Sunday, 4 August 2013
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Sunday, 24 March 2013
What is the mystery of God that should be finished spoken of in Revelation 10:7,John 11:25-26? Who does this mystery involve, who does this mystery affect, and what is the key that unlocks the mystery? These and other questions we will attempt to answer while studying together Revelation 10:7. Because of the confusion stemming from the misunderstanding of this verse, pertaining to the mystery of God declared to be finished as the voice of the seventh angel is in progress of sounding, we desire to study this verse in its true biblical setting to learn just what this mystery is all about! Perhaps no other verse of scripture in all Revelations has caused as much misunderstanding as this one verse. The church world simply reads over it, treating it as though it is unrelated to the book it is found in.
TIME NO LONGER DELAYED
To get a clearer picture, begin reading with Revelation 10:5 which says, “And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth, lifted up his hand to heaven. (6) And swear by him that liveth forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that therein are and the earth and the things that therein are, and the sea and the things which are therein, THAT THERE SHOULD BE TIME NO LONGER.” That is the translation of the King James Version, however, in its actual setting it means, let time no longer be delayed, showing the end doesn’t appear abruptly as the snap of the finger. Instead, it means something is going to happen which will no longer prolong time and will definitely set in motion things that will bring about the completeness of the very purpose of these words. Verses 6-7 are two verses which must go together because it is verse 6 that sets verse 7 in motion as it says, “BUT IN THE DAYS of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath (already) declared to his servants the (Old Testament) prophets.”
SPLITTING UP THE VERSE
Let’s take this verse by sections, and by breaking it up we will examine certain words found here, and last of all we will show the key which unlocks the entire verse! Beloved, without a true understanding of these individual words found in the verse, the entire verse of Revelation 10:7 could be interpreted several different ways as it is definitely being done today!
IN THE DAYS
The first portion of the verse reads like this, but in the days. What days? But in the days means in that time period which is related to the previous verse wherein the angel declared, let time be no longer (delayed), which means in that certain time period God is going to step up something, or going to fulfill something, or would set something in motion. Yes, God is going to set something in motion that will definitely bring to a climax this mystery of God.
THE VOICE, WHAT IS IT
The second part of the verse read - of the voice. The word voice here does not necessarily imply the articulation or vocal sound of a man. Yet, neither can you separate the vocal sounds of the man from the voice referred to in the verse because it does require a vocal expression to say something, doesn’t it? The word voice in its true application would have to refer to a message, not merely to someone’s natural voice. Remember, this same voice that would bring a message would also say a number of other things which would be entirely unrelated to the time which this scripture is discussing. In the first place, if this angel or messenger is not that of a supernatural being (which it is not) then it would certainly have to be an earthly messenger, and that is exactly what the seventh angel is spoken of in the verse.(An angel….One sent of God)An apostle.
HUMAN EXPRESSIONS BY THE VOICE
Moreover, we must realize this angel or messenger is merely a mortal man subject to human likes and dislikes as would anyone else and whether people will accept it or not, there will be those times when human expressions would be made by this messenger, which people of our generation have refused to allow to be that of mere human expressions or statements. People are always saying, I say the prophet/apostle makes mistakes. They say that because that is the way they interpret what I have said. What I said was, God in sending a prophet to the age that knew the minds of the generation which he was sent to. And knowing that, their minds would be so carnal they would be unable to see the God who used this mortal vessel, therefore would be unable by spiritual revelation to understand what was said in order to know what part is God in that of the fulfilment of his scripture. Instead, with a carnal mind they would misinterpret this entire setting as to what God was doing. And doing so would lead to their own carnal ruin because God knew these carnal minds of this generation would never see or recognize him who is God. Instead they would only see flesh and become misled and deceived. Therefore, God is simply going to leave that carnal mind. So, I take these very words they criticize me with, throw them right back at them and say they are carnal to ever think in that manner! They interpret the entire message to their own destruction as their spiritual blindness causes them to desire to defy the flesh of a mortal man, who like anyone else was subject to death and was born through the same manner of conception as other mortals are. Jesus Christ alone is the only one you can contribute deity of the flesh unto! It matters not how much anyone desires to quote Luke 17 or whatever, no other man was deity other than Christ Jesus!
MORTAL SINFUL FLESH, NEITHER GOD NOR WORD
God can use mortal flesh through which to reveal Himself, yet that mortal flesh is not God by any stretch of the imagination! Only one person ever walked the face of this earth Jesus Christ. No, not even the Apostle Paul, who declared that Jesus is the Christ, reconciling the world unto himself (II Corinthians 5:19) who furthermore declared how God had chosen him from his mother’s womb to reveal his son in him, even after that Paul was not immortal, he was a mortal man like anyone else! Paul knew the flesh in which he walked and the head which one day would roll off Nero’s chopblock was by no means deity! Remember, it is one thing to walk in mortal flesh and have the Spirit of God to live in that mortal flesh and even reveal himself through that mortal flesh, yet in it all, that will never make that mortal flesh God! Neither is mortal flesh the Word, yet the Holy Spirit, in whatever measure the Spirit is in that individual, is definitely that Spirit of truth who can reveal His will, His word and His purpose to and through that mortal flesh. Yet in all that, that mortal individual is not God.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN, VOICE BEGAN TO SOUND?
Continuing on with Revelation 10:7, But in the days (or in the times) of the voice (or the message) of the seventh angel, being an apostle sent of the lord speaking things that no one has ever heard,who we have already established was not some supernatural being, but instead was an earthly messenger only referred to in the scripture as an angel messenger to the seventh church age. When he, (this earthly messenger), shall begin to sound – in the end times a strange message and remember, that phrase does not necessarily imply when he once begins his earthly ministry or start out preaching, certainly not! Begins to sound has reference to that message which God brought him into the earth at this time to fulfill and declare. When that messenger shall begin to sound, remember also, to begin to sound imply that the man at the time of the sounding when it stands out in its true dimension has to be alive! Yes, for one of the greatest mystery is LIFE...LIVING AND NOT DIEYING he MUST be alive at the time this scripture stands out in its true dimension! It simply means that the message when it reaches its true dimension, actually begins to echo to the ends of the earth he must be alive Just as Christ was alive preaching to defeating death on the cross! Then you can say a message has been declared, a message has been sent, it has been sounded and uttered to definitely awaken a people and set certain things in motion which will definitely bring about God’s last fulfilment of His word and imminent end.
HAD THE MESSAGE NOT COME
Had not God sent a man with such a wonderful jewel of revelation of truth, the question could well be asked,yes but the world loved darkness more than light..and if not then where would we be today? Even within my own denomination in my earlier days I saw many things which were discouraging, because while reading the Bible in those days I could see certain things the religious movement I belonged to upheld and propagated as though it was God’s plan, which even back in those days was sickening/not right. I am sure had I remained in that system with all the rotten filth going on today and knowing my attitude against it all back then, no doubt I would have simply quit or pulled out! Personally, I had rather be identified with the world than to be identified in such a religious system which is supposedly to represent Christianity, but is nothing but a religious cloak! Therefore, had God not done something every one of us would by now be in the world or shut up as some religious prisoner in some old religious institution going about in all the forms and rituals, propagating things which God absolutely was frowning and spitting upon! But thanks be to God He sent first his holy spirit to they that have not seen him and it will lead them to him refusing wickedness and loving holiness and righteousness a man has come but not may can recognize him just like it was with the messiah, though small in stature yet big in the spiritual image, large enough that when he utters certain words Satan trembled, because Satan knew all too well what the God who was behind all this was destined to do in this generation which we are living.
COMPLETING THE MYSTERY OF GOD
Note, something else is scheduled to happen within those days of the sounding of that message (or voice). What is it?The End must come,Saint need to have attained to an corruptible body where they don’t die again,1Cor 15:51-57,John 11:25-26,During that period of time the mystery of God should be finished as had been declared unto the Old Testament prophets. Did you notice the word mystery is in the singular and not the plural? What is this (singular) MYSTERY OF GOD that is to be finished when the voice is being sounded? Scripture teaches this MYSTERY OF GOD should be finished. Well, if it is a mystery of God to be finished or completed in the days of the sounding of the voice of the seventh angel, exactly what is this MYSTERY and where did this MYSTERY that is to be completed, begin? The word FINISHED is also translated, “shall be completed.” Thus, we see the MYSTERY OF GOD is to be completed during the days of the sounding of the voice of the seventh angel messenger.
MYSTERY UNTO ONE PEOPLE ONLY
I want to show you from the scriptures that this time period called a MYSTERY is a MYSTERY only unto one element of people, but is by no means a MYSTERY unto another element of people, and that this period of time referred to as MYSTERY OF GOD is none other than THE GRACE AGE PERIOD! Yet within this short grace age period of time, referred to as the MYSTERY OF GOD unto this one element, during that same time period God will have been fulfilling certain scriptures within the Old Testament, and doing so will involve certain revelations being brought forth within the total realm, or period known as the MYSTERY OF GOD, which will be understood by one element of people yet definitely misunderstood by another element! You see, to one group of people it is definitely a time of complete mystery, yet within this same time period, according to Matthew 13:10-11,John 1:12-13,John 3:16-17,John 20:31,Acts 4:12,John 10;28,john 14:6-9,john 3:36,john 10:10,john 8:51,Rom 6:22-23,john 12:50,john 17:2-3,Acts 17:30, there would be another element of people who will definitely understand all these mysteries. Therefore, speaking of it in that term it would be declared MYSTERIES (be finished) as the prophet often declared.
MYSTERY OF GOD COMPLETED AT END OF GRACE AGE
Therefore, if this word MYSTERY is dealing with something that is misunderstood by one element of people, yet understood by another, and within this great MYSTERY OF GOD are many MYSTERIES to be revealed and unraveled at the end of the age, let us take the scripture and verify what this MYSTERY is all about. John was the last apostolic writer on the scene closing out the first church age. Although he was not the apostle to the gentiles (seeing Paul was), John definitely was the last Jewish apostle to bring a great revelation unto the gentile church straight from the throne of God. This occurred sometime around (96 A.D.). The Jews had already been cut off and Jerusalem after 70 A.D. lay in ruins, and the Jews were scattered to the four corners of the earth, sold into slavery. Recall, it was John (a Jew) who, looking down through the scope of the gentile church age, saw and declared that this MYSTERY OF GOD would be finished as the voice of the seventh angel would be sounding (his message). Yes, the MYSTERY OF GOD should be finished or completed at the end of this MYSTERY age called the age of grace. In order to clearly see that is exactly what this MYSTERY is (the age of grace) hidden to the eyes of the Jew, turn first in Colossians 1:24, where Paul discusses the MYSTERY OF GOD. Remember, here in his discussions of the MYSTERY, Paul is standing at the beginning of the MYSTERY, not at the end! Watch carefully in our study how the apostle to the gentiles used the word MYSTERY. The word MYSTERY found in Revelation 10:7 is identically the same word MYSTERY seen in Colossians 1:26, and other places as well.
The Colossians were a Greek people who had been missionarized by the Apostle Paul. The occasion has arisen that Paul, in a Roman prison, is inspired to write his letter to the Colossian church. Beginning in Colossians 1:24, Paul says, (24) “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s (gentile) sake. (25) Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation (of grace, and remember the word dispensation means an allotted, designated period of time. Continuing on he says.) according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you (gentiles) to fulfill the Word of God.” Remember, fulfilling the word of God means fulfilling those Old Testament scriptures making them applicable and accessible or understandable unto the gentile church through the apostolic office of his ministry.
HIDDEN MYSTERY REVEALED
Verse 26 is the verse I especially want you to pay close attention to because it says, “Even the MYSTERY (singular) which hath been hid from ages.” (or other dispensations and generations)! What is Paul saying? He is speaking of this MYSTERY which began in his hour and is destined to be finished at the time of the sounding of the voice of the seventh angel, a MYSTERY which had been hidden for ages and generations throughout the Jewish dispensations of the law, yes, hidden even to the prophets of old who wrote it! Because beloved, had they understood what the MYSTERY was, in which the Apostle Paul by revelation is breaking into, taken strictly from the Old Testament scriptures, these prophets would have proclaimed it throughout the various generations of Israel and therefore, it would have been no MYSTERY as to how one day Christ (God) would be in the gentiles (their hope of glory).
PAUL’S KNOWLEDGE OF THE MYSTERY
Since Paul is speaking of this hidden MYSTERY, a MYSTERY which was hidden to past ages, surely he knows what MYSTERY OF GOD he is referring to. Paul is overjoyed writing to the gentiles! And why should he not be? He too is a Jew, yet God, through his ministry is opening to the gentile church a MYSTERY no other Jew had ever understood, and he is fully aware God has placed within him a revelation of this hidden MYSTERY written and concealed in the pages of the Old Testament scriptures. Prophecies prophesied by prophets of old yet they were unable to grasp that which they were speaking which applied only to an hour when God would deal strictly with the gentiles. Prophecies which told what God would one day do with and for those fallen, depraved gentiles who were sinners far above that of the Jew who was controlled by his Old Testament law, Galatians 2:15.
PAUL OPENS UNDERSTANDING OF OLD TESTAMENT
Each time Paul picked up a pen to write, his heart would go out to those gentiles who now make up the gentile church, who only a few years before were so plagued and engrossed with paganism, idolatry, heathen worship, men and women who had fallen into the vilest sex sins imaginable, I Corinthians 6:9-11, Romans 1:24-32, but were now cleaned from all their pollution of filth and though they dearly loved the Lord Jesus Christ, yet still they knew nothing concerning the Old Testament scriptures which spoke of the hour when God’s love would come to them! Paul rejoiced because he knew it was through his ministry God would fulfill their joy and spiritual salvation, and especially give them understanding of the Old Testament scriptures showing their position in God as God would reveal scriptures unto the gentiles through his apostolic office, revelations of the MYSTERY which had been hidden for ages from the Jews and patriarchs and even the prophets of old who were used to pen these scriptures concerning gentiles’ position in God! For instance, imagine Isaiah prophesying all those prophecies (concerning gentiles) when he spoke of how from the isles or regions of the gentile’s God would perfect praise. And how there would come from the gentiles that continual sacrifice of praise sent up unto God, sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving coming from gentile lips, who at that hour of Isaiah’s writing were far more vile and polluted than the Jew and falling every day deeper and deeper in sin! How could such a thing be that these people would one day praise the living God?
ISRAEL BLINDED TO GRACE AGE
Centuries pass and Paul is seen writing about all this in his many epistles. Peter, another Jew, writes also concerning these things in his epistles, how we gentiles (and Jews as well) during this mysterious age called grace are to offer up spiritual sacrifices and praises which is our thanksgiving unto Him. Yes, everyone of these Old Testament scriptures referring to the gentiles, Paul knew by revelation was God’s fulfillment strictly unto the gentiles during the mysterious grace period. Moreover, as that group of Jewish apostles began to leave the realm of those blinded Jews, who, although these things were written in their scriptures simply could not see into these things. Therefore, to them definitely this age of grace was nothing other than a MYSTERY. And as those Jews saw these apostles going in among the gentiles to spread this new doctrine, this new faith, this new revelation, how a Jewish Messiah had come and as declared by the apostles was cut off by His own people in order to fulfill scripture, naturally the Jewish race as a whole, blinded to all this, (MYSTERY) gnashed their teeth and criticized the entire program of God, which to them was a MYSTERY because to them in crucifying this Christ they only crucified an imposter and false prophet who pretended to be God. Legally, they thought they were justified in doing what they had done. When this bunch of Jews called apostles, etc., a group which was nothing more than an outcast in Jewish society, was seen going out among these wicked, sinful, heathen gentiles who the Jews looked upon as dogs because of their sinful nature, yet these apostles are converting these terrible sinners to believe in this man who the Jews themselves certainly did not believe in or accept to be their Messiah. Naturally to them it was a MYSTERY, yet they recognized it was definitely happening. Strange, isn’t it, the Jews would not accept Christ as their Messiah although He fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament scriptures exactly to the jot and title.
JEWS IGNORANT OF GENTILES ACCEPTING CHRIST
Therefore, beloved, on this basis of Israel’s blindness, can you not begin to see how that as the gentiles in vast numbers began to turn to this one who declared himself to be the Jewish Messiah, Jesus the Christ, that it definitely was a MYSTERY unto these Jews who were completely blinded unto this period of time in God’s program how the gentiles would be accepting Christ. To them it was definitely a mystery yet they recognized it was happening. Can you now begin to see how God had hid all these truths, hid all these revelations and their fulfillment which pertained to the gentiles in the grace age, hiding the revelation and fulfillment from the Jews and oncoming generations long before the event actually occurred, although it had been their own Jewish prophets who had spoken of this so often! Yes, it was certainly a mystery unto the Jew because it simply had not been revealed unto them. It was not for them to receive, see or understand, nevertheless God had reserved it all to be fulfilled among the gentiles.
To those Jewish people who had always served the law it was a total mystery unto them how such a trashy class of people, people with the nature of a dog could possibly come to God. Sure, they could recognize something was going on, but could not explain it. To those Jews they absolutely had no Old Testament scripture to explain such an event taking place. And to this day no orthodox Jew, living in his orthodox frame of thinking can possibly give you any legal justifiable explanation as to why the gentiles would believe in this Jesus who to them (at best) was only a Jewish prophet. Either the orthodox Jew would declare you are plainly deceived or else you only think you believe in this man who pretended to be their Messiah. To the Jews their Messiah has not as yet come.
Therefore, to the Jew the grace age, although written and concealed there in the Old Testament, the revelation of it totally hidden unto the prophets to the Old Testament thus making it a total time or period of mystery, unexplainable by any orthodox Jew. Yes, the revelation of it was hidden to the dispensation of the Jews by almighty God. Hence, it could neither be explained nor understood in scripture by the Jewish race when it happened.
GENTILES BLINDED TO SCRIPTURE ALSO
Likewise it is also true concerning the gentile church world (not the bride of Christ) but the gentile church world, concerning the millennium or our thousand year reign. We are only a few short years away from the millennium and the gentile church world is in the same frame of thinking, in respect to that fulfillment of scripture and prophecies concerning that period, as the Jews were who lived during the period of time God was preparing to do something for the gentiles. They simply shut their eyes and ears unto it! Nevertheless, God went straight ahead and did it anyway. Do you think for a moment God is going to annul His word today simply because this poor gentile religious world is blinded to what He is preparing to do? Absolutely not! God will not stop! He will go right on anyway.
MYSTERY MANIFESTED TO SAINTS
I trust you are able to see up to this point what the word MYSTERY in Revelation 10:7 stands out to mean. Recall, a mystery to one element of people is something unexplainable and misunderstood, while unto the people who are to be the recipients or receivers of it, to them it is no mystery at all. Paul continues writing unto the recipients of the mystery in verse 26 as he says, “Even the MYSTERY which has been hid from ages and from generations BUT NOW IS MADE MANIFEST TO THE SAINTS.” Therefore beloved, can you not see where the age of mystery is not a mystery whatsoever to the gentile Christians who has the Apostle Paul to explain to them what it was all about! Whenever you find a gentile declaring they don’t understand what is going on, you may rest assured that poor soul has been shut up in a religious prison for so long, never being fed anything other than church suppers and socials, because Paul plainly declares the MYSTERY is no MYSTERY to the saints of God! Yet it would still remain a mystery to that old element of people, the Jewish people, while at the same time the mystery would be understood by the gentile believers and would during this period of time also bring forth certain mysteries (plural) to be made known, certain hidden revelations which would be coming forth to the gentile saints. Because beloved, that has been the entire purpose of it all, to bring forth these mysteries.
No gentile up until the hour of the beginning of the grace age or MYSTERY age had any revelation as to who God was or what He planned to do in the earth, although it was true many of the gentiles had been proselyted or converted to Judaism. That proselyting took place only because the gentiles recognized a truth there within the Judaistic frame of religion which affected their social and moral outlook. Thus, Paul declares that God has manifested something to the gentile church, that is, how God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this MYSTERY among gentiles which boils down to this, CHRIST IN YOU, YOUR HOPE OF GLORY.
WHAT GOD DWELLING IN GENTILES ACCOMPLISHED
Once the Holy Ghost entered into the life of that gentile saint, giving them the experience of the new birth and began leading that soul down life’s pathway, the gentiles began to receive a different outlook on life as well as a different outlook about God, an outlook in which they had never in all their previous years ever experienced. Life had now become a joy because the gentiles were living not only for a God who actually lived inside them (us), He also was GOD WITH US Immanuel who walked and talked with them! Not only that, from time to time He would definitely seek to impart to the gentile believer certain understanding unto His mystery which was already in progress. We might say He was removing the veil from off certain things and imparting to the believer knowledge which would increase within us understanding of His will, His plan as well as what He intended to do in the future. All this He was doing for the gentiles because He had willed for a certain period of time that He would bypass the old Judaistic order and would instead come down and dwell inside the gentile. Therefore, it is unexplainable to a Jew today to hear a gentile testify how he has received the Holy Ghost because that Jew knows the Holy Ghost is the spirit of God which you say is in you. To him that Spirit of God is no second or third person, to the Jew the Spirit is simply God in you.
The Jew is completely aware there is the Spirit of God in the earth, yet it is a total mystery unto him (how the Spirit is among the gentiles)! However, are you aware we are also approaching an hour when two Jewish prophets will step upon the scene in Israel and remove that veil of MYSTERY from their eyes! God will cause these two Jewish prophets to utter words which will definitely open the Jews understanding and once their understanding is opened they will be able to look back over these 1900 years that the gospel has been among the gentiles and by the revelation presented unto them by these two men, the picture which for so long has been such a mystery, will at that hour suddenly come together and for the first time they will see scripture after scripture after scripture, strictly from the Old Testament which for centuries and centuries has been closed unto them. Furthermore, it will show them where they have been, why they have been blinded and so forth.
VEIL SOON TO BE LIFTED
Thus, as we draw closer to the time God will lift the veil from their eyes, whereas in the past they have looked upon gentiles through eyes of not being able to understand, comprehend or conceive; not being able to accept us (gentiles) in the experience of our belief seeing it was an age of God’s MYSTERY unto them while the age is in progress. Yet, Paul declared to the gentile believers it wasn’t a mystery to them! It should be a MYSTERY to the Jew but not to you. I pray to God it hasn’t been a MYSTERY unto you!
Why did Jesus in Matthew 13, after having already spoken his seven parables, entered the house and had His disciples to ask Him for an explanation of the second parable declare, it is given to you (the disciples, the chosen or elect of God) to know the MYSTERIES of the things pertaining to the kingdom of heaven, but to them that are without (the unbeliever, make believer of Israel) it is not for them to know. Therefore note, Jesus declared in Matthew 13 how there would be mysteries to be made known during that (MYSTERY) period of time, that period of time which certainly is a mystery time to the Jewish race, a time they would never be able to understand or conceive, the MYSTERY age itself, yet on the other hand the gentile believer would be a people who would be able to receive it, and therefore MYSTERIES during that period would unfold, revelations would come forth because God has promised to build His church upon revelation.
EXPLAINING MYSTERY TO EPHESIANS
Listen to Paul writing to still another church concerning this very same MYSTERY which John had spoken of in Revelation10:7. Writing to the Ephesian church during the same year he had written the Colossian church, we find Paul still filled with that great enthusiasm, fervency, joy and assurance of heart. Paul, in Ephesians 3, approaches these gentile Christians at Ephesus where several years earlier he had experienced a three year revival affecting all Asia. The Ephesian revival occurred as the gentile dispensation was set in motion and the great Ephesian age of Revelation 2:1-7 had actually begun. Ephesians 3, (1) “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you gentiles,” (meaning for you gentiles I am a prisoner for had I remained in my Judaistic social status of life I certainly wouldn’t be a prisoner today.) (2) “If you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: (3) How that by revelation he made known unto me THE MYSTERY as I wrote afore in few words,” Again we noticed Paul using the word MYSTERY in exactly the same manner as writing unto the Colossians.
REVEALED TO NEW TESTAMENT PROPHETS AND APOSTLES
Verse 4, “Whereby, when you read, ye may understand my knowledge in the MYSTERY of Christ (5) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, (Old Testament prophets) as it is now revealed unto his (present tense) holy apostles and (New Testament) prophet.” Recall, the last Old Testament prophet, John the Baptist, is dead and Jesus has already ascended. Therefore, as Paul speaks of prophet it is now in the present tense. It is New Testament prophets he mentions here. Something we note, according to Paul has now been revealed by the Holy Spirit unto both the New Testament apostles and New Testament prophets and this something revealed was hidden in the Old Testament scriptures from the Old Testament prophets and Old Testament saints. All this revealing was pertaining to that mystery which according to John was to be completed in Revelation 10:7. Therefore, I trust you can see this MYSTERY is none other than the grace age and definitely covers a short period of time, and Paul is ready now to show the effects of this MYSTERY which, remember, was definitely a mystery unto only one element, yet totally understood by another, how the gentiles should be fellow heirs and of the same body and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel.
ABRAHAM’S COVENANT (FIRST MENTION OF MYSTERY)
Wasn’t it strange how from the Old Testament scriptures the Jews, scribes, Pharisees, etc., had for so long preached concerning the coming of the Messiah yet not one of them could possibly understand any of those scriptures written of the prophets pertaining to what God intended to do for the gentiles! Why do you suppose they had forgotten the covenant God made unto Abraham long before they became a nation? Recall back in Genesis God telling Abraham how unto thee and thy see will I give all this land? At the time Sarah was barren and could not produce Abraham a son. Years later God assured Abraham his promise was still true when he told Abraham “your seed will become as the stars of heaven and in thee and thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” This definitely included gentiles, however no doubt Jews reading this scripture interpreted it to mean that in Abraham and his seed would all the Jewish families of the earth be blessed. Yet beloved, that is not what God said, God said in thee and thy see shall all the families of the nations or languages of the earth be blessed. To them if any gentile ever got in this blessing they certainly would have to be proselyted to Judaism in order to consummate, fulfill or have any part in the covenant God gave Abraham. Yet we know the Apostle Paul picked up that same Old Testament scripture in Genesis and in Galatians told the Galatian church that seed of Abraham was not as the seed of many but as the seed of one (being Christ that promised seed.) Christ was the seed of Abraham (Matthew 1:1). Thus through that one seed of Abraham God would bless all the families or gentile nations of the earth. In this covenant promise of God through Abraham shows where that MYSTERY in Revelation 10:7 would begin! It would begin once Christ entered the picture. It simply goes to show God’s promise given to Abraham had always been a misunderstood prophecy to the Jew. Their interpretation of the passage was entirely different.
Yes, in that very covenant promise of Abraham is where it all began! By divine revelation Abraham uttered it while other patriarchs and prophets later picked it up and through divine inspiration added words to the thought, nevertheless, its meaning remained a hidden MYSTERY unto the Jew. That is why Paul declared in Ephesians 3:6, the very words he did, that the gentiles would be fellow heirs and of the same body and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.
UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST INVOLVES MYSTERIES
Verse 7 states, “Whereof I was made a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.” Speaking concerning himself in verse 8 Paul says, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Remember beloved, the unsearchable riches of Christ would definitely involve those MYSTERIES that were to be revealed during the period of the MYSTERY of God or MYSTERY period of time called the grace age. Yes, the unsearchable riches of Christ would involve MYSTERIES unlocking revelations for gentiles hidden within the Old Testament scripture, scriptures which God had allowed the Old Testament prophets to speak and write concerning, yet never gave them understanding of what they were writing about. These very scriptures pertain strictly to the gentiles and never to the Jews. Therefore, Paul could say that, “I should preach among the gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ!”
MYSTERY MADE KNOWN
Verse 9, “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the MYSTERY, which from the beginning of the world HATH BEEN HIDDEN IN GOD, who created all by Jesus Christ.” Listen carefully to verse 10, which says “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places MIGHT BE MADE KNOWN BY THE CHURCH.” (Church here meaning strictly the church of the firstborn, not those denominational worldly church systems. The church is the called out people of God which Paul never refers to by any earthly title, yet always by its heavenly title.) “the manifold wisdom of God.” Verse 11, “According to the eternal purpose which he proposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Paul now speaks concerning a MYSTERY that would be going on yet it would be misunderstood by the Jew. Did you note he told where it all began and how God had hid certain things Himself although He had allowed prophets to speak it down through time, yet with no understanding of it! Therefore, it would still remain misunderstood or never looked at it in its proper setting.
JEW CHOSEN TO REVEAL MYSTERY
However, when time did arrive for God to fulfill or give the understanding of this MYSTERY to the gentile church, notice it was a Jew he chose to hold that office and what was revealed unto him was absolutely contrary to his religious upbringing! Imagine the mental battle and struggle that must have gone in Paul’s mind after Paul’s conversion on the Damascus Road. Years later we hear Paul speaking concerning his Jewish religious background as he declared he was from the tribe of Benjamin, a Pharisee of pharisees as touching the law of Moses. Paul says, I was blameless. Yet as far as touching the church he was not so blameless because, said Paul, I persecuted the church daily. And in this persecution many were killed, imprisoned and so forth. However, summing it all up he said concerning those things in the past I count as nothing but dung that I might obtain Christ. To Paul obtaining Christ was far more of spiritual value and after having finally fought that battle out in his mind he was so thankful to God.
Imagine what must have gone on in that devout Jewish mind as God would allow Saul to turn into those Old Testament scriptures! That is why Paul could tell the church how by revelation he had received this GREAT MYSTERY which had been hidden to men in other ages. Writing to this Ephesian church, speaking in that overjoyed tone, he declares in Ephesians 2:18, “Through him (Christ) we (please note, “we” places the Jew and gentile in the same setting because we do know that early church started out with both Jew and gentile seated in the same assembly. Thus we hear him declare, ) through him we both have access by one spirit unto the father!” (19) Now therefore you are no more strangers or foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints and household of God.” What does Paul mean by using the phrase “no more strangers and foreigners”? Bear in mind Paul, using these two words, is showing that he is definitely writing unto both the converted Jew and gentile. Ephesus, you recall, is a metropolitan city being in a gentile area in Asia Minor. Furthermore, we know the Ephesian church established back in 54 A.D., had within its congregation Jewish as well as gentile believers. Speaking of the two separate classes he says, “You are no longer strangers and foreigners”, because that is exactly how each group looked upon the other before their conversion! The old orthodox Jew had a synagogue in Ephesus, according to Acts 19, and out of that Jewish synagogue Paul received his first converts of the Ephesian church. Had you been a gentile, even though you had been proselyted to Judaism, when you were in the Jewish synagogue you still would have been looked upon as a stranger. And no matter where the gentiles saw the Jew he automatically looked upon him as a foreigner. That is why Paul used these two words, “strangers and foreigners” writing to the church body. Realizing both Jew and gentile was present Paul said, in Christ you are no more strangers and foreigners for God by one spirit hath broken down that middle wall of partition.
MIDDLE WALL BROKEN DOWN
Remember that middle wall of partition was the commandments which separated the two groups but was now broken down. Both groups are now placed on an even common ground, religiously. In the grace of God or in the church of God or in Jesus Christ, both groups are no more strangers or foreigners as they sit in the same service, but instead they are saints, fellow-citizens of the household of God. How beautiful it must have been in Ephesus to have seen those Jews and gentiles worshiping God in the revelation of Christ together, one background having been Judaistic while only a short time ago the other background was pagan or heathen, though now both groups have found the right thing and doing so has erased everything.
BUILT UPON FOUNDATION OF APOSTLES & PROPHETS
In this newfound faith, both Jew and gentile are declared fellow-citizens and verse 20 declares both groups have been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. However, please understand, here prophets have no reference to New Testament prophets as seen or shown in Ephesians 3:4-6, which shows there something has been revealed unto them which was hidden in ages past. Yet when Paul referred to the foundation upon which the two groups were built in verse 20, it is not New Testament prophets at all that the church is built upon! Are you aware until the Apostle Paul wrote his epistle there was no New Testament written for gentiles! Thus the only scripture for the gentiles was that hidden in the Old Testament, a book which gentiles were totally unfamiliar with and knew nothing about. Paul, writing unto the gentile Corinthian church declared that he was the wise master builder who laid the foundation for the gentile church.
Here is the true revelation on which the gentile church was to be built, Paul’s teaching or revelation of the Old Testament. Moreover we must examine this phrase, “of apostles and prophets”, in verse 20 in this light. Both groups, Jews and gentiles, are built upon the same foundation and that foundation is the teaching and revelation of the apostles as they have brought forth the hidden meaning of what the Old Testament prophets prophesied concerning the gentiles’ relation to God in the scripture. Therefore, the word prophet recorded in verse 20 definitely carries an Old Testament setting because it was those Old Testament prophecies those prophets prophesied unbeknownst to them the meaning of what was prophesied as they prophesied concerning the gentiles’ position in God’s program. If that be true, why then would Paul place New Testament apostles before Old Testament prophets when everyone knows the Old Testament prophets prophesied or came first.
WHY NEW TESTAMENT APOSTLES PLACED BEFORE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS
Before answering that, note again Ephesians 3 where Paul uses prophets strictly in the New Testament sense saying, as God hath now revealed unto His holy apostles and (New Testament) prophets by the Spirit (certain hidden things). Here in Ephesians 3:5, Paul is definitely speaking of the New Testament prophets who also had something revealed unto them along with the New Testament apostles! However note, when Paul is referring, particularly to the foundation upon which the church is built or upon which both groups, Jew and gentile, were built, his words are entirely different! Here Paul says the church is built upon the teachings and revelation of the apostles and Old Testament prophets because beloved, it definitely would require the office of the New Testament prophets to explain unto a gentile church, a people who only a few years ago had nothing but a heathen background and was strictly pagan in belief, explain exactly what the Old Testament prophets by the Spirit had declared concerning the gentiles’ position in this newfound faith! What gentile I ask you, could possibly open an Old Testament Jewish scroll and declare he clearly understood what the spirit had hidden there concerning the gentile’s place in Christ (when the old prophets could not.)
If is for certain the eunuch in Acts 8 didn’t know what the scroll in Isaiah was talking about. He had reached the place in the scroll when Phillip joined him where it said, like the sheep they led him to slaughter and he opened not his mouth. The eunuch didn’t know what that meant, nevertheless, God had a man standing alongside the road filled with the Holy Ghost who did know. Phillip, a Jew, had left the old system but had inside him a revelation as to what the Old Testament prophet Isaiah was actually speaking about. The eunuch showing Phillip the scripture in Isaiah, as lamb to the shearer and the sheep to the slaughter and he opened not his mouth. Who is the writer referring to, asked the eunuch, to himself or someone else? Here was Phillip’s signal and by revelation he began to tell the eunuch what the prophet Isaiah had been discussing.
APOSTLE’S OFFICE REVEALS HIDDEN MYSTERY
Such a setting as this should show why Paul declared both Jew and gentile are built upon the same foundation of the teaching of the apostles and Old Testament prophets, because the revelation concerning the gentile’s position in Christ was hidden in the Old Testament prophet’s writings, yet it took the revelation of the New Testament apostles to explain to the gentile church what the Old Testament prophets had written concerning them, showing how they definitely had a place in God and it was in the word! Though it lay there in the Old Testament prophets, it nevertheless was a mystery until suddenly through the ministry of the New Testament apostle, God began to take the wrapping off unto the gentiles. Thus Paul says, both groups are built upon the foundation of the New Testament apostles and the Old Testament prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.
MYSTERY GOING ON WHILE ISRAEL OUT OF LAND
According to Paul’s revelation, it was this great MYSTERY (the MYSTERY OF GOD) unto the gentiles that began to unfold within his ministry of apostleship. This MYSTERY OF GOD has been continuing right on through a space of time, covering over 1900 years but it is to be finished in Revelation 10:7! Note, it was going on throughout the entire period of time the Jewish people have been out of the land scattered among gentiles. Remember, during this period of time the Jews that have been out of the land have also, during this period, been out of the will of God and have drifted further and further away from what their prophets had taught, drifting more and more into external religious ideas and traditions. Spiritually speaking as an overall picture of the Jew, they are at their lowest ebb of spiritual apostasy. True, many have returned to Israel but they have only returned to be identified with the race, yet as a whole they have thrown away their ancestral convictions of belief in Jehovah and the prophets. No, we can’t say all have. We know there is an element of orthodox Jews very strict and perhaps do have a little influence upon the total nation of Jews who number between 15-16 million throughout the world.
APOSTLE’S FROM JEWISH RACE
Nevertheless, it is in a period of time such as this when whatever God was doing for the gentiles was a total MYSTERY to that nation of Jews, even though their Jewish prophets of old had declared it in writing. Morever, it was apostles in the New Testament hour who came from the Jewish rank who were sent among the gentiles to open up these Old Testament scriptures for their spiritual benefit. Out of those scriptures came that revelation of the MYSTERY. Up until the age of grace no gentile knew one day there was going to come a dispensation whereby the God of heaven would rule and reign here on earth, yet that very revelation was given to John the Jewish apostle in its great setting of a thousand year period.
OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS
Prophets of old throughout the Old Testament prophesied and recorded inspiring prophecies pertaining to the gentile’s future position and relationship with God in Christ. Prophecies, the meaning of which had to be kept entirely hidden even from the Old Testament prophets as they would have declared the meaning unto Israel. And what was a mystery unto Israel concerning gentiles would have no longer remained a mystery!
MYSTERY AGE RUNNING OUT
Therefore, we are living in the day that John saw and when that messenger to the Laodicean church age would come and sound a message, and in a scriptural sense you could say that message is the voice of God, it is the word. And because the voice has sounded it also caused many other scriptures to come forth and to stand in this end time for God to fulfill to the benefit of gentile people. Thus, we see during this period of time the voice is sounding, that age of MYSTERY (to the gentles) is now running out! Time no longer being delayed, God will definitely step up this MYSTERY and hasten it unto its final fulfillment. Yes, as this MYSTERY age, misunderstood by the Jew, closes out, God by His spirit will now be turning back to the Jews taking all scriptures, especially the Old Testament scriptures pertaining strictly to the jews benefit and will reveal the MYSTERY to their edification, their perfection, their enlightment, as well as their understanding. However, remember all the scriptures which pertain to Israel’s benefit, which is strictly their inheritance belongs strictly to them and those two prophets coming very shortly to Israel, will take those scriptures and actually set them in their proper setting. Doing so will remove the veil from the eyes of Israel and they too will be able to look upon this which has been a MYSTERY unto them, the grace age of the gentiles, and say praise God! Why? Because God will have also opened their eyes causing this period to no longer be a mystery unto them, how Christ can be in you, your hope of glory. This is the hour God will close this MYSTERY age and as He closes it, it will also wind up all the MYSTERIES which pertain to this MYSTERY age. Every revelation pertaining to this mysterious period of time will come forth right here at the close of the age.
Beloved, God does not stop and place a period to everything. No, not as long as time is lingering on and as long as there is a people left here on earth to benefit from God’s working in their hour and their life. Therefore I repeat, somewhere out of this Bible on up until the very hour Jesus comes there will never be a time when there is not a little something coming forth I see an apostle a young man rising from Africa with a seal to accomplish this and very soon. It is God’s way of taking the wrapper off it, giving your spiritual mind a little deeper insight into this overall setting, which unto the Jew has been a total MYSTERY OF GOD, nevertheless God simply continues enlarging the overall picture to benefit your spiritual growth.
CHRIST, THAT PROMISED SEED
Therefore, I hope you see what this MYSTERY OF GOD to be finished is in Revelation 10:7, it is none other than a period of time when something would be going on in respect to the fulfillment of many Old Testament scriptures (for gentiles). The period of time would remain a total mystery unto one element of people (the Jew) while understood by another element (the gentile). Concerning this period of time, Paul declared in both his Ephesian and Colossian letters it had been given unto the saints in the grace age to know these mysteries recorded by Old Testament prophets. Believe it or not, it was God’s fulfillment of His long awaited promise given to faithful Abraham, in thee and thy seed (Christ) Galatians 3:14-16, 29, shall all the families (gentiles) of the earth be blessed. Furthermore note, while this (mystery) period of time was in progress (this MYSTERY OF GOD) the Jewish nation would remain in dispersion. This fulfills also the time of blindness in part which has happened unto Israel until the fulness of the gentiles be brought in, Romans 11:25.
FIRST PROPHECY MENTIONED PERTAINING TO THE MYSTERY OF GOD PERIOD PROPHECY
God informed Abraham that his seed would become as the stars of the heavens and that in him and his seed (Christ), Galatians 3:14-29 would all the nations be blessed. Galatians 3:8, was the first mentioning of that event which would become a great mystery unto the Jew.
EXPLAINS MYSTERY TO GENTILE BELIEVER
Paul, desiring the gentile world to know that through the apostolic office, that which was a complete mystery unto the Jew is no longer a mystery to the gentile believer. Writing now unto the believers at Rome, Paul says in Romans 16:25-26, “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began. (26) But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.”
MYSTERY OF GOD EARLIER DECLARED BY PROPHETS
Strange isn’t it, that all we gentiles sing, preach, and talk about is already recorded in the Old Testament Jewish scripture by their prophets. Remember it was they, not us, who penned the scriptures, gentiles only became receivers of the benefits. Jews alone had the Old Testament scriptures yet no Jew was able to see the gentile’s position hidden there in the Old Testament. It was unto their genetic father, Abraham, the first promise of gentiles being brought into a rightful relationship with God was ever mentioned as God declared, in thee and thy seed (Christ), Galatians 3:14-16, 29, shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Yet when God, some 1900 years ago, began to fulfill the covenant promise the Jews could not understand it.
KEY THAT UNLOCKS
Back to Revelation 10:7 and into that very final portion of the verse where we find the key which unlocks the entire verse. “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound the MYSTERY OF GOD SHOULD BE FINISHED, AS HE HATH DECLARED TO OR BY HIS SERVANTS THE (Old Testament) PROPHETS!” There it is, this MYSTERY OF GOD John saw to be completed in those days had (already) been declared by the Old Testament prophets, yet no Jew could understand it!
In its true English setting the latter portion of the verse reads, as he hath declared by his servants the prophets. Whenever God deals with me in respect to a point of truth, it isn’t ever the entire verse He shows me to be the key which unlocks the mystery. No, somewhere within the verse can be one small word which allows you to know exactly where to place that verse in respect to its fulfillment. Don’t miss this! As He (God) hath (note, hath is past tense) and furthermore hath is the key which unlocks the mystery in the verse. John declared God had already declared this in the writings of the prophets of old. Hath or has already declared it unto the Old Testament prophets! See, it was brought unto the gentiles by those prophets. The word to and the word by carries one and the selfsame meaning. Note, God brought it TO THEM, yet unto us gentiles God brought it BY THEM. Originally it came from the Old Testament prophets.
Examining words such as this helps divide and place the thing in its proper setting. Did not Paul tell Timothy to study to show himself approved of God (and by God), a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth! Therefore, God hath (past tense) already declared it to (or by) his servants the apostles and prophets. Those who wrote it in the Old Testament were servants. Thus, when we understand what this MYSTERY OF GOD really is, it isn’t a mystery to us gentiles at all, yet it is a total mystery unto the Jews, and strange enough the Jew was the first to read it! It was written to the Jewish people through their prophet. God brought it and placed it (hid it) in their writings and it is the great MYSTERY God hid within Himself. God caused it to be written yet He also caused it to be veiled in order that the patriarchs or prophets who wrote it, when looking upon their own writings, were made to wonder what God was talking about. Paul declared it as not for them to know the MYSTERY, nevertheless God caused it all to be placed in its chronological order and once time had arrived for the Eternal to begin to set the mystery in motion God took many of those Old Testament scriptures and began to bring them into fulfillment, first through the birth and ministry of John Baptist, and second through the birth and so forth of Christ’s life (Acts 1:22).
Hundreds of Old Testament scriptures were fulfilled in a very few short years during the first advent of Christ, therefore, just as all that happened (fulfilling scripture) we, too, live in a generation when God once again is doing the very same thing! Thus, if this MYSTERY spoken of in Revelation 10:7 is to absolutely be brought to a close, then in its consummation every scripture relating to it in any manner which has already been written somewhere in the Old Testament pertaining to the gentiles in our inheritance, our being blessed in inheritance, our being blessed in any manner, you may rest assured all these scriptures will be fulfilled as God closes out this age of grace to us gentiles.
Another very important thing, please note, in relation to a certain time period which will also accompany Revelation 10:7 and second was also declared by the month of Old Testament prophets, is a statement found in Acts 3:21. Moreover Revelation 10:7 and Acts 3:21 are the only two scriptures in the entire Bible which speak in the language term these two do! Both these scriptures deal with a precise period of time and both were declared by the mouth of prophets of old! John, under the inspiration, wrote unto the churches and that letter was heralded down through the ages brining out its spiritual application. And out here on the very end of the grace age Revelation 10:7 was to bring to completeness all God had declared long ago by the mouth of his servants, the Old Testament prophets for whom - - the gentile saints. Unto whom and for whom was it to benefit? The gentiles of course!
FULFILLING SCRIPTURE FOR JEWS
With that in mind, let us now examine Acts 3:21 and here see something also spoken by the mouth of Old Testament prophets which would benefit strictly Israel, not gentiles! Peter, preaching his second sermon to Jews says in Acts 3:19, “Repent ye therefore and be converted.” Note carefully, these words are not spoken unto gentiles but unto Jews, that element who had recently crucified the Messiah. Their minds were still fresh on the recent impact, turmoil and upheaval which transpired in Jerusalem. The very depths of the foundation of Judaism had been shaken. The veil of the temple had been rent and here after Pentecost stands Peter on the very temple compound preaching his second sermon to Jews declaring, “Repent ye therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”
TIME OF REFRESHING - ISRAEL’S REVIVAL
Note, times of refreshing is God’s fulfillment of His spiritual awakening to be fulfilled in Israel strictly among Jews! Ezekiel prophesied how God would sprinkle clean water upon them (Israel) and take away their stony heart, placing within them a new heart of flesh, that speaks of a converted heart. Tie that statement of Ezekiel and Peter into Revelation 11, where under the ministry of two Jewish prophets 144,000 are to be sealed away by a great spiritual revelation. See beloved, that is their refreshing! No, the refreshing or the receiving of spiritual revelation was never fulfilled in Peter’s hour when he preached this! Their refreshing was still future!
Verse 20, “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:” However, note Israel must first be spiritually refreshed or given that revelation of who Jesus is, before they can see that glorious appearing of their Messiah!
TIME OF RESTORATION - “RESTORING BACK” PERIOD
Verse 21, “Whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution.” Recall, it was in Peter’s hour the ascension had just transpired and Peter speaks of times of refreshing and also the times of restitution. Keep in mind, refreshing is one thing for the Jew, and restitution is still another! The refreshing brings out the spiritual impact or the spiritual revival which awakens the people of Israel, while restitution means giving back unto them something which has been taken away from them. It was God who had allowed Satan, through certain world gentile systems or empires, as prophesied by Joel, to take away something from Israel and Joel’s prophecy (Joel 1:1-14) declared four creatures that resembled insects had gnawed and gnawed away at Israel until there wasn’t anything left only that which resembled a stump. Yet through Joel God prophesied, I will restore (to Israel), Joel 2:25.
REFRESHING AND RESTORATION BOTH FUTURE
The word restitution means an act to restore or replace something which has been taken away. Peter is declaring, until the times or until the seasons or until the period of giving back, the returning or restitution of all things to Israel. I repeat, the statement or promise here belongs strictly to Israel, not to the gentiles! Watch carefully how this verse in Acts 3:21 also closes out with prophets of old having a part in this! Whom the heavens must receive until the times or periods of giving back. That is, replacing or restoring all these things which God hath (past tense) declared by the mouth of ALL HIS HOLY PROPHETS SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN! Hath declared by the mouth of his holy prophets, yes beloved, Revelation 10:7 and Acts 3:21 are the only two scriptures in the entire Bible dealing with a people in relation to periods of time as has been declared by prophets of old! All that Peter spoke here belongs strictly to the Jewish people and is still future but note, it had already been declared by the Old Testament prophets! Time wise you can see this event getting ready to happen because we are living in a day where slowly we are witnessing God’s hand through world conditions and world systems creating upheavals and causing certain things to be maneuvered into place to fulfill His scriptures. God is slowly restoring back geographically, government wise, racially those Jews into their true Biblical setting.
As we gentiles begin drifting backward into the old framework of living, drifting back into that old framework of thinking, social, moral and religious wise, we can see how today many are leaning toward such atheistic trends in their intellectual concept while other gentiles are turning to witchcraft, to demonistic cults which deals with blood and the sacrifice of humans, sexual sin corruption. Can’t you see what is happening, beloved? That was exactly our gentile background of thinking before grace ever came to us in the beginning of this age of grace! People today strain at a gnat and swallow a camel worrying over whether someone is going to become too religious over this book, you don’t become too spiritual! Many people today certainly don’t want their youth to turn out bad yet the pathetic thing is, they don’t want them to become very spiritual either! It just so happens you are living in a day when you will do one of two things, either you will sell out to God completely or He personally will allow the devil to come and take you over completely. Do you think as a gentile society we can possibly escape the curse and judgment God is about to bring upon this gentile world over the way we have treated His book? If you do, face it, you are wrong! Over 1900 years God has been so gracious to the gentiles, seeing He lifted us up out of our ancient filth of the past (Romans 1:24-32, I Corinthians 6:9-11). Find that eternal rock of ages and flee unto Him for safety if you don’t want him to blind your eyes and therefore be forever shut out of His presence!
ISRAEL’S BLINDNESS BENEFITS GENTILES
Recall how the Apostle Paul in Romans 11 strictly warned the gentiles to beware of their relationship to God (not take it lightly) seeing that blindness in part had already happened to Israel until the fullness of the gentiles had been brought in! Remember, we were the wild olive tree Paul spoke of that was grafted into the very root, the promise of God’s word in order to be made partakers of the goodness of God. However, through our unbelief while our brain goes upward and our spirituality and morals drift more and more downward into the filth and into the pit, we absolutely have no other promise of escape other than find our refuge in Jesus Christ.
Through Peter’s mouth in Acts 3:21, God promised those Jews that the times of refreshing and restitution would come from the presence of the Lord. Times of refreshing is that spiritual revival to come for Israel, under the two prophets (Revelation 11) while the restitution deals with the restoring back to Israel of that which has been taken from her and both the refreshing and restitution are still out in front of us and comes about for Israel in Revelation 11:3-8 through the ministry of those two Jewish prophets, one with the spirit of Moses and the other with the spirit of Elijah for that hour! Lay Acts 3:21 beside Revelation 11:3-7!
Those promises prophesied by the mouth of God’s Old Testament Jewish prophets, men who were His servants who prophesied those things pertaining to us gentiles, all those prophecies we will see as God closes out that great MYSTERY hour of His dealing for us gentiles, bringing us into our completeness, bringing us into all fulfillment pertaining to the gentile people such as all things pertaining to their salvation, their perfection, yes, and things pertaining unto them even up until the very hour of the great change of their bodies in the catching away! While all these Old Testament scriptures dealing with this period begin to converge on that hour and point of climax for the gentiles, you must rest assured the hand of God will have already reached over and begun dealing with another element of people.
SCRIPTURE SPEAK OF ISRAEL AS NO OTHER BOOK DOES
And while all that would be going on may I remind you that within the gentile realm of theologians, in their seminary unbelief they will stumble and stagger at the very hand of God doing the things He will be doing in Israel! How dare gentile theologians and gentile Bible translators fuss and stew over the infallibility of God’s book! Why, if they would open their eyes they could see its fulfillment in reality by simply watching the Jewish people! No book ever spoke concerning a race of people in the manner this book has spoken concerning Israel. True revelation causes the saints to understand this book because revelation makes all those promises that much more real! Yes, here at the end while others fuss over its truthfulness, another group stands in their earthly illiteracy, seeing that is the way people of the world look upon true Christians, and they look into the book and say, Amen, I see it! Carnal theologians look in the book and declare, I don’t know about that, I don’t see it that way and therefore they continue to fuss over the translation of one word!
CUTTING OFF ONE GROUP WHILE RESTORING ANOTHER
It brings us to this point, we are living in the days God is causing all these verses pertaining to us gentiles to be fulfilled. Time is zeroing in on everyone of these verses pertaining to the gentiles of this hour. As they are being fulfilled, on this earth is a gentile people receiving God’s last dealings. The total gentile society is slowly being cut off, while at the same time another element of people, the Jew, is slowly being reinstated into His plan and purpose. While God is in a process of reinstating one group, certain things among the gentiles are being taken away. Yes, as He slowly takes from one element, He is slowly giving back to another. As He deals with one element for their last hour, and this last generation will surely see the wind up of it, to another element He is just beginning to open up the depths of His mercy and grace. However, note, once again that which God is opening up has already been prophesied and promised to that group by the mouth of His holy prophets! Are you able to now see how both these verses of scripture concerning what is to be done to and for these two separate groups had already been prophesied by the mouth of the Old Testament prophets and recorded there in the Old Testament! Because beloved, had it not been recorded, understand this one thing, somewhere in scripture these two groups during their respective hour could not have accepted what was going on!
SCRIPTURES DECLARED WHAT EARLY CHURCH ACCEPTED
In order to bring out the beauty of this fact and show how, had it not been somewhere recorded in the Old Testament, not even the Jewish apostles could have accepted it! To see this most important example of how whatever was to be accepted had to first be written somewhere in the scriptures, let us examine Acts 15 in closing. Paul and Barnabas have gone up to the Jerusalem church to discuss with the elders this subject of gentiles observing circumcision, Peter having reminded the group how that by his mouth the gentiles had first received the gospel, Acts 10. After everyone had held their peace and now speaking in defense of Peter’s ministry we hear the Apostle James beginning Acts 15:14, using Old Testament scripture as a basis as he says, “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name.”
OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURE AGREED
Where, may I ask you, did James ever get such authority to make such a statement as that? Read carefully verse 15 and you will see. “AND TO THIS AGREE THE WORDS OF THE PROPHETS AS IT IS WRITTEN.” There you are! Oh, how important the words of the Old Testament prophets were in relation to whatever move that early church made! No revelation has any authority whatsoever unless somewhere it is anchored in scripture. Peter could have returned from Cornelius’ house and declared as he did in Acts 11:1-18 about what a great revival he had among the gentiles, yet did you know, had there not been some scripture somewhere in that Old Testament which would have shown God’s dealings among the gentiles, that early church would never have accepted what Peter had done! It could simply be summed up by saying, had there not been any scripture to back up this move of Peter’s, as far as the early church was concerned, Peter was merely led off on a wild goose chase! But he wasn’t led off on a wild goose chase and even though Peter himself that day did not understand what God was doing at Cornelius’ house, yet somewhere after they had returned to Jerusalem and sat down to discuss and study this thing out and examine it from the scriptural standpoint there he saw it was scriptural, there would be a time God would go unto the gentile. Somewhere they saw a revelation within those Old Testament scriptures which verified what had been done! Therefore, we hear James declaring what he did in Acts 15:15, and to this agree the words of the prophets as it is written! Here it was in the Prophet Amos’ writing, Amos 9:11-12, however, it took a spiritual revelation from the ministry of the apostle to see this hidden truth and place it in its proper setting! Acts 15 , (16) “After this I will return and build again the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up; (17) That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.”
By studying the Old Testament scrolls of prophecy James, Peter and the elders of Jerusalem came to the realization what had been accomplished at Cornelius’ house (Acts 10) was actually the fulfillment of Amos 9, as the prophet Amos showed God would visit the gentiles to take out of them a gentile bride, a people for His name! For His name means a people who would bear the name of the Lord, who would carry it in water baptism, be identified and willing to be called by the name of Jesus. James was quoting that prophetic verse!
For 1900 years God has been among us gentiles taking out a people for His name in order to fulfill Amos 9, and one of these days that calling out among the gentiles will come to a close, and when it does it will all happen in a generation of time when God will take all the prophet Isaiah, all the prophet Jeremiah as well as the Psalms, etc., yes, all God has prophesied to Abraham in Genesis and there God will consummate this MYSTERY, fulfilling it to us gentiles - - AS HE HATH ALREADY THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO, DECLARED TO OR BY HIS SERVANTS THE PROPHETS! Thus, God will bring to a close all that has been a MYSTERY to the Jew as He completes His work among us gentiles. When is it to be brought to a close? In the days of the sounding of the voice of the seventh angel messenger, when his message begins to be proclaimed and herald, God will take all those Old Testament scriptures which He spoke by His prophets, scriptures which held this MYSTERY OF GOD for the grace age and wrap them all up or fulfill them. Just as the gentile world is slowly being cut off and the Jewish race being reinstated, as God consummates this for the gentiles He will be in the process of refreshing (or spiritual revival) and the restitution for Israel. And, Oh, the refreshing there will be for those Jews! How glorious the climax will be as the gentile bride is being perfected and made ready and called home to glory, the Jewish nation is spiritually awakened, restored and revived.
The world, because of the tension in which we live today, could overnight be thrown into a nuclear war simply because they do not know what to do with Israel! Month after month, year after year, pressures in gentile governments continually mount over this ever growing perplexing problem: WHAT WILL WE DO WITH THE LITTLE NATION CALLED ISRAEL? IT ALL LETS ME KNOW WE ARE LIVING IN THAT GENERATION WHO WILL SEE ALL THESE THINGS BROUGHT TO A CLIMAX!A