Since our October edition was sent out, we have received many letters from Christians expressing their gratitude to God and thanks to us for the teaching we are setting forth, helping them to understand and enjoy their Bibles, by “rightly dividing the Word of truth.”
Concerning the eternal Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His sacrificial death, providing an all-sufficient remedy for sins, His glorious resurrection and God’s all-sufficient grace for the believer’s walk and godly life, all orthodox Christians are agreed, whether they are numbered with the Postmillenarians or the Premillenarians. We have no controversy with Bible teachers concerning these Christian fundamentals, but we have a decided controversy with our Premillenarian brethren who are teaching “Plymouth Brethren” dispensationalism and with the Bible Institutes and Fundamentalist Bible teachers who make no distinction between the ministry, message and program of the Church during the “Acts” period and in Paul’s Prison Epistles.
We regret exceedingly that too often these differences in Scriptural interpretations cause ungracious criticisms and unpleasant divisions among the members of the Body of Christ, who are instructed to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3. This unity can be kept well pleasing to God only on the basis that God has set forth in Ephesians 4:3 to 5. One Divine condition is “one baptism.” One baptism is not two baptisms. If water baptism identifies the sinner with the glorious Christ, that is the one baptism. If that identification is accomplished by a Divine baptism not made with hands, then the water baptism of the “Acts” dispensation is eliminated. Satan has used water baptism more than any one thing to divide the Body of Christ, whom God instructs to keep unity on the basis of one baptism.
As to the One God, one Lord, one Spirit, all grace preachers are agreed. They are all agreed as to the one hope and one faith of Ephesians and Colossians, but they are not agreed that Paul preached two hopes, the hope of Israel and the hope of the Body. There is more than an element of uncertainty with some faithful saints of God as to whether the Body of I Corinthians and the Body of Ephesians are identical. There needs to be much searching of the Word to settle this. Be a Berean.
Many Bible teachers who have been mixing the two hopes, thereby corrupting the Scriptures and confusing Christians, are either unwilling to be convinced as to their blunder, or unable to distinguish between things that differ, by separating Israel’s hope and calling from the hope and calling of the Body of Christ in Ephesians and Colossians.
No careful, intelligent student of the Word of God can deny that the hope and calling, the position and possessions, the blessing and administration of the members of the Body of Christ in Ephesians and Colossians, given by special revelation from Christ in heaven to Paul, were not clearly presented either in the Book of Acts or in Paul’s Epistles, written during the “Acts” period.
As we continue to study to show ourselves approved unto God, let us manifest the fruit of the Spirit and be careful to maintain good works, remembering that love worketh no ill to his neighbor. Let us by all means refrain from ungracious and uncharitable condemnation of other brethren.
J. C. O’HAIR, Pastor and Editor