Have you ever heard someone say something like this?
“The church began in Acts 2, but no one knew about it until Paul.”
More people believe this than are mid-Acts Pauline. In fact, many scholars and Bible teachers who are not even dispensational confess this in their writings about the church and Paul. A variation is:
“The church started with Peter, but Paul explained it.”
While this is not correct, when you hear this explanation of how the church began from your Baptist and evangelical friends don’t immediately respond.
Savor the moment. Ask to hear it again, slowly. Do you hear their admission? Stop trying to argue and listen carefully.
While the finer points need to be made of how the pillar and ground of the truth could not exist without knowing that truth, that can wait for now. There is a much bigger fish on the line.
Reel it in before it gets away! It’s a big one! No one knew until… what? Go on, you can say it again.
When they say, “no one knew it until”, they are drawing a line and that line is exactly where Christ revealed the mystery to Paul: mid-Acts.
What is being conceded is that the doctrine, position, walk, and destiny of the church is found in Paul’s writings alone! Pentecost is not our doctrinal or ministerial pattern! Everyone in Acts 2 (including Peter) was ignorant of what Christ revealed through Paul!
Amen and amen!
One Step Forward
While they are making a wrong statement about the church beginning before Paul, they are agreeing to the very right statement that Paul was given a special message.
When the opposition hands you a gift like that, be quiet and say thank you.
If the church at large would simply prioritize the Pauline revelation the way many of its teachers confess, there would be far less confusion in the church.
When you are used to people taking two steps backward, taking one step forward, even if they stumbled forward, is an important step toward understanding what God is doing.
Sometimes when you find the small thread of truth in someone’s belief system you can pull on it and the rest will follow.
Others are so tied up in knots you have to get the scissors and start cutting.
If you can identify the truth in people’s statements, then, sometimes, when they hear themselves speak they can deliver themselves out of their own snares. When this happens it makes your job a lot easier.
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” – 2 Timothy 2:24-26