Fundamental errors of the Mid-Acts dispensationalist doctrine

I have encountered many “grace believers,” “right dividers”, and “mid-acts dispensationalists” as of late.

Initially, I was intrigued by them. I researched some of their doctrines, and it seemed like the more I found wrong with the doctrine, the MORE I found wrong with it. The errors just seemed to snowball.
I started asking simple, but profound questions like “If you had witnessed the Resurrection, was Paul’s gospel YOUR gospel?”
The reactions shocked me. Some called me an “idiot”. Some questioned my salvation. Some threads openly ridiculed me. Some folks followed me from group to group, accusing me. I remember one lady in particular, “Helga”, had a virtual Facebook meltdown. The thread administrator had to block her. I even had to block a few of them who had taken it upon themselves to “pull my feet out of the fire” if you will. One lady told me “I have been studying the Bible for 44 years, how long have you?” my response: “so are you saying that since you have studied the Bible so long, you know it all, and it is impossible for you to be wrong about anything, or learn anything new..is that what you are saying?”. To date, I have not received a reply.
I finally decided I didn’t need such drama in my life, and purged all such “groups”. They refuse instruction. I never imagined my opinion would offend folks so much.

Granted, There are many things I DO AGREE with concerning the “mid acts” doctrine, but much of it is self evident, and really a matter of semantics.
To sum things up, because of their narrow doctrine, and short sighted view of the Scriptures, when it comes to the deeper things of the Bible, they can’t seem to see the forest for the trees.

While I could write an entire book on Mid-Acts Doctrine and its inherent flaws, I will simply address a few fundamental errors that I feel is the cause of much of their misunderstanding. I may add more and expound on it in another writing.

First, they believe that the Apostle Paul was the first person to be placed INTO the Body of Christ, the first “Grace saint” This contradicts the scriptures. “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” (Eph 3:6). What about Cornelius? or Barnabus? Peter told Cornelius God cleansed his heart by faith. (Acts 10:43, 11:44-48, 15:19) Paul himself said Abraham was saved by grace, through faith, not works (romans ch 4). Abraham was a Gentile by the way.
Was Paul a Jew, or a Gentile?. There were THOUSANDS of believers already in the Body of Christ, his church, a long time before Paul was converted on the road to Damascus.
The scripture is self evident that “the same body” had to exist before the Gentiles could become fellow heirs. There had to be an heir FIRST. And moreover, by their logic, I cannot see the twelve Apostles as not being part of the Body of Christ. It just doesn’t make any sense.

To me, their worst misunderstanding of all is MAD’s don’t seem to understand the difference between the “Bride of Christ”, aka “the Lamb’s Wife”(rev 21:9), and the Body of Christ. Many of them also believe Israel is the Bride of Christ. This too is a false assumption.
MADrs don’t “get” this dichotomy because their doctrine teaches that the Old Testament is not “for us”, so they don’t read OR study it as much, and don’t see these metaphors, shadows and the picture types God uses to illustrate and teach things to us in the New Testament.

The “Body of Christ” is the church. The “Bride of Christ”, (Eph 5), is PART OF the Body of Christ, the Grace dispensation saints, and will come out of the Body of Christ, or his Church, just as Eve came out of the body of Adam.
But not ALL of the Body of Christ is his BRIDE.

His Bride, just as we are, like Rebekah, (again, a gentile) was betrothed to a man she had never met. This is the difference between the Jews at Pentecost, and the Grace dispensation saints. Both are the Body of Christ, but the Gentile is his Bride. (see my other post in this blog “the difference between acts 2:38, and Eph 2:8”).

The Bride is not a Jew. She is a Gentile, but just like Ruth, she is a Jew by adoption. The Grace dispensation saints are the Bride of Christ.

The key to understanding this is the Old Testament. Look at the relationship of Boaz to Ruth, and the OT pictures of Christ and their Brides, ALL GENTILE BRIDES, namely Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob, Leah and Rachel, Josephs wife, Moses wife, Solomons, and King Davids bride, as well as many others. EVERY ONE of these were Gentiles This is not mere coincidence, this is clearly a pattern.

The Body of Christ, or “Naomi”, beginning at the church of Jerusalem, existed long before Paul began his ministry to the Gentiles, part of his body, or family, as Naomi was, but not his Bride.
Just like Boaz and Ruth, Jesus is a Jew, and his BRIDE is a Gentile. “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” (Eph 2:6).
Now, think about this verse. There is NO separation. There is no “separate program” for the Gentiles. Israel’s promise of the Kingdom is also OUR PROMISE, and we will be a part of it.

Boaz did not have to marry Ruth to redeem Naomi’s lands, he married Ruth because he LOVED HER, and in so doing, as Naomi’s only surviving child, Ruth became a “fellow heir” of Naomi. The Gentiles, under the gospel of Grace, are also “fellow heirs of the promises” made to the Kingdom church.

Second, MAD’s believe Jesus will rule the earth from the throne of David during his mellinial reign. This is a church myth, a traditional school of thought. I was brought up in church listening to this same assumption, but a close examination of the scriptures reveals that while Jesus will JUDGE from Israel at his Second Coming, he won’t RULE from Jerusalem proper in the regeneration, He will rule from heaven, the “Holy Jerusalem”, with his Queen. We will be there, “seated with Christ in heavenly places”, as rulers, judges, governors and administrators over the GENTILES during the mellinial reign.

During this time, King David will rule Israel as a prince king, from his throne, with the Twelve Apostles ruling over the twelve tribes of Israel, as a priestly nation. (Ezekial 37:24) “and David my servant shall be King over them”. Also read Ezekial 34:23,24, “And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a Prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.”

In the regeneration, Jesus will rule the world from the Bridal Chamber, the Holy Jerusalem, the Holy of Holies, in the heavenlies. His Bride, US, will also rule over the GENTILE nations as his Queen, FROM the Holy of Holies, the “Holy Jerusalem” of Rev 21:9-10. (KJV) .
We will rule over the Gentiles in much the same manner as King David and the Apostles will rule over the twelve tribes of Israel. “Joint heirs of the promises”.

Contrary to the MAD’s prevailing opinions, during the regeneration, we won’t be floating around heaven strumming harps and worshipping constantly, while Jesus is away for 1000 years. We will have work to do, and be here with our Lord,(1Thess 4:17), while Our heavenly abode will be with Jesus in the heavens, the Holy of Holies. This is the 1500x1500x1500 mile cube found in Revelation 21:16. This is the Bridal chamber that comes down to earth in Rev 21:9. “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you: I go to prepare a place for you. And if I prepare a place for you, I will come again, and recieve you unto myself: that where I am, there ye may be also” John 14:2-4.

In Rev 21:3, The Tabernacle,”New Jerusalem” is mentioned as a separate structure, “as a bride”, compared to Rev 21:7-9 “the Holy Jerusalem, “the Lamb’s wife” and it is, but the Holy of Holies, the “Holy Jerusalem”, which is the Bridal chamber, will be INSIDE the Tabernacle, or the “New Jerusalem”. This Tabernacle, with it’s Holy of Holies, will come to earth from the heavenlies at the end of the mellinial reign of Christ.

One must remember that during the regeneration, the thousand year reign, our abode will be in the heavenlies, but we will also be “kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign on earth” with Jesus. (Rev 5:8-10, KJV) We will be able to come and go in an instant, just as Jesus did in his resurrection body, so time or distance will not be an issue.

Third, they believe that only Paul’s Epistles are for us today, to the exclusion of all others, and most MADs believe Paul did not author Hebrews, another fundamental flaw in their doctrine. (More on Hebrews in another chapter).
Revelation 21:9-16 is a clear depiction of the Bridal chamber, coming down from heaven just behind the Tabernacle. “The Lamb’s wife” IS US!. We are mentioned in Revelation 19, at the marriage of the Lamb, and in 21:9 as “the Lamb’s wife”, and also in Rev 5:8-10 “thou hast redeemed us by thy blood out of ALL NATIONS, and kindreds, and tongues” so it is clear this is NOT Israel here, and chronologically speaking, it is NOT the ones who will come out of the tribulation period, as we read Revelation, it is clear that the wrath of God on earth occurs after this.
We WILL also be here with our Saviour at his second coming, and during and after the Mellinial reign. The Bride will enjoy a special intimacy with Christ no one else will have. So to say anything outside Paul’s Epistles is not “for us” is just not true.

Fourth, they teach that Paul was the “first grace saint”. One merely needs to read Acts 9 to see that Paul believed, repented, (“what would thou have me to do Lord?”) and was baptised to recieve the Holy Spirit. By their own logic, this is not the grace gospel Paul preached to the Gentiles, the Gentiles recieved the Holy Spirit by faith alone. (Acts 10:42-44). It is clear that Paul’s conversion was under the Kingdom Gospel preached by Peter at Pentecost, and was the gospel that was in effect at the time of Paul’s conversion. Paul met Jesus in the flesh, so Grace through faith alone was an impossibility for him, or anyone who had witnessed Jesus earthly ministry or resurrection, they had met the man!. Furthermore, how could Paul be saved by a gospel he was not aware of at the time of his conversion?.

While Abraham was saved by grace through faith, along with many others previously, the gospel of Grace through faith alone had never been preached to the masses, or the Jew, or “dispensed” prior to Paul’s conversion.

Concerning “works”, Works never saved anyone, and never will, and salvation afterwards, in ANY dispensation, was never conditioned upon behaviour, it was, and still IS the free gift of God. For the Jew, though, his “work”, or expression of faith AFTER salvation was baptism in water. This did not save him, it was an expression of his salvation whereby he recieved the GIFT of the Holy Spirit as a result. This “work”, nor any work, was never required of a Gentile. The Gentile’s “work” is accomplished by the Holy Spirit baptism of the believer. It’s not what you do, but what Christ DID!

Fifth, they believe Paul somehow had the copyright on grace through faith. That no other Apostle ever preached grace through faith before, or afterwards but Paul. A common cliche’ I hear is “The twelve were sent only to the nation Israel”, and they infer the 12 did not ever preach grace through faith alone. Considering the times and diverse locations of the martyrdom of the apostles, this presumption also fails.
The 12, and Paul had a mastery of both the Kingdom and Grace gospels. They preached to the Jew and Gentiles. The primary difference in the two gospels is that the Jew at that time knew Jesus after the flesh, but the gentiles had only heard of him.

John the divine was the last Apostle to die, some 35 years after the death of Paul. What gospel did John preach? What Gospel did the Apostles preach outside Israel? (Many of them martyred far from Israel).
Simple answer, John and the Apostles also preached Grace through faith after the offer of the Kingdom was refused. They would have been “accursed” had they preached any other gospel , afterwards but Paul’s. The only exception being a person who had met Jesus in the flesh, or witnessed his resurrection. That persons gospel was acts 2:38.

When Paul received the revelation, he SHARED it with the other Apostles, and they preached it also, to whomever it applied.
Paul’s trademark was “grace be unto you” you will find this in all 14 of Paul’s epistles, romans through Hebrews. (See “Paul’s salutation”, and “are you an enemy of the Bible” in other posts on this blog.)

John even closes Revelation with Paul’s salutation “Grace be unto you.”

MADs call themselves “right dividers”. Judging by the ones I have met, I would have to say most have “rightly divided” the Bible to the point of Chopping it to pieces, and excluding half of it as it applies to them. I have found that much of their doctrine will not withstand the scrutiny of the scriptures, and can get downright confusing. In my experience, they are a very arrogant, stubborn bunch, and get pretty nasty when challenged.

But don’t take my word for it, consider these things, and study them out, and decide for yourself.

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11 thoughts on “Fundamental errors of the Mid-Acts dispensationalist doctrine

  1. Joseph Sterling

    Thank you for this article. I’m looking into a Bible college that holds a mid acts view and I’ve never heard of this before so I’ve been trying to do some research on it but it all seems very jumbled and confusing to me. I have two questions I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind weighing in on them.
    1) How would mid acts theology rerespond to the passage on Galatians 2 where Paul states that he presented to the apostles the gospel he was preaching to the Gentiles to make sure he was not preaching a wrong gospel and the apostles recognizedo that Paul had been entrusted with “the gospel” to the uncircumcised just as Peter to the circumsized? It doesn’t seem to leave room to imply that Paul and Peter were preaching two different gospels but one and the same gospel simply to two different people groups. Just curious.
    2) Do you know where mid acts dispensationalism originated or any recommendations on how I could find out?
    Thank you for any help you can give and I really enjoyed your article.

    Reply
    1. huckleberry2012 Post author

      Well friend, I am flattered and honored that you read my blog post. I pray it is a big help to you. I have about 30 other blog posts I hope you will read and consider. They will help you a lot. A good one to start with is “the difference in acts 2:38 and ephesians 2:8” in my blog.
      My opinion about your first question is that the PRINCIPLE (God’s unconditional grace) of all the “gospels” in the Bible is the same. But The MEANS and the message changed over time. Even under Moses law, God’s unmerited grace covered the Jew from sacrifice to sacrifice. You won’t hear many teachers talk about that though.
      One way to look at the differences in Apostle’s doctrine and Paul’s gospel of grace is to look at the fact that they were preaching to folks who had “known Jesus after the flesh” initially. Paul initially preached the same message that Peter and the Apostles did “repentance unto God” because of the Jews”street knowledge”, and eyewitness of Jesus earthly ministry, and his death, burial and resurrection. (“Of which ye are all witnesses” Acts 2).
      Paul was saved under the gospel of the kingdom which was in effect at the time of his conversion (“repentance unto God for the remission of sins, and water baptism to receive the Holy Ghost”). The Gospel of the Kingdom applied to the Jews who had “known Jesus after the flesh” and who were already under contract, if you will, from the time of Moses. They had the prophets, the promises, scripture, Jesus earthly ministry and the witness of his resurrection (“this thing was not done in a corner”, Acts 26) this was a blessing the Gentiles did not have. As such, an initial act of obedience was required. (Here too, afterwards salvation was still irrevocable)
      BUT, for the Gentiles, it takes much more faith and TRUST in God, and his Word to believe without seeing, as Abraham did,(Abraham was a Gentile) therefore, that faith alone is accounted unto us for righteousness. No baptism, or “repentance”, as a pre requisite is required. Rather, Repentance now is a FRUIT of salvation, as is baptism, not a requirement to receive the Holy Spirit.

      Paul and the Apostles knew the Nation Israel would reject God’s offer of the kingdom, and not assume their intended role of taking the gospel to the world. So, he sent Paul the revelation of God’s now unconditional grace.
      Paul shared this with the Apostles, and they all preached the Grace of God to whomever and where ever it applied.
      Picture if you can a Gentile and a Jew standing in the synagogue together. The Jew saw Jesus preach, saw his miracles, saw him crucified, and saw him in his resurrection body. He heard Peter preach at Pentecost, and repented and was baptised to receive the Holy Spirit. “First hand information” so for the Jew at this point in time, Paul’s message of Grace through faith, without seeing, would not make any sense to him at all, nor would it apply to him. It would sound foolish. That Jew would have to “unsee” and “unremember” ever meeting Jesus, or witnessing his resurrection for The gospel of grace through faith to apply to him.

      Now, picture the Gentile standing next to him on this same day. He came from afar, a long way from Israel. He has none of this information. He has no prior knowledge of Jesus, no eyewitness, no “contract” signed by Moses, no prophets, no scriptures. All he has is faith that came by HEARING about God’s unconditional love, and Jesus sacrificial death for his sake, and resurrection from the dead for his justification. Placing our trust in Christ is our “act of obedience”.
      For the Gentile, and as time went on, the Jew without the resurrection witness grace thru faith alone was their gospel because it was their only hope. It is sufficient unto salvation because it is all he has. Today’s Gentile has the New Testament, so Gentile 2000 yrs ago had much more faith than we do, but both are under the Gospel of grace.
      In short, if you did not witness the Resurrection, or Jesus in the flesh, Ephesians 2:8 is your gospel. When Jesus calls us home, the gospel of Grace will expire, and the two prophets of revelation, along with the 144 thousand will preach a kingdom gospel, with confirming signs and wonders. Niether of these gospels is superior or inferior to the other, each in its own time.
      Again, this is merely my opinion, search the scriptures for yourself. And for more reading, check out my 30 something other blog posts. I will research the mid acts doctrinal origins and reply in another email. My personal email is jaedixon@aol.com I pray this is a help to you, God bless you!

      Sent from my iPhone

      On Dec 3, 2014, at 2:56 AM, WordPress wrote:

      New comment waiting approval on huckleberry2012’s Blog

      Joseph Sterling commented on Fundamental errors of the Mid-Acts dispensationalist doctrine

      I have encountered many “grace believers,” “right dividers”, and “mid-acts dispensationalists” as of late. Initially, I was …

      Thank you for this article. I’m looking into a Bible college that holds a mid acts view and I’ve never heard of this before so I’ve been trying to do some research on it but it all seems very jumbled and confusing to me. I have two questions I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind weighing in on them.
      1) How would mid acts theology rerespond to the passage on Galatians 2 where Paul states that he presented to the apostles the gospel he was preaching to the Gentiles to make sure he was not preaching a wrong gospel and the apostles recognizedo that Paul had been entrusted with “the gospel” to the uncircumcised just as Peter to the circumsized? It doesn’t seem to leave room to imply that Paul and Peter were preaching two different gospels but one and the same gospel simply to two different people groups. Just curious.
      2) Do you know where mid acts dispensationalism originated or any recommendations on how I could find out?
      Thank you for any help you can give and I really enjoyed your article.

      Reply
      1. Rachael Cintron

        Hey brother…there is no Acts 11:44-48…im assuming 24-28? I am trying to help my mother see the light and she is in this mid acts dispensationalism…πŸ˜₯ let me know pleaseπŸ‘†πŸ‘‘πŸ™ŒπŸ’–πŸ˜€

      2. Rachael Cintron

        Hey brother…there is no Acts 11:44-48…im assuming 24-28? I am trying to help my mother see the light and she is in this mid acts dispensationalism…πŸ˜₯ let me know pleaseπŸ‘†πŸ‘‘πŸ™ŒπŸ’–πŸ˜€ also can u give some references about US being the bride of Christ…

      3. Huckleberry2012 Post author

        Uh. How. Bout 10:44? Thank you. πŸ™‚
        There are two verses that pretty much destroy MAD doctrine. Acts 26:22-23. Paul says there was no difference in what he preached and those before him.

        22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:

        23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

        Feel free to ask any questions. Thank you.

      4. Huckleberry2012 Post author

        Israel is Naomi. “The mother of us all” We are the Bride. Ruth. Gentiles. “Joint heirs”, of the same body (family) Eph 3:6-8 Ruth was a gentile from Moab. All of the men in the Bible who are pictures of Christ , including Moses, had gentile brides.

  2. huckleberry2012 Post author

    1. Well, as far as a “wrong” gospel, I don’t think that is best way to put it. Think of it like this. If you’d met Jesus in the flesh, and heard him preach, and saw him do miracles, then Grace through faith alone, wouldn’t make much sense. You’d met the man, so an initial act of humility or contrition would be required, much like bowing to a King, so the APPROPRIATE message for you would be “repent, and be baptised” as Peter and Jesus preached. Note also that later in Peter’s ministry, he too said faith alone saves, because Jesus was no longer there in the flesh. So you’re right in presuming they were essentially the same gospel, just to different groups of people. Because water baptism had no saving power.

    If you had no knowledge of the man Christ Jesus, except what you had HEARD, then the gospel of “grace through faith alone” would be appropriate for your circumstances. Peter’s message at Pentecost “of which ye are all witnesses”(Jesus execution, burial and resurrection) would sound foolish to you. And Neither Peter nor Paul’s gospels were superior to the other, and both had the same underlying theme, God’s unmerited mercy and grace. It’s just that they were for two different groups of people under different circumstances, with differing levels of information than the other. At Pentecost, one reason the Jew was baptised because a priest had to be baptised before he could begin his ministry.

    Reply
    1. Joseph Sterling

      I still don’t really know a whole lot about this Mid-Acts doctrine. And I don’t like to engage in theological debates. So please don’t take this as an attack on you personally. I was just wondering since when do we gauge the biblical authenticity of teachings on whether or not they are appropriate to our circumstances? That seems to be your main premise above and on that premise alone one would honestly not need any further investigation into this teaching.

      Reply
      1. huckleberry2012 Post author

        Well, my personal opinion about investigating it is that it was enlightening, it clarified a few things for me also. I must say I did buy into SOME of it, and some of it is good doctrine, but as I state in my blog, it is “right division” carried to the extreme, essentially “chopping it to pieces” it is also known as hyperdispensationalism.
        Concerning authenticity of Biblical teachings, all scripture is for our benefit, for our learning, but not all is relevant to our circumstances. We are not the nation Israel in 1445 BC. We don’t have a Temple, or a priest, or a Covenant, so while God’s instructions to Moses are Authentic, and contain object lessons and universal principles, from a literal standpoint, they are not relevant to us as Gentiles, but God’s instructions to Peter “rise, kill and eat, (removing the OT dietary restrictions) from a literal standpoint, ARE relevant to us today. The Jew was blessed to have had a covenant, the prophets, the OT, the Promises to the fathers, and the earthly ministry of Jesus, as well as the witness of his death and resurrection, which Peter alludes to in his message in Acts 2. His message was relevant to the Jew in that day, but not a Gentile. Later, Peter’s message to the Gentiles, who received the Holy Spirit by faith, not baptism because they werent blessed as the Jew was in that day (faith alone was sufficient) indicates a relevant change. Peter was the first to preach justification by faith to the Jew, and Paul’s message of grace thru faith alone to the Gentile then became “relevant”, because it is all they had. Faith without seeing.

  3. huckleberry2012 Post author

    Concerning “mid acts” doctrine, it is also known as “bullingerism,” a heresy from a man named Bullinger that is over 100 years old. It’s nothing new, I was unaware of Bullingerism until after I had written about the errors of the MAD doctrine. Paul’s one verse “joint heirs to the promise” concerning Jews and Gentiles in the regeneration destroys the MAD doctrine. There are no “two separate programs”. We are all one in Christ Jesus. Also see Rev 5;9-10, Rev 19, and Rev 21;7-9

    Reply

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