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9E. Dispensationalism - The Last Days

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Dispensationalism

The Last Days

 

Mr. Stam tells us:
The Old Testament Scriptures have a great deal to say about the "last" or "latter" days.  The phrase looks forward in a general way to the coming of Messiah and the establishment of His kingdom (Gen. 49:1, Num. 24:14, Deut. 4:30, Isa. 2:2, Dan. 2:28, 10:14, Hos. 3:5, Mic. 4:1).  Several similar phrases are used in connection with the same events, such as: "last time," "latter time," "the days come," "His days," "those days."

The coming of Messiah and the establishment of His kingdom in the last days is the goal of prophecy.  Indeed, even the New Testament Scriptures view Messiah's coming and kingdom as the great climax of the prophetic program (Mark 1:15, Luke 1:68-75, Acts 3:21-24, I Peter 1:11).


I agree with this statement of the author completely, however as we will see in this chapter, the author, as stated earlier, will make a gap between the coming of Christ and the establishment of his kingdom on this earth. It is my belief, through the study of the scriptures, that there was no gap between the coming of Christ and the setting up of His kingdom. Paul tells Timothy he is in the last days in I Tim. 4:1 and II Tim. 3:1 and tells us we are in the last days in Heb. 1:2. John also tells us we are living in the last days I John 2:18, as does Peter, I Peter 1:5-20, II Peter 3:3-9. Note these letters were written long after Paul had shared his commission with the apostles in Jerusalem. II Pet. 3:15.

When Christ tells those in Galilee that "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, I must, because Christ is not a liar, accept the fact that what he says is true. Note He says the time IS fulfilled, not it will be fulfilled 2000 years from now. And that the words "at hand" mean, at hand, it amazes me that a man who insists on a literal translation of the Word of God when it pertains to apocryphal language cannot accept it when it is spoken by Christ in the everyday language. The same is true in Luke 1:68-75- Zacharias, not on his own, but filled with the Holy Spirit, (vs.67) speaks of the event as being in the present time not some time in the future. In Acts 3:21-24 We see that Christ is to be ABSENT from the earth ,in a physical sense, during the time of the restoration of all things. This is a direct fulfillment of the scripture which we find in Psa. 110:1 "The Lord says to my Lord; Sit at my right hand until I make Thine enemies a footstool for thy feet." Where is the Lord at this time? He is at the right hand of God the Father, his physical, earthly work was completed at the cross of Calvary. Now he awaits the day when He will return to the earth, not to start a kingdom but to receive one (I Thess. 4:17). Read John 16:8-11 and you will see that the building of the kingdom is promised to be through the work of the Holy Spirit, not the work of Christ physically present on the earth. Even the scripture the writer uses in I Peter states that the glory of Christ would follow His suffering. We know from Paul's letter to the Philippians 2: 6-9 that the reason for his glorification was the fact of his obedience to the Father through His actions as a man. Paul himself even states the glorification of Christ as being completed in verse 9 when he says "Wherefore God also HATH highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name." The action is fulfilled, Christ is now glorified through his action of obedience to the Father. All men now stand guilty before their creator because Christ has proven to the universe that a perfect man , just as Adam was a perfect man, was able to withstand the temptation of Satan and remain faithful to God. For this reason Paul tells the Athenians in Acts 17:30 that the days of ignorance have ended, because of the action of Christ they must all repent or face the righteous judgment of Christ. A judgment which is never spoken of in temporal, physical sense but one that is seen as spiritual and eternal.


Mr. Stam tells us:
When Peter stood up nineteen centuries ago and declared that the last days had come (Acts 2:16,17) he showed that he was totally ignorant of God's plan to usher in a dispensation of grace before the return of Christ.


Peter was the instrument of the Holy Spirit in this passage of scripture as we see in Acts 2:4, therefore it was not Peter who was ignorant, if what the writer says is true, but rather the Holy Spirit. And since the Spirit of God is not ignorant of the will of God, being God, he then used Peter to lie to the people of Jerusalem if the kingdom did not at that time appear as Peter prophesied that it would.


Mr. Stam tells us:
It is important to notice, however, that not all the signs of "the day of the Lord" appeared at Pentecost.  There were the "signs in the earth beneath" but not the "wonders in the heaven above."  There were the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, the tongues and visions and prophesying, but not the "blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke," nor as yet was "the sun turned into darkness and the moon into blood" (See Acts 2:17-20). 


Unfortunately I was not present in days of Peter so I cannot be an eye- witness to what occurred in the heavens or in the earth. Josephus, one of the most noted historians of that day was, and although he was not a believer, he has this to say about the period in question. Taken from "Wars of the Jews" book VI, chapter V sec.3. "Thus were the miserable people persuaded by these deceivers, and such as belied God himself; while they did not attend, nor give credit, to the signs that were so evident, and did so plainly foretell their future desolation; but, like men infatuated, without either eyes to see or minds to consider, did not regard the denunciation that God made to them. Thus there WAS A STAR RESEMBLING A SWORD, WHICH STOOD OVER THE CITY (He is in reference to Jerusalem) AND A COMET, THAT CONTINUED A WHOLE YEAR. Thus also, before the Jews rebellion, and before those commotions which preceded the war, when the people were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth day of the month Xanthicus, (Nisan) and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone round about the alter and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright day-time; which light lasted for half an hour."
He goes on to state other signs in this chapter which, he says, those men of understanding took to be forecasts of the coming desolation of Jerusalem and Israel. Being a personal eye-witness to this desolation, he makes in the Preface of the Wars of the Jews, sec.4 this statement "According it appears to me, that the misfortunes of all men, from the beginning of the world, if they be compared to these of the Jews, are not to be so considerable as they were;"
The blood, fire and vapor of smoke are seen in Old Testament prophecy to relate to war, for all three of these are evident in a area that is experiencing the ravages of war. A study of history will prove to any student that Jerusalem during the time of Titus and Nero experienced the greatest ravages of war yet known to mankind. We also know that the sun was turned to darkness literally at Calvary (Luke 23:44-45, Mark 15:33, Matt. 27:45).This leaves only the moon to be turned to blood, which many non-dispensational theologians believe happened at the same time as the sun being darkened. This being a phenomenon which is seen in a total eclipse of the sun, when the moon passes between the earth and the sun.

 
Mr. Stam tells us:
Furthermore, the signs which did appear soon passed away again (I Cor. 13:8) as the prophetic program made way for the unfolding of "the mystery," God's secret, eternal purpose.


Let us look at I Cor. 13:8 and see exactly what is meant by this verse when it is read in context. Paul, as seen in these verses of scripture, is making a comparison between the outward signs of the kingdom of God and the inward spiritual signs of the kingdom. He is telling the church at Corinth not to rely upon the outward manifestations of the kingdom of God because they are temporal, only the inward actions of the Spirit of God are eternal vs.13 "NOW ABIDETH faith, hope and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
The writer tells us that the signs of the ushering in of the kingdom soon passed away, Paul tells us in I Cor 13 that the outward signs will pass away, (he doesn't state when, in fact he states that even he prophecies, even if only in part, vs.9+10,) but the inward signs, the true evidence of the kingdom of God being established on the earth, are found to be the only ones on which to base our assurance of truth and salvation. This agrees completely with the following Old Testament scriptures concerning the true kingdom of God. Ps.37:31; 40:8, Jer. 31:33; 32:40.


Mr. Stam tells us:
Just before our Lord's ascension the apostles had asked: "Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6).  Our Lord, of course, had known that Israel would reject the offer of the kingdom, but He could not tell the eleven this for they could not then have put much heart into their appeal to Israel and Israel, in turn, might have had some excuse for further rejecting Christ.


Think for a moment about what the writer is implying concerning the actions of the Holy Spirit. He says contrary to I Cor.1:17-29, that the convicting of men's souls lay in the action of the speaker not in the action of the Spirit through the Word of God. When unbelievers stand before the Lord they will have no excuse for their sins Rom. 1:20. As we look at this paragraph one thing becomes evident, the writer, in his need to establish his doctrine in the hearts and minds of his listeners, at this time tells us the very mind of God. He has received it seems a special revelation, FOUND NOWHERE IN THE SCRIPTURES, that Israel might say to God, Gee, God we would have believed if you would have tried a little harder. This line of reasoning comes only from the deductions of human reasoning and has no scriptural support what-so-ever. How then should we look at these scriptures? We must as in all cases view them in light of the rest of God's Word. The Apostles not yet under the influence of the Holy Spirit asked this question in Acts 1:6. Look at the answer which Christ uses to reply, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own POWER. But ye shall receive POWER, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
What is meant by this word "POWER"? According to Thayer's Greek- English Lexicon, page 159; "strength, ability, power; a univ. inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth:
What Christ is saying is this, The times and the seasons are none of your business only God has this knowledge. But in verse 8 we see that Christ says they would receive that power of God after the Holy Ghost was come upon them.  In other words God's plan would be revealed to them through the Holy Spirit of God. And they through the actions of this Spirit would become witnesses to the rest of the world, telling all men what the revealed plan of God was. The writer tells us God kept it from the apostles, Gods Word tells us it was revealed to them. Did the apostles, after Pentecost, ever again speak of the kingdom being restored to Israel? Never! They only spoke of the kingdom's presence in the world and the need for all men to accept it and enter into it for salvation. Did they know after the coming of the Holy Spirit, what the answer to their question was? You better believe it, the answer was NO ! Acts 2:40 "And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, SAVE YOURSELVES FROM THIS UNTOWARD (evil) GENERATION." They knew after Pentecost that Israel as a nation was not to be saved at this time, but that believers were to be saved from the wickedness of Israel as a nation.

 
Mr. Stam tells us:
 Thus our Lord declined to answer their question and said: "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. "But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and YE SHALL BE WITNESSES UNTO ME BOTH IN JERUSALEM, AND IN ALL JUDAEA, AND IN SAMARIA, AND UNTO THE UTTERMOST PART OF THE EARTH" (Acts 1:7,8). The house of Israel, then, received a bona fide offer of the return of Christ and the establishment of His kingdom as Peter cried: "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when [that so] the times of refreshing shall [may] come from the presence of the Lord: "And He shall [may] send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you" (Acts 3:19,20).


We again see an example of how the writer twists scripture in order to make his theology work. He quotes Acts 3:19, 20 in this way, the words in parentheses are his. "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when (that so) the times of refreshing shall (may) come from the presence of the Lord: "And He shall (may) send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you."

He takes what Peter states a fact and places it in the realm of a hope, depending on the action not only of the listener but of Israel as a nation.


Mr. Stam tells us:
This, of course, was an appeal to the nation. 


Where in the scriptures does it say that Peter was making the appeal to the entire nation? Where does it say in the scriptures that the entire nation had to repent in order for the times of refreshing to come? Where does it say in the scripture that the promise of Christ's presence is to be found only through the repentance of the nation of Israel in its entirety? NOWHERE. Peter's call is to the individual, not to the nation, When the individual repents, his sins are blotted out, we are refreshed and renewed through the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives and Jesus Christ takes up His abode in our hearts and lives.


Mr. Stam tells us:
It did not mean that if that one audience had repented Christ would immediately have returned to bring in the kingdom, for we know that several prophesied events would first have had to be fulfilled.
But the question may be asked: If the prophetic program had run its course and a repentant Israel had finally been brought to Messiah's feet, how would God have brought in the dispensation of grace?  The answer is simply that He knew that they would not repent and that this was a factor in His plans to usher in the dispensation of grace.
The fact which concerned the people of Israel at that time was that a bona fide proposition was being made to them that if they repented the kingdom would be ushered in and Christ would return to occupy the throne of David. 


Let us examine Acts 2:30-31 and put to rest, if we truly desire to accept the teaching of the scriptures, the belief of dispensationalists that Christ must occupy an earthly throne in order to fulfill the covenant to David. Vs.30 "Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne." In this verse we see that David received a promise from the Lord, this promise according to Peter was that someday through the line of David (the fruit of his loins according to the flesh) Christ would come and God would raise him up to sit on his throne. In other words Christ would be raised by God to be the king of his chosen people. Now note carefully verse 31. Did David ever see this promise fulfilled? According to this verse he did! "He SEEING THIS BEFORE space of the RESURRECTION OF CHRIST, that his soul was not left in hell, neither did his flesh see corruption." It can't get any clearer than this, David and Peter both saw the fulfillment of God's promise concerning the raising of Christ to sit on the throne of David in the resurrection and glorification of Christ in the presence of God. vs.32-36.


Mr. Stam tells us:
God was holding Israel accountable for her acceptance or rejection of Christ and His kingdom.  As we know, the apostate nation did not repent but joined the Gentiles in their rebellion against God and could not have complained had the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy continued and God's wrath been poured out upon them.  Indeed, those who did repent were filled with the Holy Spirit in preparation for the ordeal through which they were expected, as a result of Israel's rebellion, to pass.

Thus the world was ripe for the wrath of God more than 1900 years ago and if the prophetic program had not been graciously interrupted, the judgment would have fallen then.


A study of history will prove beyond a doubt that the judgment which Christ prophesied would fall on that generation of Israel, (Matt.23: 32-36), did indeed fall. Anyone who reads the account of this destruction will see a devastation which makes the Holocaust under Hitler look like a Sunday School picnic. It was a time of total despair, Israelites killing each other, women killing and eating their children, total cities being completely wiped of the face of the earth. This quotation from Schaff's history of the Christian Church volume I page 398 bears this out. "No one," says Josephus, "can conceive a louder, more terrible shriek than arose from all sides during the burning of the temple. The shout of victory and the jubilee of the legions sounded through the wailings of the people, now surrounded with fire and sword, upon the mountains and throughout the city. The echo from all the mountains around, even to Peraea (?), increased the deafened roar. Yet the misery itself was far more terrible than this disorder. The hill on which the temple stood was seething hot, and seemed enveloped to its base in one sheet of flame. The blood was larger in quantity than the fire, and those that were slain more in number than those that slew them. The ground was nowhere visible. All was covered with corpses; over these heaps the soldiers pursued the fugitives." The Romans planted their eagles on the shapeless ruins, over against the eastern gate, offered their sacrifices to them, and proclaimed Titus Imperator with the greatest acclamations of joy. Thus was fulfilled the prophecy concerning the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place."


Mr. Stam tells us:
It was to Paul, that other apostle, that God first made known "the mystery [secret] of His will" (Eph. 1:9), "His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (II Tim. 1:9).
In Eph. 3:1-3 the apostle says:
"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 seen before, if we read this verse we will see that Paul's claim is as follows "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." Paul nowhere states he was the first to receive this revelation from God only that he was the one who proclaimed it to the Gentiles, as we have seen earlier in this study.


Mr. Stam tells us:
This whole passage in Acts is most significant.  Why did our Lord insist that the twelve begin their ministry at Jerusalem, yet refuse to allow Paul to begin there?  Because Paul's ministry was to constitute an interruption of the commission and program of the twelve.  The Lord said to Paul, in effect: "They did not listen to the twelve; neither will they listen to you, so leave Jerusalem and go to the Gentiles." Thus God concluded Israel in unbelief, along with the Gentiles.  It is significant that after the raising up of Paul we find no further offer of the kingdom to Israel. God had done this, however, "that He might have mercy upon all" (Rom. 11:32).


If we read such books as James, Hebrews, the epistles of John, and the epistles of Peter, we will see that Israel has never had the offer of the kingdom taken from them. THE OFFER OF THE KINGDOM HAS NEVER BEEN TAKEN FROM THE JEWS IT HAS JUST INCREASED ITS SCOPE TO INCLUDE THE GENTILES. To be sure the kingdom has been taken from the Jews and placed on a world-wide scale, but is this not what Christ tells us is the case in John 3:16. (parenthesis mine) "For God so loved the WORLD (Not just the Jews) that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever (Not just the Jews) believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."


Mr. Stam tells us:
And so an interruption of the prophetic program was begun in order that God, through Paul, might offer to all men everywhere salvation by grace, solely through the merits of the crucified, risen Christ.


To be Biblically correct the statement above should read as follows. And so the fulfillment of the prophetic program was seen in order that God, through the Holy Spirit, might offer to all men everywhere salvation by grace, solely through the merits of the crucified, risen Christ. Luke 24: 25-27; 44-48.


Mr. Stam tells us:
During this interruption or parenthesis, then, while the establishment of Christ's kingdom is held in abeyance, God is forming the body of Christ from Jews and Gentiles reconciled to Himself by the cross (Cf. I Cor. 12:13, II Cor. 5:14-21).


I see clearly stated in these verses that God is forming the body of Christ from Jews and Gentiles reconciled to Himself by the cross, These verses, however, have no reference at all to the interruption or parenthesis that the writer seems to find so clearly numerated. In fact, the words interruption and parenthesis are not even found in the scriptures.


Mr. Stam tells us:
The Bible student should always remember that the formation of this "one body" is not the subject of prophecy, but of the mystery first revealed through Paul. 


There are many Old Testament scriptures which refute this belief. Passages such as Isaiah 2:2-4, Isaiah 60:1-5, Micah 4:1-3, Psa. 72:16-19, Isa.42:1-4, Isa. 49:6. These are just a few of the many scriptures in the Old Testament which speak of the Gentiles and Jews being reconciled together to God through the work of Christ.


Mr. Stam tells us:
Paul, like Peter, has much to say about "last days," but since his message concerns mainly this present dispensation of the mystery, and not the prophetic program, he generally has reference to the last days of the dispensation of grace, after which the prophetic program will again be resumed.


Again the writer makes a statement and has absolutely no scripture to back it up.

 1. If what he says is true why does Paul NEVER make the differentiation between the last days of the prophetic program and the last days of this so-called parenthesis?

2. Why does Paul NEVER say that the prophetic program will resume after this age of grace?

3. Why does Paul always state that the age of grace is a fulfillment of the prophetic program? II Cor.3:6-11, Eph.2:10-22, Heb.1:1-4, Heb. 5, Heb.7:11-22, Heb.10:1-9


Mr. Stam tells us:
Peter's ministry in early Acts, of course, had the Lord's return to earth in view; His return to reign in Jerusalem over Israel and the nations.


The writer is emphatic concerning this "fact" although there is not one verse of scripture to back up his theory.


Mr. Stam tells us:
Paul also has much to say about the Lord's return, but again there is a difference.  To Paul it was revealed that the dispensation of grace would be brought to a close by the coming of Christ to catch away the members of His body, before the outpouring of His wrath and His return to earth to reign (see Chart).


I looked at the chart and, sure enough, it does state what the writer says. However in searching the Word of God I could not find this chart anywhere in the Bible. I wonder what book and chapter he got it out of. As I study the Word of God I see a completely different state of affairs concerning the second coming of the Lord. This second coming is known in scriptures as the day of the Lord I Thess. 5:2. The scriptures tell us two important things will happen on that fateful day.

1. We (the church) will meet the Lord in the air. Some scholars tell us the word meet (apantesis) has the connotation in the Greek of going out, meeting, and escorting back. It is only used in two other passages of scripture.
1. Matt. 25: 1-6, Where the virgins are told to be ready to go out and meet the bridegroom and escort him back into the city for the marriage. Vs.10 makes it very clear that they reentered the city and did not go away with the bridegroom.
2. Acts 28:15, where we see the brethren leaving Rome, going out to meet Paul, and escorting him back into the city vs.16. Since I know very little Greek I must accept the word of men more knowledgeable in the language than myself. However, scripture seems to bear out what they say. If this is the case then we (the church) are meeting Him in the air, not to go away with Him, but rather to escort Him back to the earth.

 2. The scriptures tell us that at Christ's second coming the elements of the earth will melt with a fervent heat and Satan will be destroyed with the brightness of His coming. II Pet.3:9-15. Note even Paul believed this, for Peter says in verse "even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you. I'm sure at this point the dispensationalist will tell us that there is a difference between the "parousia" (coming) and the "apokalupsis" (revelation) of Christ. This again has no scriptural basis seeing as how the writers used both words interchangeably to describe the same event. A few moments of study with a concordance and the Word of God will bear this out. Notice the scripture in I Cor. 15:51-52, verse 52 states "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the LAST TRUMP: FOR THE TRUMPET SHALL SOUND, and the dead shall be raised, incorruptible, and we shall be changed. Compare this to Revelation 10:7. "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, THE MYSTERY OF GOD SHOULD BE FINISHED, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.


Mr. Stam tells us:
We have seen that Peter was not wrong when he declared at Pentecost that the last days had begun.  They had indeed begun, but God had a secret purpose to give the world a period of grace before putting down the world's rebellion and sending Christ to reign.
But the interruption of the kingdom program by the dispensation of grace sheds light on some of Peter's last recorded words too.  Writing in his second epistle concerning the delay in Christ's return to earth and the ushering in of the day of the Lord, he says:
"But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that ONE DAY IS WITH THE LORD AS A THOUSAND YEARS, AND A THOUSAND YEARS AS ONE DAY" (II Pet. 3:8).
Notice, this is not our feeble explanation now of the delay in Christ's return.  This statement was made at the beginning of this time of waiting; at the dawn of the age of grace, and it indicates clearly that Peter then recognized that an interruption in the program had taken place. 


Look at the passage of scripture which the writer uses and tell me where it states that Peter recognizes an interruption in the program, note vs. 4-7 "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 creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." These verses speak not of a restoration of Israel or the return of Christ to reign on an earthly throne, but they speak of the destruction of the world by fire (note also vs. 10+12) and the eternal judgment of the unsaved. Notice vs. 9 and you will see Peter understands that the coming of the Lord will result in elimination of any further chance for salvation. Peter does not see a reigning of Christ on the earth in a millennial kingdom of saved and unsaved living in perfect harmony, he sees the complete destruction of the world as we know it and the creation of a new heaven and earth where there is no sin at all but where righteousness dwells. vs.13


Mr. Stam tells us:
Where did Peter get all this? How did he know about the dispensation of grace? Go on with verse 15:

"EVEN AS OUR BELOVED BROTHER PAUL ALSO ACCORDING TO THE WISDOM GIVEN UNTO HIM HATH WRITTEN UNTO YOU."

This was written more than 30 years after Pentecost and by that time Peter had learned from Paul about the dispensation of grace.


Vs. 15 does not even imply that Peter received his knowledge from Paul, this verse does state that Peter agrees with Paul's doctrine. Note the verse carefully, "And account that the longsuffering of the Lord is salvation; even as our beloved Paul also (this phrase shows an agreement with Paul it does not imply that Paul was the revealer of the truth to Peter) according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you." An example of what Peter is saying is as follows: Suppose a missionary was to follow another missionary into a remote tribe in Africa, when he entered the tribe and began teaching he might tell the people, "The gospel which I now share with you is the same gospel shared by the one who came earlier." Does this mean that the earlier missionary taught the later one? Of course not, it means that both missionaries came with the same message which was given them by the Lord.


Mr. Stam tells us:
Thus Peter and Paul did not work at cross purposes or preach contradictory messages.  God simply gave Paul a further revelation of truth.

It was sometime after that Paul had been sent out with "the gospel of the grace of God," that he went to Jerusalem "by revelation" and communicated to Peter and the others "that gospel which [he preached] among the Gentiles" (Gal. 2:2).  Peter and the rest "saw" and "perceived" that a new revelation had been committed to him and, far from disagreeing, "gave to [Paul] and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship" (Gal. 2:7-9).


Again the writer is subtly placing things in the scripture which are not there. 1. If you read Gal.1:15-24 you will see that Paul communicated to Peter the fact of his conversion only three years after the fact vs.18. 2. It was not a new gospel, but it was the same faith which the apostles taught, and which he once destroyed. vs.23 3. 14 years later he AGAIN (2:1) went to Jerusalem, not to communicate a new revelation (there is no mention in these verses at all of a new revelation) to the apostles but rather to share with them that he had received the commission from God to go to the Gentiles with the gospel, just as Peter had received the commission to go to the Jews with the gospel. vs.7-9 Peter and Paul both viewed the last days in the same light, delivered to them by the same Spirit. The last days are here and have been here since Peter and Paul were notified of their presence. When these days are finished, when the church has completed its work, through the action of the Holy Spirit, to take the gospel to every kindred, tribe and people on the earth, the Lord will return. The earth as we know it will be destroyed and a new heaven and earth, free from sin, will be created. (I Pet. 3:10-14, Heb.12:22-29).

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