THE HOPE OF PAUL'S PRISON EPISTLES
it has been preached for so long and loud by so many preachers. This is especially true about the hope
of resurrection that Paul wrote about in his epistles. Most believers assume that Paul wrote about the same
hope of resurrection in all of his epistles, because that's all they have heard all of their lives
of resurrection that he started out with .
started out with . As a matter of fact Paul did not end up with many of things that he started out with such as;
in tongues, healing the sick, working miracles, sending offerings to Jerusalem, keeping ordinances, offering
sacrifices, observing feast days, abstaining from meats and drinks ,calling Abraham the father of the church
and New Jerusalem the mother of the church etc. etc.
as you will at the beginning when he wrote his Acts epistles.
Paul's Prison Epistles written at the end of his ministry are strikingly different from his Acts Epistles because
they were written under a different administration or dispensation . His Acts Epistles were written during the
dispensation or administration of the New Covenant which began at the cross (Heb.9:14-17). And being a
minister of the New Covenant (11Cor.3:6) what Paul preached and wrote pertained to the New Covenant
and to New Covenant saints which the Acts believers were (Ga1.4:22-31).
But at the close of the Acts period a new and different administration or dispensation began called the Dispensation
of the Mystery ( Eph.3:1-6). This administration or dispensation was a secret hid in God, which no one including
Paul was aware of prior to Acts 28. The doctrine and truth concerning this secret administration was given to Paul
in Rome by revelation (Co1.1:23-27).. It is revealed to us in his Prison epistles written from Rome after the close
of the Acts administration or dispensation of Promise.
and vanished away.
about in his Acts Epistles; for God gave Paul a new and different hope after the close of the Acts period, when he
wrote his Prison Epistles .
One of the fundamental facts about dispensations in the Bible is that when they change so does the doctrine, inheritance
blessings, promises, practices and hope. For example, the doctrine, inheritance, blessings, promises and hope of the
New Covenant administration are different from the Old Covenant administration. This is what the book of Hebrews is
all about . It shows how different and better the New Covenant is from the Old Covenant. In the same way, the doctrine,
inheritance, blessings, promises, practices, and hope found in the epistles Paul wrote under the administration of the Mystery
are different and better from those he wrote under the New Covenant administration during the Acts period.
what he offered anyone in any book written in any prior dispensation.
The purpose of this article is to show you, the reader, how different and has much better that hope is by comparing it with
the Hope he had during the Acts period or dispensation of Promise.
wisdom and revelation and that he would enlighten the eyes of your understanding that you might come to know what is
"THE HOPE OF HIS CALLING" .
Saviour Jesus Christ.
at HIS APPEARING and his kingdom".
II Tim. 4:8 says: "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall
give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love HIS APPEARING"
When Paul wrote his Acts Epistles, under the New Covenant administration, his Hope was the Second Coming of Christ, a
hope that could be FOUND in the O.T. scriptures. He mentions the coming of Christ 10 times in his Acts epistles
of Christ. As a matter of fact, the word "Coming" referring to the Second Coming of Christ DOES NOT APPEAR ONE TIME
IN THE 7 PRISON EPISTLES OF PAUL whereas, it appears 10 times in the 6 Acts Epistles of Paul. Also, the word
"APPEARING" referring to Christ's appearing to the Church IS NOT MENTIONED ONCE IN THE ACTS EPISTLES,
but is mentioned 6 times in the Prison Epistles.
then suddenly after Acts 28, HE NEVER MENTIONS IT AGAIN IN HIS 7 PRISON EPISTLES . This alone ought to convince
any fair minded believer that a CHANGE TOOK PLACE in Paul's Hope.
And if the hope of the Acts believers was the Appearing of Christ, why doesn't he mention it once in the Acts epistles ??
and preach two different hopes. One simple way to know that these hopes are not the same is that they are spelled different. But
let us look more closely at some of these
what those differences are.
OF THE AIR.
the clouds of the air.
In I Thess. 4:15-17 he wrote: "We which are alive and remain unto the Coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall DESCEND FROM HEAVEN with a shout... and we which are alive and remain shall be caught up
together with them
IN THE CLOUDS to meet the Lord IN THE AIR."...
He appears to the Church , and then the Church appears with Him IN GLORY where he is now seated at the right hand of God FAR
shall appear, then shall ye also appear WITH HIM IN GLORY."
the throne of God is located according to Col. 3:1. That place is called "Heavenly Places" in Eph. 1:20 and Eph. 2:6. It is also called "Glory"
in Psa. 8:1 which says: "O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is thy name in all the Earth! WHO HAST SET THY GLORY ABOVE THE
dwelling place of God. And when Christ Appears to the Church He will appear to us IN GLORY ABOVE THE HEAVENS and in
the same instant WE WILL BE RECEIVED UP INTO GLORY WITH HIM according to
I Tim. 3:16.
above the Heavens where the Church will be "received up into Glory" (ITim. 3:16) and changed (Phil. 3:21). Praise God for such a Hope
as this! We have a Hope of being received up into a place where only one other person has ever gone, GLORY the dwelling place of God
far above all Heavens.
above the Heavens.
God promised to Israel in the New Covenant. Paul was a minister of the New Covenant (II Cor. 3:6) and the New Covenant was made
with Israel (Heb. 8:8). Therefore, the Hope of the New Covenant was the Hope of Israel.
And this hope can be found in the O.T. scriptures
least 4 times in the Book of Acts which he wrote.
one can deny and it's the fact that Paul preached the Hope of Israel and suffered for doing so . And when he does Luke makes it clear that the
Hope was the resurrection God promised Israel in the Law and the prophets.
THE DEAD I am called in question."
"But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written
in the LAW AND THE PROPHETS: and have HOPE TOWARD GOD, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a
RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, both of the just and unjust."
"And now I stand and am judged for THE HOPE OF THE PROMISE MADE OF GOD TO OUR FATHERS: unto which PROMISE
our twelve tribes,, instantly serving God day and night, HOPE TO COME. For which HOPE'S SAKE, King Agrippa I am accused of the
JEWS. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should RAISE THE DEAD? "
does say that the Hope he preached was the one God promised the fathers of Israel and that it is found in the Law and the prophets.
But when Paul wrote his Acts Epistles HE GIVES YOU THE SPECIFICS OF THAT RESURRECTION in I Corinthians 15:50-55 and
I Thess. 4:14-18. As you read these two chapters, you can see all the details of what Paul said when he preached the Hope of Israel in the
Acts period. Paul also wrote that he suffered for the hope he preached in I Cor.15:29-32 as Luke said he did in Acts 28:20 and Luke calls
the hope he suffered for the hope of Israel . Keep in mind also that you cannot separate what he preached from what he wrote, or
what he wrote from what he preached . PAUL WROTE TO THE SAME PEOPLE HE PREACHED TO AND VICE-VERSA .
It was the Hope God promised Israel in the New Covenant and Jesus Christ a minister of the New Covenant like Paul (Heb. 8:6), also
preached that Hope in Matt. 24:29-31. By comparing Matt. 24 with I Cor. 15 and I Thess. 4 you will see they are one and the same Hope.
* (Note: for a detailed comparison of Matt. 24 with Mess. 4 see
article "The Hope of the Acts Epistles".)
accounted as Abraham's seed (Gal. 3:29) and New Covenant saints (Gal. 4:22-31) they partook of this Hope as well as "the promises"
God made to Abraham (Gal.3:16) and "the promise" made to him (Gal. 3:29). They also partook of "the fatness" of the good olive tree
(Rom. 11:17) and Israel's "Spiritual things" (Rom. 15:27).
What is said about the Acts believers is not true of us.
Abraham. It is not the Hope of this administration of Grace.
the Mystery to Paul and to us Gentiles, he revealed a new and different Hope than what he had previously , under the New Covenant administration.