by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year

Volume XXV

January, 1946

Number 6

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

It has been established that the epistle called "Ephesian" is, in reality, a circular letter written to several ecclesias or churches.  In the copy from which the manuscript that is used was made, the word, "Ephesus," is in the margin.  Later copyists put it in the text. 

Paul had been to Ephesus and many other cities, and knew that the saints there had faith—that is, that they believed in Jesus Christ and trusted Him as Savior.  Why, then, did he, in Ephesians 1:15, speak of having HEARD of "this faith of yours?"  He was acquainted with those saints.  Why not say he KNEW of their faith?  Like many other matters that are sometimes overlooked, this statement is quite significant.  

Paul's oral ministry, as told in the Acts of the Apostles, features the fact that in his "sermons" he often quoted the Hebrew scriptures—miscalled the Old Testament.  He had no other scriptures to quote except these.  His commission prepared him to give out NEW REVELATIONS.  But it seems that he did not do this by word of mouth.  He reserved this for his epistles.  In his oral ministry he evidently did what speakers and teachers do today—he read a "text" and explained it.  His texts had to always be in the Hebrew scriptures He used these scriptures whether he was speaking to Jews or to people of the nations.  With them he coupled well-known facts concerning the ministry of Jesus, and thus argued that, according to the scriptures, Jesus is the Christ.  

Those who will carefully read the account of his talks, will be impressed with the great number of passages he quoted or referred to.  In Acts 13:7, the proconsul wanted to hear the word of God—the written scriptures.  Paul's sermon to him is not given, but it is said in verse 12 that he "believes, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord."  Paul made no effort to convince the man that he was commissioned to give out a new revelation.  He merely heralded what was written.  This, the man recognized as the teaching of the Lord—the word of God.  

In Antioch, Pisidia, the apostle referred to several passages.  Some of these are in First Samuel, Second Samuel, the Psalms, Habakkuk, and Isaiah.  It was on the quotation from Isaiah, that faith was manifested in the hearts of those of the nations who were set for eonian life, Acts 13:48.  

Following these meetings in Antioch, "the word of the Lord was carried throughout the whole country," verse 49.  It is evident that in these meetings several teachers sprang up, and began to go throughout the land, teaching that which had been written in the Hebrew scriptures.  

In Iconium the teaching of the apostle was based on the scriptures, and the people were instructed concerning the God of the Hebrew writers, 14:11-17.  In Derbe the apostle made a considerable number of disciples, quite evidently by using the same method—appealing to the writings.  These disciples he recognized as an ecclesia, verse 20-23.  

In Jerusalem Paul accepted the decrees written by James, based on the Hebrew scriptures.  These were to be given to the saints among the nations.  Even when James quoted Amos 9:11,12, as being applicable to Paul's work, the apostle did not deny it, Acts 15.  In Philippi Paul spoke to the jailor, and, probably, to Lydia, in terms of the covenant with Abraham, promising blessings to whole families.  Acts 16.  In Thessalonica the apostle spoke in the synagogue, showing by the scriptures that it was need ful for the Christ to die and be roused, and showed by the Hebrew writings that Jesus is the Christ.  In Berea he taught the scriptures, and the people searched them day by day to see if Paul had preached the truth to them.. In Athens he spoke things that he could prove by the sacred writings, Acts 17.  

In Corinth he taught "the word of God," Acts 18:11.  In Ephesus he heralded in such a manner that "all those dwelling in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks," Acts 19:10.  In an address later to the elders of Ephesus, Paul rehearsed his work among them, and showed that he yet hat a different ministry, namely, to "certify the evangel of the grace of God,"  verse 24.  He had heralded the kingdom of God, he had certified to both Jews and Greeks, "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ," verse 21.  He had informed them of the entire counsel of God.  All this, in view of what he said later, was contained in the Hebrew scriptures.  

The last sentence in the preceding paragraph refers to Acts 26:22 and 23, where Paul says to King Agrippa, "Happening, then, on assistance from God, until this day stand I, attesting to both small and to great, saying nothing outside of what both the prophets and Moses speak of impending occurrences—if it be the suffering of Christ—if He, the first out of a resurrection of the dead, is about to be announcing light both to the people and to the nations."  

Paul had certainly said, in epistles written before this time, many things that are not found in the Hebrew scriptures.  But he was not being tried because of any thing he had written.  His spoken words were the basis of the accusations, and it was to these that he referred in this statement.  

Because the ecclesias had been established on teachings that, in the main, are for Israel, and for the nations in the future kingdom, there was a great need for re-adjustment.  They must be brought into the truth that is for the for the body of Christ.  This could be done only through Paul's writings, which contain much new revelation.  Not only must the ecclesias be re-adjusted as to doctrine, but also as to service.  

The re-adjustment is performed through the epistles of Paul—not through his oral ministry as found in the Acts.  A new revelation was written, some of which was in accord with some things said by the Hebrew writers, but most of which is not found there.  Evangelists, pastors and teachers took these new revelations and did what Paul had done with the Hebrew scriptures—Heralded the body of truth that is for the ecclesia.  Their "texts" were found in Paul's epistles.  When an ecclesia accepted these teachings, it was re-adjusted.  It had the "one faith," that is for the body of Christ.  News came to Paul from time to time that this ecclesia, or that, had been e-adjusted.  He HEARD of this, for he was no longer with them bodily.  Details of the readjustment will be found in the nest issue, the Lord willing. 

One would think, from hearing the average sermon, that an abundance of scripture can be found, saying, "Not all mankind will be saved."  As a matter of fact, not ONE such passage can be found. 

In "New Testament Times," the word, "Jew," referred to a member of any tribe of Israel.  All in Jerusalem at Pentecost were Jews, and yet Peter addressed them as "the house of Israel," Acts 2.  In Acts 19:14, is mentioned "Sceva, a Jew, a chief priest."  It is evident that this Jew was a member of the tribe of Levi, for no other tribe furnished priests. 

It will be quite interesting to notice future upheavals concerning Jews and Palestinians.  That land belongs to Jews of the future, but to believing ones.  Neither the United States nor England can peacefully can peacefully acquire it for Israel ahead of God's time. 

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