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# 01365 :  Dispensations
Dear Br. Moses LemuelRaj,

I understand that you teach 'dispensationalism' as a NT teaching. I am hoping this thread would encourage some discussion regarding this topic.

I am sure many have questions and doubts. Who ever is taught in this topic may contribute, as the Lord leads you.

As a start, I would like your help identifying the people Peter talked about in:

Act 2:40 - And with many other words he testified and exhorted THEM, saying, “Be saved from this PERVERSE GENERATION.” 41 Then those who gladly[g] received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to THEM.

Could you, again only as the Lord leads you, shed some light on who the people capitalized above are - THEM in v40, PERVERSE GENERATION in v40 and finally the THEM in v41.

Post by : moses2006  View Profile    since : 31 Aug 2007


Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 2 Sep 2007 12:41:27 PM Close
Dear Brother Moses2006,

When Peter began his message, he said, "Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem" (v.14). Again, in v.22 he said, "Ye men of Israel, hear these words". Again in v.36 he says, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ."

So clearly he was addressing the children of Israel.

In v.37, some people responded - " Now when THEY heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?"

Ac 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save YOURSELVES from this UNTOWARD GENERATION.

41 Then THEY that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

"YOURSELVES" of v.40 are the same as "THEY" of verse 37 - those who were pricked in their heart.

Untoward generation would be those who have mocked at them in verse 13, and/or those who DID NOT respond with a pricked heart to Peter's message. While all of them "have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain" the Lord, the untoward generation are those Israelites other than the ones who were pricked in their heart, and then received the word gladly later in verse 41.

"THEM" in verse 41 (as you have highlighted) are Peter, and the other 11 apostles with him, plus the 120. Those who were added were added to already existing group of Lord's people.

Let me know if this explains.

In Christ Jesus,
Moses LemuelRaj

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Reply by : moses2006   View Profile   Since : 10 Oct 2007 2:01:18 PM Close
Br. LemuelRaj,

Continuing this discussion after a brief lapse, I would like your opinion on the following verses with respect to the dispensational viewpoint regarding Jews:

Matt 23: 37"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. 38Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'

Jesus here predicted the falling away of the Jews before His death. What basis is there then to believe that they(Jews) had a new opportunity for a kingdom, immediately after Christ's ascension?

Also in Acts 2:40, Peter seems to preaching 'salvation' directed to a few (who believed) against the background of a nation of Jews (who did not believe). Why call the nation of Israel "perverse generation" if at that moment, they as a nation had the opportunity to receive Christ as King?

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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 11 Oct 2007 9:06:03 PM Close
Thanks brother Moses2006 for the questions.

1) Mat 23:39 says that Jerusalem will NOT see the Lord again until they say "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." That means, the Jews have to repent of the rejection of the Lord's Christ. This is exactly what Peter also says later in Acts 3. Ac 3:19 REPENT ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And HE SHALL SEND Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

The "new opportunity" as you put it is right in there in the Lord's words, "TILL ye shall say." If they say, the will see Him again coming to Jerusalem triumphantly AGAIN! That's the same thing Peter taught in Acts 3, is n't it?

2) Ac 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and TO ALL that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this UNTOWARD GENERATION.

The message of repentance is to ALL of Israel, both those who were there in Jerusalem, and afar off. Peter knows all would not accept (as predicted by the Lord, that they shall persecute and kill them, etc), so he refers to those who would not believe as untoward generation. You missed the verse above the one you quoted where the word TO ALL is found.

In Christ Jesus
Moses LemuelRaj

PS: I am in vacation for the next 10 days, and so replies might be delayed. Further, I have not been logging into KB.net as often I used to before.

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Reply by : moses2006   View Profile   Since : 15 Oct 2007 1:03:57 PM Close
Br. LemuelRaj,

1. So if I understand your position, Peter was making an offer of the kingdom, fully knowing that Israel would reject his message?

2. The chief priests had said that they would believe in the Lord, if He came down from the cross (Matt 27:42). Assuming their opinion stands for official spiritual state of Israel, why did Jesus not take their offer? Why did Lord not display himself to the spiritual leaders in Jerusalem after His resurrection?

3. What would have happened to us (gentiles) had Israel accepted Peter's offer?

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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 15 Oct 2007 10:47:21 PM Close
1. Well, ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE, Peter preached repentance to the Jews, and said God will send Jesus Christ, "which BEFORE was preached unto YOU." Peter of course knows that some would reject. Peter does not know WHEN the Lord would setup the kingdom, but knows that the repentance message he is preaching is connected to the coming of the Lord to bring in the times of refreshing (Millennium).

2. Moses told Israel to believe on the Prophet Who would be like unto him. But the leaders of Israel did not. If they believe not Moses, even if Christ comes down from the cross they would not. Further, Christ MUST NEEDS SUFFER, so He would NOT come down.

3. Gentiles would have anyway been saved during the tribulation to enter the Millennium. Remember that the Lord Jesus Christ taught the 12 that the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached TO ALL NATIONS, and then shall the END come (Mat 24). Later the Lord commissioned the 11 to preach this gospel in Mat 28:19-20 TO ALL NATIONS, and that He would be with them till the END OF THE WORLD (next "world' is "world to come" - Millennium). The body of Christ began in Acts 2 (without the knowledge of the 12 - it was revealed to Paul later). This body would have still existed comprising the Jews, Samaritans and proselytes which were saved until then.

In Christ Jesus,
Moses LemuelRaj

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Reply by : moses2006   View Profile   Since : 16 Oct 2007 9:04:52 AM Close
Dear brother LemuelRaj,

Please bear with me, as I try and understand this teaching.

1. Act 3:20 "And he shall send Jesus Christ.." Here the tense seems to imply that God WILL SEND Jesus, if they (as a nation) accept the gospel. However, in verse 26 "Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, SENT him to bless you..", we have a clarification as what "send Jesus" means, as Peter intended. In verse 26, the tense is in the past tense, that God has already SENT Jesus, to the Jews first. That means, "in turning away every one of you from his iniquities". It means Jesus offer of salvation, via, His finished work on the cross that enables deliverance from sins, was first offered to the Jews.

This idea is in conformity to Luke 24:
"46 He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to ALL NATIONS, BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM...".

2. The expression "times of refreshing":

In Isaiah 28:12, the prophet looks forward to the very days of the Pentecost when God would "..with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.. (v11)" Those days are referred to as "this is refreshing (v12)". So the "times of refreshing" in the context of Acts 3 are the very days, immediately following the Pentecost. The clue is in v12 "yet they would not hear" - which is exactly what happened. If "times of refreshment" meant the millenium, then "yet they would not hear" would not be applicable, since "they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him (Zech 12:10)" prior to the millennium.

So, Peter's point in Acts 2 and 3, seems to me, as any gospel message, the intent being to build the church, not offer a kingdom. Was'nt it the Lord intent to abolish the middle wall of separation between Jews and Gentiles, in His flesh? How can this concept be explained if the Lord intended to first set up a Jewish kingdom?

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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 18 Oct 2007 11:23:25 AM Close
1. Acts 3:20 is the future. Acts 3:26 is as you interpreted. Verse 20 is NOT the same as verse 26. It is clear in the tenses used.

2. Do you mean to say times of refreshing have come already since Pentecost? You have NOT read Isa 28 properly.

Isa 28:12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and THIS IS THE REFRESHING: yet THEY WOULD NOT HEAR.

The "times of refreshing" was offered - "this is the refreshing" in Isa 28; "your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come" (Acts 3). But did it come? Nope! THEY WOULD NOT HEAR! It was prophesied by Isaiah already, and that's what we read in Romans 11 - the casting away of Israel and their blindness. "Times of refreshing" COULD have come, but DID NOT COME.

Now read the next two verses in Isaiah 28. Isa 28:14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. 15 Because ye have said, We have made a COVENANT WITH DEATH, AND WITH HELL are we at agreement; when the OVERFLOWING SCOURGE shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

These verses refer to tribulation and the covenant made between apostate Jews with the antichrist.

The "gap" between verse 13 and 14 in Isa 28 is the present dispensation, which was hidden in the counsels of God, but revealed to us thru apostle Paul.

cont'd...

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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 18 Oct 2007 11:28:40 AM Close
Quote: "Was'nt it the Lord intent to abolish the middle wall of separation between Jews and Gentiles, in His flesh? How can this concept be explained if the Lord intended to first set up a Jewish kingdom?"

Ok, how will you explain that the Lord EXPECTS Jews to keep sabbath in the tribulation? (Mat 24:20). Of course the Lord intended to break down the middle wall of partition. But this is done WITHIN the body, and not outside of the body of Christ. The Jew/Gentile difference is abolished only among the saved folks since Acts 2 (within the body of Christ). Outside, there are still TWO groups - Jews and Gentiles, thus making a THIRD group, the church of God. Apostle Paul clearly taught these 3 groups.

Conclusion - The middle wall breaking DOES NOT club up Jews and Gentiles which are OUTSIDE the body of Christ. Therefore, there are Jews clearly identified so in the tribulation (see Rev 7).

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