The end of the book of Romans is often used as a "proof" that the mystery given to Paul the prisoner was known before the close of the book of Acts and that "the mystery" as revealed in Eph 3 is simply a revisitation of what was already dispensed in the acts period. This is a part of the mid-acts foundation, an assumption that is demonstrably wrong, upon which many false doctrines subsist.
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Every religious survey in the past 20 years has shown a downward spiral in church attendance. Granted, there are some mega churches that have been started and are showing growth, but these are more due to population growth than leadership. The truth of the matter is that their growth has not kept up with the population growth. Others have grown, then plummeted when their "rock star" pastors were unmasked.
You show them the acts 28 boundary with patience and deliberation using all the evidence you can muster. But after all that - NO! They just will not accept the truth that is glaringly obvious to all who have come to see and appreciate the revelation of "the Mystery".
The apostle Paul had two ministries, one during the book of Acts and the other after Acts 28. Much confusion in the christian community results from a failure to rightly divide between these two ministries. For the Christian, that is for the person who knows the Lord Jesus Christ as saviour there is no issue more important than to have a clear appreciation of the two-fold ministry of Paul.
Be ye followers of me
It was the apostle Paul who said:
KJV 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
TBT 1 Corinthians 11:1 μιμηταί μου γίνεσθε, καθὼς κἀγὼ Χριστοῦ.
KJV 1 Corinthians 11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
TBT 1 Corinthians 11:2 Ἐπαινῶ δὲ ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, ὅτι πάντα μου μέμνησθε, καὶ καθὼς παρέδωκα ὑμῖν τὰς παραδόσεις κατέχετε.
There are some who would like to tell us that the church of whom Christ is head began in the middle of the book of Acts. This is done by appealing to various assumptions - some will argue that the gospel is the mystery and then show that "the gospel" was preached by Paul in Acts and therefore this age began in Acts (say Acts 13, 17 etc). This is often stated with zeal (Rom. 10:2) but does it measure up to the knowledge that PAul prays the Colossians (Col. 1:9) and Ephesians (Eph. 1:16-18) posses? This spirit of wisdom and revelation is a gift of the Father and therefore we should not assume all Christians posses it.
The best students of prophecy are confused. By all calculations, Jesus should have come by now. Even for the unschooled, the year 2000 marked a milestone of something calamitous…yet nothing happened! Is it like the scoffers said?
"And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." 2 Peter 3:4
Peter's answer to this group referred back to Noah and the flood:
Mid Acts and Jail (1 Corinthians an example)
Those who fail to discern the Acts 28 boundary and start the un-evolved, created Church in mid Acts are destined to fight the Acts context while attempting to harmonize the ordinances (traditions) then present with the age in which we live where none of these signs, wonders and traditions have any place. Reality and substance along with shadow were present in the time when Jew was first Rom. 1:16,17. This is especially clear in 1 Corinthians (see First Corinthians study):
I was thinking about the church where I was saved in 1953. We had Sunday School (Bible teaching) and a preaching service on Sunday morning. On Sunday night we had Training Union (Christian training) and a preaching service. On Wednesday night prayer meeting and preaching. Most everyone, children included, brought their own Bible. We could even have what they called "Responsive Reading" (a person would read a verse of scripture and the congregation would read the next verse in response.) Wouldn't that be something today? It would sound like Babylon with everyone having a different Bib
Many years ago I was invited to conduct a weekly "spiritual hour" at one of the drug/alcohol rehab facilities in our town. Realizing that the term "spiritual hour" could take on many different definitions and be very ambiguous, I wanted to clarify with the director of the facility what he could expect from me. We both agreed that "spiritual hour" at his facility would simply be "Jesus Christ and the Bible." It would not include a specific church, denomination or religion. I can thank the inmates in the Big Spring Federal Prison who attended my Bible class for making me aware of clarifyi