Apostle of the Reconciliation

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Apostle of the Reconciliation

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By Charles H. Welch

Book Review by Robert Guenther
The purpose of this book is to show the dispensational place of Acts and the earlier epistles of Paul. Having the right understanding of the word reconciliation should help us attain this goal.

The book begins by giving us information concerning the book of Acts, namely its authorship, chronology of events, objects, and the order of the epistles written during this period. This knowledge gives us the right foundation to proceed with our next topic:

The Division of Acts in three sections:

1.      Restoration – restoring the kingdom to Israel. Chapters 1-9.
2.     Reconciliation – Typified by the vision of the sheet and the salvation of Cornelius. Ch. 10-14.
3.     Rejection – Foreshadowed in Paul’s first miracle (Ch.13) and actually fulfilled in the setting aide of Israel in Acts 28.

Some would try to tell us that the restoration of the kingdom should not have been offered for we have the beginning of a new church at Pentecost. This is just not the case. God was offering the Jews another opportunity to receive Jesus as their Messiah.

The second division concerns the word reconciliation. This word has the meaning of changing from one state to another. God used several examples to show us what He meant by the use of this word. When God called out Abraham and promised him that he would be the father of many nations, then all of the other nations were known as Gentiles. Another example is a husband and wife being reconciled after being separated. A change of heart must take place in order for them to live as one flesh. Prior to Peter’s vision of the sheet, the kingdom was only offered to the Jew. A Gentile had to become a proselyte to receive any blessings. But after Peter was instructed to go to Cornelius, a definite change of offering the Gentiles the kingdom aside from Israel took place. Many more examples are given to give us the proper understanding of the word reconciliation to show how God was dealing with man during Acts times.

In the last division we see Israel rejecting the re-offering of the kingdom. Paul had to tell her that salvation was now going to the Gentiles and that they would receive the message (28:28). Another change had taken place and now God is interested in people who will the heavenly places as their hope and not the earth as we promised to Abraham’s seed.