In Answer to “Hyperdispensationalism and the Authority of Christ”

 

This article is in answer to criticism of Bob DeWaay directed toward those who believe the Church, the Body of Christ was formed mid-Acts. His article can be found at: http://www.cicministry.org/commentary/issue108.htm

Our Response to Criticism

I believe we first need to evaluate carefully what is being said. We need to prayerfully study the charges and determine if there is a problem with our theology. If there is something we believe that does not line up with Scripture, we must take corrective action. We can’t do this in our own power for the Holy Spirit indwells us giving us understanding of the words He wrote through those who wrote Scripture.

2 Peter 1:21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

We also need to approach those who criticize with gentleness. Those who are members of the Body of Christ need to respect each other and work at having peace between each other. Attacking another Christian in the name of doctrine is not a biblical mandate but peace is.

Ephesians 4:1—3 1Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

When we are attacked, we need to approach the attacker with love and gentleness and not lash out in like manner. It is up to God to change the heart through the Holy Spirit, not through slick words and skillful counter-attacking.

2 Timothy 2:24—25 24The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,

In all this we must realize that we may be in the wrong and must be ready to change if God lays it on our heart to do so. We must always be open to what God has to say to us whether from His word or from an external source, even from a harsh critic.

Goal

My goal is to counter criticism pertaining to the mid-Acts position. There are a number of areas that I believe DeWaay attacked unfairly and in a biased manner or in a way that misrepresents what I believe. Instead of studying the mid-Acts position to understand it, DeWaay seems to have studied it only to discredit this position by taking bits and pieces and not looking at the big picture. Hopefully I will be able to correct some of his false claims against the mid-Acts position.

The Big Picture

God has changed the way He deals with mankind a number of times. When man was created, there was perfect fellowship between God and man. This period is often called the age of Innocence. After man sinned, God changed His dealing with man, removed him from the garden and brought curses upon them. After the flood, God made another change in His dealings with man by delegating governmental controls. Instead of God meting out justice on man, mankind was to mete out justice all according to God’s rules (Genesis 9:5—6). The promise of a great nation was given to Abraham. God promised to greatly bless Israel and in turn bless the nations (Gentiles) through her. (Genesis 12:1—3) The nation of Israel was formed at their Exodus from Egypt and shortly after, God’s dealing with man changed again with the giving of the Law. This set of Laws formed the governing rules God expected Israel to live by. Any non-Israelite who wanted to approach God could do so by becoming a proselyte. Promises given specifically to Israel included land (Genesis 15:18—21; Ezekiel 36:24) , wealth (Joel 2:23—27; Amos 9:13), respect of the nations (Isaiah 60; Malachi 3:12), the Holy Spirit causing them to obey the Law (Ezekiel 36:25—27), an eternal King on the throne of David (Isaiah 9:6; Luke 1:30—33), and the role of priests through which the Gentiles would be able to approach God (Exodus 19:6; Zechariah 8:20—23). It was through Israel that Gentiles would be able to find salvation and reap God’s blessings. (Romans 11:1—12)

In order for Israel to see these promises come to fruition, they needed to nationally acknowledge and accept Jesus as their Messiah. However, Israel rejected their Messiah and instead of the Gentiles being blessed through Israel God now blesses them in spite of Israel by sending salvation directly to the Gentiles through the ministry of the apostle Paul. Acts is a transition book chronicling Israel’s failure to recognize her Messiah (Israel’s casting away or diminishing) and God’s plan to go directly to the Gentiles by forming the Body of Christ and revealing the Mystery. By the end of Acts we see Israel had been completely cut off with no chance to repent and go back to accept the offer of the Kingdom (Hebrews 6:4—6) and the newly formed Body of Christ reaching full maturity.

Are the Teachings of Jesus Binding on the Church?

DeWaay has mischaracterized the mid-Acts position a number of times in his article. For instance, he says we “claim that Jesus presented an offer of a kingdom that He would have instituted during the first advent—had they accepted.” This teaching is not scriptural. Luke 19:11—12 make this clear. The mid-Acts people I know believe Jesus announced the Millennial Kingdom was at hand. Luke 10:9 says “The kingdom of God has come near you.” In order to have a bona fide offer, Jesus Christ needed to be crucified, glorified and the Holy Spirit given. Look at John 7:37—39 where Jesus said these things on the last day of the Feast of Booths—a feast prophetically looking forward to the Millennial Kingdom. The Holy Spirit needed to be given to Israel in order to enable Israel to perform her ministry to the world. We even see this order in Peter’s sermons. Sermon one in Acts 2 promises the gift of the Holy Spirit to those who repented and were baptized. Peter’s second sermon in Acts 3 offers the Kingdom to anyone who repented and returned to God. This would happen if Israel’s leadership believed but she would still need to go through the Tribulation (the restoration of all things in Acts 3:21) (Ezekiel 20:33—38). Many mid-Acts dispensationalists believe the offer of the Kingdom was withdrawn with the stoning of Stephen while others believe it was withdrawn at the commissioning of Paul for his first missionary journey.

DeWaay is correct in his assessment when he says those who hold to a Mid-Acts position believe the teachings of earthly Jesus are to the Jewish church in operation at that time and are not written directly to those in the Church, the Body of Christ. We follow the teaching of the risen and glorified Jesus Christ as revealed through the apostle Paul.

After making a correct assessment of our beliefs, he shows his ignorance of what we believe about the church by stating:

“…when Jesus said, “On this rock I will build My church,” he supposedly was not speaking of the church (i.e., the body of Christ) but a Jewish “church” that only existed for a while until the middle of Acts.”

The church Jesus was talking about was a Millennial Kingdom church that will be in existence after the Second Coming. This is NOT the Church, the Body of Christ that many say was formed in Acts 2. The Jewish church that was in existence at that time is mentioned in passing in Matthew 18:17 and continued on into the early chapters of Acts. DeWaay does not mention this reference to the Jewish church.

DeWaay tries to make a problem out of the use of the word “church” (Greek: ecclesia). He says that since this word was used throughout Acts it is the same church and it is obvious that “the meaning of the term did not change in the middle of Acts. Luke applies the term to gatherings of believers throughout Acts, and this is true whether the gatherings are Jewish or Gentile believers.” Keep in mind that the word “church” in Acts usually refers to a group of believers in what we would call today a congregation. This is a physical church. Scripture make it clear that the Church, the Body of Christ is a spiritual organism, made up of believers who meet together in a physical congregation. Acts does not clarify the composition within the churches mentioned, only that there is a physical church. DeWaay says the Holy Spirit certainly would have revealed this to us in Acts if there were this change of churches in Acts. He amazingly ignores everything Paul wrote about the creation of this new church, the Body of Christ.

It’s interesting to note Paul’s use of the term “Body of Christ” to define a specific church. This would not be necessary if there was only one church. He also makes it clear that he is preaching “his gospel” and the “gospel of the grace of God”. This is in contrast to the Gospel of the Kingdom preached by earthly Jesus and His disciples throughout the Gospels and early Acts. If these churches in Acts could be composed of Jews and Gentiles as DeWaay says they were why, then, can they not be composed of members of the Jewish church of Matthew 18 and members of the Body of Christ? We know there was interaction between these two groups (Galatians 2; Acts 18:7), probably within the same ecclesia.

Even though DeWaay uses 1 Timothy 6:3—5 as proof that we need to follow the words of Jesus as spoken in the Gospels, this verse actually proves otherwise. A careful reading of this passage indicates that we need to follow the doctrine of the risen and glorified Lord Jesus Christ, the gospel with which Paul had been entrusted with by God (1 Timothy 1:11). It is the risen and glorified Jesus who had revealed the Mystery to Paul. (Galatians 1:12; Ephesians 3:3) This is why we follow the writings of Paul because everything he wrote concerns the Body of Christ. As Dr. Scofield wrote:

In [Paul’s] writings alone we find the doctrine, position, walk, and destiny of the church. (Scofield Reference Bible, p. 1252)

To Whom Were the Gospels Written?

DeWaay has two “proofs” that Luke was written to both Jews and Gentiles and therefore we need to see the teachings of earthly Jesus as authoritative. The first “proof” being the book of Luke was written to Theophilus, who had a Greek name and therefore must be a Gentile so Luke was writing to a Gentile. The second “proof” is that Luke was written after Acts was written therefore, Luke had to be written to Jews and Gentiles making the words of earthly Jesus binding on us in this age.

There were a great number of Grecian Jews (Hellenized Jews) (see Acts 6:1). There were enough Jews in Thessalonica and Berea that they built synagogues (Acts 17:1, 10). Jews would meet by the river in Philippi on the Sabbath (Acts 16:13). Many Jews wanted to be absorbed into the Greek lifestyle and become as Grecian as possible, even to the point of going through a painful operation to reverse their circumcision. Does it seem so odd that many Jews in that part of the world would have Greek names? It’s also interesting to note that all the men selected to serve the Hellenized and Hebraic Jews in Acts 6 had Greek names. According to DeWaay, these men must have been Gentiles. In actuality, they were all Israelites with the exception of Nicolas who was the only one identified specifically as a proselyte. A proselyte is a Gentile who, for all practical purposes, becomes a Jew.

Scholars date scripture as follows:

Matthew from the 50s to the 70s
Mark from 50 to 70s
Luke from 59 to the 70s
John from the 50s to 85
Acts from 63 to 70s.

About the only thing scholars know is when a book was not written but there is no consensus of when it was actually written. In other words, when the Holy Spirit moved these men to write Scripture, He didn’t think it was important to tell us when it was written because it didn’t matter. What matters is to whom a book is written and why. All of the Gospels were written 20—50 years after the last recorded event. According to Luke 1:1—4, Luke looks back into a certain period of time and writes the truth about the events that happened, from Jesus’ birth, His ministry to Israel, His message of the nearness of the Millennial Kingdom, His death, and His resurrection and ascension. Theophilus was taught about Jesus and His earthly ministry and Luke, through the Holy Spirit, produced an accurate account to quash the many false accounts that undoubtedly cropped up from oral accounts. DeWaay finds it odd that Luke could write about a series of events that happened 20—30 years earlier and not bring the current events into play. Authors do this all the time. If I were to write about the events surrounding the JFK assassination, it doesn’t matter when I write it but that the facts are correct.

The weakness of his two “proofs” seems to indicate that he is grasping at straws to discredit the mid-Acts position. Internal biblical evidence shows that the Gospels were written to Jews and excluded Gentiles. Luke begins with the promise of a Savior and Messiah (to fulfill the promise given to Abraham and David). We know from John 1:11 and Act 3:26 that He came to His own (the Jews) and they rejected Him. Jesus Himself said the Millennial Kingdom was near (Luke 10:9). He sent out the 12 Disciples with the good news of that coming Kingdom (Luke 9:2). It’s also clear that from Matthew 10:5—6 that Jesus told them to not go to the Gentiles but go only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. When the lawyer asked Jesus how to have eternal life, Jesus answered that he needed to obey the Mosaic Law (in faith) (Luke 10:25—28). Jesus also tells the Jews about the coming Tribulation and the Second Coming, not the Rapture, and they were to watch for the signs (Luke 17:22—37). The whole book of Luke is written to Israel pertaining to their prophesied future. The Church, the Body of Christ, was still a Mystery at that time and is nowhere to be found.

DeWaay claims that Jesus declared all foods were to be considered clean in Mark 7:18—19. By doing this he can now claim that the church in early Acts was not under Law, as we would claim they were. Unfortunately, these words of Jesus were taken out of context and he confuses Lawfully acceptable foods with the process of purification. Lawfully acceptable foods could become inedible if they were defiled. By examining the context of these words and looking at other Scripture, it will be plain that Jesus did not change any part of the Law.

The context of Mark 7 concerns the Pharisitical tradition of hand washing. The Pharisees believed they needed to ceremonially wash their hands before touching food or that food would become unclean (Mark 7:2—5). Jesus declared all lawfully edible food as clean even if touched before the traditional cleansing of their hands. This cleansing was only a tradition of man and not part of the Mosaic Law. This interpretation is backed up in Acts 10 where Peter had the vision of unclean animals lowered down on a sheet from heaven. If Jesus declared all foods fit to eat in Mark 7 but Peter was still following the Mosaic Law 10 years later, how did Peter miss this important announcement? Is it possible for Peter to be under Jesus’ teaching and miss this particular change in Law?

DeWaay sets up another straw man and proceeds to knock it down when he says we believe that the Millennial Kingdom could be set up at any time if national Israel believed and accepted Jesus as Messiah. He points to the problem of the “perverse generation” mentioned in Acts 2:40 and identifies them accurately as unbelieving Israel. How can unbelievers go into the Millennial Kingdom? He also quotes Luke 21:24 showing that the time of the Gentiles needed to come to an end with Israel being trampled by the Gentiles. This has yet to happen.

Most mid-Acts people I know believe that even if national Israel were to believe early in Christ’s ministry, prophesy must be fulfilled before the Millennial Kingdom could be set up. Christ would still need to die and be resurrected and glorified (John 7:39), the Tribulation would need to take place and finally the Millennial Kingdom would be set up. The Tribulation will accomplish the purging of Israel of  all unbelievers (Zechariah 13:8—9) and much of this will be accomplished at the hands of the Gentiles who trample Jerusalem (Revelation 11:12).

The Great Commission

DeWaay says the mid-Acts Christians treat the “Great Commission” with disdain. In reality, the mid-Acts position does not recognize the authority of the “Great Commission” over the Church, the Body of Christ but places it in its proper place—with Israel. There are actually three main commissions that can be pointed to in the gospels and Paul’s writings; Matthew 10, Matthew 28, 2 Corinthians 5:18—20. The first two were for Israel and the last one for the Church, the Body of Christ. With the first two commissions went miracles, signs and wonders that were done for Israel’s benefit. These no longer exist because the Holy Spirit’s ministry started to change when the Body of Christ was formed. God is no longer giving Israel preference. Even though DeWaay believes the “Great Commission” is for the Church, the Body of Christ to fulfill, I would guess that He falls short in obeying many of Jesus’ direct commands concerning this commission.

• Does he teach others what Jesus taught the Disciples (Matthew 28:20)? This would include:

1. Showing ourselves to the priests for cleaning (Luke 5:14)

2. Keeping the Mosaic Law? (Jesus was a man born under the Law and thus kept the Law perfectly. If Jesus is our example, we should do as He did)

3. Praying for the Kingdom to come (Luke 11:2)
4. Selling all possessions (Luke 12:33; Matthew 19:21)
5. Looking forward to the Second Coming and not the Rapture (Luke 12:35—40)

• Does he teach others the Gospel of the Kingdom? This Gospel could not include Christ’s death, burial and resurrection because He had not yet died (Mark 16:15)?
• Does he preach baptismal regeneration where Israel needed to repent and be baptized for salvation (Mark 16:16)?
• Does he demonstrate the sign gifts of casting out demons, speaking in tongues, being unaffected by venom and poison, healing the sick (Mark 16:17—18)?

There are a number of times that DeWaay says we need to follow the teachings of (earthly) Jesus Christ and finds it incredulous that we mid-Acts people can ignore His clear teachings. Amazingly he lifts the “red letter” teachings above anything else in Scripture even though every word in Scripture is from God. By doing so he ignores the importance of what Jesus Christ revealed directly to us through Paul (Galatians 1:12). Everything Jesus said while on earth pertained to Israel under the prophetic program. Problems emerge when you try to fit the prophetic program for Israel into the Mystery program for the Church, the Body of Christ. The fact is, you absolutely cannot follow the instructions of earthly Jesus and the instructions of the risen and glorified Jesus as revealed through Paul! You cannot mix Law and Grace.

Two Gospels?

DeWaay claims there is one Gospel from Matthew through Paul’s writings. First, an examination of Paul’s clear description of the Gospel of the Grace of God will help us determine if there are one or more Gospels.

1 Corinthians 15:1—4 indicates Paul preached a Gospel that included belief in Jesus Christ and His death, burial and resurrection. Paul also made it very clear that any gospel contrary or different to what he preached was to be condemned (Galatians 1:6—9). He even repeated his condemnation of those who preached a different Gospel.

When Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom, did He preach His own death, burial and resurrection? Of course not! If the basis of salvation in the Gospels was dependant upon believing in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection then the Disciples were not saved for they did not understand that He had to die (Luke 9:45; 18:34). Since Jesus did not preach a Gospel including His death, burial and resurrection, according to Paul, He was to be condemned.

The answer to this problem is that there were two Gospels. Jesus announced the Good News of the coming Kingdom and Paul announced the Good News of our own salvation. One was for Israel, the other for the formation of the Church, the Body of Christ.

Some explain this away by saying there is only one Gospel but Paul revealed a progression in God’s plan. However, Paul makes it clear that any change from the Gospel he preached was to be condemned. That leaves no room to change anything about the Gospel. How could Paul change the message of the Gospel of the Kingdom by adding Christ’s death, burial and resurrection then proceed to condemn anyone else who changes his Gospel?

The messages preached by Peter in early Acts indicate a progression of the Kingdom program and not a creation of a new program. Peter calls for repentance and baptism for the remission of sin (Acts 2:38). This is the same message that John the Baptizer preached (Mark 1:4). This repentance and baptism was a call for God’s chosen people to come back to Him. The Baptism was for purification in preparation for Israel to become priests so the Gentiles would have access to God in the Millennial Kingdom (Exodus 19:6; Zechariah 8:22—23).

As far as Repentance is concerned, the act of putting your trust in Christ is an act of repentance. Repentance in merely turning from the direction you are going to go in the opposite direction. That’s what we do when we become saved.

Mystery Revealed Through Paul

DeWaay finds it preposterous that God revealed the Mystery concerning the Body of Christ first through Paul.

Just as the earthly Jesus revealed Kingdom truths to the 12 Disciples and these truths were made clear to them and others through the Holy Spirit, the risen and glorified Jesus Christ reveled Mystery truths to Paul and it was the Holy Spirit who gave Paul and others an understanding of that revelation.

If Paul’s gospel was the same as the Disciples’ gospel, why did Paul need to go to Jerusalem to explain it to them (Acts 15)? Why did Peter find Paul’s teachings so hard to understand (2 Peter 3:16)? Why did he need to add the description “the Body of Christ” when referring to the Church? Why was he careful to refer to the Gospel he preached as “my Gospel”? The answer is that there were two gospels. One revealed to the Disciples by Jesus and the other revealed to the Apostle Paul by Jesus Christ. Paul did not need to explain that salvation was going to go to the Gentiles since this was predicted (Psalms 67:2; Isaiah 49:6). He went to Jerusalem to explain the content of the Gospel of the Grace of God that he was preaching (Galatians 2:2).

This Gospel was revealed to Paul directly by the risen and glorified Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:12). Paul taught these revealed truths to the apostles and prophets alive at that time (Ephesians 3:3—5), and the Holy Spirit revealed the truths of these teachings (1 Corinthians 2:10). When we read what Jesus Christ revealed to Paul today, it is the same Holy Spirit that reveals God’s truths to us as He did to the Apostles and prophets in Paul’s day.

Conclusion

Time has limited my discussion to the topics above. I have just scratched the surface in the apologetics of the mid-Acts position. Hopefully those reading this will see that there is a logical progression of God’s dealings with Israel in early Acts all in fulfillment of Prophesy. The Body of Christ was formed later in Acts after Israel’s rejection of the offer of a Kingdom. God will again resume his dealing of Israel and start the prophetic clock after the Church, the Body of Christ is Raptured. Right now Daniel’s prophetic clock has stopped at week 69. Week 70 will mark the beginning of the Tribulation and the fulfillment of God’s prophesies to Israel. My prayer is that these issues will cause you to delve further into the truths of God’s word.

9 Comments

  1. Posted January 23, 2010 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    Hi There! That was an excellent response to Bob DeWaay’s criticisms! Great Article! I can hardly read the text I’m typing into the comment field. Please let you webmaster know OK? I have a you tube Ministry, and there are so many people that do not understand right division. I thought maybe I should start with a clear explanation that we are not under the law. Would you mind giving me some advice as to what you would do? I know that most of these people do not understand salvation. With that said I thought I would stick to the basics, but the problem is they are so religious, and think they’re saved, that it presents a dilemma.

    Thank you for considering my request.

    Maranatha!
    Jessica

    Here’s our address on you tube:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TwinCitiesGrace1

  2. Ross Stockwell
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Hi there folks
    The following rebuttle of the position of mid acts and post acts (cts 28) dispensationalism was sent to Dewaay as he was The same tied old claims that Calvin made 500 years ago that the administration of grace was merely Paul’s ministry… The same has been sent in more detail to Dr Walker who has the same position as Dewaay to date neither has responded… They can not as the Greek texts are clear and unless they destroy the syntax they have no answer…

    Most Baptist theologians are poor exponents of the Greek texts. The argument that rages against the revelation of the secret, commonly referred to as Hyper-Dispensationalism, are nothing more that unbelief concealed in red herring… a justifiable reason in human terms for Dewaay and Walker to deny scripture and the words the Holy Ghost speaks… Both have been warned not to blaspheme the Holy Spirit who is the principal divine administrator of this wonderful administration under His rule… The following is part of what has been sent to them…

    The Verb Participle in Koine Greek
    The verb participial “dotheises” used in the text “ ye surely have heard of the administration of the grace of [the] God the one given (dothesis) to me unto you” Eph 3:2…

    This verb participle is aorist tense however; the verb participle has an unusual property in that its tense is anterior to the action of the verb i.e. it comes before the verbs action… It comes in front f the verbs action and is dependent first upon the action of the verb then it is aorist tense to the verb actins… The standard Greek verb’s tense is posterior to the verbs action e.g. ye have heard (ekousate) this verb is also aorist tense and indefinite i.e. ye have heard (ekousate = verb of the indicative mood, active voice, second person plural) …

    The verb participle, “dotheises” = given to me is aorist tense, passive voice, genitive case, singular feminine)and the unusual aspect of tense, anterior to the verb action makes it impossible for the tense to be realized until the event occurs… the thing is first given (dotheises) and once given it is then aorist aspect but to be aorist is must first be given…

    Secondly.
    The verb participle “dotheises” i.e. “given to me” is followed the personal pronoun “moi” and this is of the dative case and here it is the dative of instrument because the verb particle “dotheises” is in aorist tense passive voice… This tense sets up the dative of instument that follows… Paul is the one being acted upon i.e. the instrument…

    This is consistent with Paul’s use of tense in the passage “Which in other ages was not before revealed unto the sons as it is now “revealed” to his holy apostles (dative case of instument) and prophets (dative case of instrument)… Once again the dative case for the “Apostles and Prophets” is the dative of instrument due to the use of the verb “revelation = aperkaluphthe”, is a verb of aorist tenses and passive voice setting up the dative of instrument for the Apostles and Prophets.

    The phrase AS NOW REVEALED = “os nun aperkaluphthe”, These two adverbs = as is now i.e. at this time pertinent to when it is given and the tense of verb participle dothesis…

    This does not mean that this information contained in this Epistle was given in the past tense 33 years earlier at Pentecost and Paul is not speaking about it being given in Rom 16:25 as Dr Ironside suggests… Dewaay and Walker suggest knowing nothing of Greek syntax

    For many years I wondered why these two verbs seem to be contradictive to each other but appealing to the text and it syntax the reasons are clear… In simple terms the administration and it message was unique to Paul as he clearly states by the use of the verbs and their tense however , if we constantly confuse the “well message” or “glad tidings” i.e. Gospel with “home Law”, “dispensation” or “administration” we are bound to be a child of light walking in the darkness… or lost to the tae of death in the flesh.

    It is claimed by you (Dewaay and Walker)that the “gospel of the grace of God” means the same as the “dispensation of the grace of” The Act 20:24 passage “to testify the glad tidings (gospel) of the grace of [the] God” is interesting…

    Glad tidings is “euaggelion” it is a noun of the accusative case, singular and feminine… being such case it qualifies its verb by default and here it is “diamarturasthai” meaning to certify… this verbs action i.e. to certify… points to its direct object the accusative noun “glad tidings” i.e. euaggelion or “gospel”…

    The following genitive string must by default point to the noun “euaggelion” setting up the qualification of this noun… the genitive case brings this noun by default into sphere of “glad tidings” not into the sphere of “home law” or an “administration” as this is not the meaning of the noun being qualified…

    The Genitive case in Koine is not as the “casus genitivus” as in Latin and is not the “subjective / objective of possession as in English… The translators being educated both in English and Latin were prone to push Koine Greek through Latin grammatical rules…

    In Koine Greek the genitive case was called by the Greeks themselves “e genike ptosis “i.e. the case of genus… It is the case of kinds and deals with the genitive case that forms the sphere of limits of the noun qualified… The genitive encircles the noun of its object placing it with in the limits of or the sphere of i.e. the grace is genitive case placing and the Gospel (Glad Tidings) in its field of kind.

    It is the Gospel and the grace is in association with the gospel not the administration as in Ephesians 3:2… The Gospel is in the field of grace however the aspect of the genitive case is discovered from the noun “euaggelion” i.e. “glad tidings… The “glad tidings” is qualified as the direct object by the verb “diamarturasthai” meaning to certify. And here the glad tidings is that of the administration of resurrection the good news that life came by Jesus Christ in resurrection from the dead.

    This glad tiding is a message or “well message” or “good news” with content certified by Paul and in this instance the grace is in association and limited by the glad tidings… Paul was a “though witness (“diamarturasthai”) to the contents of the message. The glad tidings are in the sphere grace but the grace is further limited by the content of the message as it related to the Administration of resurrection and Pentecost.The genitive case presents grace in sphere of the gladtidings and points to the aspect of it contents… good news has content.

    Paul does not preach that the “glad tidings” was “not before revealed” however, he does say that the “home law” and it sphere qualified by the genitive string was kept back and not before revealed (ou = not and the negative of absolute fact) … and it was not before revealed as it had not been given “dotheises”

    The action of the verb participle and the aorist tense comes to effect after it had been given as he clearly stated by inspiration of the Holy Spirit… The phrases “Gospel of the Kingdom” means the glad tidings in the sphere of the kingdom due to it genitive case qualifying the noun… The Gospel of Christ i.e. The Gospel of the Anointed” is the glad tiding in the sphere of the anointed through resurrection the first born of the dead… The gospel of God is the glad tidings in with in the sphere of Elohim in this case the sphere is the genitive of origin…

    The Gospel of Grace is likewise in the sphere of grace i.e. favor or benevolence and in this case it is in the sphere of the … The Gospel of salvation is the glad tiding in the sphere of salvation from death…The gospel of peace is the glad tidings in the sphere e of peace…

    Each of these genitive case qualifiers of the noun fall into the sphere of their nouns. But they all have an aspect that narrows the sphere of influence…

    “The Administration of the grace” here the sphere is grace but its noun is “home law” and grace is the governing principal of the sphere of this administration…

    “The Gospel of the grace of God” and here the sphere is also grace but, here the grace is in the sphere of the “glad tidings” and the glad tidings are the certified witness of it… Glad tidings has its root in teaching i.e. a good message… the message and this witness has contents but not home law as it not an administration.

    The noun qualified by the genitive case limits the Genitive to the sphere of the noun and when it is spoken of it refers specifically to the noun qualified if “kingdom” the sphere of the kingdom… if Christ i.e. the sphere of Christ i.e. the sphere of resurrection and so on… Holy Scripture makes the gospel and the sphere of its genitive specific so it is not just “the universal gospel”… The Gospel afore preached unto Abraham is the glad tidings within that sphere of promise that Abraham will inherit land and seed in the resurrection…

    The scripture foreseeing that Jehovah Elohim would justify the heathen through faith is in the sphere of the blessing of Abraham and the promise inheritance of land and seed sealed by two covenants, one land one seed… Isaac was a central figure “in Isaac shall they seed be called” so Abraham was asked to offer Isaac the test was not a figure of the atonement it was a figure of resurrection “and Abraham received him back (from the dead) as a like figure (a figure of his own resurrection). Holy Scripture fore aw that this glad tiding of everlasting life and inheritance involved the heathen as well as the Israeli… But what is not revealed is the dispersion and the rejection f the Messiah by Israel and it is fully known the nations will be blessed by Israel’s faithfulness and the nations under this sphere are blessed… But this sphere fails as it was predestined to be so but the administration of the nations during the exile of Israel was not revealed… The glad tidings of inheritance were clear but its administration was kept back until Israel is finally rejected… The gospel and it various spheres relate very much to what will be inherited in the resurrection and who are the various instruments with in the spheres of it i.e. Christ, God and so on…
    The administrations of which there are eight are thus revealed in scripture… 1. Creation. 2. Death.
    3. Pedagogue (Law, Prophets and Messiah in the flesh). 4. Resurrection. 5. Grace. 6. Tribulation. 7. Messiah Kingdom (Millennium) 8. Eternity.

    In conclusion concerning the above
    We hope this helps as the enemies of Christ must be taken to what is revealed in the Greek Scriptures as the scripture in this form cannot be broken… translations on the other hand are easily perverted and contorted to conform to man’s traditions

    Warm Regards
    Ross S

  3. Glen
    Posted October 26, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I wrote to DeWaay with a rebuttal of my own. He replied thusly:

    Dear Glen,

    Thanks for your response.

    My purpose in writing that article was to affirm that the Gospels and the teachings of Jesus contained therein are authoritative and binding for the entire church age for the entire church.

    I received a lot of material and feedback from many people who follow the “Paul only” teachings and promote them. They use nearly identical arguments as those I document.

    I see no reason to assume that this section:

    EPH 3:4 And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
    EPH 3:5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;
    EPH 3:6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,
    EPH 3:7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.
    EPH 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
    EPH 3:9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things;

    means to Paul only. Who are the “holy apostles and prophets” if only Paul was given such insight?

    There are many other such issues.

    Bob DeWaay

    To which I replied as follows:

    Dear Bob-

    Thanks for the reply and I’ll attempt to not be tedious. Of course you would never consider revising your article based on my request. In your affirmation was it necessary to malign saints with whom you’ll share a place at the Right Hand of God for eternity. None of the mid-Acts brethren that I have read have ever said that the teachings of Jesus are not authoritative FOR the Body of Christ. As to “Paul only” teachings and their promotion it’s in the language of the passage that you cited where we read:

    For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) (Eph. 3:1-4)

    I would say that your reliance on verse 5 may be weak for a couple of reasons:

    1) The Mystery was not made known in other generations (Matt. 1:1) as it is made known to mankind without distinction;

    2) No “grace” teacher has denied that Paul communicated the gospel that he preached per the record of the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15 and as recorded in the 2nd chapter of Galatians, BUT they learned the gospel committed to him from Paul. It wasn’t the other way around. Peter acknowledges that Paul’s epistles are Scripture and for The Diaspora as 12 tribes, hard to understand. A check of a concordance will indicate that besides The Twelve and The Apostle Paul there were other apostles and prophets than the 40 writers of Scripture.

    In your close you indicate that there are many other issues, but of course no addressing of the matter I put forward in my post. Perhaps I was too long winded, but you still have bought into Ironsides and Ryrie’s assertions without an objective view. So be it. Based on your rigor in exposing truly false teaching I expected more from your ministry. I guess I was wrong.

    I have received no reply.

    Glen

  4. Posted March 18, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    In his article Bob Deway says the following:

    “In the 19th century, Anglican clergyman E. W. Bullinger was the father of a system of theology that claimed that the gospel of grace was unknown until it was revealed to Paul.”

    There are many in the Acts 2 camp who do admit that Paul was the first to preach the gospel of grace.” In a Bible tract entitled Paul’s Gospel Acts 2 dispensationalist William R. Newell wrote:

    “The twelve Apostles (Matthias by Divine appointment taking the place of Judas) were to be the ‘witnesses’ (Acts 1:22) of Christ’s resurrection–that is, of the fact of it. They were not to unfold fully the doctrine of it, as Paul was…But unto none of these twelve Apostles did God reveal ‘the great body of doctrine for this age’…The great doctrines that Paul reveals may be outlined as follows…The fact and the Scripturalness of righteousness on the free gift principle–that is, of Divine righteousness, separate from all man’s doings, conferred upon man as a free gift from God” (Newell, Paul’s Gospel).

    After reading this Bible tract Lewis Sperry Chafer, the founding President of Dallas Theological Seminary, said:

    “This is a great tract, a clear treatise on the truth of God for this age. The author was one of America’s greatest Bible expositors. It glorifies the Savior as the author desired it to do. It should be distributed by hundreds of thousands” (Editor, Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Autumn 1994, Volume 7:12).

    Today Dallas Theological Seminary is considered the leading Acts 2 dispensational seminary in the world, and the founding President of that seminary recognized the fact that the “gospel of grace” was not preached by anyone before Paul.

    The second President of Dallas Theological Seminary, John F. Walvoord, wrote that “The gospel of Grace was given to Paul as a ‘new’ revelation” (Walvoord, “The Preincarnate Son of God”, Bibliotheca Sacra, Oct.-Dec. 1947, Vol. 104, # 416, p.422).

    Charles Ryrie, Professor Emeritus at Dallas Theological Seminary for many years, wrote the following:

    “The apostle Paul was principally, though not exclusively, the agent of the revelation of the grace of God for this dispensation. Christ Himself brought the grace of God to mankind in His incarnation (Titus 2:11), but Paul was the one who expounded it” (Ryrie, Dispensationalism [Chicago: Moody Press 1995] p.56).

  5. Posted February 6, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this refutation of DeWaay. There is a Tony Garland out there that needs this link!

  6. Posted August 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    In his article, Mr. DeWaay, makes several statements that are confused, lack scholarship, or are simply false. Such statements have no place in the Body of Christ.

    One major error is Mr. DeWaay’s understanding of the word ecclecia. It means an assembly. It depends on the context as to how it is translated, e.g., congregation, church, or mob. When Paul used the term he usually spoke of it as “the body of Christ.” According to Mr. DeWay, Jesus and the Twelve all addressed and spoke about the “body of Christ.” You won’t find this in your Bible. Peter, James, John, and Jude, never used the term, “body of Christ.” If they knew about it, why did they never use the term? We learn the Church is the body of Christ from Paul alone (1 Corinthians 12.13; Ephesians 1.22-23; Colossians 1.18). One enters the body of Christ through the baptism of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12.13). In the Body is equality of Jew and Gentile (Galatians 3.27-28). Where do you find the Twelve declaring Jew and Gentile equal? Did Jesus say Jew and Gentile were equal? The answer is no. Furthermore, neither Jesus nor the Twelve ever had a ministry to Gentiles. Indeed, Jesus expressly commanded his disciples not to go to Gentiles (Matthew 10.5-6). In His instructions to Jewish believers about a sinning brother He told them if the brother would not respond that they were to treat him as a Gentile (Matthew 18.17). Does this sound like the “body of Christ?” Does this sound like equality?

    I’m not sure where Mr. DeWay gets the idea Luke was written after Acts (cf. Acts 1.1) nor that Theophilus was a Gentile. Theophilus was a Greek name but that meant nothing; many Jews had Greek names, e.g., Saul of Tarsus. The whole world became Hellenized after the conquests of Alexander. It is clear from the Gospels that Jews only were addressed in them. Paul wrote, “For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers (Romans 15.8 cf. Luke 1.31-33. 68-72). As for the “Great Commission,” again, who was the audience: Jew or Gentile? It was Jews. They were to proclaim the “gospel of the kingdom.” This gospel was that the King was present, ready to set up His earthly kingdom. This commission was never given to the Church, the body of Christ. Our commission is found in 2 Corinthians 5.16-21.

    We know the Twelve knew nothing of Paul’s gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20.24) because the Bible explicitly says so. One has only to read Acts 15. It was because of Paul’s gospel that he went up to Jerusalem. The Jerusalem assembly argued that Gentiles could not be saved apart from circumcision and keeping the Mosaic Law (Acts. 15.1, 5). Paul refused to go along with this because the gospel he preached he received directly from the risen Lord (Galatians 1.11-12). After much argument, Peter made a startling declaration. He said, “Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.” Thus, Peter in effect said, “We are wrong; Paul is right. From now on, all salvation will be based upon Paul’s gospel.” If they had all been preaching the same gospel, why the Jerusalem Council? Why the argument? Why did Peter declare that Jews would now be saved in the same way as Paul’s Gentiles? It was because of Peter’s formal declaration that Paul could write such strong words to the Galatians (Galatians 1.6-9). Before the Jerusalem Council he could not have said this because two gospels were still in play (Galatians 2.7-8).

    The greatest issue in New Testament studies is understanding the place of Paul. If you view him just an extension of the the Twelve your thinking and exegesis of the Scriptures will be fraught with error and confused. However, if you allow God the Holy Spirit to enlighten the eyes of your heart (Ephesians 1.18) you will see that Paul was an apostle of an entirely different order. And this is exactly what Paul claimed (Galatians 1,1, 11-12; 1 Corinthians 3.10; 1 Timothy 1.15-16). Then you will have a foundation for correct interpretation. Then you will be able to understand Paul’s “secrets” musterion, e.g., the gospel of the grace of God, the Rapture, the body of Christ, the temporary blinding of Israel, etc.

  7. Posted August 11, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    All excellent points. Bob Dewaay, as most people, do not give Paul the credit he should for being the apostle to the Gentiles. When Scripture meant for Israel is applied to the Church, the Body of Christ (or visa versa) then confusion is the result.

  8. Don Samdahl
    Posted August 11, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Gary. In the response I put in the Greek ecclesia and musterion but when it posted it came out as ?????. Anyway to fix?

  9. Posted August 13, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    What changes, exactly has been made to this article? Also, are you cool with Mr. Johnson’s teaching on http://graceambassadors.com/

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