Reading the Bible Yourself – Part 14

Glossary of Terms

ACTS PERIOD: the time period covered by the book of Acts. This begins with the ascension of Christ and concludes with Paul’s announcement of judgment upon Israel. This period does not include the two years mentioned in the closing verses of the book of Acts. Many of the New Testament letters were written during the Acts period and, as such, also contain references which are characteristic of the dispensation which was in force at the time.

CHURCH
: a group or assembly of people. Israel is once referred to as “the church in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38 KJV).

DISPENSATION: an administration; a set of conditions, or governing laws. When two different groups of people (such as the Israelites under the Law and the church of today) are living under different conditions as set by God, we say that they are living under different dispensations.

GENTILES
: (a) anyone who is not a Jew. (b) a term used for “the nations” outside of the nation of Israel. The term “heathen” also means this, as opposed to “an irreligious or depraved person” as it is often used today.

HEBREW
: an Israelite; a Jew.

HOPE
: the destiny or future blessing of the believers in any given dispensation. The “hope” of a believer is a certainty – not just a possible future happening in the way the word is used today.

ISRAEL
: (a) a nation descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (b) the name given to the northern ten tribes of the divided kingdom after the reign of Solomon. The southern two tribes were named “Judah”. This situation continued until the return from exile detailed in Ezra & Nehemiah.

ISRAELITE
: a member of the nation of Israel; a Jew; a Hebrew.

JEW
: a Israelite; a Hebrew.

THE LAW
: the name given to the commands given to Moses. These are detailed in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Also, sometimes used as a collective term for the first five books of the Old Testament.

LO-AMMI
: the nation of Israel are sometimes referred to as being Lo-ammi (“not My people”) in this present dispensation as they have ceased to be God’s chosen people until He takes them up again in the future. See Hosea 1:9.

MYSTERY
: literally, a “secret”. The mystery, or secret, in Ephesians 3 which was revealed to Paul was that all believers (Jew or Gentile) were now heirs together (i.e. of equal standing). This is in contrast to the Acts period when Israel still had prior place over the Gentiles in God’s plan.

MYSTERY EPISTLES OR POST ACTS EPISTLES
: the letters written after the Acts period – Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon.

RIGHTLY DIVIDING
: taking a section of Scripture which is addressed to us and applying this to ourselves. This also means not applying Scripture to ourselves if it is not addressed to us.

 

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