can't control that. BTW, I am a proponent of the KJV and all scripture I post, save a few, will be from the King James Version.

 

Edited by patrick jane
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Posted (edited)
 
"In [Paul's] writings alone we find the doctrine, position, walk, and destiny of the church." 
- Dr. Cyrus I. Scofield

grace ambassadors ministries - http://graceambassadors.com/

 

Mid-Acts dispensational Bible study recognizes the importance of the mystery of Christ revealed to the apostle Paul as doctrine particular to the church in the present dispensation (Rom 16:25, Col 1:25-27, Eph 3:2-4).

While most Bible students would make the most important division in the Bible to be between Israel and the Church or the Old and New Testaments, mid-Acts Bible study teaches the most important distinction in your Bible to be the right division between God’s Mystery purpose, “kept secret since the world began”, and God’s Prophecy purpose, which had been “spoken since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21 vs. Rom 16:25).

Understanding the mystery of Christ revealed to Paul for us clears up the theological confusion that is created by blending Prophecy and Mystery doctrines. Some controversial doctrines resolved by Pauline right division include:

Jesus instructs us to identify Paul as our pattern (1 Tim 1:16; 1 Cor 4:16; 1 Cor 11:1). A failure to operate according to the Lord’s revelations to Paul often leads to frustration with denominational traditions, including:

If you have been confused by some of these doctrines or frustrated by empty Church tradition, consider the Lord’s revelation to Paul and get some answers (2 Tim 2:7).

Basic teachings of Mid Acts Dispensational right division
– Jesus, in his earthly ministry, ministered to the circumcision. (Rom 15:8, see here)
– The mystery of Christ was first revealed to Paul (Col 1:25-26, 1 Tim 1:16, and here)
– Prophecy and mystery are different (Acts 3:19-21 vs Rom 16:25)
– Peter and Paul taught different messages (Peter prophecy, and Paul mystery: See here)
– Prophecy has been interrupted. (See here)
– The gospel of the kingdom is not the gospel of the grace of God (See here and here)
– Israel’s Church and the Church, the body of Christ, are different. (See here)

Further study:
Common Responses to mid-Acts dispensational right division.
Contradictions resolved by mid-Acts dispensational Bible study.
What is the Mystery information?
What is the Prophecy information?
FAQ – Frequently asked questions about mid-Acts.

 Dr. C.I. Scofield made this statement in the notes on Ephesians 3:6 in his popular study Bible. Scofield was neither mid-Acts dispensational, nor without error in his notes, but the mid-Acts Pauline position stands on the truth of this statement.
Edited by patrick jane

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Acts 2:38 is Not the Preaching of the Cross

By Justin Johnson

“Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” – Acts 2:37-38

If Acts 2:38 is the gospel that saves today, then there is no reason to preach the finished work of the cross for salvation.

After Peter condemned the men of Israel for killing Jesus, who was both Lord and Christ, many in the crowd sought deliverance from their actions. What should they do to save themselves from the wrath of God that would surely come as a result of their rejection of Christ?

Peter’s response did not include trusting the finished work of Christ on the cross. In fact, his response did not include the cross at all!

Repentance and Baptism

Peter did not preach the cross for salvation, but instead called them all to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.

This was the same message of John the Baptist years earlier before the cross of Christ.

“John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” – Mark 1:4

John did not baptize in the name of Jesus, but his baptism did help identify Jesus as the Son of God (John 1:31).

There was one difference to the message John preached. This water baptism was to be “in the name of Jesus Christ.”

The Name of Jesus Christ

Jesus and the disciples baptized with John’s baptism of repentance throughout their three year ministry before the cross. Except their message also included the identification of Jesus as the prophesied Christ.

“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” – John 3:18

To be baptized meant they were receiving repentance and remission of sins in preparation for the kingdom come, but also believing that Jesus was Christ the King whom John said would come.

“And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.” – Luke 7:29

Naming Jesus of Nazareth as Israel’s Christ was the purpose of the Lord’s ministry to Israel. It was on this issue that Jesus evaluated how his ministry was being received.

“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” – Matthew 16:13

All of this was preached before the event of the cross. Moreover, it was preached without the disciples understanding the cross (Matt 16:21-23). The cross was not being preached as the means of salvation unto all. What was preached was the name of Jesus Christ.

The Gift of the Holy Ghost

The new thing in Peter’s message at Pentecost was the presence of the promised Holy Ghost.

Acts 2:38 adds as a consequence of being baptized with John’s baptism, and naming Jesus as the Christ, which was receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The prophets spoke about the Holy Ghost (including John the Baptist – Matt 3:11). Jesus taught that the Holy Ghost would be necessary for Israel to enter their kingdom.

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” – John 3:5

The Holy Spirit would provide the necessary power for Israel’s new covenant to be fulfilled (Eze 36:26). As God’s purpose for Israel unfolded Acts 2:38 was right on time, but it did not include the revelation of the mystery or the gospel of the cross.

The Missing Cross

By the time Peter preached Acts 2:38, Christ had died and resurrected, but his message was not offering the cross for salvation.

The cross was the means of condemnation. It was another link in a long chain of Israel killing their prophets, and then being called on to repent.

Time was running out for Israel, but God was still giving opportunity for them to be forgiven per request of the Lord.

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” – Luke 23:34

If the preaching of the cross of Christ for salvation is the measure of salvation for today, then Acts 2:38 is not the gospel that saves today.

If Acts 2:38 is the gospel that saves today, then we do not need to understand or preach the finished work of the cross of Christ to save.

God forbid.

“For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” – 1 Corinthians 1:17-18

Peter did not yet know what was later revealed to the apostle Paul about the cross. With a full Bible, we have no excuse today for not reading further than Acts 2:38.

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Posted (edited)

Actually, now the links work on this :35:last post but not post #2. Interesting. Wait, yes they do. On post # 3 I didn't change the font but it got big somehow. idunno

Edited by patrick jane

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When Believing in Jesus Can’t Save You

By Justin Johnson

“Are you saved?”
“I believe in Jesus.”

If you think this is what saves you, you might be deceived. You say, why wouldn’t someone who believes in Jesus be saved?

Because you can believe in Jesus and not be saved.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in Jesus, too, and think that the salvation of all men is only found in him. Yet, the greatest lies resemble truth. The lie in this false gospel becomes obvious when you consider what is not expressed by this oversimplified statement.

For example, Muslims believe in Jesus: he is considered a prophet in the religion of Islam and the Koran. The Hindus believe in Jesus: he is a great guru for them. Historians believe in Jesus: he was a first century Jew who lived in Galilee. Even the devils in hell believe in Jesus and tremble!

Do you see that there are times when merely believing in Jesus cannot save? Here is how you know when believing in Jesus cannot save you.

When you don’t know who Jesus is.

If you don’t know that Jesus was Christ, the Son of God, then he cannot save you. Jesus said:

“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” – John 8:24

This means Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim 3:16; Col 2:9). If he is not, he cannot be your Saviour (Titus 2:13). God is the only Saviour (Isa 43:11). If Jesus is not the fullness of the Godhead bodily, then he is an imposter, a liar, or worse.

When you don’t know what Jesus did.

Why did Jesus need to die? If you don’t know, then let me be frank: you are not saved, but you can be.

Maybe he was not crucified at all like the Koran wrongly teaches? Perhaps he died naturally, or died without blood like some false Bibles teach. If he did not die, shedding his blood, cursed on a cross, then your sins cannot be forgiven (Eph 1:7; Heb 9:22).

Without the cross, God has no means to save anyone.

Did he not rise from the dead? Then, you have no proof Jesus was Christ, no hope of glory, no comfort in death, no salvation from sins, and no expectation of eternal life (Rom 4:25; Matt 12:40; 1 Thess 4:14).

“And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” – 1 Corinthians 15:17

When Jesus did not complete the work.

James, the apostle to the twelve tribes, writes that faith without works is dead. Mere belief in Jesus does not justify unto salvation. After all, even the devils believe and know who Jesus is:

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”- James 2:19

“ And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.” – Luke 4:41

James was teaching justification to the twelve tribes of Israel under their law covenant. This was not written with the knowledge of the mystery of Christ, the gospel of God’s grace.

The gospel of grace is that Christ did all the work necessary for your salvation (Rom 4:5; Titus 3:5). This is called grace, and it is offered freely (Rom 3:24).

There is nothing else that need be done (Col 2:10). How can this be? Christ did it all. Your only response is faith.

The only way to be saved is by grace through faith, and this is only possible if the work needed to save you was completed by Christ, the object of your faith.

If you think you must contribute some work in order to seal the deal with God, then believing in Christ is not enough to save you. You are not trusting his finished work on your behalf (i.e his grace to you).

How Believing in Jesus Can Save You

The Lord Jesus Christ revealed the gospel that saves any man today to the apostle Paul. This gospel of grace allows Christ to save through mere belief in the gospel of Christ (Eph 1:13)

“To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” – Romans 3:25

Before that time, the righteousness of God to save by faith alone was not known, and so faith by itself would impugn the righteousness of God to save (James 2:20).

Christ had to make himself known to Israel for people to believe who he was, he had to die and resurrect for men to know what he did, and the mystery of the gospel had to be revealed before belief could stand alone without works, law, or Israel (i.e. pure grace).

There was a time when belief in Jesus was either impossible, or insufficient, but now according to the revelation of the mystery, faith in Christ is what saves upon hearing the gospel of the grace of God.

Jesus was God in the flesh who died for your sins, rose from the dead, and revealed the gospel of his finished work having done everything necessary for your salvation. Trust him to be saved according to the gospel of grace.

If you don’t know who Jesus is, what he did, or fail to trust his finished work, then believing in Jesus cannot save you.

Are you saved?

“I believe in Jesus”

So what. What do you believe about him? How does he save you? How do you know?

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Mid-Acts Dispensational Right Division is a Gospel Issue

By Justin Johnson

There is no more important issue for humanity than the gospel of our salvation. Yet, when you ask a handful of Christians to explain the gospel rarely do you get a consistent or clear answer.

Common ideas about salvation are experiential and based on performance. These beliefs are not much different than other religions. They sound like this:

  • – Doing the best I can
    – Going to church
    – Being good
    – Believing in God
    – Raised in a Christian home
    – Experienced God’s love

More spiritually minded people will recognize that the gospel has something to do with Jesus. We hear the salvation gospel described as “believing in Jesus”, “following Jesus”, “making Jesus Lord of your life”, “accepting Jesus”, “receiving Jesus”, or “loving Jesus”. Pretty much, anything that has to do with Jesus is a legitimate explanation of the gospel for these folks.

Even certified theologians differ about the gospel. Some think God chooses who will be saved. Others think God grants salvation in response to our behavior. Catholics believe it is a sin to presume that you are eternally saved. Now, that is confusion!

The only thing clear about the gospel in Christianity is that few people can articulate it clearly.

The Gospel of Our Salvation

It is not the gospel of salvation merely to believe in Jesus; the devils do that (Mark 1:24, James 2:19).
It is not the gospel to love Jesus with all our heart; the Muslims dothat as well.

“Making Jesus Lord” is something the Mormons include in their theology, and every good Hindu “accepts” Jesus (they accept thousands of gods).

None of the beliefs above can save you from God’s rightful judgment against our sins. Paul clearly states the gospel of our salvation in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

“… Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: …” – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

It was through Christ’s death that our sin is removed and we are justified.

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21

We receive righteous standing with God by faith.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” – Romans 5:1

Belief in this gospel alone will save you and give you the grace of eternal life (Rom 6:23). First, we hear this gospel of grace. Second, we trust it, then we are saved: no more, no less.

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise…” – Ephesians 1:13

The Mystery of the Gospel

What does this have to do with the mystery of Christ and mid-Acts dispensational right division? Everything.

You can find gospel messages in the Bible before the gospel of grace surrounding the covenants, Israel, the Commandments, baptism, the Messiah, and the kingdom. Christians cause confusion when they fail to distinguish between the gospel of the kingdom and the mystery gospel of the grace of God.

No one before the revelation of the mystery of Christ understood the significant meaning of the death of Jesus to all men (Luke 18:34).

The mystery of Christ is the gospel of the grace of God. It is the preaching of the cross for salvation. No one before the revelation of the mystery understood how faith alone could justify sinners (James 2:24). The gospel of grace was kept secret from humanity (1 Cor 2:7-8).

Mid-Acts right division recognizes the difference between God’s progressive instructions in the Bible, and clarifies our understanding of the gospel for today. By separating the gospel of grace from the message of the law, covenants, kingdoms, and baptism the glorious gospel of Christ stands alone.

Resolving the confusions over tithing, tongues, and water baptism are only consequences and not the main benefit of mid-acts dispensational right division. The biggest benefit to the church of learning the mystery of Christ is clarifying the gospel of our salvation.

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Posted (edited)

The reality is, your doctrine and beliefs that you "know so well" and adhere to may be wrong. Read more when you get the time.

Edited by patrick jane

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When Can Works Justify

By Justin Johnson

The opposite of faith is doubt. Faith is always required for salvation. Doubt towards God in salvation is unacceptable.  Likewise, grace from God is always needed for salvation. Our good works are but filthy rags before a righteous God and also are unable to save us; we need God’s grace.

But there remains confusion about where in the plan of salvation do ‘works’ come into play. The confusion enters when the plain verse from James 2:24 is compared with the plain verse in Romans 4:5.

“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” – James 2:24

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. ” – Romans 4:5

These are theological opposites. Some might call it a contradiction. Pastors are told in seminaries that the contradiction is only imaginary and that they mean the same thing; black is white; up is down. I don’t buy it.

The theological opposite of justification by faith and works is justification by faith without works, just as the verses suggest. The plain reading of these two verses present a seemingly irreconcilable contradiction unless we understand the fact that James did not believe the same gospel that was given to Paul.

Paul presents his faith in Romans 3 which is placed in the propitiatory work of Christ on the cross. His blood offered as payment for our sins (Romans 3:24-25). Since his faith was in the finished work of Christ there is nothing else for the sinner to do but to believe.

“To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. ” – Romans 3:26

Of course, James could not have understood this mystery information as the book of James was most likely written before any contact with Paul and the gospel of the grace of God.

James’ faith is described as the belief in the one God, Jesus Christ as the Messiah, and in doing every part of the law with mercy (James 2:13).

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. ” – James 1:22

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” – James 2:19

After all, Jesus taught doing the commandments if you truly had faith: “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me:” (John 14:21)

Although works could never in themselves save sinful humanity, they were required under the law for the obedience of faith. Since James’ faith was in the obedience of the law according to the commands of the Messiah, then a faith in works without works would be vain indeed.

Works were needed for justification before the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery.

Thank God that now we have been delivered from the curse of the law and we now know it is the work of Christ paying for our sins on the cross that justifies the ungodly by faith alone! Put your faith in the living Jesus Christ and his blood atonement for your sins.

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Would anyone that's viewing this thread give me some input on the font size? Is it better when larger like a some previous posts, or smaller like the lat post?

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Why Do You Call It Mid-Acts Pauline Dispensational Right Division?

If you are like most people, when you heard “mid-Acts Pauline dispensational right division” for the first time you were overwhelmed. “What does it mean?!”, “That’s got to be a cult”, or “Why is it so long?”

Truthfully, I wish we could drop the whole thing. No where in the Bible are we told to name ourselves apart from the name of Christ. Yet, when we live in such a present evil world and a diverse marketplace of ideas we must carry some distinction to describe our doctrine as separate from the rest. If we must identify ourselves the obvious preference would be to identify ourselves with the Lord Jesus, but it seems people can easily confuse us with the Catholics, Jehovah Witnesses, and Universalists who also name the name of Christ.

Though the mid-Acts description is tedious it does have its advantages: it communicates ‘we are different’, it is honest, it gets peoples’ attention, and it makes a nice satirical jab at denominational nomenclature (we are not trying to start a denomination).

This page seeks to explain exactly why we use each word in our verbose name.

For a better summary of the basics of mid-Acts teaching go here.

Mid-Acts

  • ‘Mid-Acts’ refers to when in Scripture the current dispensation of Grace began (Ephesians 3:1-2).
  • This present age began when the mystery information was revealed to the Apostle Paul in the middle of the book of Acts (1 Corinthians 9:17).
  • Often referred to as the ‘church age’, many Bible students wrongly believe this present age began at Pentecost, when Christ died, or even Acts 28.

Pauline

  • Pauline refers to Paul being the Apostle of the Gentiles, and having the pattern of salvation that we are saved by today (Romans 11:13;1 Timothy 1:16).
  • Paul was given a revelation from Jesus Christ about information that had been ‘kept secret since the world began’ (Romans 16:25, Ephesians 3:1-5).
  • The information revealed to Paul contained an unprophesied ‘new creature’ called the Body of Christ that is saved by grace through faith and will reign with Christ in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:17, Eph 2:7).
  • Paul was NOT one of the twelve apostles of the prophecy program (1 Cor 15:5-8).
  • Though Paul was an evangelist, he was not ONLY an evangelist. A gospel dispensation was committed to him about about a secret part of God’s plan for salvation by grace through faith alone (1 Cor 9:16-17).
  • Paul taught a message that was about Jesus but in a different perspective. It was Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery (Romans 16:25).

Dispensational

  • A dispensation is when further information was given by God about how we are to relate to Him and the world around us.
  • Though God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, His instructions for mankind’s operation by faith has been revealed progressively at sundry times and in divers manners (Hebrews 1:1).
  • Dispensational Bible study recognizes the different messages and methods that God uses to deal with mankind throughout history according to His purpose (1 Corinthians 12:5).

Right Division

  • Right Division is a method of studying the Bible in the light of recognizing God’s distinct dispensations and programs (1 Corinthians 12:5).
  • Understanding God’s distinct dispensations, we must divide or discern Scripture according to his separate purposes for the heaven and earth (2 Tim 2:15).
  • All Scripture is profitable for doctrine, and yet we must discern our instructions from the instructions given by God to other groups at other times (2 Timothy 3:16).
  • Today as members of the Body of Christ we must carefully apply those doctrines that are specifically for us in the dispensation of Grace.

We would much rather simply be called ‘Bible believers’, ‘those people who teach the gospel of Christ’, or ‘those grace ambassadors of the Lord’. Whatever you want to call us or the doctrine, we know it makes the Bible a whole lot easier to understand when you obey the Lord’s instructions to Paul.

A rose is a rose, and by any other name would still fade away, but the word of the Lord stands forever (Psalm 119:89).

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