Understanding The Bible
Clarence E. Mason's "ESCHATOLOGY 1"
SECTION 2F - Acts 2 -
THE CHURCH AGE and
THE DISPENSATION OF GRACE
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BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
Edited by Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
- Acts 2-Revelation 3 THE CHURCH AGE and 1 THE DISPENSATION OF GRACE
Two covenants should be considered in indirect connection with this
dispensation: (1) The Abrahamic Covenant, and (2) The New Covenant
NOTE: However, it should be remembered that, in the strict sense, no
covenant is said to be made with the Church, and, too, we are specifically
told that the Gentiles are "strangers from the covenants of promise" (Eph.
2:12). On the other hand, Rom. 9:4 tells us that "the covenants" pertain to
Israel. Hence, we share in the Abrahamic Covenant simply by virtue of our
position with Christ, the Seed (of Abraham), and we anticipatively enter into
the blessings of the New Covenant through the efficacy of the blood of Christ.
See New Scofield note on the Church, Acts 2:1.
- The key personage is the Lord Jesus Christ.
- The extent of the period is from His death until His coming for His
- The general Scripture portion is Acts 2-Revelation 3 (Rev. 4-5 are
heavenly scenes) together with numerous transitional passages in the
- The characteristic or state of man during its course is that he is
constituted a helpless sinner. This is set forth in Scripture under four
- Sin is imputed to him in that he sinned in Adam. Rom. 5:12
- Sin has been transmitted to him in that he has received a fallen
Gen. 2:17; Rom. 7:17-18, 21, 23
- His estate is that of being constituted "under sin" by divine fiat or
Rom. 3:9; 11:32; Gal. 3:22
- He is a sinner by the practice or commission of sinful acts.
Rom. 3:10,12,19, etc. (Dr. L. S. Chafer)
- The special responsibility instituted by God is to recognize himself
as a lost sinner and to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 16:30-31
Dr. Thiessen sets forth the specific test for this age as follows: "Man
is tested as to whether he will accept the gift of righteousness, Rom.
5:15-18; 1 Cor. 1:30; of life, Rom. 6:23; of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:38-39;
Gal. 4:1-7; and so become a member of His body (Eph, 1:23; 1 Cor. 12:12-13).
And, as a believer, he is tested as to whether he will live for God (Rom.
6:1-6; 7:4-6; 12:1-2; 2 Cot. 5:9; 1 Cor. 3:l-3)and cooperate with God in the
evangelization of the world, Mt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Lk. 24:46-49; Acts
- The failure of man under the test. (Man has miserably failed on both
- The natural man consistently refuses salvation, though it is offered
to him so full and free.
- Two-thirds of the earth's population know not His name. Of the other
one-third, how many are real believers? Where are the crowds? Where is
there a converted city? After more than 175 years of missions, there are
now more heathen than when the present-day missionary effort started.
- And the professing church has gone into apostasy and will so go on
till the end of the age. Luke 18:8; 17:26-30; 2 Tim. 3:1-5
- The resultant judgment.
- The world of Christ rejecters will go into the tribulation.
- Professors of religion will go into the tribulation with all its
- Many believers will be saved so as by fire, their works being burned
- The gracious intervention of God.
- He saves His own from the hour of temptation, i.e., the tribulation
1 Thes. 4:13-18; Rev. 3:10. His true Church will be "caught up."
(If G, 2 (next section) is accepted:
- The race will not be blotted out because the days of tribulation are
- Many will be saved even in the tribulation. Rev. 7)
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