Comparing the Two evangels…Peter’s for Israel with Paul’s for the Body of Christ
As we have discussed thus far in the manual the common teaching in the denominations today is that the body of Christ began at Pentecost with Peter as the head of it. This error is due to neglecting Paul’s Counsel “to Rightly Divide the Word of Truth so as not to be an ashamed workman.” 2 Timothy 2:15 This Study Manual is devoted to this subject and my endeavor is to cover every aspect of why it is imperative that we obey those instructions from Paul which are for the Body of Christ if we want to learn God’s truths.
The Catholic Church especially has maintained for centuries that the church started at Pentecost is the Body of Christ with Peter as its head and their first Pope. This is not true as we have learned Peter had nothing to do with the Body of Christ. The denominations and sects which we have today have come about from those who broke away from Catholicism, but research shows that they did not fall far from the nest.
All have held onto some form or other of the many errors fostered by the Catholic Church. I always find it amusing when a denomination knocks the Catholic Church, even some labeling it …Babylon! I am amused because they have not checked the origins of their own doctrines which come from the Catholic Church via Babylon’s pagan religion. My research for the past forty years shows most denominations hold to the false doctrines of hellfire, the immortal soul and the trinity. These and other doctrines were invented or adopted by the Catholic Church at its inception and they lost the art of rightly dividing passing that on.
The denominations eliminated the Priests but replaced them with Pastors with some wearing robes which separate them from other believers this also was not taught by our Apostle Paul. Most demand a tithe of some sort to support this Pastor. This merely copies the Jewish system and does not apply to the Body of Christ. Briefly Israel was made up of twelve tribes, with one tribe designated by Jehovah to be the priestly tribe. This tribe was not given land as were the other eleven tribes. Their Priestly duties were to direct the nation in its worship of Jehovah, they were the mediators between them and Jehovah.
The Tithe from the other tribes was for the care of the priests whose duties consisted of administering the Law Covenant, dealing with all the rituals of the sacrificial system for sin along with the everyday problems of the people of Israel. As we discussed in the previous chapter, Jesus Christ fulfilled that nations Law Covenant and that religious system is no longer required by God. In fact, God began a new Administration through Paul called the Body of Christ, we are not tied to Israel, with her laws or her covenant in any way at all.
The Catholic Church patterned their organization after Israel they did not follow Paul and do not understand the New administration God began through him. They do not rightly divide or test things which differ! No, they are not Babylon the Great, that is reserved for Israel’s apostasy but they are steeped in error and much of their error has been passed down into all denominations and sects today.
In Chapter Seven of this Manual, we will go into the above mentioned false doctrines taught by the Gnostics in Paul’s day and attempt to show the origins and how Paul refuted them in his letters plus we will review Paul’s sound doctrine which is generally ignored today in the denominations!
In this chapter, we are looking at the differences between Peter’s and Paul’s evangels for more
evidence they were not teaching the same evangel.
Paul’s at Galatians 2:7-9 “I have been entrusted with the evangel of the uncircumcision, (Gentiles) according as Peter of the circumcision, (Jews) for He Who operates in Peter for the apostleship of the circumcision operates in me also for the nations, and knowing the grace which is being given to me, James and Cephas (Peter) and John, who are supposed to be pillars, give to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that, indeed, we are to be for the nations, yet they for the circumcision” Now, how much plainer could this be said?
WE will continue to test the false teaching that The Body of Christ began at Pentecost and compare Peter’s evangel with Paul’s to see why that teaching is not the sound doctrine Paul gives us. Peter was given his commissions from Jesus during His earthly ministry while Paul received his commission from the Glorified Christ seven years after the cross. Herein lies the differences, Peter, was one of the 12 Apostles for Israel, with promised physical blessings in the Kingdom to come on earth, while, our Apostle Paul, was given new revelations from Christ.
The Evangel of Grace given to Paul for a new administration called “the mystery or secret hid or concealed in God for the ages” Ephesians 3:8,9 This new church was given “spiritual blessings in the celestials” Ephesians 1:3 Paul’s new evangel given for those chosen and called out of the nations and this church he ministered to is called the Body of Christ. Ephesians 4:12, 16 and Colossians 1:18
This body is not an earthly nation like Israel, or an earthly administration like Israel’s was. The Body of Christ is a spiritual entity as Christ resides in the celestials, the heavens. We as His body, He as our head, this is why we are called to be in the heavens with Him.
Israel is promised physical blessings on the earth with a physical temple and land allotments. WE are not promised anything in this world, we are promised to be taken out of the world. Paul has told us of our “spiritual blessings” many of which are given to us now in relation to our standing in Christ along with each individual called into this body, is intimately linked to Christ through the unity of the indwelling of Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:2-12 Ephesians 3:17 Please, take the time to read the book of Ephesians through, and let Paul envelop you in the beautiful truths written just for us…the Body of Christ. Every time I do, I always find myself speechless.
A believer today must test the differences between the two evangels, the one given to Peter by Jesus in His earthly ministry with the evangel given to Paul from the Glorified Christ years afte
Peter’s commission from Jesus.
WE will first look at information concerning Peter and his church and then we will look at Paul’s and compare the two, looking for things which differ and then rightly divide between those differences. It should be obvious based on scripture the earthly church under Peter is destined for the Kingdom on the earth to be set up after the Second Advent. According to Paul’s evangel the heavenly church is destined to be raptured to heaven long before the Second Advent of Christ. Most denominations are trying to follow both evangels, but mostly Peter’s evangel for Israel which is not for us. They are using the wrong road map and are seriously confused!
Peters Evangel, Commissions for the Remnant Church
Jesus gave specific instructions to Peter. We learned in the previous chapters that Jesus’ ministry was only to the “lost sheep of the House of Israel” Matthew 15:24,25 In His ministry He chose some individuals out of Israel, who are called the Remnant, as they are a part of the House of Israel, forming a church for the Kingdom on earth. The reason for the term…lost sheep of the House of Israel, we must remember, Israel the nation was Lo-ammi, divorced from Jehovah, Hosea 1:9
So they are likened in scripture to lost sheep gone astray. Jesus did not come to restore that nation, but to choose and call out some of the lost in that nation for His Messianic kingdom. Jesus told them to pray for that Kingdom to come at Matthew 6:10 “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as in heaven” In that future Kingdom on earth, Israel shall be restored with Jesus Christ as their King.
Paul was the only apostle, who understood both evangels, Israel’s prophetic promises and the expectation of the nations in the new administration, because only he was given information through revelations, for the Body of Christ. He explains the process for Israel and for the Nations at Romans 11:25-27 “For I am not willing for you to be ignorant of this secret, brethren, lest you may be passing for prudent among yourselves, that callousness in part, on Israel has come, (the nation as a whole was blind with only a remnant being called out of it), until the complement of the nations may be entering. (This complement is the Body of Christ through Paul) And thus all Israel shall be saved, according as it is written.”
Now Paul quotes from Isaiah 59:20,21 “Arriving out of Zion shall be the Rescuer, He will be turning away irreverence from Jacob, and this is My covenant with them whenever I should be eliminating their sins.” Also Isaiah 27:1-13 also partially referred to by Paul in this passage in Romans. Please read it through and make note…the phrase, In that day, this lets us know it is referring to the future and in this case for when Israel shall be forgiven and restored.
Make note of Verses 12,13 “And it shall come to pass in that day that the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria and the outcast in the land of Egypt and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.”
In Romans 11:28-32, Paul continues to explain “Israel was locked up in stubbornness in order for God to show mercy to the nations who once were not His people and then to later show mercy to Israel.” The “complement of the nations” is the Body of Christ and it became the focus of salvation through Paul, while Israel as the nation was locked up in blindness and callousness.
The Remnant of Jews did their job of heralding Jesus and the coming Kingdom to the Jews in the land of Judea and in a small way, the Jews in the surrounding lands and then that work ceased as the Apostles were killed. From Acts 13 Paul’s evangel became prominent; Peter did not help Paul but it seems that he retired to Babylon to herald to the Jewish colonies living in there for 400 plus years. Peter knew the Remnant of Jews which make up the bride church as well as the Nation of Israel must wait for Israel’s repentance, the times of restoration and the last days in which God will raise up a remnant of Jews again, who will be preaching to fellow Jews of their Messiah before Christ returns.
In the Kingdom then, their commission will be to go to all the nations. Let’s look now at some other instructions from Jesus to Peter in relation to this Kingdom to come and then we will compare them with what Christ gave Paul to do years later.
But first, just a reminder of to whom they were sent. Before His death, when Jesus sent the disciples out, they also were told to only go to the Jews. Matthew 10:5,6 “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” There was no ministry to Gentiles by Jesus or His followers. We will also visit Pentecost and see that event, was only for the Jews and the remnant church.
I would like to point out here that at Acts 12:2 James, the Apostle is killed. This breaks the unity of the twelve. There is a little article written by John Essex, called “The Circle of the Twelve” and in it he shows that the power for the gifts was in the complete number of 12 Apostles. I find it interesting that James is killed at Acts 12 and at Acts 13 Paul is severed from Israel to go to the nations with his evangel and from that time forward in the book of Acts we see that the Remnant’s ministry is slowing down while Paul’s increases. That article can be found on the concordant website. www.concordant.org
Paul also supports the fact that Christ and His Remnant ministered only to the circumcision with these words at Romans 15:8 “For I am saying that Christ has become the Servant of the Circumcision (Israel) for the sake of the truth of God, to confirm the patriarchal promises.” These are the Prophetic Prophecies, promises from God for Israel. Promises of land allotments in Israel given to them through the promise given to Abraham. They are also promised to rule and reign on this earth in the Kingdom, but never promised to be taken to heaven.
Those rejecting this fact and that Jesus ministry did not include Gentiles will point to the passage at Matthew 15:21-23 where we read of the Canaanite woman requesting help from Jesus. In reading the entire account to Verse 28, we see Jesus first ignores her and then He states “His commission is only to Israel”. Notice she first asks Him as “Lord, son of David” which is Jewish and for Israel, she did not belong to that nation. She had no right to claim anything from it, and the disciples wished to tell her to go away…but she persists and then addresses Him as Lord. He tells her “it is not ideal to be taking the children’s (Israel’s) bread and to be casting it to the puppies” (Gentiles)
Some translations have “dogs” here as the Jews considered Gentiles as dogs, beneath them. It was not lawful to even share a meal with a Gentile. But also in reality, young dogs or puppies would feed on the crumbs dropped from the tables. Jesus Christ is Lord of all and because of her faith in Him as Lord, He answered her plea for help. This was the exception to the rule and make note, that she came to Him…He did not go to her.
Jesus was not going to Gentiles, His commission was to the lost sheep of the House of Israel and of course ultimately to lay down His life for the salvation of the World. But all things to the Jew first as they were His chosen people…His chosen nation. Once we understand that the Kingdom for Israel is to be on the earth and is promised to Israel and not Gentiles we then will see it would not and could not be offered to Gentiles in Jesus day or after His death or even today. Israel has been commission by Jehovah to rule the world. Gentiles will be blessed by that rule out of Jerusalem through Israel when the Kingdom is established on the earth.
While the Body of Christ is totally separate from this Kingdom to come; while we are to be snatched
from this earth before it arrives. Israel is to rule on earth, Gods will be done on earth as in heaven.
Remember the promise given to Abraham: “All families of the earth will be blessed through his seed” The seed, is Christ, He came through the nation of Israel. Genesis 12:3 and repeated to Jacob in Genesis 28:10,13,14 Jacobs name later changed to Israel. Genesis 32:28 and 35:10-15 Jacob had twelve sons, who were the beginnings or fathers of the future twelve tribes of Israel. Genesis 35:22b with these 12 sons outlined at Genesis 35:23-29
Jesus also told Peter he was to have the Keys to the Kingdom so we ask what did this mean. Matthew 16:19 “I will be giving you the keys of the kingdom of the heavens, and whatsoever you should be binding on earth shall be these things having been bound in the heavens, and whatsoever you should be loosing on the earth shall be those having been loosed in the heavens.”
The Kingdom of heaven comes to the earth out of heaven with Christ’s arrival at the Second Advent. Matthew 16:18, 19, is also describing Peter’s work in that kingdom. “What he binds and looses on earth is also bound or loosed in heaven” Peter’s work will take place after he is resurrected in that Kingdom. It is then that he will be doing his work of binding and loosing, on the earth, evangelizing the nations during the Millennial reign of Christ which will be on the earth and not in heaven. Peter and the other saints will be vivified; made immortal; they will be free from sin and death.
They will also have the mind of Christ and what they do on earth binding or loosing would be in full agreement with God in heaven. His spirit will be theirs. This will also be the fulfillment of what Jesus told them they then would be able to do in the Kingdom after He returns and is found at Matthew 24:14 taking the good news of Christ to the nations and this is also when they will obey Jesus words recorded at Matthew 28:19,20 “go and be baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the holy spirit.”
Neither of these two commissions has yet been done by Israel. Christendom today seeks to take these commissions from Israel, claiming they are ours to carry out. They are not ours to take or use! As we go through this Chapter we will discuss each of these commissions given to Peter and the 11 Apostles for Israel and see why they are still for the future?
Jesus also said at Matthew 16:18 “the gates of the unseen, (translated as) Hell or Hades will not prevail over Peter’s church.” This is concerning the resurrection on the earth, for the faithful ones of Israel after Christ comes to set up the Kingdom in Israel. The gates of Hades indeed will release the dead saints. The faithful of Israel will be raised to life on the earth in this first resurrection on earth.
The Remnant of Jews making up the bride church will be in “the just” class, these make up the bride of the lambkin for the marriage celebration in the millennial reign of Christ. Paul told us those Saints will be raised at Christ’s presence in 1 Corinthians 15:23 “thereupon those who are Christ’s at His presence;” The King James has coming, in this verse, but this word is “Parousia” and is defined as presence. Christ’s second coming is more accurately said to be His advent. So there will be a presence and an arrival. Because of translation problems the word which is translated as coming in most passages is actually this Greek word “Parousia” meaning, presence.
The presence of Christ can be invisible or visible. The verses which speak of His physical visible arrival uses a different Greek word from presence, it refers to His Advent, His shining or epiphany. This word, “epi pha’ n ei a” and means on appearing. This will be the Second Advent, His arrival to the earth, primarily in Israel; this will be His visible presence. He will stand on the mount of Olivet, His epiphany or shining will destroy the armies of the antichrist as He rescues Israel. Zechariah 14:12
But before this arrival, Christ will be invisibly present with His people all during “the times of restoration” in the land of Israel. His spirit calling the Jews home to the land, choosing His remnant, His 144,000 and bringing about the many things which will take place foretold to take place during that time period leading up to the last days for Israel, with the rebuilding of the temple, the return to the worship of Jehovah and much more leading up to the signing of the peace treaty with the man of lawlessness, which then starts the last 7 years of Daniels prophecy and is Israel’s tribulation time period which precedes Christ’s arrival on earth.
His arrival is described at Zechariah 14:4 “And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north and half of it toward the south.” This is probably the result of an earthquake foretold at Amos 1 and possibly described at Revelation 16:17-20
After Christ’s advent, all Jews who are still living around the world (many will have come to Israel during the times of restoration) the rest will be gathered to the land of Israel and there then will be national repenting and preparation for the Israeli Apostles and saints to be raised from the dust of the ground as recorded at Daniel 12:1, 2 and 12,13.
This will be the first resurrection of the class described as “just” of which Daniel and the faithful of Israel will take part in and are to be raised 75 days after Christ’s advent. Christ and the faithful who came through the tribulation will welcome the faithful of Israel along with His chosen Apostles for the Remnant church, those who were specifically promised to rule and reign with Christ in His Kingdom on the earth. A good read is Zechariah 9-14 Now that you know how to rightly divide, read through these chapters and see how the future prophecy for Israel will stand out for you.
At Pentecost, Peter heralded Jesus as Israel’s Messiah and the promised kingdom, calling for his fellow Jews to repent and so adding to the Remnant church of Israel. Many believed and were baptized “thus added to the church” KJAV Acts 2:41, 47 Notice, added to those already saved, CLV this word added, shows us an already existing church or group of Jewish saints, the one started by Jesus before His death and not a new church or the Body of Christ as is taught in Christendom.
The twelve Apostles are for Israel, preaching His death, baptizing in His name, and so were adding to the already existing Remnant church of Israel. The word translated church is from the Greek word “ecclesia” and its definition is out called or we can say called out ones. There are several different times this word is translated church in the scriptures for different groups of people. To say this always represents “One” church or the Body of Christ, only is in error.
Any group or assembly of people fits this word. It is imperative that we recognize two distinct and separate churches were chosen by God through Christ. The Israeli Kingdom church which is a Remnant of called out ones, Jews from the nation of Israel for the kingdom on the earth and years later with Paul’s calling we then have the beginnings of The Church of the Body of Christ, called out of all the nations for the Kingdom in heaven. These ones called into the Body of Christ have no class or nationality distinctions while Israel continues to be Jewish, as Israel and promised to be a nation and kingdom once again.
Here are some scriptures where this same word ecclesia is used. It’s used in Acts 7:38 as a church in the wilderness which would be Israel in her sojourn through the wilderness after her exodus from Egypt. The early Jewish church after Jesus death, Acts 5:11 Then we have Matthew 16:18 and 18:17, referring to the Remnant or bride Church.
Then we have Ephesians 1:22 referring to the Body of Christ. These are a few examples of the different, Out-called ones translated, church, which should then demonstrate to us, the use of this word as the term for only one church does not accurately portray its meaning in the Greek or the examples given in scripture of other groups of people which were also called in English, churches.
As we discussed earlier in this manual, Peter and the others in the Remnant church baptized in the name of Jesus and not with the instructions given for baptism at Matthew 28:19. Also we must make note of, things which differ with these two types of baptism. “John’s baptism, for the repentance of all Israel” Acts 13:24 which the record shows was the baptism used at Pentecost and throughout the entire ministry of the Apostles.
This term identifies this for us, baptized in the name of Jesus and is for Israel not Gentiles and it was a different baptism from the one Christ gave instructions for just before leaving them and disappearing into heaven, which that baptism will be for the nations in the Kingdom on earth. We must acknowledge the different term given for a different baptism. Matthew 28:16-20 “Going then, disciple all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit.”
Now this difference is overlooked today. Jesus was speaking to the Remnant church of Israel and not Gentiles. His last words to them were for the future, the time when Peter and the Remnant church are to go to all the nations in the Kingdom on the earth after Christ’s return. IF, they were suppose to go to the nations immediately as is taught by Christendom, with what Jesus told them to do, they then disobeyed Him. We do not find any records of the Apostles baptizing with that new phrase.
They were not and did not baptize in the manner as directed by Jesus at Matthew 28:19, 20 they instead continued to use John’s baptism, and baptized in the name of Jesus. Why? Because, they were only going to their Jewish brethren, with the Kingdom evangel. The Jews needed to repent from their apostasy as a nation when coming into this Remnant church headed up by Peter. It was not then the time to use the new baptism for the work in the nations!
That was to be for the future in the Kingdom, when indeed Israel will be evangelizing the nations of this world. The Remnant Church knew Israel must first repent and that the times of restoration must come, before Christ would return to establish His Messianic Kingdom. The Nation of Israel has not yet repented. Today, they still have not returned to Jehovah, there is no sacrificial system in place, no temple, none of the old traditional worship of Jehovah is being practiced fully today and has not been practiced since A.D. 70 when Titus destroyed the temple and all their records at Jerusalem.
Is there any significance with this different baptism that Jesus told His apostles they would use in that Kingdom time…? Yes, as we said, in that time, they will be evangelizing the nations who do not need to repent from the apostasy Israel needs repentance from. The nations will need to recognize their utter failure as humans and their need of God.
To baptize in the “name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” is to be baptized into God! Israel is baptized into their Messiah, Jesus Christ. These are the “things that differ.” The nations will be baptized into the One God, notice it is the name of, singular and not the plural, names of, as of three separate persons. God is One person not three and I think this is especially interesting that the three aspects of God are named and yet it is said to be the name of and not names! In that era, God will not be hidden but visible and active with His people in the person of Christ and visibly active with Israel in the evangelizing of the nations.
But some may still say….Wait, did not the ONE church start at Pentecost? This is what is taught and this is in error! Let’s go back to Pentecost and continue with our answer to this question. Pentecost means 50th day. It was celebrated 50 days or 7 Sabbaths from the Firstfruit or the Wave offering which always followed the Passover Sabbath.
This was a Jewish celebration and was part of their law covenant. No Gentiles would have been present at either Pentecost or taking part in this Jewish festival unless they were proselytes. A few days before Pentecost and just before Jesus ascended into heaven, which remember was 40 days after his resurrection, He told His Apostles to stay in Jerusalem, because they would receive power from on high with the Holy Spirit to visit them.
At Acts 1:26 Matthias is chosen by lot to replace Judas and once again, this completes the Twelve Apostles, they once again were a unit through which signs were displayed Acts 2:1 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Jews and not Gentiles were present! The remnant church was active; the body of Christ had not yet begun, it Apostle not yet called!
Following Peters speech in Acts 2:17-21, Peter quotes the prophecy from Joel 2:28-32 concerning the “last days” for Israel, of which the pouring out of Holy Spirit was a demonstration and a foretaste of a future time when God would be dealing with them again, leading up to Christ’s return and on into the Kingdom. That prophecy was not completely fulfilled at Pentecost; it is still waiting complete fulfillment in the future after the body of Christ is “snatched and meets the Lord in the air.”
Peter continues to preach about Jesus Christ at Acts 2:29 he addresses the crowd, “Men, Brethren” he is speaking to Jewish brethren and then goes on to preach of Jesus death, and resurrection and then he calls on them “to repent and be baptized.” Now notice his words at Acts 2:39 “For to you is the promise and to your children, and to all those afar, whosoever the Lord our God should be calling to Him” (Jews in the land and those in dispersion or scattered afar) The promise Peter spoke of was not a secret, there were hundreds of prophetic prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures concerning this Kingdom to come. In Acts 3:20,21 we saw Peter said, “Heaven has received Christ Jesus until the times of restoration.” Those afar, were referring to the Jewish brethren of the dispersion, those scattered in all the nations and not to Gentiles.
At Pentecost, those present were Jews and Jewish proselytes, from many lands who came to Jerusalem for this celebration. Jews, Hebrews by race but members of different nations or countries and many spoke only the languages of those lands in which they had been raised in. These were the “dispersed” Jews and proselytes. Acts 2:8-12 When Peter speaks to them, He says “men of Judea” and at Acts 2:14 “men of Israel” Acts 2:22 He is speaking to his fellow Israelis, JEWS and not Gentiles! He quotes their own prophetic scriptures to them, explaining what had happened on this special Passover with Jesus of Nazareth being their Messiah and that He had died but had risen and what they were witnessing with, “the speaking in other tongues”, (languages) and “the flames of fire” was the evidence of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as proof of this. Acts 2:16-21
The need for tongues at Pentecost was the ability to speak the different languages for the Jews who were from those countries gathered in Jerusalem or the ability for them to hear Peter in their own language. This gift was given for this reason and not because Gentiles were in the crowd. This Pentecostal gathering was for the Kingdom or Prophetic church of the Remnant of Israel and was not the beginning of the Body of Christ!
This was a Jewish celebration; Pentecost always was celebrated 50 days after the firstfruit, or the wave offering. This was their offering of the first harvest of the season, the Barley Harvest. A sheaf was waved over the people of Israel by the Priests; this wave offering guaranteed a complete Harvest of their other crops for the nation of Israel, Jehovah always provided for them while they remained faithful.
This first fruit or wave offering also pictured Christ as the firstfruit, harvested from the dead. Jesus was killed on the Jewish, preparation day and buried before High Sabbath began that week on Thursday at 6 PM and He was raised from the dead, 3 days later, on the day of the wave offering of the firstfruit. On Saturday after the weekly Sabbath had ended at 6 PM fulfilling His own words that He would be in the earth “three days and three nights”. This is also why Paul refers to Him as the firstfruit in 1 Corinthians 15:21-23. During that week there fell two Sabbaths, the High Sabbath and the weekly sabbath thus there is a confusion on whether Jesus spent three days and nights in the tomb or only part of them. But this is a lesson for another time.
Paul was not at Pentecost, since he had not been called yet, he was called by God approximately seven years later, so at Pentecost we, the Body of Christ, with our evangel, the Grace evangel, were not there! We were still, “the secret hidden in God.” Remember, only Paul was given that “secret or mystery” to dispense and he did not do this for perhaps fourteen to seventeen years after his Damascus road experience. So Peter could not have started the Body of Christ! He was ministering to Israel only.
Paul gave us the years at Galatians 1:15-18 Paul tells us it was 3 years after his conversion before he went to Jerusalem to explain his commission from Christ to Peter and James the brother of Jesus. At Galatians 2:1,2 Paul refers to fourteen years passing, which is from his last visit to Jerusalem and “submitted to them (the elders) the evangel which I am heralding among the nations” This would be what happened at the 15th Chapter of Acts.
At Acts 11: 25 we see Saul and Barnabas were in Jerusalem but nothing is said of their speaking and this is before they were severed from Israel in Chapter 13:2 which we might make note, this severance took place in Antioch where they had been for a year following Peters speech in Acts 11. So, if we take the 14 years and add it to the 3 years, from Galatians 1:18 it was probably around seventeen years from his conversion before he began sharing His evangel for the Body of Christ going to the Gentiles with his evangel. Paul only, of the apostles was given revelations concerning his evangel. The question which needs to be asked, is, if Paul was teaching the same evangel as Peter and the other remnant saints why would he need to submit or explain his evangel to them? He submitted it to them because it was new and different from their evangel and by that time His apostleship was proven by the gifts of the spirit that Paul had been called by Christ.
With first Saul’s credibility established as a true believer and then also as chosen Apostle, he had the gifts of the Holy Spirit to heal and prophesy, proving his commission was from Christ. So whether the Jews totally understood it or whether they liked it or not they had to accept him. His Apostleship could not be denied nor his commission to take the New Evangel to the nations! The Body of Christ was the new administration with a new evangel, plain and simple separate from Israel’s.
A Jewish rule for accepting something to be true or from God, was “by the mouth of two or more witnesses” and so this would be needed before the Jews could accept or believe what was being said. Matthew 18:16, 17 and 2 Corinthians 13:1 I think this rule is seen with Saul in his ministry leading up to his severance, and we note that after Acts 13 Saul then begins to use his Gentile name of Paul.
The leaders in Jerusalem would not have believed Paul unless God also used others to verify that Saul’s conversion was real and that Christ had chosen him for a special work. Ananias confirms it, as the Lord told him His plans for Saul when He sent him to heal Saul’s blindness in Acts 9:13-19 and Barnabas also vouches for him as recorded at Acts 9:25-27
After the three years spent in Arabia following his conversion, Saul went to Jerusalem and “relates his commission to Peter and James the brother of the Lord but no one else” Galatians 1:18,19 I think this is why Barnabas was to go with Paul for a time, to give credibility to Saul, he was much feared as the Pharisee who had been persecuting the believers in Jesus. We read later, that Barnabas and Paul parted company. Galatians 2:11-14
Another misunderstood statement by Peter, raises another question usually argued by those who do not understand this rule of rightly dividing and the need to separate the two evangels. Peter’s words in Acts 15: 6, 7 “Men! Brethren! You are versed in the fact that from days at the beginning God chooses among you, that through my mouth the nations are to hear the word of the evangel and believe.”
They point to Peter saying he was to declare the evangel to the nations. Please contrast this with the wording in Paul’s statement about his evangel, found at Colossians 1:23 “not being removed from the expectation of the evangel which you hear…which is being heralded in the entire creation…which is under heaven of which I, Paul, became the dispenser.”
If we don’t rightly divide we will have contradictions here with Peter’s words at Pentecost and later with these words of Paul’s. Paul would have been most arrogant to use the phrase “I, Paul became the dispenser” if indeed Peter had begun the evangel to the nations at Pentecost years before or at anytime before Paul’s conversion. We must ask, what does the record in the scriptures show us as to whom it was who led in dispensing of the evangel to the nations and with what or which evangel? Was it Peter, or was it in fact Paul?
It was not Peter as we have seen so far and we will see more proof of this when we read the account in Acts 10 which took place years after Pentecost; it clearly demonstrates that Peter was not preaching his evangel to Gentiles, for he had to be pushed by God to go to Cornelius who was a Gentile!. It was Paul who was commissioned, by Christ to be the Apostle for the nations, to be called the Body of Christ; it was Paul who took his evangel to the nations and it is his evangel which has been dispensed in all creation and not Peters!
Peter will fulfill the commission given to him by Jesus when he and the others are raised “out of the dust” through the resurrection in the Kingdom on earth and THEN from Jerusalem will go forth the gospel of Jesus Christ, His kingdom will be established and ruling and the message will be that He is the Saviour of not only the Jews, but of the entire world. Daniel 12:1, 2
After Pentecost the record found in the scriptures shows that the twelve did not go into the entire world, but just to the surrounding land and only to Jews living there, declaring to them, that Jesus was their Messiah. They were told if Israel would repent, Christ would return. Israel as a whole did not and could not repent as God kept them blind and calloused.
The question of why or how did God blind them may be in your mind as it was in mine for some time until I understood that it is God who chooses and calls and it is only by means of His spirit, falling on or indwelling the person, which is what enables them to respond to spiritual things and believe God, thus, no longer blinded to spiritual things.
The Nation of Israel as a whole was not yet called out of their Lo ammi state, God chose an elect from that nation, called the Remnant to represent Israel. God has a time schedule which the Jews or even the Remnant were not aware of. They knew nothing of the mystery or secret yet to be revealed through Paul.
This remnant church did what they were told to do, going into Israel, Samaria and neighboring lands in which lived, JEWS. They knew for Christ to return, there must be national repentance. What they did not know was that Paul’s secret evangel would intervene before that would happen and before the return of Christ.
The New Administration through Paul was to come next before their Kingdom could or would be set up on earth. When Paul’s ministry became in the forefront and as he shared the revelations he had received from Christ, the other Israeli Remnant Saints recognized their Kingdom was in the future and that Paul had a commission from Christ to also fulfill.
So the Pentecostal era was an offering of the future earthly kingdom to that nation of Israel only, with fulfillment of some of what their Festival days pictured. The Passover, The Wave offering of the Firstfruit and Pentecost all picturing Christ’s work on the cross and were fulfilled in Him. He was “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” John 1:29 He was the firstfruit of 1 Corinthians 15:23 His Death, Burial and Resurrection were followed by the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, at Pentecost and was a blessing on that Remnant.
But, Pentecost was only a foretaste of what would take place in the times of restoration, and the last days leading up to Christ’s Second Advent and followed by its complete operation in the Kingdom on earth when Israel will fulfill all the commissions given to them and those specific instructions given to Peter!
Christ died for all mankind, and with His death, He paid the price for the sins of the world and His resurrection was symbolized by the wave offering in Israel every year. This was given to God to which He then guaranteed their future harvest. Christ as the firstfruit from the grave and as the wave offering for humanity guarantees a complete harvest of mankind for the Creator of humanity. “For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified. Yet each in his own class” 1 Corinthians 15:22,23
Many years after Pentecost, Peter was given a vision, which prepared him, to go to Cornelius, a Roman Centurion, a Gentile! Cornelius believed in Jehovah as the one true God and gave alms to the Jews. God had spoken to him, saying that his faith had not gone unnoticed and tells him to send for Simon Peter. God even told him where Peter was lodging, so Cornelius sends three men as a messenger to get him.
Peter meanwhile, we read was in prayer and also was given a vision of “a large sheet coming down from heaven to the earth and filled with many unclean things, reptiles and etc…..and God tells Peter to rise and sacrifice and eat.” Acts 10:11-13; 11:5-7 Peter is appalled, for he states “I have never eaten anything unclean” and again God tells Peter “what God has cleansed you are not to call unclean” Verse 14 and then a third time, God speaks and repeats this to him at Verse 15 but Peter is confused and wonders what this vision means and then the messengers from Cornelius arrive asking for him.
The spirit comes to Peter and tells him, he is to go with them. Peter obeys, yet it is not easy for him for Cornelius was not a Jew but a Gentile. Notice what Peter says when he arrives at the home of Cornelius. Acts 10:28, 29 “ You are versed in the fact of how illicit it is for a man who is a Jew to join or come to another tribe, and God shows me not to say that any man is unclean and so I ask on what account are you sending for me.”
God gave Peter a push, with this vision, not to go to the Gentile nations but to recognize Gentiles were no longer unclean to a Jew. Christendom teaches Peter was going to the Gentiles and that his church was the body of Christ. This incident disproves this; God pushed Peter to take his kingdom evangel to a Gentile, named Cornelius, causing Peter to recognize that the wall of hatred between the Jew and Gentile was no longer acceptable to God.
Cornelius shares his experience with Peter, of God’s speaking to him and telling him to send for Peter, in Acts 10:34-36 we can read Peters response to this, “Of a truth I am grasping that God is not partial, but in every nation he who is fearing Him and acting righteously is acceptable to Him as (He is Lord of all) So Peter preaches Jesus to him and his household telling them, that those believing in Jesus will receive the pardon of sins and the Holy spirit falls on all those hearing the word and then he bids them to be baptized” Notice, Holy Spirit falls on them another difference between Peter’s and Paul’s evangels.
Before Christ died, a Gentile, wanting to join Israel was a proselyte to Israel’s religion, and Gentiles were called a stranger in the scriptures. The Jewish brethren were referred to as friends. There were two kinds of proselytes, “the righteous proselyte” which accepted the religion of Israel, being circumcised and then followed their laws. The second kind of proselyte, was called the “proselyte at the gate” These ones wished to worship Jehovah as they recognized Him to be the True God but did not necessarily want to embrace the Jewish religion and be circumcised and so were not allowed in the Temple area, thus they had to stay at the gate, as an onlooker, standing outside of the temple, the court yard and of course the Holy and Most Holy areas which only the priests were allowed access.
It would seem this incident with Cornelius portrays the Gentiles who will come to Christ in the future under that Kingdom rule with no circumcision and no Mosaic Law required, but they will come to Christ through the favored nation of Israel and they will come in grace and faith, no longer standing at the gate looking in. This incidence demonstrates for us that Peter and the other Israeli apostles were not going to the Gentiles when Paul comes into the picture years after Pentecost. In fact they were still maintaining a separation from them as was the custom of the Jews. Read the entire account with Peter and Cornelius found at Acts 10:1-48
Later in Jerusalem, Peter presents the experience he had with Cornelius to the Elders since many of the circumcision doubted him and were very upset with him that he had entered into the home of uncircumcised men (Gentile) at Acts 11:1-3 Peter relates his vision to them and of how God arranged it all, Verses 4-17 This causes the leaders to consider this and in Verse 18, they said “Now on hearing these things, they are quiet, and glorify God, saying, consequently, to the nations also, God gives repentance unto life!”
Make note this is at least 10 years after Jesus told Peter that by his mouth the nations would hear the evangel! Yet this was entirely new to them showing us they were not going to Gentiles at all! Again, if they were taking their evangel or any evangel to Gentiles in the nations as they were told by Jesus that they would do, why would they have been upset with Peter for going to Cornelius?
The reason they were upset was that they were not going to the nations; they were still keeping separate from them and the Israeli saints knew their commission to evangelize the nations was not to take place until after Christ returned and set up the Kingdom! Can you see the muddle Christendom has made of the two evangels? They have mixed the earthly with the heavenly; they do not teach Paul’s sound doctrine or rightly divide Gods words of truth as Paul counseled us to do!
Paul is severed from Israel by the Holy Spirit at Acts 13:2 He and Barnabas then began to go to the nations with His Evangel of Grace for the New Administration…The Body of Christ. It was then time to reveal the secret! Once again the elders at Jerusalem are troubled and Paul and Barnabas are asked to go to Jerusalem. At Acts 15:1,2 we read, the leaders at Jerusalem are having a problem with Paul and Barnabas and their work among the Gentiles of whom they were commissioned by Holy Spirit to go to.
Some Pharisees who claimed to accept Christ still wanted the believers to follow the Law of Moses and be circumcised. This is why the elders in Jerusalem had sent for them to discuss this, it is important to recognize the context of this passage. Peter reminds them of the work Jesus entrusted him with and he also defends Paul at Acts 15:7-11.
Law keeping and circumcision were no longer needed because of the cross, so Peter argued this was an “unnecessary yoke” to impose on new believers, Paul and Barnabas explain what God have called them to do, which some Pharisees did not like as they wanted to impose the Mosaic law and circumcision on all believers but Peter has defended them and reminds them that he was given the commission to take the Kingdom evangel to the nations not then but in the Kingdom.
If Peter had believed it was his commission to go to the nations then…he most certainly would have counseled Paul and Barnabas for doing his job! Peter stated in Verse 11 “But through the grace of the Lord Jesus we are believing, to be saved in a manner even as they.” This is a reference to those of the nations being saved in Paul’s evangel of GRACE and also any proselytes to the Kingdom with Israel and that the Jews were now saved outside of the law. Peter was stressing, faith and grace would also be given to them as the way to salvation and not through the Law or circumcision. This little word they, shows Peter accepted those of the nations as a separate group from the Remnant church of Israel. He would not have said this had all saints been in one Church, he would have said…we and not they!
This was not understood or heeded by the Judaisers, even Peter later seems to forget his own words and thus we find that later Paul needs to counsel him at Galatians 2:11-21 The record concerning Peters preaching to his brethren, the Jew about Jesus the Christ takes us to Chapter 13 then we see, Paul severed from Israel and sent to the nations and then the dispute over circumcision and Peter relating his experience with Cornelius and it is then very noticeable that after his discourse in Chapter 15 we do not hear any more from Peter, but more and more from and about Paul’s ministry. The Prophetic evangel fades from view and the new administration of Grace under Paul completes the book of Acts and closes with Paul’s work among the nations of Gentiles.
James seemed to be the head elder at Jerusalem although not an Apostle. The Apostle James was killed earlier at Acts 12:2 But Peter had been commissioned by Jesus as the head of the Remnant. He seems to have allowed James the brother of Jesus to take over. James then makes a compromise we read at Acts 15:13-21 he first quotes Amos 9:11-12 which is not concerning the evangel of Paul to the nations but of the future work of Israel in the Kingdom to the nations. James seems to ignore what Peter, Paul and Barnabas have told them but felt the need to state, that those coming to Christ from the nations “were to abstain from, pollution with idols and prostitution and what is strangled and blood” Why would he say such things? Repeated at Acts 21:25
Circumcision was a problem constantly debated as the Jew prided himself with as this had been the national, physical, sign for Israel separating them from the other nations. This sign was no longer needed or required. Those from the nations coming into the Body of Christ, were coming out of pagan religions with the common practice of participating in Temple prostitution, a religious rite and tied in with the worship of the goddess Ashtarteth or Easter.
They also sacrificed animals, to their other gods, but the blood was not drained out before cooking and the eating of blood was in direct opposition to Jewish Law. This Law was a protection health wise, blood is dirty; it contains all the illnesses of that animal, fungus, bacteria, virus and more. So James was emphasizing those pagan religious practices going on in that day, needed to be stopped when becoming a believer in Christ. Paul did not argue but never instructed us on this one way or the other. Paul also later refers to “the circumcision not done with hands” Colossians 2:11 and 3:11 this is our circumcision.
Paul continually writes in his letters to the Body of Christ showing us that our walk is a spiritual walk. We are given a spiritual circumcision in Christ, perhaps an invisible mark, tied in with our being chosen by God and placed into the Body of Christ, perhaps visible to the spirit world?
I always wondered what it meant, our circumcision, but Paul explains it for us at Colossians 2:8-12 “Beware that no one shall be despoiling you through philosophy and empty seduction, in accord with human tradition, in accord with the elements of the world, and not in accord with Christ, for in Him the entire complement of the Deity is dwelling bodily. And you are complete in Him, Who is the Head of every sovereignty and authority, in Whom you were circumcised also with a circumcision not made by hands, in the stripping off of the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ.”
There is a lot which could be said on this passage…but focusing only on our subject. Paul contrasts the old traditions of the Jews which would be their physical circumcision and the Mosaic Law with the Gentile believer and his old philosophy and doctrines. To cling to the Mosaic Law covenant was the same as the pagan believers clinging to their error…Paul’s disciples had to discard the old beliefs they were no longer truths for them….they were a new administraiton….founded upon the new truths given to Paul by Christ.
The word despoiling actually means attaching. He was saying beware of any one who would be attaching error to what they had received from Christ. Christ is complete in God and we are complete in Christ, thus our circumcision is literally our body of flesh stripped from us, it has been stripped from our vivified spirit! Paul continues in the next Verses 12-14 and tell us how, “Being entombed together with Him in baptism, in Whom you were roused together also through faith in the operation of God, Who rouses Him from among the dead, you also being dead to the offenses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He vivifies us together jointly with Him, dealing graciously with all our offenses.”
Our circumcision is spiritual just as Paul again telling us our baptism is spiritual at Romans 6:3,4 This is not something we did or do but God has done it all, for us and to us. We are given faith by God and so how are we then dead to our offenses? Because in Grace our bodies of flesh have been stripped from us, our flesh is corrupt and dying, thus sinful. God only views us in Christ and in His righteousness and that is why we are described as His body, the body of Christ! The mistakes our flesh continues to make while in this world are not even seen by God, we are in a spiritual walk of spiritual blessings! This is what Grace is!
Paul had a continual role, counseling all believers in both groups of saints that circumcision was no longer required but some people then and now love religion, tradition and ritual and do not want to give them up. They cling to the physical which Paul once said was now “dung”. Romans 4:1-15 Galatians 3:5-9 For the Remnant Church, Who, Jesus Christ as their Messiah, fulfilled the Law for them on the cross, they were no longer under it and as for the New Church, The Body of Christ, who were never under the Law in the first place.
Through only Paul’s evangel; something new was instituted for us, the calling is in Total GRACE. At Ephesians 2:15 Paul definitely tells us there are no longer any laws or ordinances! Paul was not popular with the Judaisers; he did not compromise his evangel or hold his tongue as it seems Peter did. The book of Galatians shows us the continual fight Paul waged with the Judaisers, over circumcision and Moasism, clinging to the Mosaic Law.
We also have to recognize the mind set of the Jew, after centuries of practicing the Law with all its traditions; it was not easy for them to recognize a change had taken place through Christ’s work on the cross. They were having trouble understanding this. Christ was the fulfillment of the entire Law; it had been a tutor for Israel, leading them to Christ. The tutor was no longer needed; Christ had arrived and nailed the Law to the stake with Himself.
This was symbolized by the renting of the temple curtain in two at his death this curtain had separated the Holy area from the Most Holy compartment of which only the Priests of Israel were allowed to enter. His death rent that curtain in two; the most area of the temple was then open to be viewed by all, no longer a hidden sacred place. God is no longer hidden from humanity or using a human mediatory, priestly system. Matthew 27:51 Mark 15:38 “God was in Christ, conciliating the world unto Himself.” 2 Corinthians 5:19
God demonstrated to the Jews through the incident with Cornelius in Acts 10 that there were no longer, Righteous Proselytes or even the Proselytes at the Gate. The Gentiles were no longer to be considered as unclean, no rules, no more separation. All chosen were allowed to enter. Circumcision was not a requirement, nor keeping the Mosaic Law. The religious Jews did not like this, they were a privileged people and self-righteous, they believed they were better than the Gentiles, due to their centuries of being told by the law to keep separate from the Gentiles.
What I find interesting is that the nation had accepted Gentile pagan doctrines, which took them into apostasy and divorcement but most still refused to associate with Gentiles. The few examples given in the scripture, of Cornelius, the Samaritan and the Ethiopian Eunuch are given to prepare their minds for this change and for Paul and his new evangel to the Gentiles also for the Kingdom era on earth, when Peter and the other Apostles will be overseeing the heralding of the evangel of the Kingdoms rule and blessings to the Gentiles in all the nations. The Remnant Church did not understand how far off this Kingdom was, but they knew Christ had to return before their ministry to the nations could begin.
Lets briefly sum up the different evangels….Jesus’ evangel was of the impending Kingdom, His apostles and disciples were taught to pray for this Kingdom to come and to herald it to their Jewish brethren. After Jesus died and returned to heaven the evangel of the Remnant Church was of repentance for Israel so that He would return with His Kingdom. Jesus was indeed their Messiah as foretold, rejected and killed but raised by God and taken to heaven in fulfillment of Prophecy, but He would return to set up His Kingdom on the earth, following repentance by Israel.
The complete and final national repentance will take place when the Zionistic Jews realize the Christ at His advent and who rescues them from the antichrist and his armies in Jerusalem was indeed their Messiah, the very Jesus of Nazareth who their forefathers had rejected and killed. Zechariah 12: 9-14 tells us about this time of recognition and national repentance.
Following the Pentecostal time and of the Remnant heralding repentance to their Jewish brethren we then have God calling Saul 7 years later. Then 17 years pass and we see Paul, preaching “the secret” given only to him, a new evangel for the nations, all nations; Israel is included as one of the nations because she was still lo ammi, not Gods people. So some Jews like Paul were chosen by God in His work of choosing and calling individuals from every nation, reconciling them in infinite Grace, placed in the Body of Christ.
But this did not mean that the Prophetic program for Israel was eliminated. Not all of Israel or the Remnant or its Apostles were called into the Body of Christ as is taught by the denominations. In Paul’s day there were two groups of saints, but with different evangels and with different destinies. The Grace evangel is Paul’s evangel, with a heavenly destiny different from Israel who will rule and rein on earth. The Remnant remains in the Kingdom evangel.
In Revelation 14:6 we read of an “angel preaching an eonian evangel” It is a call to worship, only the true God and seems to be in response to the antichrist who is demanding to be worshipped as god. In the Concordant Commentary, A. E. Knoch says “The eonian evangel is not for this day. It is for the hours of judgment in the midst of wrath He remembers mercy. But it does not call upon them to believe, as the gospel does today, for that is adapted to a time of undiluted grace Romans 4:16. It is not even a call to repent, for that is the door into the Kingdom before the hours of judgment. Acts 2:38 It is fear—fear for God in His most elemental character as the Creator. It is a demand that no one be worshiped but the One, Who created the universe; this is His answer to the demands of the false prophet that all worship the wild beast and the dragon. Acts 17:24-31”
My question on this thought is that, since it is called an eonian evangel, which means an evangel for an eon which an eon is a period of time, I wondered, for which eon? It seems to me by its name; it would not be only for that brief period of time at the end of this eon before the Kingdom is established?
Once Christ comes and the Kingdom is established the evangel previously heralded of the coming or impending Kingdom would be over when Christ arrives? In that Kingdom, it seems natural that the evangel would still be to worship only the true God. There will be many people in the different nations who worshiped other gods and even though out of fear or deception did worship the antichrist their tendency would be to revert to their old religions.
This will be part of the job of evangelizing the nations, bringing them to the True God. So if the eonian evangel is what will be preached, it would consist of, Worship God the Creator and remember this will take place when Israel will be then obeying the commission from Jesus to “baptize in the name of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit.” This is the worship of the One True God, the Creator of the Universe and only HIM.
Now going back to Acts, in chronological time, Paul was converted in Acts 9 seven years after Jesus death and Paul’s severing at Acts 13 which we figured with 3 and 14 years being given us in Galatians 1:18 and 2:1 this is about 17 years after his Damascus road experience so his severing was then is about 24 years from Christ’s death The incident with Peter and Cornelius took place in Acts 10, and this seems to be about 8 or 9 years after the death of Jesus according to Lightfoots dating in the Companion Bible.
We again ask, does what we’ve read sound like Peter or any of the other apostles had yet begun preaching to the Gentiles who are the uncircumcised? No, it does not and so even though Peter had stated at Pentecost, that the “nations were to hear the word through his mouth,” we can see that, he had not gone to the nations and so we must ask, Why not? Were, Peter and the others not obeying Jesus words?
No, they knew when Jesus spoke to them of going to all the nations that it was to take place in the Kingdom after Christ returns. They were obeying Jesus by preaching of this future return to their brethren the (Jews). This message was to take place first, while waiting for His return to usher in the Kingdom. Peter and the other Jewish saints were not socializing with or preaching to Gentiles.
We read that it took the vision from God and God telling Peter three times at Acts 10: 16 and 11:10 this was pushing him into going to the home of Cornelius with the evangel of the Kingdom. This alone shows us Peter was not going to Gentiles, the Jews still avoided them. In Acts 11 Peter goes to Jerusalem to relate this event to the elders who contended with him for associating with Gentiles. Acts 11:1,2
At Acts 11:25, 26 “Barnabas goes to Tarsus to seek Saul and they then go to Antioch and dwell there for one year and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” Antioch is Gentile territory but Saul has not been severed from Israel yet so we assume these are Jewish believers. Bullinger’s notes point out, “the name Christian seems to have been applied to the believers in Jesus by Gentiles as Christos was a sacred name and would not have been used by the Jews.”
We need to remember the order of events that Peter laid out at Pentecost; the first was, Repentance, before Christ would return in the Second Advent to establish the Kingdom on earth. The Remnant were heralding to Israel repentance. That did not happen because it is God who will move their hearts to desire to return to Him...it was not yet that time. There are numerous scriptures which speak of this.
I found it interesting that as far back as at the end of the 40 year wandering of Israel in the wilderness, Moses speaking the words of Jehovah to them, lays out their entire future from that time forward. Deuteronomy 29 and 30 Read these chapters through and see how they were told before they had even entered the Promised Land of their future apostasy and of being scattered into the nations and that it is Jehovah who will cause them to return to Him.
Deuteronomy 30:1-6 “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee. And shalt return unto the LORD thy God and shalt obey His voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will He fetch thee; And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it: and He will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart and with all thy soul that thou mayest live.”
Let’s insert here, Acts 15:18 “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” KJAV The word world is really from the ages….But the point being, God knew all from the beginning of time. No surprises and no needing to turn to a plan B because plan A failed although this is the common teaching. Also another excellent passage is Isaiah 46:10 “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure:”
This then also should alert us that Peter’s words at Acts 1:8 are also misunderstood, when at Pentecost, when quoting what Jesus had said to them before His ascension, that they would be His witnesses both in Jerusalem and in entire Judea and Samaria, “and as far as the limits of the earth.” What is interesting about this word “earth” is that it can also be translated “land” as it is the Greek word “Ge” which means “land distinct from water “
While the word “world” in the Greek is “cosmos” and is not used in this verse. If this referred to the earth or world, the word cosmos would have been used there. So in this verse it refers to the land surrounding Israel and in reference to the land the Jews knew at that time and not the whole world. They were witnesses to Jesus’ life, death and resurrection which they were to preach to the Jews in their area, in the lands they knew and to Samaria which is recorded as done by Phillip. They did not preach to the whole world, at that time they did not even know the extent of the whole world nor did they have the means to go into the whole world even if they knew about it. They knew their commission first was to preach to their fellow Jews of Jesus and the coming Kingdom.
Their commission to preach to the whole world of all nations will take place after the Kingdom is established by Jesus Christ their messiah. The denominations are wrong to claim Israel is in the Body of Christ and that we are to fulfill the commissions given to the Remnant Church by Jesus at Matthew 24:14 and 28:19 those commissions are for Peter and the other eleven apostles to oversee in the Kingdom on earth, during the Millennial reign of Christ. We will be gone to heaven to our assignment!
When, Phillip and Peter went outside of Israel to the Samaritans, this was the second phase of the Kingdom testimony. Note Acts 1:8 “But you shall be obtaining power at the coming on of the Holy Spirit on you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in entire Judea and Samaria, and as far as the limits of the earth.”
Jerusalem and Judea had not responded well to its heralding. It was then offered to Samaria. We might ask, who were the Samaritans? The Jews hated them, why? The Samaritans were a mixed race, half Jew and half Assyrian, dating back to the time of their domination by the Assyrian King which was when the twelve tribes of Israel had their civil war and split before their divorcement. The Ten tribes of Israel made their capital at Samaria and were living amongst the Assyrians thus intermarriage happened, because they were not obeying the Mosaic Law.
The offspring of these marriages were named the Samaritans. The Samaritans followed the five books of Moses and built their own temple separate from the Jews and even fought against the Jewish people so there was jealous antagonism between them. Since these people had some Jewish blood they are considered Jews and the next closest relation and were the next to be told of the Kingdom evangel. These incidents and the one with Cornelius were a deliberate and slow process done by God in preparing the Israeli minds that there was to be no more enmity between them and the other nations also preparing the way for Paul and his evangel to the Gentiles for building the Body of Christ.
On the other hand….Paul’s evangel has indeed been taken to the whole world through the many Bible translations produced in other languages, made possible by the printing press invention in the 15th century. This enabled mass copies of the Bible to be made and down to our day, the Word of God is in just about every home or hotel in the world and available through many other forms, cassettes, and on computers and etc.
The evangel of Grace is in the entire world not through the Kingdom evangel apostles or disciples but through the Body of Christ begun by Paul, although for the most part not really understood by them. Christendom has mixed Israel’s Kingdom gospel or evangel with Paul’s gospel of Grace and wrongly teaching that we earn that Grace by letting Christ save us. They do not understand that God through Christ has done all the work for salvation for us and that is part of our many spiritual blessings given to us when chosen by God and placed in this Church, the Body of Christ, with the heavenly calling, separate from Israel with their earthly calling.
Another manifestation of the gifts, given to the Israeli church, was demonstrated by Phillip with the Ethiopian Eunuch and no one in Christendom claiming the gifts has been able to do this. God tells him to go to a man far away. Acts 8:26-39 “Phillip is snatched away by the Lord” and Verse 40 shows he is next found in the city of Azotus! When the gifts were active things happened like this, also the power to heal and to kill as in the killing of a fraudulent believer or raising the dead and restoring of withered limbs from birth. If Christendom had God’s backing for miracles, then all that was done by Israel in those days would also be happening to day and much more! The Signs and Gifts are for Israel and after we are gone they will become active again.
The gifts displayed at Pentecost and for a time afterwards were a foretaste, a preview of a time in the future and not for the Body of Christ but for Israel. Peter tells us when this will be, at, Acts 2:17-21 “And it shall be in the last days, God will pour out His spirit on all flesh then their will be prophesy, visions, dreaming, miracles in heaven signs on the earth. Blood and fire and pillars of smoke, the sun darkened, the moon into blood and comes the day of the Lord, The great and advent day.” This information is for Israel and not US!
It seems to me it would be natural for all the saints to meet together, the Israeli Remnant saints, the proselytes and the believers called into the Body of Christ as all being believers in Jesus Christ. This bond should have made them a close knit community of saints; they were not fitting in with the Jewish community or the Pagan religions they had left.
Also, as believers in Jesus Christ they all were suffering persecution together. Although, I have read where it is thought they later began to meet separately, with the Remnant together and the Body of Christ together because of the persecution from the Jewish community who were fighting the Remnant for associating with Gentiles and not following the Mosaic Law. These same Jews hated Paul’s evangel of Grace because he was teaching the Mosaic Law and circumcision no longer had any value for righteousness or salvation. He also was proclaiming that Jesus of Nazareth was Israel’s Messiah and the Son of God.
Along with that, Paul taught the Gentiles were now Gods people, you can imagine how the apostate self-righteous Jews hated that message and in the last chapters of Acts we read of their seeking to assassinate him many times. I would encourage the reader of this Manual to read the entire book of Acts straight through, now with the understanding of these differences with Peter’s and Paul’s evangels and make note of what sufferings Paul went through because of his evangel in the chapters of Acts 21-28 This is like reading an action novel!
WE have learned that “Signs” were for Israel, in the past and they will be for them again in the future. We as believers placed in the body of Christ are not given signs; we need to recognize the signs and miracles were Israel’s. They are soulish and earthly, given to promote faith. God used signs for them and for the nations watching Jehovah’s dealings with Israel. These signs proved Jehovah was the true God.
These signs ceased as the Remnant’s ministry began to fade out. Paul had these gifts in the early years of his ministry after his conversion also only preached to Jews of Jesus being their Messiah until it was lawful to share his evangel. 2 Corinthians 12:4 WE learned he had to wait until it was time to be severed and then it was allowed him to share his revelations and new evangel…he was then sent to the nations with this new evangel. Acts 13:2
Paul also while ministering to Israel used the gifts of healing as the other apostles, these were the signs proving one was an apostle; so given to establish his credibility with Israel proving His calling as an Apostle. After his severance there came a time as His ministry went from Israel to His new evangel for the body of Christ the gift of healing waned and especially when he was imprisoned, which symbolized the physical or fleshly being bound. Paul focuses on the spiritual blessings given to the Body of Christ as his prison epistles mainly deal with the Body of Christ. Early in Paul’s ministry with Israel, he had been able to send a piece of cloth from his cloak and those touching it would be healed. We need to remember that Paul had a dual ministry, we do not! We only are dispensers of Grace and are in the spiritual realm.
Paul states in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 “the gifts would cease” He refers to these gifts as childish, minors; physical gifts imparted faith to the beholder in order to believe. You and I are given faith by means of the indwelling of Holy Spirit. At 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 Paul requests of the Lord a healing for himself, for a physical infirmity and is told by the Lord ”My Grace is sufficient for you” Paul could no longer heal himself or any others.
In 1Timothy 5:23, Paul advises Timothy to use a little wine for a stomach problem, if Paul still had the power to heal, he would certainly have relieved his favored friend of his painful ailment because he loved Timothy, who he called a son in the faith, but Paul was unable to do so.
Paul spent many years with the Israeli message of Jesus for the Jews. He manifested those powers to them as proof of his Apostleship to that nation. With out these proofs he would have been ignored by the other saints. Before Paul could relate the direct revelations he received from Christ of the new and differing information for the Body of Christ he had to be established as an Apostle, chosen by Christ. Paul states, that “he gave us the entire counsel of God” Acts 20:26, 27
We are to learn from Paul our apostle as he was chosen by God specifically for us. With the invisible spirit world seeking to rob us of our joy in Christ, why should we listen to anyone but Paul? He said the gifts would cease and so if someone tells us they have the gift to heal or prophesy or have had a vision, who should we believe, them or Paul? Paul told us the gifts would cease, because they were for minors, the gifts, signs for Israel.
Once the Body of Christ became the primary focus of God, Paul no longer was able to heal; His imprisonment kept him from physically visiting the congregations, his letters, inspired of God completed Gods revelation for man. God’s Grace becomes the primary focus for the Body of Christ. Ours is a spiritual walk with no signs because we have the written Word to guide us with Paul’s evangel provided for us to follow. “Become imitators of me even as I am also of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1 We are also given our faith and declared righteous, secure in our calling, what else do we need?
I spent some time years ago, with a Pentecostal church which believes the gifts are for Us and for today. I witnessed people speaking in tongues and giving what they said was prophesy and also supposed healings with those who claimed to be healed. The tongues and the prophecy did not give a deeper understanding to scripture and the tongues could not be understood. It was not even a foreign language as far as I could ascertain but just gibberish.
The healings never lasted. I even was supposedly healed by Benny Hinn, of which I did not ask for it but he picked me out of the audience and told me that the Lord wanted to heal a back problem of mine. After two weeks the back ailment I had supposedly been healed of returned. Who does not have back problems? I said then, if the Lord really had healed me, it would have been done perfectly and would not have returned. A lot could be said on this subject but to just briefly supply some thoughts to ponder about this subject. If the gifts were operational today, wouldn’t they be at least as great as in the Apostles day? Since Jesus told the Apostles, that they would do more and greater miracles than He had done and that did not happen in their day. John 14:12 Jesus was speaking of the Kingdom era, when those Apostles will be raised from the dead and ministering worldwide to all the nations as Jesus did in His day to Israel, thus fulfilling His words, “more and greater”
Also, when we view the accounts in the scriptures of healing and of the other gifts we see they were not generalized but very detailed and specific. In the account of Peter and Cornelius, explicit details, Peter was named to Cornelius and he was told exactly where Peter would be found. Today’s supposed gifts are vague and repetitious and many times not backed by scripture or scripture wrongly interpreted and not rightly divided, showing it did not come from Holy Spirit.
These denominations promising these gifts are appealing to the flesh of the believer and not to the up building of the spirit or accurate knowledge of Gods Word. If healing were for the body of Christ, Paul would have continued to heal others. Paul stresses our blessings are spiritual! We are justified in the flesh now, what more is really needed since this world, this life, this flesh we live in is only temporary and our expectation is to be removed from it and given our new celestial bodies.
Today, God speaks to the believers in the Body of Christ through the written Word and that Word speaks to our indwelt spirit, guiding us in understanding the Word. Everything we need to know is in the scriptures and especially Paul’s letters written to us. There is no need for anyone to prophesy today. Our Apostle Paul the greatest Prophet of them all gave us our evangel and it teaches us of our expectation. It has all been said by God and recorded for us.
For Israel also, everything needed by them to recognize the time of the end, their last days and the events leading up to it are in the scriptures recorded for them. WE will never be given new or different information. It is not needed; what is needed is understanding of what is already written! Paul completed the Word of God for us and our answers for our heavenly calling are in his letters. Colossians 1:25,26 “which is granted to me for you, to complete the word of God, the secret which has been concealed from the eons and from the generations, yet now made manifest to His saints” That’s you and me!
In reading through the Book of Acts we will read about Peter’s ministry and the beginnings of Paul’s. Luke makes no mention of Paul’s evangel in Acts, even though Paul is declaring it. I think Luke and the Holy Spirit saved that for Paul to teach and to write about in his letters for the Body of Christ. In Galatians 2:11-14 We can note that Paul counseled Peter as he had given into the criticisms of his fellow Jewish brethren, who would not grasp or accept this new teaching, that Gentiles were no longer unclean.
Peter was acting hypocritical, by not wanting to be seen eating with the “Gentiles” This also shows us that Peter was not going to the nations. He and the other Jewish believers let Paul do it. In Galatians, Paul chastises Peter? Bullinger’s notes in the Companion Bible places this as following the council at Acts 15 but before 15:36-40 .
As we read this account in Galatians and other places we will see there was a continual battle about circumcision. Paul actually was the only one who clearly understood both, the evangel of the Remnant and of the Body of Christ for the nations; this is because he was an Israeli, he knew the promises in the scriptures for Israel. Paul also was a Roman citizen, versed in Greek philosophies. He was well educated and able to debate with anyone he met on their level and Paul was chosen by God and given the Grace evangel through revelations from Christ, of the dispensation of Grace and as the first recipient of an unconditional Grace from Christ personally. He totally understood Grace. No one was better suited than Paul for this job of teaching grace.
I remember when I was first learning to rightly divide and when reading Paul’s letters over and over seeking to understand them and get my mind on the right path I read something Paul said which startled me and possibly so because I had heard it so often said in church, that “Paul was a maverick, blunt, outspoken didn’t like women and didn’t’ get along with the other apostles.” The denominations do not rightly divide and they have a hard time making Paul’s letter harmonize with the rest of the New Testament and the reason is they don’t…Paul had a new evangel which contradicts the old based on law keeping.
Note his words in Colossians 1:24-29 “I am now rejoicing in my suffering for you, and am filling up in my flesh in His stead, the deficiencies of the afflictions of Christ, for His body, which is the ecclesia of which I became a dispenser in accord with the administration of God, which is granted to me for you, to complete the word of God….the secret which has been concealed from the eons and from the generations, yet now was made manifest to His saints, to who God wills to make known what are the glorious riches of the secret among the nations which is…Christ among you, the expectation of glory. Whom we are announcing, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we should be presenting everyman mature in Christ Jesus; for which I am toiling also, struggling in accord with His operation, which is operating in me with power.” “I have filled up Christ’s deficiencies.”
The first time I read this, I said wait a minute, Christ was not deficient! But indeed He was, He was not allowed to reveal the secret of the Body of Christ. Jesus ministry was limited to the nation of Israel. This passage is marvelous even if it was the only passage we had, as it tells it all. Paul completed the word of God by revealing God’s plan for all humanity.
The Prophetic word reveals Gods plan for Israel and her role in blessing the nations in the Kingdom. While Paul added to that word, the secret, not found in the Word before Paul writes his letters explaining it. This evangel reveals Gods plan for salvation to the Nations through him, before the Kingdom on earth is established. It began at Acts 13 with Paul severed from Israel and then sent to the nations, it was then the time for the Body of Christ to be revealed and explained, no information is found in any other part of the Bible, only in Paul’s letters.
Peter was not given the information for the Body of Christ and, seeing that the scriptures show us, Peter did not go to the nations but left it to Paul. We read that after Acts 15 Peter is not heard from until he writes his letters and they were written far from Jerusalem or Rome but were written from Babylon where he was living. 1 Peter 5:13,14 “Greeting you is the ecclesia in Babylon, chosen together with you and Mark, my son.”
So he not only did not go to the nations but he leaves Jerusalem and the Israeli church to preach to the Jews living there for 100s of years. There is no record of any of the other Israeli apostles going out to evangelize Gentiles either, they knew that was to be a kingdom commission for them but it was not yet the time, it was to be in the future. Also, we need to remember, the circle of the twelve was broken at Acts 12 with James death…I do believe this is significant.
Peter also shows us, that he did not fully understand Paul’s evangel and that they were not preaching the same one, by his own words, “Beloved brother Paul…..his words are hard to apprehend.”
2 Peter 3:14-16
Another interesting thing Paul says, and it too is also misunderstood and applied to one church by the denominations today, is found at 1Corinthians 6:2,3 “The saints of this world (Israel saints) shall be judging the world…while WE (the body of Christ)…shall be judging messengers.” So we see an earthly work for Israel and a heavenly work for the Body of Christ. Israel will Judge the world…We will judge Angels
This is misunderstood because the denominations have all the saints going to heaven, forgetting that the kingdom on earth is to be ruled by the Remnant Church of Israel. This agrees with what Jesus told Peter and the other Apostles in Matthew 24:9-14 and is where the Apostles are told that the evangel of “the kingdom will be preached in the whole inhabited earth.”
What is usually quoted is just this verse and it is applied to mean from Peter’s day down till now and taught that this is for us in the body of Christ. They do not see that there were two churches and two evangels. With the tool of rightly dividing and testing things which differ we see Israel will indeed be preaching “the good news of the kingdom” in the entire world but not until after the Body of Christ is taken out of it.
In the future after the Body of Christ is raptured and taken to the heavenly sphere of Gods Kingdom a new Remnant will be called out of Israel by God. They will once again be heralding the evangel of the coming Kingdom and that Jesus was indeed their Messiah the very Christ. Then, when in the Kingdom united with the resurrected Apostles and other faithful they will be heralding its blessings to the nations of the world and calling them to worship the true God. Let’s look at the context of this passage Matthew 24:3-9, Jesus was asked two questions by the disciples, “What is the sign of Thy presence and of the conclusion of the eon?”
They were speaking of this eon we are now living in; showing us Christ’s presence will first be invisible because they asked the for signs of His presence. If He were to be visibly present, what need of signs? He tells them of things which will happen in Verse 4-8
Next, Jesus takes them into the time of before He returns at Verse 9-13 He says “Then shall they be giving you up to affliction, and they shall be killing you, and you shall be hated by all of the nations because of My name. And then many shall be snared, and they shall be giving one another up and hating one another. And many false prophets shall be roused, and shall be deceiving many. And, because of the multiplication of Lawlessness, the love of many shall be cooling. Yet he who endures to the consummation, he shall be saved.”
Notice “the love of many cooling off”, ties to Revelation 2:4 “leaving their first love” in the last days. So He is speaking of things which will occur after we are snatched and first during His invisible presence and into the last days, specifically the tribulation time period which will be 42 months or 3 ½ years. The Remnant Jews must endure in order to be saved. So we have one end referred to, which is the end of this eon when Christ arrives and then the next part of this passage continues with what takes place during the next eon, in the Kingdom on earth. Verse 14 “and then, heralded shall be this evangel of the kingdom in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations and then the consummation shall be arriving.” The evangelizing of the nations during the millennial reign of Christ and then that eon ends.
Jesus words also must be rightly divided and not read as though they are to occur at the same time which is a mistake easy to make. If we read it like a novel it would cause us to be looking for all these things to happen in immediate succession and then Christ to arrive. These signs are all for Israel. Israel is on hold while God works with Paul’s evangel for the Body of Christ. These things said by Jesus will begin again, right where they left off in the past.
Time stopped for Israel and for those prophesies but once the Body of Christ is completed and called out of this world…taken home to heaven God then will start the clock for Israel. The signs will return and prophesy will unfold right before their very eyes. We must always remember signs were given to Israel for faith, a means to help them believe! We are not given signs to watch for! We are given the ability to believe through the faith of Jesus Christ, His faith imparted to us through the indwelling and that is why we inherently believe our evangel…a big difference from Israel’s calling and process of salvation.
The Millennial reign of Christ has 1000 years assigned to it, for this task of evangelizing the world, but it seems to me those 1000 years are within the next eon and are not the complete eon? Let’s review this, Christ’s arrival ends the eon we are in now which is also described as *mans day and also “this present wicked or evil eon”. 1 Corinthians 4:3 and Galatians 1:4 (*The King James has man’s judgment in this passage, in Bullinger’s notes of the Companion Bible on this verse he states “it literally should read mans day,” agreeing with the translation of A. E. Knoch in his Concordant Literal Translation.)
But the Kingdom rule of 1000 years does not start until 75 days after Christ’s arrival, It would start with the resurrection of the “just” saints which are to rule and reign with Him. Daniel 12:1,2 The last one seven of Daniel 9:24-27 begins with the covenant the man of lawlessness makes with Israel, for a 7 year period of time, in the middle of those 7 years, he breaks the covenant with them, this is described for us as a 3 ½ year time period with telling us it is 1260 days and forty two months, referring to the same time period. Revelation 12:6 and 13:5 compare to Daniel 12:11-13
Time begins to be counted for that 3 ½ years from the middle of that one seven when the covenant is broken. So, when we add 75 to the 1260 days that is how we come to the 1335 days of Daniels prophecy where he was told he would stand up….in other words be raised from the dust…those sleeping in the dust of Daniel 12:1,2.
At Christ’s arrival, Satan will be put into the abyss for 1000 years…but this would make his 1000 years in the abyss to begin 75 days before the Millennial reign begins which could not begin until the resurrection of “the just.” The faithful saints and the 12 Apostles who are to help rule. Satan’s 1000 years will end 75 days before the millennial reign ends. This is a fine point or detail most often missed
We can read the account of another rebellion near the close of the Millennial reign at Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10 this speaks of Satan’s release from the abyss, the final rebellion and the fiery end to it and those nations taking part in it with him. So it seems possible that this rebellion will take place and be put down within a 75 day period which is the differences between these two 1000 year periods. Satan is then thrown into the “Lake of Fire.” What follows this then is the Great White Throne judgment for the “rest of the dead” who will be raised “out of the dust” and these are the “unjust” class. Verses 11-13 Daniel 12:1,2
Revelation 20:11 speaks of “heaven and earth fleeing and no place found for them” I have a question on this, are we to take this to mean the literal heaven and earth? I do not think so, in this same vein is the destruction referred to which happens at the Second Advent which Peter speaks of at 2 Peter 3:10-13 Peter prophesied about the Day of the Lord’s arrival and it seems the earth is changed in some manner.
Some teach the literal earth and heavens are destroyed. I do not think this is true and the words should not be taken as entirely literal. In this chapter in 2 Peter we can find many things to research. In it we need to rightly divide Peter’s words as to the time in which they are to happen. Peter first in Verses 1-7 is addressing “irreverent men” who do not believe Gods word of an impending judgment and arrival of the promised kingdom on earth and he is comparing it to those who ignored Noah’s warning of that past judgment. It is important to remember, it says “the world then perished.”
The literal planet is not the world spoken of here, but the world of mankind with their systems of politics and worship are what perishes. The next Verse 7 says “Yet the heavens now, and earth, by the same word are stored with fire, being kept for the day of the judging and destruction of irreverent men.” Notice what is being destroyed…irreverent men.
In Verse 10-13, Peter refers to the day of the Lords arrival as a thief and again he speaks of “the heavens passing by with a booming noise, yet the elements shall be dissolved by combustion and the earth and the works in it shall be found.” Is this the literal heaven and earth being destroyed or the wicked element in both the visible and invisible realms being removed as the King of Kings is setting up His kingdom?
We know literal prophecy tells us Christ and Israel will rule on this earth for the next 1000 years so we must look at Peter’s words as figurative of a cleansing of the heavens and earth. Verse 13 takes us to the time after Satan’s final revolt…and after the Great White Throne as he points to “the hope of the promise of the Day of God of a new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness is dwelling.” John places this at Revelation 21.
So we must take what we know to be literal and harmonize it with figurative language which speaks of the same things or times. So….the arrival of Christ is spoken of as a fiery arrival and when Satan is set free to bring on the final revolt, he is again put down with a fiery destruction. Fire does not hurt spirit beings, but we read they are thrown into the lake of fire, which either imprisons them or brings forth some sort of change in their condition. Fire can destroy and it can purify.
My research on the use of fire in scripture has shown me fire is not always literal fire but it is used as figurative for cleansing and for Gods purifying work on behalf of His creation. The fire at Satan’s revolt will destroy his armies that he gathers from the nations who wish to be free of Jerusalem’s rule obviously being human they would die in this fire. Many construe these fiery words to mean the earth is to be destroyed, obviously this cannot be true. It seems to me the fiery destruction, must be mostly figurative in respects to a new heaven and a new earth and would be referring to removal of any wicked elements, rule, religion and etc.
There most likely will be changes to the earth itself but the literal planet is not destroyed. We have the prophetic promises of a return to the paradise earth in many places such as the testimony of Ecclesiastes 1:4 One generation passes away and another generation cometh; but the earth abides forever.” This word forever is really for the eons. Isaiah 65 is prophetic of conditions in that new earth and new heaven…Reading from Verse 16 we see it speaks “of the former troubles forgotten” and then Verse 17 says “for behold I create new heavens and a new earth and the former shall not be remembered nor come into mind.”
A thorough study has convinced me the literal planet remains but what is removed will be the old evil systems of governments, religions, sin and death. Replaced by the new system of God ruling, setting humanity free from the satanic spiritual influences, no longer will man be led astray through false religions or philosophy or ruled over by evil governments or men controlled by Satanic forces of any kind with all the Lies and Myths gone which they propagated, for centuries so this is when and how the heaven and earth are cleansed or in other words made…new!
After Satan’s final rebellion we read of the Great White Throne where “the rest of the dead” are said to be standing before it, to receive their judgments. This is the “unjust class” spoken of by Daniel and Jesus and John. This Throne is White and not black. Black would seem more fitting for literal death or Red for hellfire. White is a symbol of purity and not anger. In the scriptures saints are also said to be clothed in White. So this is something to keep in mind about this judgment, it is a pure, righteous, setting right. Revelation 20:5,6; 11-15
I also have a question in relation to Hebrews 1:8 “eon of the eon” As far as I can see this is the only place this is used, notice both times the word eon is used in this sentence, they are both singular, instead of “eon of the eons” which is used many times to describe the supposed last two eons? I am wondering is it possible, that the 1000 years is an eon and the Day of the Lord is an eon, in which it contains the 1000 years of the millennial reign?
So could it be an eon within an eon? Knoch explains it as the Son ruling in the next eon and yet is not that eon called the Day of God and also the New heavens and New earth? Yes Christ in the role of the son of God rules until all enemies are subjected but are we sure we know exactly when this happens? I will explore this more thoroughly in Manual Three, just some thoughts to ponder?
Please bear with me, this is how I learn. I ask questions until I find the answer or decide there is not a solid answer and then I put the question on the shelf in that group of questions I have which awaits more information or for our rapture or sometimes, there may seem to be several possible answers and again we have to wait to learn which one is God’s answer, but most often just the process of questioning all these things which differ is how we find more truth.
More differences with Peter and Paul; Israel is described as a chosen race and a Priesthood 1 Peter 2:9,10 “Yet you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation a procured people, so that you should be recounting the virtues of Him Who calls you out of darkness into His marvelous light, who once were not a people yet now are the people of God who have not enjoyed mercy, yet now are being shown mercy” This was prophesied in Exodus 19:4-6
Paul does not refer to us as a holy nation or as kings or as priesthood. In Romans 15:16 He refers to himself “as a minister of Christ Jesus for the nations acting as a priest of the evangel of God” In this verse the Greek word for priest is “h ier ourg e’o” which means Sacred-Act and so this means Paul was acting as a priest in his role as the chosen Apostle for the body of Christ. He was given revelations of Gods new evangel for the nations, acted only as a priest or mediator in the sense of being given the information from Christ and dispensing it to all chosen to be participants of this new evangel. Paul never refers to us with the terms used by Peter for Israel. And as for the teaching that the Messianic Jews as some teach, are going to be raptured and taken to heaven with the Body of Christ as part of the Body this is not supported by scripture and it does not fit in with Israel’s Prophetic program of ruling with Christ on earth in the Kingdom.
Peter was also given a commission from Jesus after his resurrection at John 21:15-17 “Jesus is saying to Peter, feed my sheep” and he repeated this a second and a third time, “Shepherd My sheep” and again “feed my sheep.” This was partially obeyed by Peter in his two letters he wrote to the Jews scattered in other lands in his day. It is interesting to note Peter does not name one person in these letters which is strange if he was writing to even one believer wouldn’t he have named them.
It would seem the real need of his letters will be in the future, last days and just as his other commissions will then be fully carried out in the Kingdom. These letters will be read by Jews who come to Christ in the last days, for Israel the next group of remnant saints chosen for that time. That is the time in which those letters will apply and be understood by the remnant of Israel helping them through those troublesome days ahead until the Advent of their Messiah Jesus Christ. Peter is their apostle so even though dead he will be feeding those sheep as commissioned by Jesus to do so as they read his words from scripture.
Paul our apostle never refers to us as sheep nor as Christ being our shepherd, these are terms applied to Israel only…Paul tell us, that Christ is our Head and we are His body.
In the King James Version, the opening verse of 1 Peter 1:1 is “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered through Pontus Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia” KJV In the notes of my Companion Bible, Bullinger says “that it literally should read as “the elect sojourners of the dispersion of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia. Asia and Bithynia” The Jews were scattered in Gentile countries from the time of their Babylonian release 400 years before Christ and then after Christ, some Jews who had come to Christ were persecuted and also moved out of Jerusalem to surrounding regions.
Any Jews leaving the Jerusalem area are referred to as “the dispersed” John 7:35 refers to this and James 1:1 identifies the dispersion as the twelve tribes of Israel. It will also refer to Jews scattered throughout the world in the time of the end. These Bible books written by their Apostles and Elders will be read then and understood by those Jews who come to Christ after the Body of Christ is called home. With the use of the word strangers instead of the dispersion, it would seem that the King James translators clouded as to who this passage identifies and as to who this letter is written.
The use of the word strangers in the scriptures usually refers to Gentiles while friends or brethren, refers to fellow Jews. This could have been done by the King James translators since they did not separate the Israeli saints from Body saints. Or, if the text warranted the use of this word, stranger, in this way, it could have referred to the dispersed Jews as being strangers in the Gentile lands they were residing in. But, both Knoch and Bullinger indicate the literal translation should read…of the dispersion.
As we have seen so far in this chapter it was Peter who is commissioned to the Remnant church made up of Jews and he wrote to the dispersed Jews of his day and for those of the future. We must always remember he was not commissioned for the Body of Christ and Peter did not write letters to the Body of Christ.
Peter’s two letters were written to “The Dispersion” Has anyone in the denominations asked the obvious question, what or who are the dispersed ones or am I part of the dispersion? Understanding that Israel is the Dispersion and not us, as Gentiles or the Body of Christ is just one more sign these letters are not for us. As we read through them we can see they are primarily written for the future, in the last days for Israel. Peter’s letters will be guidance for the Remnant of Israel in the future times.
Peter is obeying his commission to feed the Lord’s sheep; these letters will be read by those churches which will develop. Jews called into the Remnant church, coming to Jesus Christ. Peter encourages his fellow remnant saints to endure until Christ arrives, obviously Peter and his fellow saints died without this happening.
1 Peter 1:3-7 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who according to His vast mercy, regenerates us into a living expectation, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from among the dead, for the enjoyment of an allotment incorruptible and undefiled and unfading kept in the heavens for you who are garrisoned by the power of God, through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last era, in which you are exulting; briefly at present, if it must be, being sorrowed by various trials, that the testing of your faith, much more precious than gold which is perishing, yet being tested by fire may be found for applause and glory and honor at the unveiling of Jesus Christ.”
Nothing is said here of arriving in heaven but for them arriving at the unveiling which is on the earth at Christ’s Second Advent. In Peter’s books, as in Johns we see he uses the term, regenerates, which is in agreement with John 3:3 being born again or anew, the regeneration, this is the resurrection for them to enter the kingdom. Those who go through the last days and tribulation alive will be given their new bodies along with the faithful saints who will be resurrected on earth.
Also, there will be those Jews we read about in Zechariah who also at His advent will recognize Jesus of Nazareth as their rescuing Messiah and will repent. This is where grace will also be given to these people at this time for their salvation and ties in with the promises of God which says He will “remove their stony heart and give them a new heart and that God Himself would write His laws on their hearts.” Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Ezekiel 11:17-21
Notice the key terms to watch for in Peter’s books, these words which differ because they are for a future time and a different group of saints, not the Body of Christ. Peters words are mostly for the future remnant of Israel and do not match our calling! 1 Peter 2:12 tells the believer to resist the bad behavior found in the nations so that “their conduct would glorify God in the day of visitation”.
In Verse 21 Peter tells them to follow in Christ’s footsteps while Paul tells us “to follow him in his teachings and etc.” 2 Timothy 3:10 and this is because ours in a spiritual walk, our guide is Paul as he follows what Christ gave him to teach us. Israel looks for Jesus to return as their Messiah and King of the Kingdom on earth. The word “visitation” refers to Christ’s return to Israel, the Second Advent. He does not come or visit us, but instead calls us “to meet Him in the air” We go to meet Him in the air and this happens long before He comes back to Israel. His Second Advent to the earth is when He returns to rescue Israel. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Things which differ!
Another difference found at 1 Peter 2:25 which refers to the shepherd and straying sheep….and to the soul. All of this is language for Israel, it is soulish, earthly. None of these phrases are found in our information from Paul, our walk is of faith in Grace and spiritual our promises are not for our soul…but for our spirit. The time frame is the last era and at the unveiling of Christ also we can make note of the fact that Peter says “their salvation is to be revealed then at that time”
Their salvation was not a present possession, but is to be revealed to them at the unveiling.1 Peter 1:13 “Wherefore, girding up the loins of your comprehension, being sober, and expect perfectly the grace which is being brought to us at the unveiling of Jesus Christ. Peter shows by these words, grace for Israel is not yet! They receive grace at the unveiling of Christ and Verse 20 “manifested in the last times” shows us when! While we in the Body of Christ have been given Grace now.
We in the Body of Christ are recipients of His Grace right now. Ephesians 1:6 “We are graced in the beloved” Israel waits for Christ’s return to receive it. More differences are found in 1 Peter 5:2-4 “Shepherd the flocklet of God, be a model for the flock and when the Chief Shepherd is manifested you shall be requited with an unfading wreath of glory”
Verse 6 “God should be exalting you in season” Verse 10 “Now He calls you into His eonian glory in Christ” These verses show us, Peter looked to the future for Christ to give them their reward, Israel waits for their time to be exalted in Christ when He comes again to Israel. How could anyone teach that Peter was in the Body of Christ after reading those words?
In Peter’s second letter, 2 Peter 1:1 “Simeon Peter, a slave and an Apostle of Jesus Christ to those who are chancing upon an equally precious faith with us.” Verses 3 and 4 “Who call us to His own glory and virtue presented to us as the precious and greatest promises that through these you may become participants of the divine nature fleeing from the corruption which is in the world by lust.” This is encouraging them to be like the Jesus Christ they knew on earth, the perfect man of virtue. We find none of this in our letters from Paul. In the Millennial reign they, the faithful Israeli’s and Apostles will have that divine nature.
2 Peter 1:10,11 “Wherefore, rather, brethren, endeavor through ideal acts to make or confirm your calling and choice, for, doing these things, you should under no circumstances be tripping at any time…For thus will be richly supplied to you the entrance in the eonian kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Here we see they must not trip but remain faithful in order to enter the kingdom. This is totally opposite of what Paul tells the Body of Christ “there is no condemnation for those in Christ” Romans 8:1
2 Peter 1:14,15 is interesting as it seems Peter is aware of his impending death. “Being aware that my tabernacle is to be put off swiftly according as our Lord, Jesus Christ, also makes evident to me, Yet I shall endeavor to have you, after my exodus, to make mention of these things, ever and anon, also notice this last phrase he wants those who read this to pass this information on, ever and anon or now in this eon and that would be to the future remnant chosen before Christ comes again. Verse 16 “for not by following wisely made myths do we make known to you the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ by becoming spectators of His magnificence” Peter tells them this is no myth; he personally saw Jesus Christ and he heard God’s voice announce this was His son. And they also have the prophetic word with that prophecy coming from God. He is encouraging them to believe and to know the prophecies will all come to pass.
Remember, we have no prophecies to point to in the Old Testament, concerning us; we were a secret until God revealed us to Paul. We have no signs to shows us when the call will come for us to go home. Israel has signs to mark their every step, this is one reason why, much is expected of them. 2 Peter 2:1 Speaks of “false prophets….false teachers who will bring in sects, disowning the Owner, Who bought them, bringing on themselves destruction” This is in the future for when Israel will be the church on earth, again. 2 Peter 2:9,10
Peter warns of the day of judging and chastening and the rest of the chapter gives examples in Israel’s past of unfaithfulness and warns of those who leave Christ and go back to the world, will lose their Kingdom hope. 2 Peter 3:1-4 He warns of the scoffers who will come in the “last days” and compares them to those living in Noah’s time who also did not listen to the warnings given by Noah. 2 Peter 3:10 speaks of the “Day of the Lord arriving as a thief” At Verse 12 he speaks of the “presence of God’s day” and their promises for “the new heavens and new earth.”
At 2 Peter 3:14-18 he tells them to endeavor to “be found by Him in peace, unspotted and flawless” and Peter also refers to Paul’s epistles which were being circulated and being read at that time in the different congregations. Peter stated how some things “were hard to apprehend “with Paul’s evangel. The Remnant church did not understand it because it was not for them.
The Catholic Church has claimed Peter as the Apostle for the Body of Christ and so a good question to ask is, was Peter ever in Rome? Most of the large “orthodox” churches claim that the Apostle Peter was Bishop of Rome. The Roman Catholic Church claims that he was in Rome and was the first Pope and that he suffered martyrdom in Rome with Paul, after a pontificate of twenty five years. This would have to have taken place in the time period from A. D. 41 to 66. But let’s check the evidence from the scriptures to see if their claim is true: So we ask the question……..
Was Peter ever in Rome?
1. In A. D. 44 he was imprisoned in Jerusalem. Acts 12:4,5
2. In A.D. 52 he was at the council of Jerusalem Acts 15:7-11
3. In A.D. 53 Paul joined him at Antioch Galatians 2:11,14
4. In A. D. 58 Paul wrote to the Romans, but he does not mention Peter….In Romans 1:11 Paul wants to impart special gifts to the believers in Rome and in 1:15 he is ready to preach there. In this Roman letter he sends greetings to twenty seven persons, but none to Peter. It is inconceivable that Paul would not have referred to the presence of Peter who was one of the foremost apostles, if he had been in Rome.
5. In A. D. 61 Paul is conveyed a prisoner to Rome, Acts 28:16 and certain brethren go to meet him, but not Peter.
6. When Paul writes to the Galatians, he mentions Peter, at Galatians 2:7, 8 but certainly not as having been in Rome or as having been Pontiff there for twenty years. Indeed, the circumstances in Antioch were such that Peter was sternly rebuked by Paul, whose authority was much greater than Peter’s. Galatians 2:11
7. The Epistles to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and also Philemon were all written from Rome by Paul, but while others are mentioned in these letters as being his associates there, or in Paul sending greetings to others, again, Peter is never once mentioned by Paul in his letters.
8. From Rome also Paul’s last letter is written…which was 2nd Timothy. He says, “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me” 2 Timothy 4:16 So if Peter was in Rome he enjoyed immunity which was not accorded to Paul, and is guilty of having forsaken the Great Apostle Paul and finally, in this very last epistle, written from Rome immediately before his martyrdom, Paul says.
9. “Only Luke is with me” 2 Timothy 4:11 this is conclusive that Peter was never in Rome. Paul wrote his letter to the Romans and wrote His prison letters from Rome and the last years of his life were spent in Rome. Not only does he never once mention Peter being there, but emphatically, at the last moment declares “Only Luke is with Me” Peter, therefore, was never Bishop of Rome” Peter wrote from Babylon.1 Peter 5:13
Published by Grace and Truth magazine, Nottingham, England NG5 2 GS)
I will add that there is historical evidence that both Peter and Paul were killed in Rome pretty close together and so if this is true…it may be that Peter was taken to Rome as well as Paul for the purpose of their execution. This took place before A.D. 70 which was the culmination of the persecution to end those of, the way and those called Christians…which was actually the Jews professing Jesus as messiah.
Let’s now compare Peter and Paul’s first miracles, The account of Peter’s is found at Acts 3:2-8 “A certain man, lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple, who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked for alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John said, Look on us and He gave heed unto them expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee…In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk and he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up; and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.”
This miracle is symbolic of Israel’s future restoration. As a cripple lame nation made healthy. Peter used this incident to give a sermon on Jesus and the “times of restoration” to come in fulfillment also of Isaiah 35:6 Peters miracle takes place in Jewish territory while Paul’s miracle happened in Gentile territory.
Paul has a similar experience at the beginning of his ministry to the nations found at Acts 14:8-10 “And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb who never had walked; The same heard Paul speak; who steadfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.”
The comparison of the two lame men being healed, in Peter’s case the man was of the favored nation, Israel, his friends carried him to the temple every day. Peter touched the man and helped him to his feet as part of his healing. In contrast Paul did not touch his man, “he merely told him he was healed….and it was so.” In Paul’s case the man he healed was outside of the favored nation and temple, at Lystra, which was Gentile domain. A city which worshipped idols and many there imagined at this miracle, that Paul and Barnabas were their gods appearing to them in the form of men. Paul vehemently denied this and presented to these people, the truth of the God they represented, the Creator as these people not being Jews were not acquainted with the Hebrew Scriptures and did not need to be persuaded that Jesus was their messiah as he was not….he is the messiah of Israel…yet the Saviour of the world.. Verses 11-18
Next we can compare the warnings given in Peter’s epistles in fact in any epistle written for Israel we will see warnings, since they had to exercise faith with works. This is in direct contradiction with Paul’s Evangel of Grace, I always love to look up the definitions of words. In the Greek, the word translated grace is “char’is” and means Joy and it is defined as: “an act of producing happiness, a benefit bestowed on one who deserves the opposite, sometimes better rendered favor”
To acknowledge Grace is to simply say, Thank You. I am continually surprised by how little, believers seem to understand and or appreciate the transcendent grace we have in Christ Jesus! We have been saved by an undiluted grace as was Paul. Whose Damascus road experience demonstrates that fact for us? But so few believers seem to truly understand this important truth. Paul had committed the unforgivable sin by persecuting the believers in Christ…he denied the power of the Holy Spirit working in them.
He was an Israeli, a Hebrew, a Jew and a Pharisee and he as Saul was under that law which condemned him as stated by Jesus at Matthew 12:31,32 “Therefore I am saying to you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be pardoned men, yet the blasphemy of the spirit shall not be pardoned. And whosoever may be saying a word against the Son of Mankind, it will be pardoned him, yet who ever may be saying aught against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be pardoned him, neither in this eon nor in that which is impending.”
Saul had been fighting the followers of Jesus, He denied that Jesus was the Messiah; he was pulling believers from their homes to be flogged and condoning even their murders. Paul found guilty by the words of Jesus. Hebrew is the Race, Israeli the Nationality, Jew the Religion, Pharisee a teacher of that Religion.
Since most do not understand what the unforgivable sin is, they then fear it. This sin applies to Israel and it has nothing to do with us. It is in connection with signs and miracles given to them from the Holy Spirit; these were signs of Gods power operating on those He commissioned and in Saul’s case, specifically with Jesus, proving Him to be the Messiah, the Son of God.
The religious Pharisees tried to convince the people these signs were from Satan and not God; this was denying the Holy Spirit, committing the unforgivable sin. Later with the Apostles, as they preached that Jesus was the risen Messiah to their brethren the Jews and in proof of their commission from God, they performed miracles and signs given by Holy Spirit. Saul had fought the believers in Jesus; he did not accept the signs as from the Holy Spirit. He was guilty, guilty, guilty! Jesus had said, “No man would be pardoned this sin in this eon or the next” What Jesus meant, and which the Jews understood was that this pertained to their coming Kingdom on earth.
Those religious leaders died unforgiven of that sin and they will remain unforgiven during the Kingdom age of 1000 years; their punishment is not eternal damnation in a hellfire, but losing out on the honor of being kings and priests in the Kingdom on earth with their Messiah Jesus Christ. They will be raised with the “unjust” of the world, in the resurrection of “contempt or shame” amongst the billions of unbelievers after the millennial reign is over.
This sin will also apply during the future “last days” to those Jews who will deny the signs given in those days proving God is once again active in Israel’s affairs and for those persecuting the remnant of Israel, who will be heralding the impending Kingdom. In Manual Two we will go into depth on Israel being restored after we leave this world.
The unfaithful of Israel will lose out on the privilege of ruling and reining with Christ. They who were
first in Israel shall be last in position and last to be raised from the dead on earth at the Great White Throne Judgment
In this passage in Matthew 12:31,32 the King James reads “this world or the world to come” This is an example of translating the word aion, which means eon in the Greek and age in the English and not world. World in the Greek is “cosmos” In most places in the King James this aion word is wrongly translated as eternal or everlasting or forever. But the translators had a problem in a few places since the word eternal did not fit in this verse, it would then have read concerning the unforgivable sin, not forgiven in this eternity nor in the next eternity” Even they must have asked how can there be more than one eternity and yet did not take the time to really understand this word in the original languages?
Aionian in the Greek, (eon) taken from Olam in the Hebrew, meaning an unperceived amount of time, and does not agree with the definition of eternity which means: no beginning and no end, there can not be more than one eternity and this verse speaks of a plural of them, thus they substituted the word world. For a complete study of the misuse of this aion or aionian word (eon or age) by the King James translators in translating it as eternal and similar words, please ask for the booklet…Ages or Eternity in the King James by John Dokas also Bob Evely explains this translation error in his book. “At the End of the Ages and the Abolition of Hell”
The eon Jesus lived in, is the same eon we are living in now and it will end with Christ’s Second Advent, which begins the next eon: The Day of the Lord, is in the next eon or the age in which the Kingdom age is and when Israel will rule for 1000 years right here on the earth with Christ and the remnant church. Matthew 19:28, 29
Revelation 20:5, 6 tells of two resurrections on the earth. The first takes place after Christ returns to Israel with the raising of the faithful to rule and reign in His kingdom on earth. The last resurrection takes place after the 1000 year millennial reign of Christ and is for the world of unbelievers and the unfaithful of Israel and the religious leaders of Israel Because of their apostasy they did not truly understand their own scriptures, they did not understand their Messiah must die before bringing in the Kingdom. They looked for Him to be a mighty warrior and to overthrow the Roman rule over them.
They denied the signs of the Holy Spirit upon Him and sought to kill Him. Christ chose, lowly men as his apostles and these men will replace those leaders in the Kingdom, these lowly, common men in that kingdom “will sit on twelve thrones with Him and judge the twelve tribes of Israel.” They will be the Kings and Priests and will rule from Jerusalem over the world of Gentile Nations. Those religious leaders and any others of Israel who denied the Holy Spirits work are committing the “unforgivable sin,” and as Jesus warned they lose that honor and miss out on the 1000 years of glorious rule and the marriage celebration as the faithful Remnant will be “the bride of the lambkin.”
Paul tells us the story of Grace given to him; If not for the Grace given him, he as an Israeli Pharisee, who not only rejected his Messiah but was fighting the Holy Spirit’s demonstrations through the apostles would have been assigned to that last resurrection of “contempt and shame” Daniel 12:1,2 Paul explains his calling in grace at Galatians 1:10-18 “For at present am I persuading men or God? Or am I seeking to please men? If I still pleased men, I were not a slave of Christ. For I am making known to you brethren, as the evangel which being brought by me that it is not in accord with man. For neither did I accept from a man nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you hear of my behavior once, in Judaism, that I inordinately persecuted the ecclesia of God and ravaged it. And I progressed in Judaism above many contemporaries in my race, being inherently exceedingly more zealous for the traditions of my fathers. Now when it delights God, Who severs me from my mothers womb and calls me through His grace, to unveil His Son in me that I may be evangelizing Him among the nations, I did not immediately submit it to flesh and blood, neither came I up to Jerusalem to those who were Apostles before me, but I came away into Arabia, and I return again to Damascus……after three years.”
Now, do we see Paul’s guilt and what he was graced with? Paul will not be in the Kingdom on earth but neither does he wait for the last resurrection with Israel. He instead will be in the first resurrection to take place in time, to heaven and this resurrection is only revealed in Paul’s letters. We are to be snatched from this earth and taken to heaven to rule in heaven with Christ. Paul is the example of absolute Grace which also is given to the body of Christ. The unforgivable sin does not apply to the Body of Christ. But many Israelis are condemned by it.
We were not given signs or miracles to persuade us to believe, we are instead given our faith which enabled us to believe, also given our righteousness, we do not earn it, just like Paul. WE are given our seal of security. We are given a special Grace indeed. Do we find any record of Paul repenting or of his seeking Christ for forgiveness? I find none, the account shows Christ came to Saul and forcibly brought him to his knees or maybe I should say his butt? Saul was knocked to the ground by Christ’s presence and blinded by His Glory. Saul indeed recognized he was in the presence of the Lord but did not know Jesus was the Lord until Jesus said “why do you persecute me?” Saul asked “Who are you LORD?” And then Christ answered and said “I am Jesus.” Can we even comprehend the shock Saul must have suffered at hearing those words?
In reading the account of Paul’s meeting with Christ in Acts 9 we see that Paul was told what Christ wanted of him. He told him to go into the city and wait. I do not see where Saul was asked if he would agree to any of this, but of course he did, who would not in the very presence of the Glorified Christ agree with anything He asked? He then recognized His messiah and His Lord. Although physically blinded, his spiritual eyes were wide open, being opened by Christ and against his will for he had been chosen before he was even aware of it. With the indwelling and the sealing, justifying, sanctification and given the faith to believe. Perhaps this is why the unforgivable sin did not affect him as he had been chosen “before the foundation of the world” to be in grace? Paul was given physical, visible signs and experiences.
Paul was given a dual ministry, to the sons of Israel and to the Nations and to Kings and in order for Paul to be believed and for the Remnant bride church to be able to accept him as indeed called by God for a new work later on, Saul needed the visible confirmation through the use of the physical signs and gifts in order for the other Apostles and believing Jews to accept him. Saul began his ministry with his fellow Jews first preaching as they were that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed their Messiah.
Paul had the Holy Spirits power operating in him through these signs. When Saul later was severed from Israel and became Paul going forth into the nations the signs gradually ceased and later we see he no longer is able to heal, his walk had become spiritual as he presented His evangel for the Body of Christ. Paul later wrote “that he had been severed from his mothers’ womb to be the Apostle to the nations” Galatians 1:15 Obviously Paul had not been aware of this, until he met Christ that day. It would seem by these words that then Saul recognizes that he had been chosen in his mother’s womb for his future work in Israel and among the nations and not on the Damascus road, but perhaps we could say…the Damascus road experience was his…coming “to a realization of the truth.”
Paul is our pattern as our Apostle. Paul has told us at Ephesians 1:3 “We were chosen before the foundation of the world.” How many believers read this and pass by it without even asking, before the world was, how can this be so? Before the world, before the Garden of Eden, before Adam and Eve sinned? The obvious and only answer to this should change the standard view of the Eden account and of sin’s entrance into this world with God needing to find a way out for mankind. By Paul’s statement, it seems He already knew before He created the world, before sin entered in, God had the solution in place before it was ever needed. And we the demonstration of His Grace before Grace is needed.
Peter concurs with Paul as he states at 1 Peter 1:20 “the lamb slain from before the foundation of the world” and also that the Kingdom church of Israel was also formed before sin. Matthew 25:34 the “Kingdom made ready for you at the foundation of the world.” The whole plan of redemption was laid out before it was ever needed…isn’t that amazing and an eye opener for us?
Most believers today do not understand that Paul is their Apostle and not the twelve Jesus chose for Israel’s remnant church. He is our God appointed apostle for the Body of Christ. Most believers do not recognize that those chosen by Jesus are the apostles for the nation of Israel and that they will rule and reign in the Kingdom on earth over the Twelve Tribes of Israel, that is Israel’s specific truth and not ours in the Body of Christ. We have been chosen and called for the heavenly kingdom with Paul.
Most believers today have been told by their pastors and teachers in all the many different denominations, that they must muster up enough faith, to make the decision to serve God, to make a choice and to repent and then to accept Jesus Christ as their savior or burn in hellfire for eternity. Blasphemous pagan teachings inspired by demons, not God. In Chapter Seven we will investigate the origins of these false doctrines with several others and see how Paul refuted them in his day.
Some in coming to see that, “Free Will” is not a scriptural term and therefore should not be used especially in relation to our coming to Christ, have also come to see through the scriptures that it is God, Who does the choosing of all believers, no matter which church and this is grace indeed. But what seems to be missed is this special, unconditional Grace extended to Paul and to the Body of Christ and dispensed to the nations.
This was Paul’s God given commission to teach and this why Paul could say, “my evangel” which clearly is the separating of himself from the evangel of Israel which is a different evangel. His evangel indeed was different from Peters and the others; different from what was dispensed even at Pentecost. Paul was not converted at Pentecost but seven years later. Why, you may ask, if Paul’s evangel is not the same as the Apostles chosen by Jesus in His earthly ministry, do not more believers understand this and why is it not taught in most denominations?
To answer that, one would have to go back in time, to the days of Paul to see how Paul struggled to keep his evangel pure as there were others who sought to distort it. The Orthodox Jew hated what Paul taught; it did away with the Law covenant. Many Jews who came to Christ did not want to let go of the Mosaic Law.
It is only logical that after Paul’s death many more came along who added to or took away from Paul’s teaching. Men with their own egos, coming out of false religions but who still clung to some of those beliefs and tried to work them into their new found faith in Jesus Christ. Some were most likely true believers called by God but probably some were not. There is always that element who will go along with the crowd even today, we have social Christians and those who follow the traditions of their parents and their parents before them, going to church is part of their life but not necessarily are they part of those chosen by God, we must recognize the difference between religion and being chosen.
The world is full of religious people of all kinds, Muslims, Hindus, and the list goes on. I believe we can
add to that list, some who claim to be Christians, but who are just in religion!
This is a hard subject and this chapter is not intended to judge or decide who is or who isn’t a true believer chosen by God and placed within the Body of Christ. God knows and we do not need to worry about it. The point being, if one is not a believer their understanding of spiritual things would be tainted to say the least and definitely prone to error in doctrine. We even have plenty of examples today and in the scriptures of true believers, not having their doctrines straight and needing to be enlightened. Paul warned of the deceptions prevalent in his day and that they were to increase as time goes on. If this was the case in the days of the Apostles, how much more so would it be today?
We do not worry about those not yet chosen, because we recognize God will eventually save everyone. That is His promise also covered over by the many false doctrines taught today. He has stages or times in which He chooses and saves and that will continue until all are reconciled to Him. We know the end of His book, tells us “God is dwelling with His people, death and sorrow are no more” Paul our apostle definitely taught, The Salvation of All through Christ’s shed blood. 1 Timothy 2:4 tells us this and it is only one of the many places in His word to find this truth.
Paul tells us “For in grace, through faith, are you saved, and this is not out of you; it is God’s approach present, not of works, lest anyone should be boasting.” Ephesians 2:8 In Paul’s evangel of Grace, the force of this statement in Ephesians in grace is said “to be the dative case which in the Greek language is a state or condition which guarantees that this grace continues” In other words we can never lose it, we are wrapped in grace. Paul tells us why as he continues in Verse 9 “For His achievement are we, being created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God makes ready beforehand, that we should be walking in them”
Over and over Paul has told us, it is God WHO does all the work, not you or I, we have nothing to boast about, we only boast in Christ. He again tells us at Romans 4:16 salvation is by faith, but the point must be understood just, whose faith he speaks of? As Paul also told us at Romans 3:11 “none seeks after God” Paul tells us in many places that we are given Jesus Christ’s faith and this is why we are able to believe. We merely say, Amen to God. Yes we can add to the faith given us if we wish to mature in Christ and we indeed should build on this faith through personal study of Gods Word. WE then will come to understand and appreciate what GOD has done for us and what He plans to do for all, but that initial seed of faith is given to us, this is one of our many spiritual blessings as Ephesians 1:3 stated. Righteousness through Justification is ours, Please also read Romans 1:15-17 and Romans 6:4-7 and 16-21 and let these truths warm your hearts.
Paul the only Apostle to teach justification, speaks of it at Acts 13:38, 39 “Let it then be known to you, men, brethren, that through this One is being announced to you the pardon of sins, and from all from which you could not be justified in the law of Moses, in this One everyone who is believing is being justified.” To be justified means to be given righteousness or made acceptable, given not earned.
Romans 3:24 “Being justified gratuitously in His grace, through the deliverance which is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 4:5 “to him who is not working, yet believes on Him, Who is justifying the irreverent, his faith is reckoned for righteousness.” Romans 5:9 “Being now justified in His blood, we shall be saved from indignation through Him.”
Paul again at Romans 5:19 “For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, (Adam) the many were constituted sinners, thus also through the obedience of the One, (Jesus) the many shall be constituted just.” We are justified through Christ’s obedience not our own, we are given it gratuitously which means freely. We did not ask for it or earn it. We do not work for it. While we were, yet irreverent sinners, not after repenting were we given justification and are not made righteous, but declared righteous by God right now and likewise we are told that we are to be snatched from this earth and taken to heaven.
Faith obedience versus Law obedience. Romans 1:5 “through whom we obtained grace and apostleship for faith-obedience among all the nations” WE might ask just what is faith-obedience? It would be obeying faith rather that obeying the law. We obey it because it has been placed within us and so we can do nothing else but obey it by believing. It also goes back to Whose Faith were we given? Christ’s faith. In the context we have faith in the testimony of Jesus Christ by our being enabled to believe given this by God, thus we are obeying faith. But this is not something of which we can boast, “We are Gods achievement” Ephesians 2:10 Paul uses that term faith-obedience again in Romans 16:25-27
Paul is also our teacher on, “conciliation” at Romans 5:10,11 with the blessings of this conciliation in grace is found at Romans 5:18-21 also Colossians 1:21,22 “And you, being once estranged and enemies in comprehension, by wicked acts, yet now He reconciles by His body of flesh, through His death, to present you holy and flawless and unimpeachable in His sight.” Notice it is He who reconciled us, without our knowledge or our permission…just like He did with Paul.
In the King James another error in translating is found with these words, reconciliation and conciliation, in which they use reconciliation where it is conciliation at 2 Corinthians 5:18,19 “Yet all is of God, Who conciliates us to Himself through Christ, and is giving us the dispensation of the conciliation, how that God was in Christ, conciliating the world to Himself, not reckoning their offenses to them, and placing in us the word of the conciliation.” WE should ask why this is important. Let’s examine the two words and see why.
Conciliation in the Greek is, “Katallasso” which means a restoration to divine favor and is one sided. The word Reconciliation in the Greek is “Appo katallasso” and is two sided. So we first might ask what is it then to reconcile? Conciliation, being one sided and so this situation would be if two people had a disagreement and were estranged from each other and only one person says, “I am not mad any longer” That person is conciliated to the other person even though the other person may still be mad and not conciliated to them. For God to conciliate us to Himself, means that He did it and He is not mad at us and it did not depend on our agreeing to it or not or because of our asking for it! Reconciliation is when both parties agree with each other to make peace.
Compare this passage in the King James Version and note the mistake made by the translators which, most likely it was based on their doctrinal belief that we must first, ask God to forgive us and come into our lives in order to be saved. When as I hope the many scriptures we have reviewed so far have shown this is not the case. God did not ask Paul or anyone else in the Body of Christ for permission to save them!
He just did it and that is what GRACE means and why we are the dispensation of grace! The denominations teach we receive grace from God only if we ask for it or earn it in some way and they do not even comprehend that would be the opposite of Grace, which is undeserved favor! Christ Jesus earned our Grace for us, we could not earn His favor and we have nothing at all to do with being given it, it’s a free gift…grace dispensed to the body of Christ versus Law dispensed to Israel.
Paul in Colossians 1:21,22 told us that it was God Who did the reconciling through Christ’s death. It is not our flesh which presents us flawless to God but Christ’s blood which purchased us. We are in Christ; therefore we have been as 2 Corinthians 5:18,19 tells us, God has conciliated us to Him and that we are impeachable and flawless in His sight by giving us the faith of Jesus Christ, which becomes our faith by means of His indwelling spirit.
We are then happy that God chooses and calls us and gives us our faith and the indwelling spirit. God also through this process has given us Jesus Christ’s righteousness, which is how we are in Christ. We accept that we are conciliated and we simply say amen to what He has done to and for us, we then are reconciled to God because, WE agree with God, through spiritual understanding, of what God has done. Is not that a special grace indeed…?
Here are some more passages which tell us that it is Christ’s Faith that is given to believers, please read them. Galatians 2:16 Galatians 3:22 Philippians 3:9 It is so important to recognize this truth and to understand that we did not first have any faith of our own. The term “the faith of Christ” wrongly quoted as faith in Christ but there are too many verses which tell us this fact and state, not in but of His faith, and that it is Jesus Christ’s faith given to us through the indwelling of His spirit. Christ’s faith given to each chosen and called believer, this is what then enables us to believe in Christ and it creates in us a desire to know God and His Christ, to trust in God and His Word and gives us the desire to search His Word for spiritual understanding.
In our studies of Gods Word we need to always watch for those little words, often overlooked, but so much truth can be hidden in them. Words, which can denote a change of subject or reference a different person or group being spoken to, such as you and we, they and them, then and now, of and in or out, of, also, yet now, just a few little words to watch for. We also need to always question what is being taught and remember our specific answers as members of the body of Christ are found in Paul’s counsel given only to the Body of Christ and let us always be, “rightly dividing or correctly cutting the Word of God and testing things which differ.”
Here is our closing passage, for Israel’s eyes only, we might say, because this promise and so many others like it, will be read and understood by the modern day or future Remnant of Israel and these words will surely strengthen them in their last days which are the times of the tribulation, for God has not forgotten them. Hope gives strength to endure.
Isaiah 35:4-10 “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not; behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart and the tongue of the dumb sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool and the thirsty land springs of water; in the habitation of dragons where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes., And an highway shall be there and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those; the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there; And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy on their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
The lame man picturing the Lame Nation of Israel who is yet today, blind, deaf and crippled. They are unable to bear fruit or be the witness to their God Jehovah through their failures. God has not cast them off forever or deemed them worthy of hellfire but He has made 100’s of promises to forgive all their sins and to restore them. But not just forgiving them but vivifying them with giving them a new heart and writing His law on those new hearts and placing His spirit within them they will be able to walk in righteousness. And then all will Know the Lord and they then will be capable of true love and worship for their Great God, Jehovah. As Paul tells us that,
“God was in Christ conciliating the world unto Himself and not reckoning their offenses to them.”
2 Corinthians 5:18-21
Those who have not understood the importance of rightly dividing Israel’s evangel from the evangel given to the Apostle Paul for the body of Christ have not experienced the joy of seeing what all these promises mean for that crippled lame nation of Israel. To see God’s faithfulness to His promises made to these people who He chose to be a nation for His Holy name.
They were given much and much was asked of them. They were unable to respond to Jehovah’s love and His righteousness on their own but He has promised their failures will be forgiven and forgotten and that He will make a new covenant with them, writing His laws on their hearts and through them “all families of the earth will be blessed.”
By understanding how God is working with Israel has not lost us in the body of Christ a thing…but indeed understanding their evangel should strengthen our faith and increase our appreciation for our Great God and the gift of Grace which He has graciously given to us in the Body of Christ through our evangel and or apostle Paul who only taught of a celestial destiny for those called into his evangel.