From the Introduction:
book is structured in such a way that will, hopefully, clear up any
perceived contradictions in Scripture so that we may avoid the
necessity to twist the Scriptures to make them fit some preconceived
assumptions. To meet this goal, I have thought it best to define some
key terms, give a general outline of Scripture, and closely examine
the particular ministries of Christ and the Apostles.
"First, it is prudent to lay out a brief explanation and history of
dispensationalism, particularly as it differs from covenant theology.
Second, it is essential to study the Old Testament timeline. In doing
so, it will be noticed that Godís manner of dealing with people
differs from one dispensation to the next; that is, His revealed will
is communicated progressively as history unfolds so that those in
earlier dispensations can not have been responsible to obey those
directives that were revealed only in subsequent centuries and
"Third, if we are to understand the Church and Godís will for His
Body on earth, we must study what came before. Only in doing so can we
correctly delineate the differences between Israel and the Church.
Even a cursory knowledge of the Old Testament promises to Israel will
help us to recognize the focused earthly ministry of Christ to the
Jews. We will examine, then, the Old Testament prophetic Scriptures
given to Israel and the Messiahís fulfillment of those Jewish promises
at His first advent.
"Fourth, it will be seen that the disciples of the Lord were not
aware of His impending Death, Burial, and Resurrection; therefore,
this is our first obvious clue that what the disciples, pre-Cross,
were responsible to believe and what we are now, post-Cross,
responsible to believe, is different. Thus, the pre-Cross Gospel
differed from the Gospel that went forth post-Cross. This being the
case, then it will be acknowledged that the ministry of Christ to His
people Israel under the Law, pre-Cross, does not readily apply to the
Church, post-Cross. An examination of the relevant Scriptures will
bear out the fact that Israel, pre-Cross, was under a different
dispensation than the Church, post-Cross.....
"Fifth, I have elected to use the Book of Acts as a template upon
which to explain the overlapping dispensations of Israel and the
Church..... Much time will be spent to explain the differences between
the earthly ministry of Christ and that of Paul; as well, it will be
shown that there were differences between the ministry of the Twelve
and that of Paul. The objective, however, is not to drive a wedge
between the respective ministries, but to point out the harmony of
Godís purposes that no one could have expected due to the fact that
these disparate ministries occurring in temporal juxtaposition were
not foretold in the Old Testament.
"Sixth, a general examination of Paulís ministry and message, as
distinct from those of the Messiah and the Twelve, will reveal that
Paul is the Apostle to the Gentiles. This, of course, is the main
contention I am making. It is hoped that enough Scripture will be
brought to light to convince the reader that he must turn to Paul
first in seeking to understand salvation and sanctification, as well
as a number of doctrines that are to be found nowhere else in the
Bible but Paulís epistles. Because of the uniqueness of Paulís
doctrines, we would then classify the believer who recognizes this
distinction, and lives his life accordingly, as a Pauline
"Seventh, a brief examination is provided of the scope of Pauline
dispensationalism as it relates to the origin of the Church. Some have
suggested that the Church began with Paul, not earlier with the Twelve
at the Feast of Pentecost. It is necessary, then, to seek an answer to
this assertion. Several Scriptures will be examined in an effort to
define the Church.
"Eighth, some conclusions will be drawn from the foregoing
discussion; namely, that Paul is the Apostle to the Gentiles and that
he, and he alone, teaches us the hidden things that had not been
revealed to anyone else. It was the Ascended Lord who revealed these
doctrines to Paul; as such, we can truly obey God in this dispensation
only by learning and heeding Paulís doctrines."