Re: Mike P. (17 April 2022) What Was Pentecost?
The Error of Hyperdispensationalism Concerning Church Formation
Hyper-dispensationalist believe the Book of Acts was predominantly Jewish. They believe that Jews were given a second chance to receive the Gospel in Acts. They teach two different Churches coexist in the Book of Acts, one of which is a Jewish church distinguished from the Church which is Christ’s body. Hyper-dispensationalists believe that the mysteries given to Paul are a different revelation from those given to Peter and the other Apostles. This view contradicts Scripture.
I believe that the organic body known as the Church of God was formed at the First Pentecost described in Acts 2. I believe this because Scripture clearly indicates so:
1. In 1 Corinthians 15:8, Paul said, “For I am least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” If the Church had been born at the Council of Jerusalem, following Paul’s conversion, he, writing, under the authority of the Holy Spirit, in the above verse would contradict the Scripture. Paul stated he persecuted the Church of God before his own conversion/salvation. Therefore, the Church of God existed prior to Paul’s conversion.
2. In the NT there are three classes of people: Jew, Gentile and Church of God. (1 Corinthians 10:32). One who alleges that the Jews/Hebrews, in Acts 2 who were reborn (John 3:3-7, Psalm 22:32) having been baptized by Jesus, constituted a fourth class of Jewish/Hebrew Church. Clearly, this fourth class was not recognized in 1 Corinthians 10:32.
3. Five hyper questions are raised about Peter’s speech in Acts 2 suggesting that his lack of knowledge about the cross, blood of Christ, forgiveness of sins based on death, burial and resurrection constitute a prerequisite to the Church of God formation on Pentecost. You necessarily limit God’s work based on Peter’s prior knowledge and understanding. God works in mysteries and has never been limited by man’s knowledge.
4. In Christ’s prayer in John 17, he prayed for Peter, James, and John (present at the prayer) to have the same position in Him that Paul occupied in Colossians 1:27-28; 2:10, that of being “one in perfection”. If Peter, James, and John were not “in the Church which is His Body, then Christ’s prayer would have been ineffective.
5. Following the same theological course as suggested in paragraph 4 above, Paul, in 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 states:
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also, is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
Continuing in this discourse, in 1 Corinthians 15:
49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 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.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
This means that the Body of Christ will depart this earth, “in a moment in the twinkling of any eye” because there is ONE baptism which puts the believer into the body of Christ. If Peter, James, and John were ONE in Christ as suggested in John 17, then THAT body is the same body inhabited by the Church of God. The same body is subject to the mystery of the resurrection/rapture event.
6. Finally, we should consider the Hebrew pilgrimage feast of Shavout or Pentecost. There is symbolic evidence of the Church in this feast, a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17) We are necessarily led to understand the “shadow events” associated with the first resurrection, the resurrection of righteousness described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:20-24. Christ, the first fruits [of the first resurrection] was raised out of the grave on the festival of First Fruits during the feast of Unleavened Bread. On the day of His resurrection, the Temple priests were raising up the sheaf of grain offering (Leviticus 23:11) typifying the first order of the resurrection of Christ along with the OT Hebrew saints under the law (Matthew 27:50-54). If Christ and these OT saints were typified by one sheaf, what are we to make of the TWO loaves (Leviticus 23:17) offered up at Shavuot/Pentecost? The future loaves surely represent the second order of the first resurrection (verse 23) where one loaf represents the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the other loaf represents the catching out [rapture] of the living in Christ. Then comes the end (verse 24) where we will see [from glory] the completion of the first resurrection [the third order] when the tribulation saints will be raised. (Revelation 20:4-5)
7. The Temple “wall of partition” was torn in two at the time of Christ’s crucifixion. By implication, we may infer that the wall between Jew and Gentile was also broken down 50 days prior to Peter’s Pentecost speech. The fact that no one is aware of this transitioning dispensation is irrelevant. As late as Acts 3:19, Peter was not aware of the finished blood atonement for salvation of the individual. However, his lack of knowledge or even suggesting that it was not an accomplished fact, would be dispensational silliness.
8. Paul says that the church is built on the foundation of the apostles. 17And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. If the Church is built upon the apostles, it must include Peter of Acts 2, therefore Peter cannot belong to a different church. There is one church which is the body of Christ.
Because of the foregoing proofs, I believe that Acts 2: 1-4 was the beginning of our era [Church age] which will terminate at the second order of the first resurrection/rapture event, likely a Pentecostal event, on a future day and hour known only to our Lord and Savior.