ONE NEW MAN – Eph. 2:13-17
ONE NEW MAN
I have taken the liberty to publish this fine article
by Tom Ballinger, picked up from heavendwellers.com
Jan Lilleby, Editor.
In this article when using the term "One New Man" I will be referring to the Church or Body over which Christ is the Head as described in Paul's prison epistles. According to Eph. 2:15 God made or created the One New Man when He broke down the middle wall of partition and abolished the Law after the close of the Acts period. I am firmly convinced by the Scriptures that the One New Man is not the same Church or Body that Paul describes in his Acts epistles. If they were the same, their description would be identical. But by comparing them with one another, I see that they are totally different and things that are different are not the same.
The mistake that many people make today is assuming that whenever Paul mentions "The Body" in his Acts epistles and prison epistles, he is writing about the same Body. This is like the same mistake people make when they read the word "Church" in the Bible. They read about a church in Matthew and a church in Ephesians and they assume that they are the same church just because the word "Church" is used in both places. But even though the word "Church" is used in both places they are not the same church because their descriptions are totally different. In the same way, just because the word "Body" is used in Paul's Acts epistles and his prison epistles that doesn't mean that they are the same Body. It's my firm conviction that THEY ARE NOT THE SAME BODY, for what is said about one is not true of the other. And as far as I am concerned it is spiritual dishonesty to say they are the same, when it is so apparent that they are different.
The main purpose of this article is not only to show the difference between the One New Man and the Acts Body, but also to show how far greater and glorious this Body is to any previous Body or church in the Bible. God has given the One New Man blessings, an inheritance, a Hope, a position, and many other things that are FAR BETTER than what He gave to the Acts Body, or to any other Body of believers in the Bible. It is my prayer that you the reader will see the differences and rejoice in the many advantages given to a member of the Body that God calls "One New Man".
As you read this article please do the following 3 things.
(l.) Forget what "the preachers" say about the subject of this article, no matter how fundamental or dispensational they claim to be.
(2.) Compare every verse with your Bible and be willing to believe the verses mean what they say and say what they mean.
(3.) Don't try to "explain away" things that are obviously different. The following is a scriptural description of the One New Man.
(I.) THIS BODY IS CALLED A MAN, NOT A WOMAN
In Eph.2:15 Paul said "having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the Law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain ONE NEW MAN, so making peace."
The Body of the prison epistles is called ONE NEW MAN whereas, the Acts Body is called a "CHASTE VIRGIN ESPOUSED TO A HUSBAND"(IICor.11:2) The fact that one is called a MAN and the other a WOMAN should be enough in itself to convince a real Bible believer that they are not the same Body.
(II.) THIS BODY IS UNRELATED TO ABRAHAM AND ISRAEL
In Eph. 2:12 Paul said that the Body in the prison epistles were "Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel". An alien of Israel is unrelated to Israel and Abraham, whereas the Acts Body is made up of the children and seed of Abraham (see Gal. 3:29 and Rom. 4:9-16). This is why Paul said in Eph. 4:6 that the Body in the prison epistles has only ONE, God and FATHER. The Acts Body had TWO fathers, God and Abraham. I think it is also significant to note that Abraham's name appears 19 times in the Acts epistles, but not even ONCE in the prison epistles.
(III.) IT'S MOTHER IS NOT THE HEAVENLY CITY NEW JERUSALEM
In Gal. 4:26 the Acts Body called New Jerusalem it's mother because they were partakers of the New Covenant being the seed of Abraham (Heb.11:8-10). The Body over which Christ is the Head is unrelated to Abraham, strangers from the covenants of promise (Eph.2:12). Consequently, it has no hope in the Heavenly City New Jerusalem. It's hope is far better, for it is in Glory far above all Heavens and far above New Jerusalem (Col.3:4, ITim.3:6, Eph.2:6; Phil. 3:20).
(IV.) THIS BODY IS NOT GRAFTED INTO ISRAEL
In the Acts period, members of the Acts Body were grafted into Israel, the Good Olive Tree (Rom.11:17). But at the close of the Acts period Israel, the Good Olive Tree, was completely cut down, cast away, and became Lo-Ammi (see Hosea 1:9). Consequently when God created the One New Man after the close of the Acts period there was no Good Olive Tree left to be grafted into. Instead the One New Man was grafted into or made members of Christ's Body, Flesh and Bones-Eph.5:30.
(V.) THIS BODY DOES NOT PARTAKE OF ISRAEL'S SPIRITUAL THINGS
The Acts Body was blessed with the "Blessings of Abraham" and Israel's "spiritual things" (Rom.15:27, Gal. 3:14). But the Body in the prison epistles is said to be BLESSED WITH ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST (Eph.1:3). These blessings are found exclusively in the prison epistles of Paul, especially the Book of Ephesians.
(VI.) THIS BODY DOES NOT PARTAKE OF THE NEW COVENANT, BUT OF THE DISPENSATION OF GRACE
The New Covenant was made with the House of Israel according to Heb. 8:8. Only those related and allied with Israel partook of the New Covenant and it's blessings and hope, such as the Acts Body in II Cor. 3:6. But the 'Body' of the prison epistles is unrelated to Israel being "Aliens from the commonwealth" (Eph. 2:12) and does not partake of the New Covenant being "STRANGERS from the covenants of promise"(Eph. 2:12). Instead, God has given this Body something much better than the New Covenant. He gave the "One New Man "the Dispensation of Grace (Eph.3:l-2). Just as the New Covenant is far better than the Old Covenant (Heb. 8:6-10), the Dispensation of Grace is far better than both the New and Old Covenants.
(VII.) THIS BODY HAS AN INHERITANCE IN A HEAVENLY KINGDOM, NOT AN EARTHLY ONE
The "Acts Body" had an inheritance in the Kingdom of God (IIThess.1:4-5, ICor.15:50, Acts 14:21-22) which was an earthly kingdom promised and offered to Israel and those allied with Israel (Dan.2:44, Lk.8:1, Acts 1:3-6). But the "One New Man" of the prison epistles is given a better inheritance in a better kingdom. His inheritance is in the "KINGDOM OF HIS DEAR SON" according to Col.1:12-13. This Kingdom is located in Heavenly places where Christ sits at the right hand of God (CoI. 3:1-3, IITim.4:18, Phil.3:20). The One New Man has already been translated into this Kingdom according to Col.1:13, and now sits together with Christ as citizens of this kingdom according to Eph. 2:6.
(VIII.) ITS HOPE IS NOT ISRAEL'S HOPE, BUT THE BLESSED HOPE
Throughout the Acts period members of the Acts Body were grafted into Israel the Good Olive Tree and became partakers of her spiritual things including her Hope of resurrection (Acts28:20). Her Hope was the Second Coming of Christ at the Last Trump immediately after the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:29-31, I Thess. 4:14-18, I Cor. 15: 50-54). Paul preached this Hope, wrote about it, and was imprisoned for it according to Acts 28:20. But after the close of the Acts period a radical change took place. Israel the Good Olive Tree was cut down and became Lo-Ammi.
The Law was abolished and the Dispensation of Grace began. At the same time the creation of the One New Man took place and a BETTER HOPE dispensed to its members. it's Hope is Christ's APPEARING IN GLORY far above all Heavens, not His COMING IN THE AIR to the Earth (Col.3:1-4, Phil. 3:20, ITim. 3:16). This Hope is far better than any hope previously offered to'' anyone in times past, that's why it's called the "Blessed Hope" in Titus 2:13. (I think it's significant to note that the word "COMING" referring to, Christ's Second Coming, DOES NOT appear one time in the prison epistles, whereas, the word "APPEARING" referring to Christ's Appearing in Glory DOES NOT appear one time in the Acts epistles.)
(IX.) IT'S SALVATION DOES NOT PROVOKE ISRAEL TO JEALOUSY
Throughout the Acts period the salvation of the Gentiles in the "Acts Body" provoked Israel to jealousy according to Rom.11:11. Paul also used his office as the Apostle of the Gentiles to provoke Israel to jealousy and salvation according to Rom.11:13-14. This of course was consistent with his heart's desire in Rom.10:1 - that Israel might be saved.
But the salvation of the One New Man has no effect or bearing whatsoever upon Israel in anyway. God saved the One New Man by His Grace, not to provoke Israel to jealousy, "But that in the Ages to Come He might shew the exceeding riches of His Grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. - Eph.2:5,-7.
(X.) IN THIS BODY NO MEMBER HAS ANY ADVANTAGE OVER THE OTHER
In the Acts Body Jews and Abraham's seed clearly had the advantage over the Gentiles (Rom.1). But in the "One New Man" all advantages are erased and all members are placed on an equal footing and standing before God. Paul said in Eph. 2:14 "For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us." With the breaking down of the "middle wall of partition" Israel lost all of her advantages and the preeminence she once had over the Gentiles in times past including the Acts period. The One New Man is FITLY FRAMED TOGETHER and SITS TOGETHER in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:6, 22).
(XI.) GENTILES IN THE ONE NEW MAN ARE NOT ACCOUNTED AS JEWS OR ABRAHAM'S SEED
Throughout the Acts period Gentiles in the Acts Body were accounted as Jews and Abraham's seed (Rom.2:26-29, Rom.4:11,Gal.3:29). The previous verses clearly show the advantage that Abraham's seed had in the Acts Body. But in the One New Man both Jews and Gentiles alike lose their identity and take Christ's identity in its place. In Col. 3:11 Paul said that in the New Man there is neither Greek, nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: BUT CHRIST IS ALL, AND IN ALL. In the One New Man CHRIST IS ALL, in other words, Christ's identity is the ONE AND ONLY identity that believers have whereas the Acts Body had both Christ's and Abraham's (Gal. 3:28-29).
(XII.) THE ONE NEW MAN IS NOT OBLIGATED TO AID OR ASSIST ISRAEL
The Acts Body had an obligation and a duty to minister unto Israel in "carnal things" according to Rom.15:27. Paul commanded the Acts Body to take up offerings for Israel in ICor.16:1-3.
But the One New Man does not partake of Israel's "Spiritual things" and has no duty or obligation to minister unto her in "carnal things" or to take up collections for her on the first day of the week. Instead the One New Man "works and labors with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth" (Eph.4:28) and supports those who follow the ministry of Paul as the prisoner of Jesus Christ for us Gentiles (IITim.1:8, Phil.3:1,3).
(XIII.) THE ONE NEW MAN'S DESIRE IS NOT THE SALVATION OF ISRAEL
Throughout the Acts period Paul's heart's desire was the salvation of Israel (Rom.10:1) and the Acts Body was commanded to have this same desire in ICor.11:1. But the One New Man's desire is totally different. His desire is "To preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 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 (Eph.3:8-9).
(XIV.) THE ONE NEW MAN'S DOCTRINE IS A MYSTERY, NOT PROPHECY
Throughout the Acts period most of the doctrines that Paul preached and wrote about to the Acts Body were based upon the Old Testament Scriptures. In Acts 26:22 Paul stood before Agrippa and gave an account of his Acts ministry when he said, "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: 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." And when you read Paul's Acts epistles you see that he CONTINUALLY quotes the Old Testament Scriptures as the basis of his doctrine. (Take a couple of hours and read the book of Romans and count the verses in this one Acts epistle: where Paul quotes and refers to the Old Testament as the basis of the doctrines he writes about in this epistle. Keep in mind also that Romans is the last Acts Epistle Paul wrote. But when you come to the prison epistles where you find the creation and description of the One New Man, you will suddenly realize that you are on different ground. The doctrine in these books is based upon the Mystery that was hid in God before the foundation of the world (Eph.1:4 , Col.1:26). In these books written exclusively to the One New Man, Paul does not quote the Old Testament scriptures as the basis of his doctrine. THERE IS ALMOST A COMPLETE ABSENCE OF ANY REFERENCE TO THE OLD TESTAMENT IN THE PRISON EPISTLES. Examine Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians and see this fact for yourself. In these Books every verse and chapter is something new and different from anything written before them, (Ephesians chapters 1-2 takes my breath away every time I read them). The doctrine of these books is based upon the secret that God revealed to Paul as a prisoner in Rome after the Acts period.
XV.) THE HOPE OF THE ONE NEW MAN IS AT HAND
In Phil. 3:20 Paul writes about the resurrection and glorification of the One New Man and five verses later in Phil. 4:5 he says "Let your moderation be known unto all men. THE LORD IS AT HAND." A text is always interpreted by the context, and in the context Paul is talking about the Lord's appearing and the One New Man's glorification. Therefore, when Paul says the Lord is at hand, he is in effect saying the Lord's appearing for the One New Man is at hand. But in writing to the Acts Body concerning the Coming of the Lord and their gathering together unto Him, he said in IIThess.2:1-4 "That they be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: FOR THAT DAY SHALL NOT COME. EXCEPT THERE COME A FALLING AWAY FIRST. AND THAT MAN OF SIN BE REVEALED, THE SON OF PERDITION." This reveals that certain things had to happen first before Christ came and gathered them unto Himself. But the Hope of the One New Man is at hand, which means Christ can appear at any moment for the One New Man.
(For the sake of avoiding confusion in this regard: The Philippians is not a Mystery epistle like Ephesians and Colossians. Dear brother Ballinger is in error of this. Neither is II Thes, nor Titus, held as Mystery writings. See my separate articles on that subject. But Tom Ballinger are in full agreement with Scripture otherwise, - so I let his references stand even if there are faults found with those. He is entirely right in the main issue of this article, which is to prove to us that the ‘One New Man’ is indeed a new form of ‘Salvation Assembly’ not earlier found in the Bible, and we are actually “The Body of Christ” – no less! And as such we are having the heavens above the heavens as our hope, and not the millennial prophesied earthly kingdom. JAN LILLEBY, Editor.)
(XVI.) THE ONE 'NEW MAN HAS CHRIST AS IT'S HEAD
In Col.1:18 Paul said that He (Christ) is THE HEAD OF THE BODY THE CHURCH: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead: that in all things He might have the preeminence." I think it is very significant to note that the only place where Christ is called the Head of any Body or Church is in Paul's PRISON EPISTLES, (Eph.1:22, 4:1,5,Col.1:18, 2:19). Christ is never called the Head of the Acts Body in the Acts epistles (search the Acts epistles and see for yourself). And if He is never called the Head of the Acts Body, then no one has the right to say He was. That would be reading something into the scriptures that is not there. The way the word "Body is used in the Acts epistles is much the way we use the word "student body" or the "body politic" today. It is a collective mass of individuals united by a common tie (Webster's 1828 dictionary), but the Body of the prison epistles is a LIVING ORGANISM being members of Christ's Body, Flesh and Bones (Eph.5:30), and He is their Head' (Co1.1:18).
(XVII.) THE ONE NEW MAN HAS ONLY ONE BAPTISM
In Eph.4:6 Paul said that the One Body of the prison epistles has one Spirit, One Hope, One God and Father, One Lord, One Faith and ONE BAPTISM. Paul describes this Baptism in Col. 2:11-12 as "an operation of God made without hands in putting off the Body of the sins of the flesh." God Himself performs this baptism without the use of any human agent. It is therefore spiritual and invisible. On the other hand, the Acts Body had more than one Baptism. They were baptized with the Holy Ghost (Acts 9:17,19:6), by the Spirit (ICor.12:13), and with water (Acts16:15, 16:33,19:5,22:16). If the "Body" in the Acts epistles is the same Body of Eph.4:4, why does it have 3 Baptisms, whereas, the One Body of Eph.4:4. has only one Baptism? The fact that the Acts Body had 3 Baptisms, whereas, the One New Man has only One Baptism should in itself be enough to convince any honest person that they are not the same body.
XVIII.) THE ONE NEW MAN IS NOT ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED TO CHRIST AS A BRIDE
In IICor.11:2 Paul said that the Acts Body was a chaste virgin espoused (same as engaged) to Christ her husband. That verse clearly shows that the Acts Body was a part of the Bride of Christ. What else would you call a woman engaged to be married to a husband, but a Bride? But the Body in the prison epistles is a man, not a woman. Therefore, it is never said to be espoused to or engaged to a husband. Instead, the one New Man is said to be members of Christ's Body, Flesh and Bones (Eph.5:30).
(XIX.) THE ONE NEW MAN HAS THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST, NOT THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
Throughout the Acts period, the Acts Body received the gifts of the Spirit. These gifts are listed in ICor.12: 1-13. They were such things as healing, working miracles, speaking in tongues, prophecy and many others. The Acts Body was a tongue speaking, healing, miracle working church. You might say the Acts Body was a "Charismatic Church" for it possessed all of the gifts of the Spirit.
But the One New Man does not possess the gifts of the Spirit. Does that mean that the Acts Body was more blessed and rich than the One New Man? Quite the contrary, God gave the One New Man something FAR BETTER than the gifts of the Spirit. He gave them the UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST according to Eph. 3:8.
The unsearchable riches of Christ overshadow the gifts of the Spirit, and are far more glorious. And anyone who seeks after the gifts of the Spirit today when they could enjoy the unsearchable riches of Christ is taking a step backward, not forward spiritually.
(XX.)THE ONE NEW MAN'S GLORIFICATION IS SECURED UPON BELIEVING
In Phil. 3:21 Paul said that "The Lord Jesus Christ shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned LIKE UNTO HIS GLORIOUS BODY, according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself." When Paul said that Christ would fashion our vile bodies like unto His glorious Body, he placed no conditions upon the One New Man's glorification. It is a free, unmerited promise with no works attached. THIS IS NOT TRUE OF THE ACTS BODY.
In Rom. 8:17 Paul said to the Acts Body "And if children then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; IF SO BE THAT WE SUFFER WITH HIM, 'THAT WE MAY BE ALSO GLORIFIED TOGETHER. The glorification of the members of the Acts Body was CONDITIONAL upon them suffering for Christ's sake. And the suffering was PHYSICAL for the sake of the truth (read 'the next verse). I realize that a statement like this may cause a lot of people to get "up-tight", but there it is in black and white in Rom. 8:17. Keep in mind that it was GOD WHO SAID IT, NOT ME. It's like I said at the beginning, compare every verse with your Bible and BE WILLING TO BELIEVE THE VERSES MEAN WHAT THEY SAY AND SAY WHAT THEY MEAN. And if you do that, then you've done the right thing and the thing that pleases God according to Heb.11:6.
(XXI.) THE ONE NEW MAN SITS IN HEAVENLY PLACES
In Eph.2:6 Paul said that God raised up the ONE NEW MAN and made Him to "SIT TOGETHER IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST JESUS". The seat that the One New Man occupies represents the position of Glory and Honor that God has exalted him to. In the Bible different groups of believers occupied different seats or positions of Glory and Honor. In Matt.8:11 Abraham and his seed have a seat in the Kingdom of Heaven. In Matt.19:28 the Twelve Apostles each have a seat upon one of the twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. In Gal.4:26 the Acts Body must have had a seat in the Heavenly City New Jerusalem, for it is called their "Mother" and they were her "Children". And whatever position of Glory and Honor the mother has, her children have also. But God has given the One New Man the most exalted seat or position of Glory and honor in all the Bible. He raised Him up far above all Heavens to sit at His own Right Hand in Heavenly Places in Christ Jesus. This is never said of anyone else in the Bible, but the One New Man in the Prison Epistles. The Acts Body died with Christ, was buried and raised with Christ, but the One New Man goes one step further. He ascended up on High with Christ to sit with Him in Heavenly Places at the Right Hand of God. (To say the Acts Body was also seated in Heavenly Places is to read something into the Acts epistles that is not there. That's reading present truth into past truth, which is wrongly dividing the Word of Truth).
(XXII.) THE ONE NEW MAN'S CONVERSATION IS IN HEAVEN
In Phil. 3:20 Paul said "For our conversation is in HEAVEN; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ." The word "Conversation" has more than one meaning in the Bible. It can refer to a person's "SPEECH" as in IIPet.2:7; their "CONDUCT" as in Eph.2:3 or their "RESIDENCE OR DWELLING PLACE" as in Eph.2:6 (The One New Man has a residence in Heavenly Places, for His seat is there.) The point that I want to emphasize here is that everything the One New Man has now and in the future is in Heavenly Places. Everything about the One New Man is Heavenly. (Please read these verses).
His BLESSINGS are in Heavenly Places -Eph.1:3
His SEAT is in Heavenly Places - Eph.2:6
His HEAD is in Heavenly Places -Eph.1:20-23
His DESTINATION is in Heavenly Places - Eph.2:7
His MINISTRY is in Heavenly Places - Eph.3:10
His WARFARE is in Heavenly Places -Eph.6:12
His HOPE is in Heavenly Places - Col-1:5
His AFFECTION is in Heavenly Places- Col-3:2
His LIFE is in Heavenly Places - Col-3:3
His APPEARING is in Heavenly Places -Col-3:4
His INHERITANCE is in Heavenly Places - Col.l:12-13
His CROWN is in Heavenly Places - IITim.4:8
His KINGDOM is in Heavenly Places -IITim.4:18
The One New Man is a Heavenly Body with no relationship to Israel, the world, or New Jerusalem. His conversation is TOTALLY in Heavenly Places. This is not true of the Acts Body. Their conversation was not in Heaven, for they were "HEIRS OF THE WORLD" being Abraham's seed according to Rom. 4:13-16. Their inheritance was in the KINGDOM OF GOD, AN EARTHLY KINGDOM according to I Cor. 6:9-11,15:50. They partook of ISRAEL'S SPIRITUAL THINGS, which pertain mainly to the EARTH (Rom.15). Their Hope was in NEW JERUSALEM their mother, which will eventually be located on the NEW EARTH according to Gal. 4:26, Rev. 21:1-2. If the Acts Body were heirs of the World whose hope was to enter an Earthly Kingdom to dwell in the New Jerusalem, on the New Earth, how could their conversation be in Heaven? God never gave the Acts Body the Heavenly things that He gave to the One New Man, therefore, their conversation was not in Heaven. Their conversation was in things that God offered them in the Acts epistles. Their speech and conduct were in accord with their inheritance and hope in the Kingdom of God and the New Jerusalem.
(XXIII.) THE ONE NEW MAN IS FREE FROM THE ORDINANCES THAT WERE BINDING ON THE ACTS BODY
In Acts 15, Paul along with the other apostles wrote out a list of ordinances for the Gentiles to observe during the Acts period, and delivered these ordinances to the members of the Acts Body.
In Acts 15:19-21 James (along with Paul and Barnabas) said "Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day." Paul also elaborates upon these ordinances in his Acts epistles. In Rom.14:2-3 He said "For one believeth that he may eat all things; another, who is weak, eateth herbs, Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him". In Rom.14:5 he said "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." And further down in verse 21 he said "It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth or is offended, or is made weak. In other words, there were people in the Acts period that abstained from eating meat and drinking wine for religious purposes and they also observed holy days. The Acts Body was commanded not to eat any meat or drink wine, or condemn any "holy day" that would offend these people. Those people were of course Israelites, who kept the Law of Moses according to Acts 15:21. Paul also warns the Acts Body that if they ate or drank anything that would offend Israel that they would "Destroy the work of God" (Rom.14:20)and could "Damn themselves" if they ate without faith (Rom. 14:23). Also read 1Cor. 8:10-11.
But there are no such Laws and Ordinances binding on the One New Man. In Col.2:14-17 Paul said, "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the Body is of Christ." In the prison epistles of Paul, the Law is abolished for the One New Man in Eph.2:15-16 and all the handwriting of ordinances (including those of Acts 15, Rom.14, I Cor.8) are blotted out and taken out of the way. Those Laws and Ordinances are not binding on the One New Man and Paul rebukes anyone who places themselves under subjection to them in Col. 2:20-22. To observe those ordinances of touch not, taste not, handle not today is an abomination in the sight of God.
XXIV.) THE ONE NEW MAN WAS ELECTED OR CHOSEN BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD
In Eph.1:4 Paul said "According as he hath CHOSEN US IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love."
This is a tremendous verse of Scripture for many reasons and one of the main reasons is because this is only said about the One New Man in the prison epistles. He is the only Body or Church that God chose or elected BEFORE the Foundation of the World. All other bodies or churches were chosen after, since, or from the foundation or beginning of the world, including the Acts Body.
In II Thess. 2:13 Paul said concerning the Acts Body "But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because GOD HATH "FROM" THE BEGINNING CHOSEN YOU TO SALVATION through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:"
How could anything be any clearer than this? The Acts Body was elected FROM the beginning of the world, whereas, the One New Man elected BEFORE the Foundation of the World.
CHOSEN BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD
CHOSEN FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD
THE ONE NEW MAN
THE ACTS BODY
2 THESS. 2:13
If they were elected at two different times, how could they possibly be the same Body? If they were the same Body they would both be elected before Gen. l:l, or both elected after Gen. l:l. But they are not, which again leads me to the conclusion that they are not the same Body. For anyone to say they are the same body, when it is so apparent that they are not, to me is wrongly dividing the Word of Truth. Those who RIGHTLY divide the Word of Truth do not make things that are different the same.
In conclusion, I'm reminded of an event that took place in Israel's past history that typifies what I'd like to say here at the end of this article.
In times past God brought Israel out of Egypt, across the Red Sea to a place called Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran, which was located at the edge of the Land of Canaan. In Num.13 God instructed Moses to send 12 men to "spy out" the Land of Canaan and to bring back word of what they saw. When they returned, two of the "spies", Joshua and Caleb brought back with them figs, pomegranates, and a huge cluster of grapes that took two men to carry upon a staff, to show Israel the fruits of the land. They also gave a "good report" of the land calling it a land "flowing with milk and honey". And in Num.13:30 Caleb stood before Moses and Israel and said "Let us go up at once, and possess it; (the land) for we are well able to overcome it." But the other ten spies gave an "evil report" of the land, they said the land had giants in it, and the people that possessed it were strong and lived in walled cities and they said they were as "grasshoppers" in their sight. The story goes on to say that Israel believed the evil report of the 10 spies and rejected the good report that Joshua and Caleb gave. And instead of Israel going in to enjoy the fruits of the land flowing with milk and honey, God caused them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years till that whole generation died and was wasted in the wilderness (Num.14:33). The only ones who went in were Joshua and Caleb because they believed God and gave a good report of the land.
In this story I see analogy that is related to the subject of this article. In this Dispensation of Grace God has delivered us out of bondage (type of Egypt) baptized us into Christ (type of Red Sea) and set before us a "land flowing with Grace and Truth". That land is the prison epistles of Paul, which are flowing with the "Unsearchable Riches of Christ" and "All Spiritual blessings in Heavenly Places."
In that "Land" you will find the One New Man, the Body over which Christ is the Head that God created when He broke down the middle wall of partition after the close of the Acts period. In that "Land" God has planted the grandest blessings, inheritance, hope, promises, riches, position, salvation, destination, etc...in all of the entire Bible. And as there was only a small minority of men who gave a good report of the Land of Canaan (2 out of 12), there is only a very small minority of men who give a "good report" of the "Land" of Paul's Prison Epistles.
And as the majority were turned away by the evil report of the 10 spies in times past, the majority are turned away by the evil report that most preachers give concerning Paul's Prison Epistles today. They call them "hogwash and baloney" and label those that that claim the Prison Epistles as their "Land" as "stupid", "Nincompoops", Hyper-Dispensationalists" or "Bullingerites".
My prayer is that you won't be turned away by the evil report that men give today concerning Paul's Prison Epistles. Look at what happened to the men who gave the evil report in times past (Num.14:37), and look what happened to those that believed them (Num.14:33).
I would encourage you as Caleb encouraged Israel; "Go up at once to possess the riches and blessings of Paul's Prison Epistles, which are the books written exclusively to, for, and about the One New Man. Don't stay in the bondage of Matt.- John, don't wander in the wilderness of the Acts period, go on up and possess the Prison Epistles, the Land flowing with Grace, Truth, and Freedom.