Fundamentals of the "Present Truth"

Posted in: Current Issue
By Tom L. Ballinger
Sep 28, 2017 - 1:41:19 PM

Plainer Words since 1968
 
Issue # 423
 
August 24, 2017
 
PLAINER WORDS ONLINE …FUNDAMENTALS  OF “PRESENT TRUTH”
 
INTRODUCTION: Earlier, I sent you a Refresher (Aug. 15, 2017) titled PLAINER WORDS ONLINE …GOD SPOKE IN TIME PAST. I wanted to follow up with this study: “FUNDAMENTALS OF PRESENT TRUTH.” It is God’s Will that all of those who profess to be Bible Believers should know the FUNDAMENTALS OF PRESENT TRUTH.
 
The Apostle Peter was serious about those who obtained the like precious faith that he had obtained, and they had become established in it. He wrote to them in the following verses, even though they knew the Truth, and were firmly established in Present Truth for their Day and Era.
 
10. “…, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  11. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ [to wit, The Day of Christ]. 12. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the PRESENT TRUTH. 13. Yea, I think it meet [is right], as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance” (2 Peter 1:10-13).
 
 It is with these thoughts in mind that I remind the readers, even though you know Present Truth and are established in It. I will echo what Peter wrote in Verses 14 and 15:
 
“Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.”
 
I cannot say, with Peter, that the Lord has shown me of my decease other than this; it is somewhat apropos.
 
Number One:
PRESENT TRUTH WAS NOT EVER THE SUBJECT OF PROPHECY. The foremost Fundamental of Present Truth is that the “Dispensation of the Grace of God” is a parenthetic era. By this, I mean that this dispensation is as if it were placed within a parenthesis in the Chart of the Ages, such as:
OT TIMES—NT TIMES—GOSPEL TIMES—PENTECOSTAL TIMES (GRACE OF GOD AGE)—DAY OF CHRIST—DAY OF THE LORD—DAY OF GOD—and etcetera.
 
The Age of the Grace of God was unprophesied. It had been hid in the heart of God since before the Beginning.
 
“And to make all men see what is the fellowship* of the Mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:” (Eph. 3:9).
            * Fellowship = #3622 oikonomia, also translated as “dispensation,” or “stewardship.”
 
“Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given me for you, to fulfil (which is, to complete) the word of God;” (Col. 1:25).
 
“Even the Mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but NOW is made manifest to his saints” (Col. 1:26).
 
“How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the Mystery of Christ); Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is NOW revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Eph. 3:4-5).
 
I began to see that the current Dispensation of Grace was hid in the Heart of God and was never made known in other ages or dispensations. It had been God’s Secret which He shared with no one. I drew a Dispensational Chart on a large piece of paper. It was a crudely drawn chart, but it served my purpose.
 
I drew a straight line from the left edge of the paper to the right edge of it. Try to visualize the prophets prophesying. Then, I drew lines from the prophets to the age in which the prophecy is to be fulfilled. The line represents times in the Bible.
 
Old Testament & the Prophets & NT(   Grace__)Day of Christ/ Day of the LORD*
 
I studied Moses and the Prophets and every occurrence of a prophecy. I drew an arching line from the time of the prophecy to the age in which it was to be fulfilled. Most all of them skipped over the Grace Dispensation and were to find the fulfillment in the “Day of Christ” (which is the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God). The second in frequency was the “Day of the LORD” (which is the 1,000 year Presence of Christ on the earth). A few prophecies were fulfilled in the NT. Not a single prophecy was directed to the Grace Dispensation. It was obvious that none of the prophetic Scriptures knew anything about an Age of Grace. Present Truth, as found in Paul’s Prison Epistles, was not the SUBJECT OF ANY PROPHECY.
 
Number Two:
“PRESENT TRUTH” IS A DISPENSATION OF GOD’S SILENCE: When did the Dispensation of God’s Grace begin? We have no precise date of its beginning. It began after Paul spent “two whole years in his own hired house” (Acts 28:30) when the “Acts of the Apostles” came to an end. In the revelation of Present Truth, the Lord has chosen not to verbally speak from Heaven concerning the change in His Dispensation as He had done in times past. In past ages and dispensations, He spoke aloud to the world, or to special groups, or to select individuals. Today, He speaks to believers through His written Word. Truths for the current Dispensation of the Grace of God are found in “the Form of Sound Words” (2 Tim.1:13) which are Paul’s Prison Epistles.
 
In Acts 28:25-28, the Apostle Paul pronounced blindness upon Israel. With this profound pronouncement, God set Israel aside and ceased dealing with them. All promises God made to the fathers of Israel which have not been fulfilled before the close of the Acts Period are now held in abeyance. They are awaiting the coming Day of Christ, or Day of the LORD (the Millennium), or the Day of God to be fulfilled. About A.D. 65 to 68 is when God turned to the Gentiles and ushered in Present Truth. The dispensational change became manifest, silently, without the significant exhibition of signs, wonders, or miracles. The outward evidence that a change in the administration had occurred was the fact that the Gifts of the Spirit had been withdrawn. Truth for today is now found in Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.
 
In Acts 28:25-28, the Apostle Paul pronounced blindness upon Israel. With this profound pronouncement, God set Israel aside nationally, and individually. God ceased His dealing with them. Hebrews Chapter One, Verses 1 and 2 sums this up; “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers [of Israel] by the prophets,  Hath in these last days [3 and a half  year period of Christ’s earthly ministry] spoken unto us [Israel] by his Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds.”
 
The Lord Jesus revealed to Paul the most profound revelation ever made known to man. The stupendous revelation of Christ Jesus being ( 1 ) the Head over all things to a new Calling—the  Church, over which He is the Head, ( 2 ) it is also revealed that He is the Head over all of heaven’s hierarchy, namely, the Principalities, Powers, Mights, Dominions,  and every name that is named (Eph. 1:21, Col. 1:16), ( 3 ) and that believers of Present Truth are ranked as being “far above” all of Heaven’s hierarchy, ( 4 ) in this new Calling, the Lord reckons that there is no longer “Gentile nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all”         (Col. 3:10), and ( 5 ) this new Calling is not likened to a Bride, but rather as “one New Man” (Eph. 2:15).
 
While God remains silent, He speaks to us through Paul’s Prison Epistles which is also known as “A Form of Sound Words” (2 Timothy 1:13). Saul took the Gentile name of Paul.  Present Truth is to be recognized as being the exclusive revelation of Truth made known to Paul while he was a Prisoner of Jesus Christ when the Pentecostal Dispensation ended and with  the closing of “The Acts of the Apostles.” That is to say, after Acts 28:31.
 
Number Three:
THE PRESENT TRUTH DISPENSATION WAS UNPROPHESIED:  The following verses speaks volumes and should be considered as of supreme importance in the study of Present Truth. In the Form of Sound Words, the word, “Mystery”, is USED twelve times.
 
“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the Mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ (Eph. 3:9)
 
“Mystery” is from the word, “musterion,” which means that which is known to those who are initiated, that is, those who are instructed by Divine revelation. The revelation of the Mystery becomes manifest to the heart of a believer by the means of Divine enlightenment. ATTENTION! Carefully consider the following verses. I pray they will  enlighten you as they did me in 1968. The context is the Apostle Paul’s prayer for the saints who came out of the Pentecostal Era (to wit, Acts 2 to Acts 28). One of the many things I would like to be granted when our Hope becomes a reality is to meet and tell the Apostle Paul that his prayer enlightened the “eyes of my understanding” through Ephesians 1:17-18. I would tell him; “Paul, I saw it! I saw it! I saw the revelation of the Mystery.” I have had several men who saw this Truth actually wrote me and said; “Tom, I see it! I see it! I see the revelation of the Mystery.” I would repeat to Paul what I was told. Now, notice and be remembering the impact it had on you:
 
“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: 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” (Eph. 1:17-18).
 
The Truth of the Mystery is the embodiment of Present Truth. It is not associated with the “Second Coming of Christ”-- the Parousia. Present Truth looks for the “blessed Hope and the glorious Appearing [Epiphaneia] of our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Or, as Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:1, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His Appearing [Epiphaneia] and His [Pre-Millennial] Kingdom.”
 
The consummation of the “Dispensation of the Grace of God” becomes a reality when the Glorious Kingdom Appears. Members of the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head will receive a Crown of Righteousness when the Kingdom becomes manifest. But, the Crown is conditional; note 2 Timothy 4:8:
 
“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His Appearing.
 
Number Four:
DURING THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD: He dispenses only Grace.  He doesn’t dispense manifest SIGNS, WONDERS, AND MIRACLES in today’s economy.  He doesn’t dispense Spiritual Gifts to believers today (1 Cor. 12:1-10). He doesn’t issue rewards, nor does He punish in today’s dispensation. If the Lord doesn’t dispense Grace, He dispenses NOTHING.
 
Notice the promises Christ Jesus told the eleven disciples:
 
“Afterward He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after He was risen. And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My Name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16: 14-18).
 
The Lord withdrew all miraculous things with the setting aside of Israel at the close of the “Acts of the Apostles” which ended the Pentecostal Dispensation.
 
Even though Acts Chapter 9 did not occur in the Grace Dispensation, it was a remarkable event of Grace! I, personally, believe the Acts Chapter 9 event was probably the most gracious act of Grace ever demonstrated by the Lord Jesus Christ when He called-out His most prolific enemy on earth, a Jew who was from Tarsus by the name of Saul. Christ confronted Saul of Tarsus and called him into the ministry as the Apostle to the Gentiles—this gracious Act of Grace took place on the Road to Damascus in Acts 9.
 
Acts 9:1-9;  “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,  And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way [Christians], whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.  And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.”
 
The hallmark of Present Truth is Grace, and Grace alone! Grace, in plainer words, is the  bestowing of undeserved favor to, or upon someone.
 
“If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to youward: How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the Mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is NOW revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; (Eph.3:2-5).
 
Number Five:
CONCLUDING REMARKS—
We are living in a parenthetic period of the Grace of God. Note what Paul said:
 
“Even the Mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but NOW (after Acts 28) is made manifest to his saints” (Col. 1:26).
 
In light of 2 Timothy 2:15, we are taught by the Spirit of Truth that NO Old Testament, New Testament, or Acts Period Prophecy will be fulfilled during the present dispensation of Present Truth. This Scriptural fact makes us realize that very few Teachers of the Word have experienced the Father of glory, giving to them “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of [their] understanding being enlightened” (Eph. 1:17-18).
 
We need to keep in mind that Satan knows the Scriptures. This being the case, in my assessment, I ponder; Is the present State of Israel “a dress rehearsal” for what form of deceit he will pull-off during the consummation of the Day of Christ (the next dispensation)?
 
The Lord Jesus Christ speaks of Satan in John 8:44:
 
 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
 
For all intents and purposes, most of those who claim to be Jews, today, are pretenders. Their DNA reveals that they are of Khazarian descent which means they are really descendants of Japheth, not of Semitic descent. These pretenders certainly give the genuine Abraham-Isaac-Jacob Blood-line a dire reputation. So, what the world calls “anti-Semitism,” in reality, is “Anti-Japhethism.” Those posing as Jews have been inspired by the “god of this world” to claim to be Abraham’s seed.  By “their lying assertion” that they are Jews, they think they have the right to possess the land they are NOW occupying.
 
“In the latter days” of the Day of Christ, Satan will, again, raise up a company of counterfeit Jews as indicated in the Book--“The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:1).
 
“I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of
Satan.” (Rev.2:9).
 
“Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee” (Rev.3:9).
 
We are not in the “End Times,” or the time in which orthodoxy describes as “the stage is being set for the appearance of the man of sin” which would mean the 70th Week of Daniel is upon us. This is not the case! The man of sin will not show up on the world scene, according to my reckoning, for at least 700 years from now.
 
The research I have done shows me that the Day of Christ, which follows the Dispensation of Grace, will last approximately 700 years. Today, we are probably nearing “the perilous times” that Paul wrote about in 2 Timothy 3:1-13. The “perilous times” begins when “men shall be lovers of their own selves” and will culminate when “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:13).The Ashkenazi Jews are deceivers.  If they truly believe they are the “real thing,” they are dead wrong. Why? Because, they are unbelievers in the Lord Jesus Christ. This disqualifies them from being included as being Abraham’s SEED.
The Grace of God Dispensation ends with the Appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ’s Kingdom. That is when He “shall [begin] to judge the quick and the dead” (2 Tim. 4:1), determining who will qualify to enter into the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God.
 
Members of the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head will have prominent roles to play in the Administration of the coming Day of Jesus Christ. Every member who qualifies to live and reign with Christ was saved by having believed the stupendous Grace-of-God-Truth of being saved BY GRACE ALONE!
 
Grace-Truth:
 
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).
 
~~THE END~~
 
Copyright© 2017 by Thomas L. Ballinger
 
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