Part 6 – Addendum - Questions & Answers

This Article is part of a multi-part Study Series called The 12 Apostle’s Ministry from Acts 7 to 15 and Afterward.

I judged it best to include this question-and-answer section as an “appendix” of sorts. It will succinctly summarize the highlights of this article, and, at the same time, reproduce answers to questions people constantly ask about this Acts 7-28 range of passages. Discussing the topic from this “new” aspect will reinforce previous points. It may even emphasize points that the reader glossed over in (or forgot from) previous sections.

Question #1: “Were the 12 apostles and the others in the Little Flock ever part of the Body of Christ?”

Answer #1: “No, never. The 12 apostles and the Little Flock of Jewish believers remained separate and distinct from the Church the Body of Christ throughout. Had these two agencies mixed at any time, God would have no more earthly people (and that was the whole purpose of His earthly ministry). They would all be destined for the heavenly places. We know this not to be the case, for Jesus Christ must be exalted in eternity future in the heaven and the earth (Ephesians 1:8-10; Colossians 1:16-20). If you take the time to compare and contrast Peter and Paul’s ministries in Acts, and compare and contrast the Pauline epistles (Romans through Philemon) with the Hebrew epistles (Hebrews through Revelation), there is no way these servants of God are talking about the same body of information and the same group of believers. See our study linked at the end of this article, about comparing and contrasting Peter’s ministry and Paul’s ministry from 50 different angles.

We know that the nation Israel is separate and distinct from the Church the Body of Christ. The “Little Flock” is the Israel of God, and He will use them to establish His kingdom in the earth (Luke 12:31-32; Revelation 5:9-10; Revelation 11:15; et al.). However, we the Church the Body of Christ are God’s heavenly people, and He will use us to reclaim heaven for His glory (Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 1:20-23; Ephesians 2:6-7; et al.). This is why Israel and the Body of Christ cannot mix, never mixed, and will never mix. That is why the 12 apostles could not join the Body of Christ. They rather remained in the Little Flock. The 12 apostles will rule over Israel’s 12 tribes on the Earth in Israel’s kingdom (Matthew 19:27-28). In contrast, Paul says that the Body of Christ has an eternal destiny in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 1:20-23; Ephesians 2:6-7; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:16-20, et cetera). It is common for religions and denominations to do it, and even some so-called “Pauline dispensationalists,” but we must never, ever mix the 12 apostles and Israel with Paul and the Body of Christ. That will only generate unanswerable confusion and damage you spiritually. That is why Christendom is so divided. They have not divided the things in the Bible that God has divided, so they make a mess of the Bible.”

Question #2: “Did the 12 apostles preach Paul’s Gospel after Acts 15? If two different gospels were being preached at the same time, what would happen if the 12 came upon some Gentiles? What would they preach?”

Answer #2: “Certainly not, the 12 apostles did not preach Paul’s Gospel, either before or after Acts chapter 15. To say otherwise is to be not far removed from the absurd denominational idea constantly hurled at us, “There is only one Gospel in the Bible!” While Paul’s Gospel surely enlightened the 12 apostles when they met with him in Galatians chapter 2 (Acts chapter 15), the 12 apostles made a public declaration in Galatians chapter 2 that we need to be sure we notice.

The Bible says in Galatians 2:9: “And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.” James, Peter, and John agreed to stay with their message to the Little Flock—that is, the Jews saved previously under the ministry of the 12 (and going all the way back to John the Baptist’s ministry). The term “circumcision” here means more than just “Jews.” It means Jews who had the inward circumcision, the true Israelites, the born-again ones with eternal life, in contrast with the unbelieving Jews who had an outward circumcision but not one in the heart (Romans 2:28-29). “Heathen” would be every person outside of the body of born-again Jews—unbelieving, unsaved, lost Jews were considered just as “heathen” as Gentiles. These “heathen” were Paul’s mission field.

If we are going to go by the Bible, Galatians 2:9 tells us that James, Peter, and John confined their ministries to the Little Flock from Acts chapter 15 onward. These men, filled with the Holy Spirit, formally endorsed Paul and Barnabas to go to everyone else—that is, to “heathen,” unsaved Jews and unsaved Gentiles. Simply put, anyone outside of the Little Flock, from Acts chapter 15 onward, they were exclusively the responsibility of Paul and Barnabas. If the 12 apostles met Gentiles from Acts chapter 15 onward, they stayed true to their agreement made earlier in Galatians 2:9. (Again, remember Galatians chapter 2 and Acts chapter 15 are the same Jerusalem Council.) As per their declaration, the 12 would have referred unbelieving Jews and unbelieving Gentiles to Paul’s ministry, epistles, and message. Salvation into the Little Flock was no longer possible for lost Jews; they had to join the Body of Christ. Had the 12 not operated this way, they would have been liars in Galatians 2:9. That one verse will clear up a lot of confusion about the transition period if you let it. From Acts chapter 15 onward, never did the 12 or the Little Flock ever preach a Gospel message to the Gentiles (they had in previous chapters—Cornelius, of chapter 10, the primary example). The 12 promised not to do so in Galatians 2:9. Again, anyone outside of the Little Flock was referred to Paul’s ministry and Paul’s epistles for enlightenment (2 Peter 3:15-16).

After Acts chapter 15 (Galatians 2:9), the Little Flock was sealed off from new membership. The 12 and their followers continued to wait for the Antichrist and the Second Coming of Christ—following the doctrine in Genesis through Malachi, Matthew through John, early Acts (1-7), as well as Hebrews through Revelation. This includes all converts from John the Baptist’s ministry, all converts from Christ’s earthly ministry, and all converts from the ministry of the 12 in early Acts. The Little Flock certainly never joined the Body of Christ, for they were still worshipping at the Temple and keeping the Mosaic Law as late as Acts 21:20-25. If they were members of the Body of Christ, they would have had no business keeping the Law and Paul should have forbade them from doing so. Paul never corrected these Jewish believers for their legalistic position. James, when writing to the “twelve tribes scattered abroad” (James 1:1), constantly affirmed legalistic works. There is no way for any sensible person to make James’ audience members of the Body of Christ.

Question #3: “If Israel fell in Acts chapter 7, how could believers still be added to the Little Flock?”

Answer #3: “There is the idea among some grace people that no one could be added to the Little Flock after the stoning of Stephen in Acts chapter 7. I have heard and read it taught, particularly on social media. The Bible does not support this. If new believers were not added to the “Little flock” after Acts chapter 7, and Paul says something new began with him in chapter 9 (cf. 1 Timothy 1:15-16), then we are forced to conclude there must be three groups of believers in the book of Acts. There would be: (#1) the Little Flock, (#2) the Church the Body of Christ, and (#3) the “misfit” group of believers in chapter 8. The Bible does not teach this. Please see the answer to the previous question. Actually, the dispensationalists struggling here do so because the “Acts 28 theological system” has clouded their judgment. The “Acts 9/28 Hybrid Theological System” has surreptitiously and slowly infiltrated the Grace Movement during the last half-century. A very complex and confusing system, it has been extremely problematic in my life and ministry. Many people have contacted me to express that it has been very detrimental to their Christian life as well. I refer you to our massive project that exposes that system as heresy. Please see the link at the end of this article for the “Acts 9/28 Hybrid Theology” disclosure.

Another misconception is that Paul continued Israel’s program during the book of Acts. We must understand the provoking ministry of Paul to Israel if we are to understand the rest of the book of Acts.

https://forwhatsaiththescriptures.org/2015/10/25/acts-9-28-hybrid-theology/

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You may want to also read this related paper titled God's Turn from Israel to the Gentiles” at: http://www.artlicursi.com/articles/gods-turn-israel-gentiles

Questions or Comment?

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