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patrick jane

Salvation, Doctrine and Rightly Dividing - MAD

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The Main Point of Mid Acts Doctrine

By Justin Johnson

It is not unusual to receive messages from site visitors who would like to oppose Mid Acts doctrine since evidently it sounds very different. It is a pleasure to receive one of these messages since I am able to learn what is being communicated by what is published.

After reading many of these emails, it is amazing how often people miss the main point of the Mid Acts perspective. By not correctly identifying what it is they are attacking, their volleys fail to hit the mark.

This short post is intended to help direct those who are looking for the heart of Mid Acts so that you can aim your attacks (or your sincere consideration) more accurately.

It’s Not about Baptism

It seems some doctrines attract a larger crowd than others. Baptism is one of those doctrines that will always be surrounded in controversy.

While it is clearly understood through a Mid Acts perspective that water baptism has no import in this dispensation it is not the primary point of Mid Acts dispensational right division.

You Can’t Find It in Acts

The book of Acts does not clearly identify what is taught as Mid Acts doctrine. The nomenclature “Mid Acts” refers to at what time Paul was saved.

The book of Acts is about Israel’s rejection of the Apostles: all of them. First they rejected Christ, the Apostle (Heb 3:1), then the twelve apostles, then Paul the apostle of the Gentiles.

Christ was rejected in Jerusalem, his disciples all throughout Israel, and Paul was stoned in Gentile countries. It is a description of old things (Israel’s position) passing away but only a vague description of the new things (the new creature).

The Main Point

Here it is: the main point. Mid Acts doctrine does not rest on baptism, the book of Acts, or 2 Timothy 2:15.

Our Apostle Paul was uniquely given mercy by God while he was killing the faithful in Christ. Jesus commissioned him with a unique ministry. Paul taught a message of the Lord Jesus that no one hitherto had known.

“Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” – 1 Tim 1:16

Jesus gave to Paul a new ministry to be the pattern to everyone after him. God’s nature has not changed, but his ministry to man has changed. God’s present ministry to man through Christ was first revealed in its fullness to our Apostle Paul.

The Painted Target

If Paul did not teach anything significantly different than Peter, John the Baptist, or the prophets, then Mid Acts doctrine falls apart.

However, if you can see that there is new doctrine about Jesus revealed first to Paul that is of primary significance to the members of the body of Christ today, then you are closer to identifying the main point of Mid Acts doctrine.

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I wonder why people aren't responding to the truth in this thread. 

 

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Edited by patrick jane

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2 hours ago, Yowm said:

Patrick if you want a response, then don't preach to the Forum. This is more of a discussion forum. Some advice, if you want discussion, bring out one Tenet of the Mid Acts position, explain it in about a paragraph, ask others for their scriptural view and let it be a back and forth exchange. Otherwise you will sit there scratching your head and asking 'why no response?'.

I am somewhat familiar with it, agree on some points. It may be a welcomed balance to some who are nearly 'red letter' Christians, but we'll see where it goes.

Yes, I though first I would establish some introductory posts for people to get acquainted with the basics of dispensational right division. Anyone can pick one post or one topic in a post and comment or disagree. I didn't mean to preach down at anybody and the bulk of the posts are by Justin Johnson, not my writing. All the links go to his site. I study his preaching and agree with most of it. I certainly don't know everything and never will but I believe God speaks plainly and clearly to us.

I don't really mind of nobody comments or disagrees if even one person can learn and grow from one single post. I'm trying to share what little I DO know and believe with all my heart, mind and soul. Thank you for the advice and soon I will try to pick one thing and discuss it in my own words but I also don't want folks to thing it's a challenge or a spiritual wisdom contest.

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Popular Objections to Mid-Acts

This series was recorded between January and June 2015 during our Sunday 10am Q&A meetings. The list of objections was provided by a gentleman in opposition to mid-Acts dispensational right division. Dealing with the detractors is important, and in this series we present the mid-Acts response to popular objections we hear over and over.

 

 

 

Lesson Name Audio
       
     
1. “Paul preached the faith he once destroyed” (Gal 1:23) MP3
2. “There is only one church, and it existed before Paul” MP3
3. “Peter went to Gentiles first” (Acts 10) MP3
4. “Peter taught Paul’s gospel to Cornelius” (Acts 10) MP3
5. “Peter is saved by grace, too” (Acts 15:8-11) MP3
6. “If there are different gospels then Paul is calling Peter cursed” (Gal 1:8-9) MP3
7. “The Spirit was given first at Pentecost” (1 Cor 12:13) MP3
8. “People were in Christ before Paul” (Rom 16:7) MP3
9. “The church and the kingdom are the same thing”(Luke 16:16) MP3
10. “Paul preached the kingdom” pt 1 (Col 4:11) MP3
11. “Paul preached the kingdom” pt 2 (Acts 28:31) MP3
12. “Peter did not preach works” (Acts 4:10-12) MP3
13. “James and Paul do not contradict” (James 2:23) MP3
14. “Peter taught the blood of Christ, too” (1 Pet 1:18) MP3

Other objections below are answered from articles or in other lesson series:

 “Gentiles partake of Israel’s spiritual things” (Rom 15:27)
 “Paul taught the New Testament in 1 Cor 11:25” (Also see our communion page)

The motivation for answering objections should not be to win an argument or to prove ourselves right. Dealing with objections helps us to let God be true, the Bible inerrant, and to remove any form of false theology from our thinking.

Many objections and questions we receive result from a general misunderstanding of the mid-Acts position. These responses are made available not to debate, but to clarify the mid-Acts dispensational understanding of the Bible.

“I still have objections”

If you have objections to mid-Acts feel free to contact us. You may find your objection answered if it has not been mentioned before.

Before contacting us please search this site to see if you can find the mid-Acts response, and please … please… please read first The Main Point of Mid-Acts Doctrine

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2 hours ago, Yowm said:

@patrick jane since Mid Acts believers believe the Church began either at Acts 9 or Acts 13 (rather than at Pentecost), have they yet come to a consensus if the Apostles were part of the Church (IN) or part of the Kingdom dispensation (OUT)? When I was attending a MAD Church about 8 years ago that seemed to be a thorn in their flesh. 

..especially in the case of James the Apostle who was murdered between chapters 9 and 13..

Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
(Act 12:1-2)
 

There is a split between Acts 2, 9, 13, and 28. Pretty confusing. I hold to Acts 9 as do many true MADs.  Some say the BOC didn't start until Acts 13 or 28. I don't find any confusion in the Acts 9 position and that's what Justin Johnson adheres to. I've never heard the death of James being a factor in Mid Acts. After all, James was addressing the 12 Tribes scattered abroad, not gentiles.

 

James 1:1 KJV - James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

Edited by patrick jane

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21 minutes ago, Yowm said:

James of the Book of James is the 1/2 brother of Jesus, he is not James the apostle (one of the twelve) who did not write an Epistle.

Many MADders hold that because the Apostles were saved before Acts 9 (before the Church) they therefore did not belong to the Church (Out), others include those saved before Acts 9 were still part of the Church saints (In). I guess I didn't make it clear.

I'm not a as strict and rigid as many MADs seem to be. I'm open to learning and to let God's word be true. Let every man be a liar. I look at 1 Corinthians 12:13-14 KJV - and we know that gentiles and Jews alike were saved by hearing and believing Jesus before DBR, like the thief on the Cross and many others. I can't make decisions on who is in the BOC or who is not. That's above my pay grade and I don't fight for those type of interpretations. 

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Email Tips: Rightly Dividing Paul’s Epistles

This "tip" was originally delivered on Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 .

There are things that Paul writes about that you would be wrong to apply to yourself. They were written to someone about something that is not where you are in Christ.

Romans 15:27 is one example. Paul says it is the Gentile duty to minister to the poor saints in Jerusalem with carnal things (the Greek word for carnal things is “moolah”).

The carnal duty was not given to unbelievers in Israel, but to the little flock led by Peter, the remnant of Israel.

The remnant group of kingdom saints were poor because they sold everything they had in response to Jesus’ explicit command under the gospel of the kingdom (Luke 18:22).

In 2012 there is not a single member of Peter’s remnant left in Jerusalem or anywhere. Unbelieving Jews, like unbelieving Gentiles, that live in Jerusalem are not saints. We are no longer taking up collections for them.

This duty to 1st century Pauline believers is not an instruction to us.

Paul talks to Jews in Rom 2 and Rom 9. He talks about unbelievers in 2 Thess 2, and is quoting the law in Eph 6:3.

The doctrine for the church is found in Paul’s epistles, but not every word Paul writes is for your participation. We must still consider Paul’s audience and context.

For His Glory,

Justin Curtis Johnson

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Sinners and Saints

By Justin Johnson

When a soul is saved it is given a new position and a new title. I’ve never heard anyone use it outside of more religious sects and the Bible.

It is common to hear people in churches call each other “brother” or “sister”. This seems to be Biblical in that “brethren” is used frequently to describe our close relationship to other believers.

“Believer” is only used once by our apostle to describe those who are saved (1 Tim 4:12).

Calling ourselves “saved” would be an appropriate description according to 1 Cor 1:18, but it more aptly describes what has happened to us and not who we are in Christ. We are saved just as we are also redeemed, justified, and sanctified.

More faddish groups would like to call themselves “Jesus followers” based upon what the twelve apostles did with Jesus while he was on earth. This is not only dispensationally wrong, but sounds more like a Jesus fan club than God’s church.

Speaking of church, some prefer to use the word “member” to describe people who have ceremonially joined their special group. Yet, every time the Bible uses the word “member” it is in reference to body parts. Being members of Christ’s body and of each other speaks of our relationship towards our Head and other parts of the body (Eph 5:30).

Converting a Sinner

Before God saved us by Christ’s finished work on the cross we were called sinners.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

By Adam’s disobedience we were born into a sinful world and death passed upon us all (Rom 5:12).

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” – Romans 5:19

In Christ we are made righteous. We are no longer made sinners in Adam. We are now made something new in Christ. It is the operation of God that places us into his body, and gives us this new position.

Made a Saint in Christ

The Bible calls those in Christ “saints”. No one has ever called me a saint, except my Bible.

I suspect that is because the few religious sects that use the title “saint” restrict its use to those they believe performed great religious service or exhibited extraordinary religious fervor.

Yet, this is foreign to the Bible’s definition of saint. I would not pretend to be called a saint according to the Roman Catholic tradition. It takes years just for their popes to be sainted.

To understand our position as saints we must ignore tradition and let the Bible define its own terms.

In the Bible if you are not a sinner dead in sins, then you are a saint. You became a saint of God when you trusted the gospel of Christ, irregardless of your religious works.

Saint is your new title and position. Christ has dealt with your sins. You are no longer in Adam, but in Christ. The Bible calls us saints of God by the grace of God, not by our works, lest any man should boast (Eph 2:8-9).

Now, if only we can get this through our thick skulls, perhaps we will start acting like one.

“Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:” – 1 Corinthians 1:2

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Galatians 3:5-14 KJV -

He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?


6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.


7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.


8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.


9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.


10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.


11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.


12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.


13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:


14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
 
15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

 

16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

 

17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

 

18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

 

19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

 

20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

 

21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

 

22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

 

23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

 

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

 

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

 

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

 

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

 

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

 

29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Edited by patrick jane

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What Is the Church?

The church is always the congregation of the saints of God in any particular age. In the Bible the church is never a building. The congregation, that is the saints, can meet in a house, a garage, an office building, or a backyard and the group will still be God’s church. It is always a group of believers or saints.

Throughout history, the people and purpose of the church changes as God progressively revealed his plans and purposes. Here are some examples of churches the Bible describes:

The Church in the wilderness
For example, the Bible says that Moses was in the ‘church in the wilderness’ (Acts 7:38). Yet, back in the wilderness, Jesus had not yet died on the cross, nor had he instituted any new covenant, nor had He revealed the revelation of the mystery to Paul!

Moses was part of the group of God’s ‘chosen people’, the nation Israel, which was brought out of Egypt as God’s firstborn (Deut 7:6, Exodus 4:22, Exodus 19:4). This congregation of saints operated mostly out of the Old Mosaic Covenant, and was preoccupied with following God’s law to inherit the covenant blessings.

The Church in the Temple
Under the New Testament, there were devout and faithful Jewish believers that preached the gospel of the kingdom and that Jesus was the Son of God. These members of God’s church were not under God’s Old Covenant, but where subject to God’s New Covenant.

They were participants in the pouring out of God’s Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and were supernaturally able to obey the law of God as it was written in their hearts. Led by Peter, this congregation of saints was preparing to go into the kingdom. As such the Bible says that,

“And all that believed were together, and had all things common; [45] And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. [46] They, CONTINUING DAILY WITH ONE ACCORD IN THE TEMPLE, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, [47] Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. “ – Acts 2:44-47

The Church, the Body of Christ
For us in this dispensation, when we trust in the gospel and are saved, we are placed into the body of Christ, which is the church (1 Cor 12:13, Col 1:24).

“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” – 1 Cor 12:27

Within this congregation of saints, Jesus Christ is the head and we are subject to him (Eph 5:23-32). We, who are saved, are each members of the congregation of the saints, the church, the Body of Christ.

You are the church
Members of the church, the Body of Christ, have a special standing distinct from the other churches. We do not go to a temple to worship God because we are the temple. Paul says,

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” – 1 Cor 3:16

Paul exhorts the Ephesian elders to “feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).

The Bible says that he purchased YOU with a price, and that YOU are the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor 6:19-20). Therefore, the church of God today is found in YOU! Wherever you are, the church is. That is why we are to glorify God in our body because God dwells in us, and so within us there is a ‘church service’ happening 24 hours a day! (Col 1:25, 1 Cor 3:16, Eph 3:17)

Church Groups
Now there are many members of the Body of Christ, the church today. So when many members of the church get together, that assembly or congregation of saints is also called a church.

When a group of saints gets together to praise God, study His word, and to build each other up, the Bible calls them a church. For example, Paul writes to the ‘church at Ephesus’, and the ‘church of Galatia’, and the ‘church at Corinth’.

However, each one of us becomes part of the church as we are placed into the Body of Christ.

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