The Middle Wall of Partition Now Broken Down


As we will see, before Acts 28:28 Gentiles could only approach God through Israel and her religious program of external rites, rituals, and ceremonies… even during the 35-year Acts period.

Consider this statement below is from a slab of limestone discovered by archeologist in Jerusalem. It indicates the second-class status of the believing Gentile proselytes [foreigners] among Israel.

From the newspaper, “The Times of Israel”:

“The unassuming slab of limestone doesn’t look like much. It’s crudely fractured and chipped on the sides, pockmarked with age, and is perched not too prominently on a shelf at the Israel Museum. But its smoothly hewn face and crisply etched Greek letters, still bearing faint traces of red paint, belie monumental significance.

“If we talk about the closest thing to the Temple we have,” said David Mevorach, senior curator of Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Archaeology, “on the Temple Mount, this was closest.”

Two millennia ago, the block served as one of several Do Not Enter signs in the Second Temple in Jerusalem, delineating a section of the 37-acre complex which was off-limits for the ritually impure. Written in Greek, it warned:”

No foreigner [Gentile] may enter within the balustrade [guardrail] around the sanctuary and the enclosure. Whoever is caught, on himself shall he put blame for the death which will ensue.”

As we know walls are to separate and divide. Likewise, when we note is division among races of people recorded in the Bible, we know we are noting a time in a past-past dispensation when Israel was God’s elevated people; set above all people of the earth.” God, to the children of Israel in the Sinai wilderness after leaving Egypt, said;

5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me Above All People: for all the earth is mine: (Exodus 19:5 (KJV)

Thus, after giving up on the fallen world of humanity generally, God set the division we will discuss herein. God chose a people (Israel) through whom He would send salvation and blessing to “the nations (Gentiles),” also referred to as “the families of the earth,” God called Abram (later called Abraham) in order to ultimately establish a people through whom He could bless all believing humanity; saying,

3 I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and In Thee [Abraham and his off spring] Shall All Families Of The Earth Be Blessed. (Genesis 12:3 (KJV)

THE ELEVATED ‘JEWISH’ STATUS was “Above all people” from Abraham to Acts 28

Paul wrote: 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. (Romans 9:3-5 (KJV)            

Outline: Jewish brethren according to the flesh are blessed as Israelites with, Adoption/Sonship, Glory, Covenants, the Law, Service of God, Promises, Fathers, According to the flesh – The Messiah


Paul here wrote: 11 Wherefore remember, that ye being IN TIME PAST GENTILES in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision [Israel] in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: Ephesians 2:11-12 (KJV)

OUTLINE: Gentiles in the flesh in “time past,” were Uncircumcision, Without Christ, Aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel, Strangers from the Covenants of promise, Having no hope, Godless in the world                

From the time of Abraham until the End of Acts, we find “The Jew First is still the principle by which God deals with men. Israel was to be a priestly nation and as such was to be separate and distinct from all others races. The reason God dealt with “the Jew first” was that before the time of Abraham the nations [Gentiles] had so dismally failed that God had to give them up (see Romans 1:24, 26, 28.)

During the earthy ministry of our Lord He called the Gentiles ‘dogs’ (Matthew 15:26). Jesus said He had come only “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:6 and 15:24). Jesus’ disciples were to go out only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” and were to “go not into the way of the Samaritans or the Gentiles.” Jesus said “As I have been sent, so send I you.”

In his Pentecost sermon of Peter was only addressing “Ye men of Judaea,” “Ye men of Israel,” and All the house of Israel.” Among the “three thousand” that were “added” that day there was not a single Gentile. Notice that it saysADDED. This was not that a new church was being formed. THE CHURCH OF GOD among Israel had its beginning with the calling of the twelve Apostles of circumcision. Then we have mention of the twenty, and finally five hundred who were believers, all before Pentecost. At Acts 10 indicates that Peter did not know anything about a church of where Jew and Gentile were one in Christ (see Acts 10:28). At that time Jesus would have called the Gentile, Cornelius, a ‘dog,’ if it had not been for Peter’s God-given vision at Joppa (Acts 10:14).

So, today’s church must have been started after the time of Peter after Pentecost. Note in Acts 10:45  an account AFTER Pentecost, They of the circumcision [Israel] were astonished…that on the Gentiles…the gift of the Holy Ghost.” So, according to that record it was impossible that any Gentile could have received the baptism of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost.

The church at Jerusalem was just as ignorant of any church beginning at Pentecost. They scoldingly said to Peter, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and did eat with them.” But then finally the Messianic church recognized that “to the Gentiles…[God] granted repentance unto life,” (Acts 11:18, 19)

The Reason: The reason for Peter reluctantly preaching at the house of the Gentile Cornelius … was to open the door of the kingdom to the Gentiles … and prepare the way for the Apostle Paul, with his new “gospel of the grace of God” (Act 20:24), as “the Apostle to the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:13) Note that there is no Biblical record that Peter ever again preached to a Gentile, or that any of the twelve ever did. The door was open to Gentiles and now through Paul’s ministry they would hear the good news.

The absolute refusal of the religious churches of Christendom today to recognize these plain facts is the reason for so much religious confusion. They embrace man’s religious tradition rather than God’s Word “rightly divided.”

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

You can study all the epistles written During The Acts Period and you will find the same principle all thru is to The Jew First.” Even in Romans, the last epistle to be written before the close of the Acts period, we find the principle very pronounced. There we find the gospel to the Jews first in Romans 1:16; judgment to the Jew first (2:9); blessings to the Jew first, (2:10); advantage and profit pertain to the Jew (3:1&2).

The Jews clung to their old position so much that the Apostle Paul chided them for it, writing; 29Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: (Romans 3:29 (KJV)

In the Outline at the beginning of this article about Romans 9:3-5 numerates the items which are exclusive to the Jew. Paul, a Jew called them; brethren. They were Israelites, a chosen people. In “time past” they had the sole right of son-ship. The glory of God shone thru them as He blessed them among the nations. To them only were given the covenants and the law. They were the only ones who had a right to do service for God.

Nowhere Before Acts 28:28 is there any record of a Gentile preaching, teaching, or doing any other service in the church. That was for the Jew only. The great difference between Jew and Gentile was not so much race as it was that ‘God’s PROMISES’ were to Israel. Only the Jew could speak of ‘the fathers’ of Israel. And ultimately according to the flesh, the Messiah was of and to the Jews... who in turn were to “bless all the families of the earth.”

On the other hand, look at the record against the Gentiles. First, they were in the flesh. Of course that was the natural state of both Jew and Gentile, but the Gentile had little hope of escaping it. They were without Christ, for did not the Word say, “Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for He shall save His people (of Israel) from their sins.” In relation to Israel the Gentiles were aliens. As to covenants of promises, they were complete strangers. They had nothing. Therefore, they had no hope and since God had given them up; worst of all, they were in the world without God. This is a dark picture for the Gentiles. Nevertheless, it was the picture of the Gentiles from Abraham to Acts 28:28.

- THE MIDDLE WALL NOW BROKEN DOWN – with Paul’s Ephesian Revelation

Although from Acts 10 to 28 there was a chance for the Gentiles to be graffed in receive blessings THROUGH the Jew, the middle wall was still up and so there were two gospels, and two sets of apostles. But soon AFTER Acts 28:28 we find that great change, Gentiles blessed spiritually “in Christ” totally apart from Israel’s program (Eph. 1:3, 3:1-6)

Ephesians was Paul’s first epistle after the Acts 28:28, which marked the Total Fall of Israel and God’s turn to the Gentiles. Then we find a different message as we look at Eph. 2:14-8 where we find;

Christ is our PEACE, having made Both Jew and Gentile ONE. Through Christ the Middle Wall of Partition is broken down. The distinctive Ordinances of the Jews, such as water-baptism, holydays, Lord’s supper, or Passover, etc. are now abolished.

14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances [religious law] that was against us, which was contrary to us [Gentiles], and Took It Out Of The Way, Nailing It To His Cross; (Colossians 2:14 (KJV)

16 Let no man therefore judge you in [religious laws concerning] meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: (Colossians 2:16)

In Paul’s Post-Acts he reveals how Christ created of the TWAIN ONE new man,” making peace, so he might reconcile the BOTH unto God in ONE Body of Christ. Enmity slain; peace is preached. Thru Him we the BOTH [believing Jew and Believing Gentiles) have access by ONE Spirit unto the Father in One Body.” (cf. Eph. 4:4) on an equal basis.

We are all “one in Christ” (Gal 3:28), anyone who tries to introduce any religious ordinances into the church today is introducing another ‘wall of partition’ among believers. There will certainly be terrible judgment for anyone who works against the unity and the peace among God’s people by so doing.

This new position for Gentiles is summed up in Ephesians 3:6,7;

“That the Gentiles should be; 1. Joint heirs, 2. a Joint Body, and 3. Joint partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel, whereof Paul was made a minister.”

This is the charter of “the [post-Acts) Church, which is His Body,” (Eph. 1:22b-23a) of “the dispensation of the MYSTERY [God-planned secret]” which “was hid in God from ages and generations.”

26 the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but Now Is Made Manifest to his saints: (Colossians 1:26)

Read Paul’s Post-Acts prison epistles; Eph., Philp., Col., and 2 Timothy for the details.               

(This paper is adapted and drawn from a radio class given by Oscar M. Baker in March 1949)