Chicago, Ill., May 1, 1936
Dear Christian Friends:
Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Whose we are and Whom we serve. Another month, by the grace of God, we are permitted to send forth “Bible Study for Bereans”. Since mailing the April number, we have received many letters telling of the spiritual blessings derived from the messages in the magazine and expressing gratitude for the help in understanding the Word of Truth, rightly divided, “orthotomeo” (correctly dissected). II Timothy 2:15. We can say with Paul, “for a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. I Corinthians 16:9. I hear your “Amen”, especially to the many adversaries. If these would oppose the “Message of Grace” with Divine Truth instead of with human falsehoods, we would welcome their sincere opposition and answer their arguments with the Word of God. I do not know of one Bible teacher who has confined himself to truthful statements in his attempt to answer the Pauline Truth. It is unanswerable because it is God’s own infallible message and the “golden key” to the Scriptures for members of the Body of Christ.
Our strongest opposition comes from brethren who are Fundamentalists and say “we agree with you as to the plenary inspiration of the Bible, its infallibility and authority; the eternal Deity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; His virgin birth; salvation wholly and solely by the grace of God on the basis of the once-for-all, all sufficient sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ and His bodily resurrection; the personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit; the premillennial coming of the same Jesus who died and rose again. And we know as well as you do, there is one and only one Church, the Body of Christ and we agree with you that a believer should live consistently, spiritually, soberly, righteously and godly, and that the grace of God is altogether sufficient for every task, test and trial. Moreover, we are dispensationalists, and, understand we agreed with you that we are living in a parenthesis, that the kingdom of heaven proclaimed by Christ and the Twelve is in abeyance until after this dispensation of grace, this ‘Body’ age, has come to an end. But if you do not agree with us as to when the ‘parenthesis’ began you can’t join our Fundamentalist association and we will call you ‘Bullingerites’ and ‘Ultra Dispensationalists’ and if necessary we will exaggerate and misrepresent you, in order to keep our people ignorant concerning your message.”
Well, praise the Lord every week Ephesians 1:18 is being answered in: behalf of some saints. “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,” and then these enlightened saints begin to obey Ephesians 3:9, “to make all see what is the dispensation of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God.
This opening of the eyes comes more slowly and gradually with some of the brethren. A number of them have had the start toward this blessed truth by reading “Wrongly Dividing the Word of God” (Dr.. H. A. Ironside). They have seen the utter folly of several of his statements.
1. That the nation Israel was set aside at Calvary with Christ’s judgment in Matthew 23:38.
2. That in God’s mind and purpose there was not even a transition during the Book of Acts period.
3. That Peter received the revelation of the Body and dispensation of the mystery when he had the vision of the sheet of unclean creatures. (Acts 10:1 to 28).
4. That the dispensation of the mystery and the (“sussomos”) joint-Body of Ephesians 3:6 began on the day of Pentecost.
5. That Christian water baptism began on the day of Pentecost when believers in the Body of Christ were baptized because of their gratitude for having received the Holy Ghost and thereby identified with Christ in death, burial and resurrection and having become members of the Church, (the Sussomos of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other ages).
6. That Paul received the revelation of the Body and mystery on the road to Damascus when Jesus asked, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”
These are such inexcusable blunders, but made in a desperate effort to defend a particular theory concerning immersion.
Think of the dispensation of the mystery beginning before Paul became the apostle to the Gentiles. Think of the dispensation of the mystery, given by special revelation to the Apostle to the Gentiles, beginning on Israel’s feast of Pentecost. Read the foot-note in the Scofield Reference Bible (Acts 2:16 and 17). “Israel’s prophets foretold the “last days” of the kingdom age. Then Joel (Joel 2:28 to 32) was speaking of the kingdom age. The kingdom age is not the dispensation of the mystery. Did our brother receive the Holy Spirit in fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy? If so, we must be in the tribulation or the millennium. Joel had nothing to say about this parenthetical period in which we live. Therefore, the parenthesis did not begin on the day of Pentecost. The twelve apostles were baptized with water more than three years before Pentecost, at the time they were wholly ignorant of the Body of Christ, the Gospel of Grace, or identification with Christ in death, burial and resurrection. Luke 18:31 to 34. John 20:9. Acts 1:6. Matthew 16:21 to 25. How stupid we must be to retain the fellowship of some of our fundamentalist brethren. Read Acts 2:38 and see if believers in the Body of Christ were “water baptized” to express their gratitude to God for having received the Holy Spirit. Read Acts 8:5 to 15, Acts 19:1 to 7 and be sure to be a Berean. Acts 17:11. Thank God so many Christians are getting their eyes off of so-called big Bible teachers. Think of Peter getting the revelation of the dispensation of the mystery in Acts 10. Read II Peter 3:15 and 16. Read also Matthew 25:40, the blessing in the coming kingdom age, “ye have done it unto me”, and not try to prove the Body of Christ by the “why persecutest thou me?”
Faithfully yours in Christ,
J. C. O’HAIR, Pastor and Editor
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.