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Differences Between Acts 2, Acts 28, and Mid-Acts

By Justin Johnson

It would be naive to think all dispensationalists teach the same thing. They do not. Not all dispensationalists teach the same thing about Paul.

If you are new to dispensational Bible study you may not know the important differences between Acts 2, Acts 28, and Mid-Acts dispensationalists.

Others that know the differences may think we should all join hands in a common cause against covenant kingdom theology.

Still others will not identify themselves as different so as to persuade you secretly to join their ranks while you remain oblivious to what has happened.

And you might be one who does not know why it matters.

Here are a few simple definitions to help you discern what you are reading, who you are listening to, and whether or not you should be.

Dispensationalism

This is the teaching that how God acts toward mankind, and how he expects us to respond to him, changes through the Bible as he reveals his will.

Groups that see a difference in God’s operations (though not a change in God himself) are being dispensational.

If they claim a difference in Israel and the Church (with a future for both), Law and Grace, or Prophecy and Mystery then they would be dispensational.

Acts 2 Dispensational

Acts 2 dispensationalists see the church as a fulfillment of at least some Old Testament prophecies.

They claim the church began at the Jewish feast day of Pentecost when the believers there were baptized with the Holy Ghost.

To them, Israel will be restored, but Christ came in Matt-John to establish the church of today. They believe Peter and Paul taught the same gospel regarding Christ.

They would take all of the new testament scriptures as applicable to the church.

If a dispensationalist says Peter and Paul were sent to preach the same thing, they are an Acts 2 dispensationalist.

Acts 28 Dispensational

There is a much smaller group who we will identify as Acts 28 dispensationalists. They do no think the church of today fulfills any Old Testament prophecies.

They claim that the church of today did not begin until God revealed it to Paul, but it was not made known by Paul during his ministry before Acts 28.

To them, Jesus’ ministry was to Israel, Peter’s ministry was to Israel, and Paul’s ministry in the book of Acts was part of Israel’s program that included Gentiles. They teach that it was not until after the sign gifts and powers ceased (Acts 28) that Paul began to preach the mystery concerning the church.

They take Paul’s later epistles as solely applicable to the church today containing the new revelation of the mystery given to Paul presumably after Acts 28 (Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, Philemon, Timothy, and Titus).

They teach that Paul’s early epistles do not include any mystery information about the church revealed in his later epistles and are not for the church today (Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, and Thessalonians).

If someone says that Paul was sent to preach two different messages, one was prophecy, one was mystery; they are Acts 28 dispensationalists (or a distorted variety of such).

Mid-Acts Dispensational

Mid-Acts dispensationalists teach that the church is not a fulfillment of either the old or new testaments.

We claim that the church of today began with Paul as he was first given the preaching of the cross to proclaim as the gospel, and the mystery of Christ and his church.

Paul was saved and began his ministry during the book of Acts. His gospel was always different than that of Jesus in his ministry to Israel (Matt-John), and Peter in Acts 2.

Paul was revealed a mystery from Christ, but it was early in his ministry, and he taught the same message of the gospel of Christ, the mystery of Christ, and the church throughout his ministry

The doctrine for the church today is found in all of Paul’s epistles, although there are times when Paul addresses and speaks to Israel, the little flock, and the unsaved.

If someone says Peter and Paul always taught different things, they are mid-Acts dispensationalists.

It matters what you believe about Paul and his ministry, even if you are dispensational.

This website is mid-Acts dispensational.

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Published: June 7, 2014
Last Modified: February 25, 2017
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