The Due Time Message

It is amazing that many sincere believers fail to see the distinctions of the different ministries that are recorded in the bible, and especially that portion of the bible most of us know and refer to as the “new testament.” For instance, John the Baptist had a ministry. So did the twelve Apostles. Saul of Tarsus, who became known as the Apostle Paul had one, and even the Lord Jesus Christ, in his time on earth, had a very specific ministry. Since he told us what that was, there could not possibly be reason for doubting or disputing it, although it seems that ministers and well meaning people by the thousands invariably do so.

Jesus himself said, “I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24) The gospel of John reads, “He came unto his own and his own received him not.” (John 1:11) Paul wrote, “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.” (Romans 15:8)

Now since we know that the “father’s” in the context obviously refer to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and that “the circumcision” refers to those who were under the Law of Moses, given to the nation Israel when the Lord “called unto (Moses) out of the mountain saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:3), there should be no doubt that the ministry of Jesus Christ was to Israel and Israel alone. The same is also true of the ministry of the twelve Apostles. Read the instructions given to them by the Lord: “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 10:5-6)

Moving forward to the book of Acts and the Day of Pentecost when the Lord Jesus Christ from Heaven “shed forth this which you now see and hear” (Acts 2:33) who was doing the “seeing and hearing?” The answer is in the book: “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.” (Acts 2:5) They had come there for the annual Day of Pentecost, a Jewish holy day – as in the book of Leviticus. Who did Peter address when he “standing up with the eleven (making a total of twelve), lifted up his voice?” Answer: “Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem (those Jews from every nation under Heaven) be this known unto you, and hearken to my words.” (Acts 2:14) :Ye men of Israel, hear these words;” (Acts 2:22) “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly,” (Acts 2:36)

Who was Peter preaching to in the book of Acts? Jews, Jews, Jews! There was not a Gentile in the crowd. How can we know this? “And he (Peter) said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company with, or come unto one of another nation;” (Acts 10:28) This was long after the events recorded in Acts Chapter Two. No Gentiles were there at the Day of Pentecost, and if one by chance had been there the Jews would have baptized (washed) before they ate lunch for fear that they had brushed shoulders with one. (Mark 7:4-5) Gentiles were simply not in the picture on the Day of Pentecost. It was strictly a Jewish Messianic message. It is amazing how many religious systems try to hang their doctrine on passages of scripture that are not even about the body of Christ.

Now, it is obvious that the apostles were instructed by the Lord to “go into all the world and teach all nations, baptizing them,” as in the “so-called” great commission of Matthew 28 and Mark 16. But, it is also obvious that they had specific instructions as to how this was to be done. The Lord had said, “the children must first be fed,” and “it is not meet to take the children’s bread and cast it to dogs.” In the context of Matthew 15:22-28, it is obvious that the “children” are the nation of Israel, the bread is the gospel of the kingdom, and the dogs are the Gentiles. So, the idea was that the “gospel of the kingdom” was to be preached first in Jerusalem, then in Judea, then in Samaria, and then…and only then…to the rest of the world. Peter, at Pentecost was offering the “bread” to the “children” but they refused it. So, only the “little flock” received Christ as their Messiah and the rest “died in their sins” because of unbelief. So, it is clear now what the Lord meant in Luke 12:32, when he said: “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

In the “kingdom of heaven” parable you find in Matthew 21, the Lord clearly warns the leaders of the nation of Israel that the kingdom would be taken from them: (Matthew 21: 43) “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” So, in his earthly ministry, his ministry to the circumcision, the Lord was forming a church, which is also a nation, which is also a priesthood. This is plain from such passages as Isaiah 61:6: “But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.” That prophecy, as yet, remains to be fulfilled. It will be when Christ comes again, Israel’s sins are blotted out and Jesus Christ, the King, is ruling in the Kingdom.

When the nation of Israel, as a whole rejected the Messiah and His Kingdom, the offer of national repentance to Israel was withdrawn, and the “restoring of the kingdom again to Israel,” as in Acts 1:6 was put on hold. It was a TIME PAST message. It is also a FUTURE message which will be preached in the Tribulation, after the Rapture of the Church. When Stephen was martyred and stoned to death in chapter seven of the book of Acts, the Gospel of the Kingdom began to wane, that is to say, it passed from view. In Acts Chapter Seven, Stephen, who once again preaches a murder indictment against Israel, as Peter had done earlier, is stoned to death, and the “little flock” is scattered. When Peter writes to them, notice what he says, in 1 Peter 2:9: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;” What Peter said here is almost a carbon copy of what Moses said to the children of Israel in Exodus:

Exodus 19: 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: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

So what you have here is a group of people, called the “little flock” who have been “begotten again” unto a lively hope. (1 Peter 1:3) Their hope was in the Second Coming of Christ and the restoring of the Kingdom to Israel. The message Peter preached was JEWISH and MESSIANIC and is not the gospel for today. Both Peter’s ministry and message faded away as Paul’s ministry and message came to the forefront, during the time period of the book of Acts. The completion of God’s prophetic timetable with the nation of Israel will follow the Rapture. There are HUGE differences between Peter’s doctrine and that of the Apostle Paul Peter says they are being “born again” in 1 Peter 1:23, by the word of God. Israel was “begotten of God” as in Exodus 4:22 and called the “son of God”: “And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:” Now Peter says in 1 Peter 1:3 they had been “begotten again” unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” So the “born again” nation of Israel, in the millennium, will be a holy nation and a kingdom of priests whose job is to show forth the praises of God, among the Gentiles as in 1 Peter 2:13. When Peter uses the term “born again” he is talking about something different than the Lord was in John chapter three.

When the Lord had told Nicodemus in John 3:7 that “ye”, the whole house of Israel, must be “born again” he rebuked Nicodemus for being a “master of Israel” and not knowing “these things?” In John, Jesus Christ is talking about literal resurrection from the dead, BORN AGAIN. Paul refers to Jesus Christ as the FIRSTBORN from the dead. He even quotes a prophecy by David in Psalms in reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, where God the Father said, “This day have I begotten thee.” The day was the day of the Lord’s resurrection.

The phrase “born again” in John 3:7 and in 1 Peter 1:23 refers to the “little flock”, the remnant, the “born again” nation of Israel and not the Church, the body of Christ. There was no Rapture for those in Peter’s ministry as there is for us. In the first place, in view of the Mystery of the Rapture of the Church, we don’t even have a guarantee that we will even die. Paul never uses the phrase “born again” anywhere in Romans through Philemon. The bodily “new birth” for the church is at the Rapture. The church is not “born again” but is a “new creation”, created in Christ Jesus unto good works (Ephesians 2:10) which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. God is forming a “new creation”, a new species, in the age in which we live. Not the “born again” nation of Israel but a new creation. The Body of Christ is something that was hid in God before the foundation of the world. Not announced in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and not told to Peter, James and John, but by an unscheduled appearance and by revelation to the Apostle Paul. The phrase “born again Christian” is something that just came into vogue in recent years. There is no indication anywhere in the bible that people thought of themselves as “born again Christians.”

One great fault with the world’s religious system today is that by “anticipating revelation” the result winds up being a “one pot meal” of scripture and you find one group believing this, another that, and still another practicing “the other.” We must clearly understand that while all of the bible was written for us: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Timothy 3:16-17) it does not follow that all of the bible is written UNTO US.

The apostle Paul plainly says that he, and he alone is the “apostle to the Gentiles.” Paul says, in Romans 11:13: “For I speak to you Gentiles. Since I am THE APOSTLE TO THE GENTILES, I magnify mine office.” Paul asks the question, in Romans 10:14, “How shall they hear without a preacher?” He answers his own question! He says he is both the preacher and the apostle to the Gentiles in I Timothy 2:7 and in II Timothy 1:10 he says, concerning the gospel, that, “I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle and a teacher of the Gentiles. ”So we could say then that a “stewardship” of the gospel was given to Paul. Actually, Paul says that “A dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me” in I Corinthians 9:17. The word for stewardship and the word for dispensation is the same. Jesus Christ used the word three times, in Luke 16, verses two, three and four. In those verses we read the word “stewardship.” Paul uses the word four times in a King James Bible, and in Ephesians 3:2 he writes, “…if you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God, which is given me, to you-ward.” If you heard a Greek say the word it would sound similar to the English word: ECONOMY, and that’s just the meaning you find when you look it up in the Strong’s Concordance. It says that dispensation means “an administration, or an economy.”

God changed the Administration, the Administrator and the message. Instead of the gospel of the kingdom, Paul preaches the gospel of the grace of God. Paul says, “I delivered to you first of all that which I also received.“ The message of Paul is that Christ died for our sins, all of them, “having forgiven you all trespasses.” (Collosians 2:13) Paul’s message is that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them. The reason God will not hold sin to our account, those of us who trust Jesus Christ as our Saviour, is that God put our sins to the account of Christ and he paid the debt for them. The wages of sin is death, and Christ died for our sins. And since all our sins were on him when he died, the resurrection of Christ is proof that our sins are forgiven…all of them.

So here’s the deal: Would you rather imagine yourself…I say imagine, because you can’t be in this age…would you rather imagine yourself as a water baptized, Pentecostal, kingdom believer, sell all that you own and lay it at the apostles feet, take no thought for what you will eat, or drink or wear, love not your life unto death, endure unto the end, go through the tribulation, resist the mark of the beast and the coming antichrist and die a martyrs death if necessary, and at the same time, be very careful to bless the remnant of Israel, furnish them food when they are hungry, clothes when they are naked, visit them when they are sick or in prison, while at the same time finding food for yourself…since you can’t buy and sell…so that you will be one of the sheep in Matthew 25:32 and be allowed to enter the kingdom for: “the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Or would you rather trust in the Lord and what he has done for you. Christ died for your sins so that you might have eternal life in heaven…be delivered from this world…to spend eternity with the Lord? You see, the gospel of the Kingdom, the so-called “great commission” of Matthew 28 and Mark 16 is about an earthly promise to God’s earthly people. Peter preached the gospel of the kingdom and taught people to hope to the end for salvation at the second coming of Christ…..a tribulation message.

But for you, that’s not your hope. God revealed a mystery to the apostle Paul, about God’s heavenly purpose and his heavenly people, call the church, the body of Christ. Yours is a heavenly hope, not earthly. You are not supposed to pray, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth…” because you are not looking for the kingdom to come at the second coming of Christ. Your hope is the Rapture of the church, the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the catching out of those who are living when Christ comes.

Your salvation is complete in Christ. Christ is our wisdom, and righteous and sanctification and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30). We who trust in Christ are baptized, by the Spirit into the body of Christ, have already received the atonement, are already partakers of the heavenly calling, blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus and sealed until the time we leave this world. Jesus Christ did the work, he endured to the end, for us. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to his mercy he saved us,” (Titus 3:5)

Romans 4: 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. So we don’t work at all but trust completely in the Lord for salvation.

Romans 4: 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Paul said, “I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins.” So it was Paul who received the message of salvation by grace alone through faith alone, not Peter. Peter had a different message for a different group of people. Peter was a minister of the circumcision with the gospel of the circumcision, as in Galatians 2:7. That message is about the restoration of the kingdom again to the nation of Israel and about Israel being a kingdom of priests and an holy nation. Peter’s hope and calling and promise is earthly. He hopes to sit on one of twelve thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel…in the millennium. But that hope and that promise is not for us. We look for the Lord from Heaven, who will change our vile body and make it like his glorious body and take us out of this world.

Salvation for you today is not the same as it was back there…and will be during the tribulation. Salvation today is based on the finished work of Christ. Paul says, in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast. If there is any boasting to be done today, it’s about what the Lord has done, not us. Depend on the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Rest in it. Trust in it. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.

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