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I received the following questions:

Question #1. What was the gospel preached to Jews in the land during the Acts period? That the man Jesus was their promised Messiah, and belief in him would bring forgiveness of sins and eternal life?

I understand your explanation for gospel, about it being good news because it is right, and that it is spoken in view of a need.

I also understand that the Jews and “Greeks” outside the land were promised forgiveness for their sins of not following the law (they were unable to outside the land).

But I just don’t have a handle on the simple question: What is the gospel? Read the rest of this entry »

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I received the following question from a reader:

I know that I have heard Mr. Sellers say many times that there were “no secret believers in the Acts period”.

I also have heard him say and write that “In the Acts period every believing Israelite became a mediator in some manner.” (SB017) What I am wondering is where specifically are these ideas coming from? Is it Mark 16:17-18, “and these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover“? Were the “signs that follow them” what made them manifest to everyone else? Did they walk around with some icon of a cross or a star of David floating around above their heads? I know that is a ridiculous thing to say, of course they didn’t have that, but what was it? What if they weren’t actively performing the miraculous feats listed in Mark 16? Suppose they were just walking down the main street, would all passersby know that they were identified with the Lord Jesus Christ simply by observing them? I think I’m misunderstanding something here, although I don’t doubt or deny the claim that “there were no secret believers in the Acts period.” Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

In God’s present Dispensation of Grace are there, or have there been, any “commissions” or “commissioned ones?” Are there, or have there been any “Apostles” in the Dispensation of Grace?

I know that in this administration there is one and only one mediator between God and man, and that is the man Christ Jesus. Therefore, the question could become: Is a commissioned one, that is, an Apostle, also a mediator?

I understand that an Apostle is one who is commissioned by God to perform a specific service; and in order to do so that one must be “equipped” by God. That is, this one must partake of God’s body, His substance, His essence to the extent required to perform the service. So, to restate the last question, is an Apostle, or commissioned one, also a mediator?

Of course an apostle is also a mediator. He could not be anything else. Today, the Living Word and the written Word are the only Mediators. Yes, the written Word is an apostle, Acts 28:28. As long as an apostle is acting in God’s place and is acting towards other people, he is acting as a mediator. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Apostolos is used in both Acts period books as well as later, including Eph.4 where apostles and prophets are mentioned with pastors and teachers. Many post Acts letters by Paul use it as part of his credentials. He was an apostle to the nations. (We) thought that apostles are called by God, that there are not any prophets or apostles in the Acts period sense today. Is the definition changed by context as to what an apostle can do today? Some denominations differ with us, i.e. Pentecostals. With the Word in final form, isn’t it the Word that can be used instead of an apostle commissioned by God who is given God’s message?

You ask a very good question. We know that the book of Acts is the record of the “Acts” of the apostles, and so we believe this book records the fact that they not only spoke words they were commissioned to speak, but also performed acts they were commissioned to act, so that both their words and their actions were Divinely inspired. This then raises the question of why there would have been anyone apostled after the dispensation changed? In our day, the Word itself is apostled, as you say, and It is our apostle to lead us to Christ. We do not believe that we have apostles today either whose words or whose actions are inspired. Why, then, are apostles mentioned in post Acts 28:28 books? Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

I need help, please, understanding the gospel of salvation in the Acts period.

Were different gospels of salvation preached during the Acts period?

It’s my understanding that the 2 gospels (of the circumcision, of the uncircumcision) in Galatians 2 were actually gospels offered TO the two different groups, not 2 different gospels as Mid-Acts teaches.

It is also my understanding that the gospel of the kingdom is not a gospel of salvation at all, but just an announcement that the long-awaited kingdom is near.

Is everyone in the Acts period saved by grace through faith?

Clearly I am confused, and I appreciate your help.

I will be happy to help you out with your questions regarding the gospel. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

I am developing a Timeline for an eventual Acts 28 presentation based on your article “Dispensationalism Part 4,” and I need to know where Paul’s epistles fall within the book of Acts.

In his Word of Truth article entitled “Dating the Epistles of Paul,” Mr. Milton Hammond states the following:

1. 1 Thess Acts 18:5-7 53AD

2. 2 Thess Acts 18:11 54AD

3. Galatians Acts 19:8 56AD

4. 1 Cor Acts 19:10 57AD

5. 2 Cor Acts 20:1-2 58AD

6. Rom Acts 20:3 58AD

Do you agree with this? If not, would you mind just replying with a list of your own chart? Read the rest of this entry »

Who is writing what to whom − when, where, and why?

“what”JAMES

“who” – Written by the apostle James, “a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (James 1:1). The name in Greek was Iakobos (Jacobus/Jacob), but was translated as “James” in the KJV and other early English translations. This James was identified as “the Lord’s brother” (Galatians 1:19).

“to whom” – To the leaders (ekklesias – out-positioned) of “the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad.”

“when” – During The Great Scattering described in Acts 8-12 (A.D. 40s).

“where” – Written from Jerusalem.

“why” – The purpose of James was to address the leaders (ekklesias) of those who were scattered during The Great Scattering, the second period of Acts, following The Great Unity. It was written to deal with issues that the believers were facing, such as personal trials of faith, the conflict between rich and poor, and the hypocrisy of those who said they had faith and yet did not act upon it. Read the rest of this entry »

paulsnake02We have been examining the fact that the Acts period foreshadows the kingdom of God in the miracles that were worked at that time. Many of these reflect various conditions that will prevail on earth during the coming kingdom. We have seen that the healing of the lame man at the Beautiful Gate of the temple in Acts 3:1-10 foreshadows the healing and health that will be enjoyed by all in the kingdom of God, as we see in Isaiah 33:24 and 35:6. The shaking of the house in Acts 4:31, directing the apostles in how they were to act, foreshadows the direction God will give men in the kingdom in Isaiah 30:21. The deaths of Ananias and Sapphira foreshadow the punishment that will fall upon evildoers in the kingdom in Psalm 101:5, 7-8. The release of the apostles from prison in Acts 5:19-20 foreshadows the setting of the prisoners free in Isaiah 42:1,7. The conversion of Paul on the road to Damascus in Acts 9:3-6 foreshadows the enlightenment of sinners in Psalm 25:8, 51:31, and 64:1-10. This brings us up-to-date to our current examination.

Next, the amazing story of the resurrection of Tabitha in Acts 9:36-42 foreshadows the Manifest Kingdom of God to come. Read the rest of this entry »

litmatch02In our last message, we saw how the beginning of the Acts period foreshadowed the coming, manifest kingdom in many ways. Both start with a sound, both include signs of fire, both see God’s chosen representatives powerfully marked out for all to see, both involve the pouring out of the power of the Holy Spirit, and both break down barriers that exist between people in this world. Thus we saw that, in many ways, the beginning of the Acts period foreshadows the beginning of the kingdom of God.

Yet there are other ways besides how it started in which the Acts period foreshadows the future, manifest kingdom of God. One way is in the unity that existed during Acts, particularly during the earliest time when all believers were together in one large group. We read of this unity in Acts 2:44-45. Read the rest of this entry »

strikematch02In my message, “The Theme of the Bible,” I expressed the opinion that the kingdom of God is the theme of the Bible. The reality of God’s coming government on earth is the goal toward which God is working and the theme upon which all His works are hinged. Ecclesiastes 3:14 declares:

14. I know that whatever God does,
It shall be forever.
Nothing can be added to it,
And nothing taken from it.
God does it, that men should fear before Him.

This verse does not tell us that whatever God does lasts forever. This cannot be, for we know that God’s dispensations and works with mankind change. For example, we know that God at one time put the man He created, Adam, in a garden in Eden and commanded him to tend and keep the garden. As long as he did not eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, he would live perpetually and enjoy the world God had given him. Yet Adam ate that fruit, so what God did in placing him in the garden did not last forever. Therefore, we can assuredly say that all things God does do not always last forever. What is this passage telling us, then? Read the rest of this entry »