Vol. 23 New Series December, 1961 No. 6

Not long ago someone pointed out that very little is said in "The Differentiator" about what he called "Ephesians truth." The later issues of "Things to Come" and the earlier issues of "The Berean Expositor" some forty years ago were cited, and this was made the basis of a suggestion that in some way our ministry is therefore inferior in quality.

This notion is based on a misunderstanding, the idea that Ephesians exists detached from the Scriptures that were written before it. This is the very notion that my first contributions to "The Differentiator" were written to dispel. Paul's Epistles form a unity, and any attempt to split them between two "dispensations" can only spoil them.

The reason why I have said comparatively little about the truths specially set out in the Prison Epistles is that I have had plenty to do in clearing and repairing the foundations. It is no use to live in cloud-castles. However celestial our standing may be, we have got to keep in mind that it is solidly based on terrestrial history and truths revealed to us on earth. That is why I am so strongly opposed to the "Acts 28:28 frontier" teachings which involve putting such stress on so-called "Ephesians truth." The exponents of these ideas are like men who have climbed up on to a roof by a ladder, and then kicked it away. Everything they teach about "Ephesians truth" is vitiated by the unsound assumptions beneath and behind it.

The trouble with these men's attempts to dwell in "Ephesians truth" is the same as that with people who regard material things and the resurrection of the body as "unspiritual." They are, in actual fact, attempting to be more "spiritual" than God Himself. If the Word did not shrink from becoming flesh, we most certainly ought not to assume a disdainful superiority over material things as the soi-disant "spiritual" folk do. It is most strange that people who admit that the Secret of Ephesians 3:6-12 is through the Evangel of which Paul became dispenser, nevertheless in practise treat the Evangel almost as something beneath notice. The chief exponent of the "Acts 28:28 frontier" theory found himself forced after all to build his "Ephesian temple" with "Roman stones"; but Romans is not a ruin to be disposed of in such a way. It is an integral part of the superb edifice of which the Prison Epistles are the completion. It is not as if any of us fully understood the Evangel. None of us do, least of all those who in practise are so ready to put much of it away into a past "dispensation." If we did, we would not want to leave it out of reckoning; we would instead want to study its manifold relations with the glories founded upon it. Realisation of these facts makes me exceedingly cautious about accepting anything at all set out by these expositors concerning the Prison Epistles; not that it is necessarily wrong, but because it is based on a false general view of Scripture. If ever I am permitted to come to these matters in The Differentiator, I shall endeavour to do So with a fresh mind.

R.B.W. Last updated 23.3.2006