Plainer Words Online
Tom L. Ballinger
June 16, 2012
Plainer Words since 1968
PLAINER WORDS ON… ENLIGHTENMENT – GOD’S SPECIAL GIFT
The “ambassador in bonds,” the Apostle Paul, while in a Roman prison, had heard of the saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ of the Ephesians. This was probably in the 62nd year of our Lord. The boundary line of Acts 28 was crossed. The Pentecostal Dispensation was left behind and so was the “hope of Israel.” Paul writes Ephesians and unfolds the “great secret” of the Dispensation of the Grace of God. He writes about a sacred Truth in which Jews and Gentiles were being “called-out” to form the “Church, which is His Body.” This Church is to be “to the praise of the glory of His grace” throughout the ages, world-without-end.
The riches of God’s grace are so superlative that it is incomprehensible, even to saints who have been begotten by the Spirit (John 3:6). In order for the saint to “see” the glorious Truth of this Mystery, the Lord must impart a special heavenly gift – SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT. In order for the saved to comprehend the exclusive revelation given to Paul, the prisoner of the Lord, concerning Christ Who is “the Head of the Church, which His Body, the fullness of God.” Paul is so pleased with what he has heard regarding the saints at Ephesus, he writes:
“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may GIVE UNTO YOU the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Ephesians 1:15-17).
THE EYES OF UDERSTANDING BEING ENLIGHTENED
“For we know not what we should pray for as we ought.” Many use this part of Romans 8:26 as their excuse for not knowing how to pray. However, Romans 8:26 has reference to praying for infirmities. There are, at least, 33 recorded prayers of the Apostle Paul which were written for our learning. We ought to know how to pray. Paul’s epistles are full of typical prayers which should be studied. By doing so, we should learn how to pray as we ought. Our subject will be set before our mind and eyes as we look at a case in point—Ephesians 1:18-19.
“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 what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.”
Look at this prayer of Paul’s and notice that it is, basically, divided into two parts: (1) that He may GIVE and, (2 ) that you may KNOW. The order is to be observed. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, must give before the believer may know. God must grant the believer:
a. The Spirit of wisdom and revelation (Vs. 17)
b. The knowledge of Him (Vs. 17)
c. The “eyes of understanding” enlightened (Vs. 18)
Unless God grants the above, the believer will never get to know what follows. No amount of study, no amount of reading, no amount of prayer, no amount of education will bring an individual to the point where he is able to comprehend, or discern the truths associated with the Calling of the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head. It must be emphasized that in order for any believer to see [i.e., to perceive] the uniqueness and glory of this Calling, it requires God giving Divine Light upon these truths. The first fourteen verses of this epistle make known a most profound truth regarding the Calling of the Church of The Mystery. These truths are just mere doctrine until such time as God sheds the light of revelation upon them in the heart of the believer. When God gives the “Spirit of wisdom and revelation,” the Truth of the Mystery grips the heart of the believer. Then, he begins to “see” the glory of the Calling. What is more, he, then, begins to “see” the glories of Christ Jesus.
Paul’s concern, in this prayer, is that others may be given the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ. Also, that they would have the “eyes” of their understanding enlightened to the truths embodied in the Mystery. When Divine intervention takes place, then, the believer MAY KNOW:
a. What is the Hope of His Calling (Vs. 18)
b. What is the riches of His Inheritance (Vs. 18)
c. What is the greatness of His Power (Vs. 19)
When the “eyes” of our understanding are Divinely illuminated, we are in a position to get to know “what is the Hope of His Calling.”
“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” (Ephesians 1:18).
This tells us that, apart from Spiritual enlightenment, we are UNABLE TO KNOW what is the Hope of God’s Present Calling. The reason is that the “eyes of understanding” must be enlightened. When the enlightenment is given, THEN the believer is enabled to distinguish between the various Callings of God. If one does not have this Spiritual discernment to distinguish between the different Callings, it is impossible for him to KNOW WHAT IS THE HOPE of GOD’S CALLING. Keep in mind that it is His Calling, not ours, or yours, or mine—IT IS HIS CALLING.
The New Testament word, “calling,” is used to denote a Divine invitation, or summon to embrace a particular salvation which entails marvelous benefits. Those who respond become members of that Calling which was sent out, usually, by the preaching of the Gospel message for that dispensational time. In plainer words, those who embrace the Gospel become members of a “called out group.” The “called out group” is denominated as being a “church,” for a church means, “a called out company or assembly.” It is Scripturally correct to say that the word, “calling,” is a word used by the Spirit of God to make known Dispensational Truth.
“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Romans 11:28).
“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:” (1 Corinthians 1:26).
“Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called” (1 Corinthians 7:20).
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling …” (Ephesians 1:18).
“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;” (Ephesians 4:4).
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling …” (2 Thessalonians 1:11).
“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Timothy 1:9).
“…partakers of the heavenly calling” (Hebrews 3:1).
“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:” (2 Peter 1:10).
These ten references can be “rightly divided” into three Callings. We will not so divide them, but we will set forth three headings which they would be classified under:
1. The Calling of Israel (“the church in the wilderness” ─ Acts 7:38).
2. The Calling of the Church of God ─ (Acts 2 through Acts 28).
3. The Calling of the Church of the Mystery (the “high calling of God” for today Phil.3:14).
To believe that Callings No. 2 and No. 3 are the same is an elementary mistake in First Grade arithmetic. We have shown that there are three Callings considered. Not two. Most all of Christendom makes this fundamental mistake, teaching that the Church of God and the Church of the Mystery are the same. The Acts Period Calling is different than today’s Calling of the Church of the Mystery. Of course, this mistake is not the result of a low IQ: but the result of not having been enlightened by the Spirit of God—which is to say, their “eyes of understanding” have not been illuminated.
The Calling of the Church of God began in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost. It ran its course from Acts 2 to Acts 28. This Calling was, exclusively, Jewish until Acts 10. In Acts 10, the Apostle Peter opened the door to the Church of God Calling to a Gentile; Cornelius and his whole household. From Acts 10 until the end of “The Acts of the Apostles,” believing Gentiles became incorporated into this Calling. However, they did not have all of the privileges that the Jewish member did.
During the Acts Period, Gentiles who believed Pentecostal Truth were “grafted in” to this Calling. The grafting in was the effort “to provoke [unbelieving] Israel to jealousy” (Romans 11:11). The believing Gentiles were considered to be a “wild olive tree” (Romans 11:17) grafted into “a good olive tree”—that being the Israel of God (Romans 11:24). This grafting-in, Paul wrote, was “contrary to nature” (Romans 11:24). This grafting-in was supposed to provoke Israel to emulate the faith of the Gentiles. Instead of emulating the faith of the Gentiles, it caused their hearts to be hardened and “waxed gross, and their ears dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed” (Acts 28:27).
Resultant upon this, the Apostle Paul said in Acts 28:28, “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and they will hear it” (Acts 28:28). This verse ought to “ring in the ears” of Christians. This is a landmark in all of Christendom. This was a Dispensational Boundary Line, drawn in the Bible, separating the Acts Period Calling from the Calling of The Mystery. With the pronouncement in Acts 28:28, the purposes of the Calling of the Church of God were suspended and set in abeyance.
Paul wrote seven letters to the Church of God. They were: Hebrews, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans.
With the shocking announcement in Acts 28:28, those with enlightened understanding see the Biblical Road Sign which says in bold capital letters:
LEAVING BEHIND ALL PROPHESIED TERRITORY
NOW ENTERING UNPROPHESIED TERRITORY
Christians who have not experienced having the eyes of their understanding enlightened miss this Signpost and drive into this New Territory, bringing with them baggage from the past Dispensation. When the border is crossed, we find in the New Territory, “a form of sound words” (2 Timothy 1:13) – Paul’s Prison Epistles – which are replete with newer terminology than that which was used, descriptively, in order to make manifest truth relating to the Church of God. One such description, or figure is that the present Calling is likened to ONE NEW MAN (Ephesians 2:15). The new nature of the regenerated member of the Church of the “One New Man” is no longer referred to as a “new creature” (2 Corinthian 5:17) as was the Acts Period believer. But, NOW, our new nature is referred to as our “NEW MAN” (Ephesians 4:24 & Colossians 3:10). In these two verses, we are told “to put on the new man”—like putting on a suit of clothes—to wit, our Spiritual Apparel.
Those who cannot see the Dispensational Boundary Line of Acts 28 are unable to appreciate the importance of God’s Present Purpose. This truth is of paramount importance. Upon this, hinges all Present Truth. It is here, at Acts 28, that the Pentecostal Dispensation ended, and the Dispensation of the Grace of God begins.
On this side of the Border, the post-Acts Period, a new Calling is being formed—the Calling of the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head (Ephesians 1:22-23). As members of the Church over which Christ is the Head, we are told:
“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13).
These “sound words” are found in Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Titus, 1 & 2 Timothy, and Philemon.
When these two Callings are recognized as being different, confusion disappears and, then we can advance to become “a perfect man:”
“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect [mature] man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).
Only when we rightly divide the Calling of the “Church of God” and the “Church, which is His Body” (Ephesians 1:22-23), can progress be made in understanding the Hope of His Calling.
(To be continued)
Plainer Words Online
Tom L. Ballinger
June 27, 2012
Plainer Words since 1968
PLAINER WORDS ON… ENLIGHTENMENT – THE SPECIAL GIFT OF GOD
“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” (Ephesians 1:18).
Before we look at the “hope,” let’s recognize that in Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:17-19, he refers to the Calling as God’s. It is “His Calling.” The reason being, that it is the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ Who “hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings among heaven’s elite in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). It was God Who chose us “in Him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). It was Him Who “predestinated us unto the adoption” (Eph. 1:5). It was He Who “hath made us accepted in the Beloved [Christ]” (Eph. 1:6). This Calling originated in the Heart of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Who is the Source of all blessings “according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself” (Eph. 1:9). Therefore, it is “His Calling.” We, as members of His Calling, can only refer to it as “ours,” only in the sense that it refers to our walk. Doctrinally, it is “His Calling;” practically, it is “our calling.”
Notice that the section of Ephesians which deals with the practical out-working of Truth is in Chapters 4, 5, and 6.
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation [calling] wherewith ye are called … even as ye are called in ONE HOPE of your calling” (Eph. 4:1, 4).
It is “your” calling, or “our” calling as it relates to our response to this Truth. Only as we are “enlightened” to see that it is the Father’s Calling, can we endeavor to walk worthy of “our” calling.
It has been emphasized that in order to see “what is the Hope of His Calling,” enlightened understanding is a prerequisite. As many Christians make an elementary mistake in confusing the “callings,” they, also, compound the problem by making an additional error by insisting that the “three” hopes are really just “two.”Believers who have not had the “eyes of their understanding enlightened” are in a hopeless tangle because they are unable to distinguish “what is the Hope of [God’s] Calling.” They, erroneously, believe that the Hope, set-forth in the Epistles written during the Acts Period, is the same as the Hope of the Prison Epistles.
Many folks who have seen some additional Truth shed on Acts 2 have moved on to a belief in what, today, is referred to as “the Mid-Acts Position.” This popular Grace
Position still falls short of the mark of “the high Calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14). They find trouble getting out of the Acts Period Dispensation with its epistles looking for “the Hope of Israel.” The “Hope of Israel” was set aside at Acts 28:28.
The word, “hope,” means as it relates to Biblical ideas; “ ( 2 ) Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God’s gracious promises, a Scriptural sense” (Webster’s 1828).
The sure ground for the Biblical expectation is God’s Promise. However, the hypocrite’s expectation is based upon supposition, or the wrongly divided Word.
“…and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish: Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider’s web” (Job 8:13-14).
Here, the hypocrite places trust in a hope founded upon the thin threads of a spider’s web. He does have an expectation, but its foundation is flimsy, having no sure substance.
Noah Webster’s definition of “Hope” is further said to be; ”( 3 ) That which gives: or that which furnishes ground for expectation. The hope of Israel’s Messiah. …the LORD will be the hope of His people … (Joel 3:16); ( 4 ) An opinion or belief not amounting to certainty, but grounded on substantial evidence.”
So, we can see that “hope” carries with it the idea of expectation and gives joy and pleasure. Of course, a misplaced hope, while it may give pleasure, will not be realized, and it can be said that it will “perish.”
“When a wicked man dieth, his expectation [hope] shall perish: and the hope of the unjust men perisheth” (Prov. 11:7).
But, if the Hope is based upon the Word of God and is rightly applied, it stands upon a firm foundation. However, all hopes in the Word are not the same. The “Hope of Israel” (Jer.14:18, Acts 28:20) was based upon promises God made to the fathers of Israel. You will note in the following verses that Paul declares to Agrippa:
“And now I stand and am judged for the HOPE of the promise made of God unto our fathers: Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, HOPE to come. For which Hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews” (Acts 26:6-7).
Here, it is noted that the Hope, in view, is that which was based upon a promise. It was a specific promise made by God unto the Fathers of Israel. This Hope cannot possibly be confused with the ONE HOPE of the Church of the ONE BODY (Eph. 4:4)! The promise was clearly to the “twelve tribes” of Israel.
We will not make any attempt to fully cover the doctrines which surround the Scriptural word, “hope.” Other than saying; a Biblical “hope is based upon a specific promise God made to a particular Calling. Each Calling is different.
There are at least three distinct Callings revealed in the Scriptures—the Calling of the Wilderness Church, the Calling of the New Testament Church, and the Calling of the Church, which is His Body*.
• The Calling of the Church, which is His Body (Eph.1:23) is not a New Testament Calling. Its Truth is revealed after the New Covenant Church of God [Acts 2 to Acts 28] was set aside. Or, said another way in plainer words, today’s Present Truth is Gentile-ward (Eph. 3:1-2) and is not Covenant Truth. See Romans 9:4-5 which points out, forthrightly, that the “covenants” and the “promises” belonged to Israel—not to the Gentiles. Saved Gentiles who were incorporated into the New Testament Church of God had a standing as foreign-born residents and were forbidden from holding any office in God’s Governing Body that existed during the Acts Period. Gentile Christians only had the rights of an alien in the “Israel of God.”
Now, the question arises; “What is the Hope of the special Calling of the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head?” It should be understood that each of God’s callings has had its own specific promise relating to its Hope.
There are two Callings mentioned in New Testament Truths. Those being, the Calling of Israel, referred to as “the Church in the Wilderness” (Acts 7:38). God called-out Israel in Exodus 19:3, 17. The Hope of its Calling was to be given the Land of Promise to possess and to become a Kingdom of Priests.
The other was the Calling of the Church of God. Its beginning was in Matthew 16:18, and it was on the world-scene until the end of “The Acts of the Apostles.” Many refer to this church as “the New Testament Church.” It was the church which was called-out during New Testament times. But, this is not a term used by the Holy Spirit as He inspired the New Testament writers. This Calling looked for the “Restitution of all things” (cf. Acts 3:19-21) as its Hope. This Hope was, also, referred to as “the Times of Refreshing” (Acts 3:19). This Hope will usher-in the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God. This Hope will probably last at least 700 years—then, the Lord allows apostasy and rebellion to take place. A rebellion against the Government of Jesus Christ occurs. The Antichrist will make war against Israel. This war ends with THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST. The “Parousia” of Christ brings, to a close, His Pre-Millennial Kingdom.
The Hope of the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head has a prior Hope to that of the Church of God. The Hope of the Church of God is not difficult to “see.” All Acts Period believers were endowed with “Spiritual gifts” (1 Cor. 12:1). These super-natural gifts of the Holy Spirit empowered all believers to understand the Hope of their Calling.
With these Biblical facts presented, it is apparent that there is a difference between the two Callings, which is to say, the Calling of the Church of God and the Calling over which Christ Jesus is the Head (Eph. 1:22-23). Many Christians do not see the difference between the Hopes of the two Callings. In order to “see” the Hope of the latter Calling, it takes spiritual discernment which is granted only by the “Father of glory.”
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Eph. 1:17).
Today, those who fail to “see” have not had “the eyes of their understanding enlightened.” In plainer words, they are “blind”—spiritually, that is! I recall at the 1977 Gulf Coast Bible Conference in Mobile, Alabama, we had Oscar Baker who I referred to, in those days, as the “Dean of Dispensational Truth,” as one of the speakers. During a break between speakers, a man started to engage Brother Baker in a conversation by saying, “You know, Mr. Baker, I just don’t see the Hope of the Mystery.”
Brother Baker, in his inimitable way, smiled warmly at the man and said, “Maybe it’s because you are blind.” Only Brother Baker could reply as he did without causing an uproar. Mr. Baker’s study explained the difference between the two Hopes. And, the brother just couldn’t “get it.”
All of the explanations in the world will not enlighten, nor will the most eloquent teacher enlighten. All of man’s illustrations and skilled oratory WILL NEVER make Christians see “what is the Hope of His Calling.” Only as the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory” grants the “Spirit of wisdom and revelation” to individuals, will they be able to “know what is “the Hope of His Calling.” This illumination is “of the Lord.” It is not in our hands! We cannot make others “see.” If we are faithful in presenting Truth for Today, the Lord may choose to use the witness and testimony of an earthen vessel to remove the veil of this Calling, so others may SEE the Glorious Hope of the Calling over which Christ Jesus is the Head.
(To be continued)
Plainer Words Online
Tom L. Ballinger
July 11, 2012
Plainer Words since 1968
PLAINER WORDS … ENLIGHTENMENT – THE SPECIAL GIFT OF GOD
Our salvation is a most precious Gift of God—“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the Gift of God” (Eph. 2:8).
Being saved by Grace is, indeed, the Gift of God. We are not saved by good works. But, it ought to be understood that, for want of a better terminology, there is a “General Calling.” It encompasses all persons who have ever exercised a measure of “saving faith,” whatever it might be—perhaps, only God knows.
It would include those who have, through patient persistence in well-doing, seeked glory, honor, and immortality. God will give eternal life (Romans 2:7). Old Testament saints will be regenerated and, in addition, it would certainly include those who believed in John 3:16 through the end of the Present Dispensation. A full development of this can be found in “Plainer Words … He Who Does Good.” It’s posted on www.Plainerwords.com. Those who will comprise this “General Calling” will live again. Their resurrection, or change will be associated with those who see age-abiding life in the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God according to 1 Corinthians 15:22-23a; “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order.”
But, “the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14) has special accoutrements which are over and above those of the “General Calling.” The Calling of the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head will be the most prominent, the most prestigious, and the most noble of all of His Callings.
The Church of God (Acts 20:28), also known as “the Body of Christ,” will be made up of Pentecostal and Mid-Acts believers. They will find the realization of their Hope hundreds of years before the Coming (Parousia) of Christ. They will be in that number who will be “Christ’s firstfruits” (1 Cor. 15:23b). (A full development of this is found in “Plainer Words … Every Man in His Own Order” www.Plainerwords.com). They will populate the earth during the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God.
The “Hope” of the present Dispensation is still before us as we study Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:17-19. The Hope of the present Calling is not discernable apart from God’s Special Gift being granted to Christians—SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT.
Many who are reading this find that their spiritual eyes are becoming foggy. It seemed so simple when every believer was just looking for the rapture and the 2nd Coming of Christ. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to explain the Believer’s different Hopes, and I’ve watched as their eyes began to glaze over. Their unspoken words were, “I don’t see it.” I knew they didn’t see it. It wasn’t because my explanation was inadequate. It was because the Lord had not seen fit, at THAT time, to grant unto them the “spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of their understanding hadn’t been enlightened so that they could SEE WHAT IS THE HOPE OF HIS CALLING.”
Dear friends, the joy is unspeakable when the scales fall from their spiritual eyes, and they exclaim—I SEE IT! I SEE IT! When the saint sees it, you can be sure that THE GIFT OF GOD—ENLIGHTENMENT just kicked in.
I have had folks ask, “Tom, why hadn’t I seen it before? It is so clear!” I didn’t have to answer. They knew it was because the time was NOW for the Lord to open their understanding so that they could say—I see it!
If you can say, “I see it,” then, this will not perplex you. The “Hope of His Calling” will be realized at the “day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30). The Day of Redemption will be our DAY of EXANASTASIS (Phil. 3:11), which is to say, our prior resurrection. In plainer words, our resurrection is the first Calling to be raised out-from-among the dead, or to be changed (Phil. 3:21) from mortal to immortal. We’ll be resurrected, or changed before the Twelve Apostles will be. Yes, even before Abel, Enoch, Noah, and Methuselah. Before Elijah, and Elisha. Before Joseph, Gideon, Rahab (the harlot), Samson, Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob; yes, even before Moses, David, Samuel and the Prophets.
Another Gift of God’s enlightenment for us will be found in Colossians;
“Even the Mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but NOW is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this Mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the Hope of Glory” (Col. 1:26-27).
Lest we repeat ourselves, you need to notice Colossians 3:1-4, for this, also, shows that it is HOPE which produces Godly living.
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in Glory” (Col. 3:1-4).
Enlightened “eyes of understanding” are essential to know what is the Hope of His Calling. The member of the Church of the One Body can only walk worthy of the Calling if he knows what it is. That is why so much stress is placed upon knowing what is the “Hope of our Calling.” If one fails to “see” what it is, it is, absolutely, impossible for him to walk worthy of the Calling. Failure to walk worthy results in the loss of a reward!
Our worthy walk must be in harmony with our Calling. If we merge the Hope of the Church of God with the Church of the One Body; thus, making it a jumble, we neither win the prize of either Calling. Many Christians endeavor to follow all of the Apostle Paul’s doctrines. They see a difference in his Acts-Period-Mission with his After-Acts-Mission. But, they foolishly attempt to make the After-Acts-Mission as just an advancement of the Acts-Period-Mission. They do not have the enlightened eyes of understanding. If they did, it would be clear that the Apostle Paul had two Ministries.
One of these was during the time covered by “The Acts of the Apostles,” and the second one was after he ceased being bound for Israel’s Hope (Acts 28:20) and became a Prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles (Eph.3:1), which is to say, in order to receive the revelation of the Mystery. It was during this second ministry that Paul conducted his Ambassadorship in bonds, and the Embassy in which he worked was a Prison. He was an Ambassador in bonds (Eph.6;20) in a Roman Prison. In their Prison, the Roman Government did not realize that Paul was conducting the Governmental Business of Jesus Christ. Nor, did they realize they were protecting Paul from his enemies. Neither were they cognizant of the fact that as the Apostle [Messenger] to the Nations [Ethnos], he was sending forth Divine Government Communiqués—while he was bound. These Godly Communiqués, as written, were —the Word of God, his Prison Epistles—Paul was bound, but his Communiqués were not (2 Tim. 2:9).
Enlightened Understanding sees that when the Acts Period ended, so did Israel’s Hope. Her Hope was set in abeyance, and Paul, as the Prisoner of the Lord Jesus Christ, received a new and fresh revelation—the Revelation of the Mystery. The revelation of this Grand Secret brings to light a New Calling—the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head. Christ, in Spirit, is NOW among the Gentiles and is their Hope of Glory (Col. 1:27). In the sense of Colossians 1:27 during the Acts Period, He was NEVER AMONG THE GENTILES.
Ever since Acts 28:31, the Ascended Jesus Christ has been calling-out individuals, a select group of believers, to make up the Body (The Eccelesia) over which He is the Head. He, as the Head, is the Source Who supplies His fullness to fill all things everywhere (Eph. 1:22-23). Many are called but straddle the fence between Mid-Acts and Acts 28. As long as they halt between the two, they ARE NOT CHOSEN!
In our meager effort to make our calling and election sure, we rightly divide and try the things that differ.
From Plainer Words
Plainer Words on... Enlightenment - God's Special Gift
Posted in: 2012
By Tom L. Ballinger
Jul 12, 2012 - 6:25:50 PM
Jul 12, 2012 - 6:25:50 PM
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