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The Church by Clarence Larkin

December 7, 2018 Leave a comment

Clarence Larkin

DISCLAIMER: Larkin does not hold to the Mid Acts Dispensational position of PMI. Some editing in [brackets].

[God is overseeing two overarching programs for reconciling both earth and heaven to Himself. The prophecy program features Israel and a coming earthly kingdom having been spoken by the mouth of the prophets since the world began (Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21) and the mystery program featuring the body of Christ and our inheritance with Christ in heaven that was hidden until Jesus revealed it to Paul (Rom. 16:25).

“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.” (Col 1:18 KJV)]

  1. [The church] is not a continuation of the “Jewish Dispensation” under another name.

As we have seen in the chapter on the Jews, the Jews have been shunted to a sidetrack that the “Main Line” may be clear for the passage of the Church. Jesus said-“The Law and the Prophets are until John.” If the Scriptures put Moses and Law in one Dispensation and Christ and Grace in another let us respect the Divine order and not join together what God has put asunder.

  • It is not “The Kingdom”

John the Baptist came preaching that the “Kingdom of Heaven” was “at hand” and Jesus sent out the Twelve and the Seventy to do the same, but the Jewish people rejected their King, and the setting up of the Kingdom was postponed. There cannot be any Kingdom until the “Nobleman Farmer” who has gone into a “far country” to receive the Kingdom returns. Luke 19:11-13

  • It is a “Mystery”

The Kingdom was no mystery. The Old Testament prophets describe it in glowing terms. But there was something that was a Mystery” to them, and that was what was to come in between the “Sufferings and Glory” of Christ. 1Pet. 1:9-11.

That is, between the Cross and the Crown. Jesus intimated that there was to be something that He called the “Church, ” but He did not say when it should appear, or what it would be like. Matt. 16:13-15.

The “Mystery of the Church” was first revealed to Paul.

“For this cause I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if ye have heard of ‘The Dispensation of the Grace of God’ which is given me to you-ward; how that by revelation He made known unto me ‘THE MYSTERY’ which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that THE GENTILES should be fellow heirs and of THE SAME BODY, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the Gospel….. according to the ‘Eternal Purpose’ which He purposes in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Eph. 3:1-3

  • It is a “Called Out” Body [Assembly]

The word Church comes from the Greek word “ecclesia” which means “Assembly” or a congregation of “called out ones.”

But the word is not used exclusively as to the Church. Israel was an “ecclesia” or an Assembly of people “called out” from other peoples and nations, and is called in Acts 7:38, “The Church in the Wilderness.”

Any Assembly of worshipers banded together as a church or congregation is an “ecclesia.” Matt. 18:17; 1Cor. 14:19, 1Cor. 14:35.

While Israel is a “called out body” it is a “National Body,” composed exclusively of the descendants of Abraham, but the Church is not a “National Body” for it is [a heavenly body] not composed of the people of any one nation, but of individuals from every kindred, people, tribe and nation.

That Israel and the Church are distinct and separate and cannot be blended, is clear from the fact that their “election” was made at different dates, and that the “election” of the Church antedates the “election” of Israel, for Israel was chosen in Abraham from the foundation of the world (Matt. 25:34), while the Church was chosen in HIM (Jesus) BEFORE the Foundation of the World. Eph. 1:4-6

  • It is the “Body of Christ”

In Eph. 1:22, 23 we read-

“And hath put all things under His feet, and gave HIM (Jesus), to be the HEAD over all things to the Church which is His BODY.”

The context shows (vs. 20), that this “Headship” was not possible until Jesus had been raised from the dead, and seated at the right hand of the Father. The Church, therefore, could not have been in existence before there was a Head, for God does not make headless things. The Church then is the Body of which Christ is the Head.

In 1Cor. 12:12, 13 we are told how this “Body” is formed.

“For as the body is one, and hath many members; and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into One Body, whether we be Jew or Gentile, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into ONE SPIRIT.”

From this we see that it is the “Baptism of the Spirit” that incorporates us into the “BODY OF CHRIST.”

Therefore there could be no Church until the “Day of Pentecost.” Acts 1:4-5; Acts 2:1-3

  • It is to be the “Bride of Christ”

At present the Church is a virgin espoused. Paul said to the Church at Corinth, “I am jealous over you with godly jealousy; for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste VIRGIN to Christ.” 2Cor. 11:2.

In Christ’s day an espousal was as sacred as a marriage. The First Adam had his Bride, and the Second or Last Adam must have His Bride. In Gen. 2:18, Gen. 2:21-23, we are told how the First Adam got his Bride.

“The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and with the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made (builded) He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man.”

Now Jesus during His life on the earth as a man, abode alone, but a deep sleep-the sleep of death-fell on Him, and out of His wounded side, as the result of the Atonement He made on the Cross, there came that from which the Church was formed, and to which the Holy Spirit gave life on the Day of Pentecost; so that, as Adam said of Eve-“This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, ” so we can say of the Church-“We are members of His Body, of his Flesh, and of his Bones.” Eph. 5:29-31 [1]


[1] Adapted from Clarence Larkin’s great book, “Dispensational Truth” chapter 11 – edits in [brackets].

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What’s Dispensational Bible Study?

November 4, 2018 1 comment

Shawn Brasseaux

BEHOLD THE CONFUSION: RELIGIOUS TRADITION

Have you ever wondered why there is so much confusion and debate among and within “Christian” circles and churches? These professing Christians all quote the Bible, they all claim to believe the Bible, and yet, it is quite a surprise to learn that they all disagree regarding what the Bible actually teaches! All 38,000-plus denominations in Christendom claim to be serving and following “Jesus Christ,” and yet, they all believe mutually exclusive doctrines and practice opposing rites and rituals. How can they all be following Jesus Christ while all doing different things?! The Church the Body of Christ is supposed to be united; nevertheless, schisms, strife, and contradictions abound. Why?

Let me give you some of the most popular examples of the literally thousands of major arguments in Christendom:

Many churches believe that faith and works are necessary for salvation, quoting Matthew 19:17 and James 2:24; the remainder of churches believe that salvation is by faith alone, using Romans 3:28, Romans 4:5, and Ephesians 2:8,9.

Some groups believe that water baptism is necessary for salvation, relying on Mark 16:16 and 1 Peter 3:21; others hold that it is merely a testimony of salvation, citing Matthew 28:19 and Acts 2:38; still others do not water baptize at all, relying on 1 Corinthians 1:17, 1 Corinthians 12:13, and Ephesians 4:5.

Some churches participate in “snake handling,” “devil exorcism,” “tongue talking” and “healing services,” citing Mark 16:17,18 and James 5:15; others completely reject those practices, quoting Romans 8:18, 1 Timothy 5:23, and 2 Timothy 4:20.

Some churches argue that we must observe the Saturday Sabbath, citing Exodus 20:8-11, while others believe there is no Sabbath day to keep today, quoting Romans 6:14 and Colossians 2:16. (There are even groups that argue that we must observe Sunday, the alleged “Christian Sabbath!”)

Some groups teach that Christians can lose their salvation, following Psalm 51:11, Matthew 24:13, and Hebrews 6:4-6; other groups believe Christians are eternally secure in Christ, relying on Romans 8:35-39, Ephesians 4:30, and 2 Timothy 1:12.

Some churches teach tithing, according to Malachi 3:8-11, while other churches believe that we are not under an obligatory giving system, citing Romans 6:14 and 2 Corinthians 9:7.

Some argue that we should confess our sins to God daily, quoting Matthew 6:12,14,15 and 1 John 1:9. Other groups believe that we should confess our sins to priests, using John 20:23 and James 5:16. Still, others believe that confession of sins is unnecessary because Jesus Christ died to pay for our sins and we are already forgiven of all of our sins, citing Ephesians 4:32 and Colossians 2:13.

Some groups say we are bound to keep the Mosaic Law, using Exodus 20:1-17 and 1 John 2:3,4, while others say we are under grace, not law, citing Romans 6:14 and Galatians 5:1-5.

Amazing huh? All of these groups are using Bible verses to support these opposing views!! How is this possible?! If the Bible has all of these conflicting views, then exactly what does God expect us to believe?! What is the solution to this abounding confusion and these so-called Bible “contradictions?” Firstly, understand that “God is not the author of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33). The problem is not God’s Word; God’s Word is infallible, perfect, and completely sound. Sinful mankind and Satan, not God, are to blame for the gross theological errors and false teaching in Christendom. Never, ever blame God for the confusion that Satan and mankind generate using religious tradition and human “wisdom.”

If people would simply use the Bible God’s way, all of the doctrinal confusion in Christian circles would disappear. Alas, people prefer their religious tradition, so they do not care to submit to God’s Word. The Lord Jesus Christ rebuked the religious leaders of His day: “Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition“ (Mark 7:9 KJV). These people approach God’s Word with denominational biases and reach denominational conclusions, instead of seeing what the Bible actually said and to whom it said it. What makes it all the more disturbing is that the pastors and teachers who should be dispelling confusion and doubt are only adding to the preexisting confusion by failing to use God’s Word God’s way themselves. These church leaders only teach God’s Word as their denominational system interprets it, instead of letting the Bible’s testimony speak for itself and mean what it says, where it says it, and to whom it says it.

BEHOLD THE SOLUTION: 2 TIMOTHY 2:15

If we use God’s Word, God’s way, there will be no contradictions and no confusion. The Bible will only make sense to you if you approach it the way God designed it to be studied (that is “rightly divided”). Read what the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:15, as found in the King James Bible:

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

The only verse in the Bible that tells you to “study” the Bible tells you how to study it. When you “rightly divide the word of truth,” you are recognizing the distinctions/divisions that God has made in His Word. Through various dispensations (sets of directions), God gave different instructions to various groups of people. (For instance, compare the differing diets that God gave in Genesis 1:27-29, Genesis 9:1-4, Leviticus 11:2, and 1 Timothy 4:3-5.) We must be careful to never insert directions into the dispensations in which they were never given. Confusion results when we combine all of the Bible’s instructions as though they were spoken to one group of people. There are several dispensations in Scripture given to different people at various times and we must never confuse them. It is this very failure to rightly divide the word of truth that gives rise to all of the conflicting doctrines (what we discussed in our introductory remarks).

Let us now discuss the basics of “rightly dividing the word of truth.”

THE TWO PROGRAMS IN GOD’S WORD

Genesis 1:1 KJV, the first verse in the Bible, reads: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” God divides the heaven from the earth. (This is true even at the end of the Bible, in Revelation 21:1.) Furthermore, God has designed one program to operate in each of these realms. There are two programs in the Bible: the “prophetic program” and the “mystery program.”

The Apostle Peter says in Acts 3:21 KJV that he is preaching that “which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”

The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 16:25,26a KJV that he is preaching “according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest….”

Obviously, if words mean anything, Peter and Paul are speaking of two different things. Something “spoken since the world began” cannot be the same as something “kept secret since the world began.”

The prophetic program focuses on the nation Israel and an earthly kingdom (Exodus 19:5,6; Deuteronomy 4:20), where Gentiles (non-Jews) receive salvation through that kingdom (Isaiah 60:1-3). On the other hand, the mystery program focuses on the Church the Body of Christ and a heavenly kingdom (Ephesians 2:6,7; Ephesians 1:22-23), where Gentiles receive salvation without Israel’s kingdom (Romans 11:11,12,25). Surely, if we are to avoid confusion, we must keep those two programs and their respective directions separated (“rightly divided”).

Sadly, most of Christendom combines all of these Bible verses into one program, ignoring the differences between the program that involves Israel’s kingdom and the mystery program that does not involve Israel’s kingdom. Again, this haphazard handling of the Bible is the source of the spiritual confusion and the alleged Bible “contradictions.” They are mixing opposing directions God gave in different dispensations (these directions were not given in the same dispensation).

Today, the Apostle Paul writes that the prophetic program that was operating in the “Old Testament,” the Four Gospels, and the early Acts period is temporarily suspended. We are currently living in the “Dispensation of the Grace of God” (Ephesians 3:2), the mystery program, which the Lord kept secret in the Old Testament but has since revealed it to mankind through the ministry of the Apostle Paul (Romans 16:25,26; Ephesians 3:1-11). Why did God hide it prior to Paul? It was to keep the devil from knowing His entire plan, so Satan could crucify Jesus Christ, and thereby would actually defeat himself  (1 Corinthians 2:6-8)!

WHOM SHOULD WE FOLLOW TODAY?

It is often mistakenly assumed that we need to “follow Jesus” (that is, the red letters of the Four Gospels). Yet, when we consider the Scriptures, this makes no sense whatsoever. Can we sinners follow the sinless Lord Jesus Christ? OF COURSE NOT!

Romans 11:13 KJV says that Paul is “the apostle of the Gentiles.” As previously stated, the ascended Lord Jesus Christ revealed to Paul alone “the revelation of the mystery” (Romans 16:25,26), His secret (mystery) program to deal with the whole world (Jews and Gentiles) on the basis of grace and Christ’s finished crosswork on Calvary. On the other hand, the Lord Jesus Christ ministered to Jews only in Matthew through John (Matthew 10:5-7; Matthew 15:24; John 4:22; Romans 15:8). Jesus had no ministry to us Gentiles because He had to save Israel first! It is not until we come to Paul’s ministry when God begins to deal with Gentiles. This is one basic fact of Scripture that most church members have never been told.

Jesus Christ urged His followers to obey the Mosaic Law, and commanded them to teach others to do the same (Matthew 5:17-19). Contrariwise, God through Paul tells us, “ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14,15). Obviously, we cannot follow both of these instructions. We cannot follow Jesus’ earthly ministry because we are not Jews. Furthermore, “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more” (2 Corinthians 5:16). We do not know Jesus Christ after His earthly ministry (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Rather, we follow Him according to His heavenly ministry (as He is revealed in Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon).

God set forth Paul to be our “pattern” as to how we receive salvation (1 Timothy 1:15,16). In addition, Paul writes, “Be ye followers of me, even as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). In the Christian life, we follow Paul as he follows Christ. In Paul’s epistles alone we find the doctrine, duty, walk, and destiny of the Church the Body of Christ. Paul is God’s spokesman to you, just as Moses was God’s spokesman to Israel. If you want to learn what God has to say to you today, you must go to Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon. To reject Paul is to reject Christ who sent Paul to you, and to reject Christ is to reject God the Father (Matthew 10:40; John 13:20). Paul wrote: “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37). The test for spirituality today is NOT following Jesus in His earthly ministry, but obeying what God the Holy Spirit says today through the Apostle Paul.

YOUR CHRISTIAN LIFE AS A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH THE BODY OF CHRIST

We are not the nation Israel, for in our dispensation, Israel is temporarily “fallen,” “cast away,” and “spiritually blinded” (Romans 11:11,15,25). We Christians are members of the Church the Body of Christ, where there is neither Jew nor Gentile (Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 1:22,23). What God has to say to us is different from what He told the nation Israel in the “Old Testament,” the Four Gospels, and the early part of Acts. It is important to understand how your Christian life operates as a non-Israelite, as a Gentile living in the Dispensation of the Grace of God and a member of the Church the Body of Christ. If you want to be spiritually “edified” (“strengthened”) and spiritually “perfected” (“matured”), you need to study and believe the Pauline epistles of Romans through Philemon (Ephesians 4:12).

God wants to “stablish” (stabilize) your Christian life and inner man by using a three-fold process. God wants you to understand the life that He has given to you in Christ Jesus, so that you can better understand what He is doing today, and then you can, by faith, follow Him and do the same. This is how we discover and do God’s will for our lives. The Bible says in Romans 16:25,26 KJV:

“25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:”

Notice the three-fold process of Christian edification:

“my gospel“—Paul’s Gospel, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, is the foundation of the Christian life

“the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery“—this is Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon, the sound doctrine (building materials) which we use to build on that foundation

“the scriptures of the prophets“—this is all of the Holy Scriptures, in light of the doctrine revealed to Paul.

This is why studying the Bible rightly divided is so important. We study all of the Bible, Genesis through Revelation, but we follow the design of Christian edification as laid out in Romans 16:25,26. If we refuse to follow the dispensational layout of Scripture, and most people do refuse it, then we will be going against what God is doing today, and our Christian lives will be in shambles (which is why Christendom is in such pitiful shape!).

DO WE ONLY STUDY PAUL’S EPISTLES? (NO!)

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). All of the Bible is God’s Word, so we study all 66 books of the King James Bible (Genesis to Revelation). But, unlike most churches and professing Christians, we study the entire Bible according to the “revelation of the mystery,” (in light of the Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon). All of the Bible is for us, but not all of the Bible is to us and not all of the Bible is about us (remember, most of the Bible is written to and is about the nation Israel, not us). We follow God’s design for Christian edification, and we seek God’s approval, not man’s approval (2 Timothy 2:15).

When studying a particular Bible passage, you first need to establish the following, in this order:

  1. who is writing/speaking,
  1. to whom are they writing, and
  1. what are they writing.

Again, keep in mind that Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon are what God has to say to you, and the rest of the Bible deals with another program, Israel’s program.
 If Paul does not instruct you to do it, then God does not expect you to practice it in your life.

WHY HAVE I NOT HEARD THIS BEFORE?

Are you shocked by what you have just read? Does the Bible make more sense now? So, why have you never heard this before? I would strongly suggest that you ask your pastor, Bible teacher, or priest why he never told you any of this. You might be surprised at his answer! [1]

[1] Copied from https://ambassadorsfortherisenchristministries.org/whats-dispensational-bible-study/

Comparing Prophecy versus Mystery

September 17, 2018 Leave a comment

(These verses demonstrate the contrast between the Kingdom and the Body. To gain a fuller understanding, you should go to the place in your bible where the verses are located and read them in their context. While this list is by no means exhaustive it will serve to clearly show that Prophecy in the bible is distinct from the Mystery)  

Prophecy: That which was spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began. It pertains to specific promises of God to and through the nation of Israel. All of those promises are in an earthly setting. They are both literal and visible.

Mystery: The preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began, until the Lord gave to the Apostle Paul an abundance of visions and revelations about the heavenly aspects of God’s purpose and plan.

Comparison Number One

Prophecy concerns a Kingdom, a political organization:

Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

While the Body is a living organism:

1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Comparison Number Two

The Kingdom will be established on Earth:

Jeremiah 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

Matthew 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

Matthew 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

While the Body is in Heaven:

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Comparison Number Three

Christ is the King in the Kingdom:

Jeremiah 33:15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.

Jeremiah 33:16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

But he is the Living Head of the Body:

Ephesians 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

Ephesians 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Ephesians 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Ephesians 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Comparison Number Four

The Kingdom was prophesied in the Old Testament:

Luke 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,

Luke 1:69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;

Luke 1:70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:

Acts 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

Acts 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.

Acts 3:23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

Acts 3:24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

But the Body was kept secret:

Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Ephesians 1:8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

Ephesians 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

Ephesians 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Comparison Number Five

Israel is above all people in the Kingdom:

Isaiah 60:10 And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.

Isaiah 60:11 Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.

Isaiah 60:12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.

Isaiah 61:6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.

But Jew and Gentile are equal in the Body:

Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

Romans 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Ephesians 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Ephesians 2:17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

Comparison Number Six

In the Kingdom Gentiles are blessed thru Israel:

Genesis 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

Genesis 22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Acts 13:44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.

Acts 13:45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.

Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles

But in the Body without Israel:

Romans 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes.

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

Romans 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

Romans 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

Romans 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Comparison Number Seven

In the Kingdom Gentiles blessed thru Israel’s rise:

Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

Isaiah 60:2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

Isaiah 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Zechariah 8:22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.

Zechariah 8:23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.

But in the Body through their fall:

Acts 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Acts 28:28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

Acts 28:29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.

Comparison Number Eight

Prophecy of the Kingdom concerns nations:

Isaiah 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Ezekiel 37:21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:

Ezekiel 37:22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.

But the Mystery of the body individuals:

Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

2 Corinthians 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Comparison Number Nine

Prophecy about blessings on Earth:

Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Isaiah 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Isaiah 61:6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.

But the Mystery about blessings in Heaven:

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Comparison Number Ten

In Prophecy salvation is by faith plus works:

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

James 2:25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

Acts 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

But in the Mystery by faith alone

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Romans 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Comparison Number Eleven

In Prophecy Christ comes to the Earth:

Isaiah 59:20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.

Acts 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

Acts 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

Acts 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

But the Mystery explains His absence:

Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

Ephesians 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Ephesians 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

Comparison Number Twelve

Prophecy was committed to the 12 Apostles:

Matthew 10:5 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:

Matthew 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

Acts 3:24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

Acts 3:25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.

But the Mystery to Paul alone:

Ephesians 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

Ephesians 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Ephesians 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

Colossians 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

Colossians 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Comparison Number Thirteen

Prophecy was revealed thru many Prophets:

Luke 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

Luke 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Luke 1:67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,

Luke 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,

Luke 1:69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;

Luke 1:70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:

2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

But the Mystery was revealed to one man:

Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

Galatians 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

Galatians 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

Galatians 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

Galatians 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

Ephesians 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Ephesians 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

Comparison Number Fourteen

Prophets didn’t understand:

Daniel 12:8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?

Daniel 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

1 Peter 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

1 Peter 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

But Paul did and longed that others would also:

Ephesians 1:15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,

Ephesians 1:16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

Ephesians 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Ephesians 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

Ephesians 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Ephesians 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Ephesians 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Colossians 2:1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

Colossians 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

Colossians 2:3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Conclusion

These 14 simple examples of comparing scripture with scripture clearly indicate that some of God’s people will inherit an earthly Kingdom, while others are members of the Body of Christ, destined for Heaven. Knowing the difference is all important to be established in your faith. You cannot follow instructions given to people of another time whose inheritance is in another place and be successful in your service for the Lord. All scripture is given by inspiration of God. All of the bible is for us, but it is not all about us. The summary of all the above examples is this: Peter and Paul are two different apostles of the Lord. They have two different messages called “the gospel.” Their message is addressed to two different groups of people. Those two groups of people are in two different churches.

The Jewish Kingdom Church was formed to call out the new Nation of Israel out of apostate Israel. The establishment of the Kingdom is yet future. It has not yet happened. The reason you do not see the Lord Jesus Christ ruling and reigning on the throne of David as the King in the Kingdom is because God had a secret. The secret is about another group of people called the Body of Christ. The Body and the Kingdom are two different things. God’s prophetic program for a “Kingdom of Heaven upon the earth” gave way during the time of the book of Acts for the revelation of the mystery. The church which is Christ’s Body has a heavenly calling and a heavenly inheritance. You only learn that from Paul’s epistles because he is the only one who received the revelations and the only one who writes about and unto the body of Christ. Failing to see these distinctions is a failure to obey the following instructions:

Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

Philippians 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

1 Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

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

Source: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=prophecy+and+mystery&atb=v134-2__&ia=web

Right Division of the Bible Confirms the Rapture of the Church Body of Christ BEFORE Israel’s Tribulation

Dr. Mike Johnston

Beginning my Christian study life under the delusion that the church Body would have to endure the tribulation, I have found a few things over the past 40 plus years that have awakened me to the error I once labored under. Case in point: Misunderstanding about the Rapture is grounded in wrongly dividing the Word of truth. Let me explain briefly what this means.

Understanding right division as given us through prophecy for Israel and mystery for the Body is the proper foundation for rightly dividing between the Old and New Testaments. But this division has caused other division as Bible teachers have reduced Second Timothy Two-fifteen to a catch phrase without really employing it in their studies. The result of this has rendered to us con-clusions suspect from the outset since they were obtained from study using an improper dichotomy between the Testaments as I’m about to explain.

Conventional wisdom convinced us that the Old Testament is for Israel – which is true, but that it ended with Malachi, which is NOT true. The New Testament didn’t begin until the death of Christ the Testator (Matt. 27; see Hebrews 9:16-17).   Now traditionalists will contend this is inconsequential nonsense – and for them it probably is. However, for those of us committed to right division, we understand that ignoring this facilitates error by basing our study on an improper division between testaments that can only lead to wrong interpretations and improper conclusions. One example ignored routinely is the division between the Testaments.

Since the NT didn’t begin until sometime after the crucifixion, Jesus’ teachings are a furtherance of the Old Covenant narrative (we will discuss later) extend-ing through the Gospel of John. This includes the Sermon on the Mount, Mys-teries of the Kingdom, and the Olivet Discourse.

Rightly dividing the word of truth begins by understanding the right division between the Old and New Testaments then employing the right principles to identify the correct program, covering the proper time period, employing the appropriate gospel message which further demonstrates why the Body of Christ will not go through Israel’s tribulation.

Rightly Dividing Between Two Programs: Prophecy and Mystery
God’s primary division for studying His Word is hidden in plain sight in the opening verse of Scripture: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Although Bible scholars like Darby, Scofield, Torrey and many others have recognized a number of dispensations (see Appendix  ) two dominant programs God has used since the world began:

1. The Prophecy program for Israel predicting a coming earthly kingdom:
“As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began” (Luke 1:70; see Acts 3:21)). 2. The Mystery program for the Body of Christ promising a heavenly inheritance:

“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began” (Romans 16:25).

Both of these programs – or dispensations – have separate participants, pur-poses and ordinances (Jer. 33:25); existing “since the world began” (Acts 3:21; Rom. 16:25), which more detail will be given later.

Now here’s the essence of right division: God’s plan is to rule earth for one thousand years. In the Providential panorama, all non-Pauline Scripture exists to explain or enhance the prophetic program for Israel leading to the coming King and earthly kingdom.

Quick synopsis

God established the mystery Body of Christ from the beginning of creation: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7). How-ever, He hid it from the prophets (Colossians 1:26) in order to reveal it to Paul alone “… according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began” (Romans 16:25); “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints.” Due to rejecting her Messiah as prophesied by Daniel (Dan. 9:24-27), Israel is currently blind to the mystery for a certain period known only to God: “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery … that blind-ness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Romans 11:25). When this happens, the Body of Christ that appeared as a mystery (Rom. 16:25) will disappear in a mystery known as the rapture (1 Cor. 15:51) and Daniel’s prophecy clock will commence where it left off at the 70th week (Dan. 9:24-27). Unfortunately, many in the Body of Christ are equally blind to right division between prophecy and mystery and will fight tooth and nail – to their own doctrinal detriment – against our teaching it.  “… even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath writ-ten unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:15-16)

Books promoting right division available at: http://pmiministries.com/books.htm

Right Conclusion: Israel from Prophecy the Body of Christ from Mystery

February 16, 2017 Leave a comment

Dr. Mike Johnston

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1) [italics added].

 

The Bible presents God overseeing two overarching programs: one for heaven, the other for earth (Gen. 1:1). God’s program for heaven involves the mystery Body of Christ and our inheritance there in heaven with Christ (Eph. 1:3, 20; 2:6), “kept secret since the world began” (Rom. 16:25). His program for earth involves prophecy for Israel concerning the coming Davidic Covenant Kingdom (2 Sam. 7:16; see end time’s kingdom in Dan. 2:44; 7:13-14) aka the Millennial Reign of Christ prepared “from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34), promised and propagated through His Covenant with Abraham (Gen. 12, 15, 17). From there, Israel’s earthly future has progressively unfolded to her “by the mouth of the prophets since the world began” (Luke 1:70) in “time past” (Eph. 2:11-12; see Luke 24:27, 44; Acts 14:16; Heb. 1:1) to be fulfilled in the “ages to come” (Eph. 2:7).

 

The Covenant Kingdom will be inaugurated following the Revelation of the Lord Jesus to Israel (Zech. 14; Rev. 19:11-21) which occurs “immediately after the Tribulation” (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 24:29) or Daniel s seventieth week (Dan. 9:24-27), a time when God will punish the world for sin while preparing Israel for the Kingdom (Jer. 30-31; Ezek. 20:37; 22:18-22; Dan. 2:44; 7:13-14; Hos. 5:15). If the Body of Christ (church) is present on earth during Israel’s Tribulation (Deut. 4:30; Isa. 24; Jer. 30-31; Joel; Zephaniah; Matt. 24; Rev. 6-19), the Holy Spirit went to great lengths to keep us from knowing it.

 

To wit, while we can easily find Israel and the anti-Semitic Gentile nations on earth in Tribulation “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1) passages of Scripture (Deut. 4:30-31; Isa. 2; Jer. 30-31; Dan. 7-12; Joel 2; Zeph. 1) – the heavenly Body of Christ – which has been promised deliverance from this divine punishment (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9; 2 Thess. 2:5-7; Rev. 3:10; see also Rev. 4:1) – is conspicuously absent (Rev. 6-19). In fact, there isn’t a verse anywhere in the Bible clearly and unequivocally placing the Body of Christ on earth for a single moment of Israel’s holocaust without redefining the words “saints” and “elect” and “disciples” which in Daniel, the Olivet Discourse and Revelation are specifically linked to Israel.

 

The Prophecy Program

 

The prophecy program concerns an earthly kingdom for the nation of Israel spoken by the mouth of His holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3:21).

 

Prophecy >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Kingdom
Earth Israel Nation
“spake by the mouth of his holy prophets which have been since the world began
(Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21)

 

As introduced in a previous chapter, the Prophecy Program is God’s plan for earth featuring the nation of Israel and her Covenant kingdom that God “spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, [1]  which have been since the world began” (Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21; see Matt. 25:34).

 

The prophecy program – which unfolded to Israel from the prophets – continued through the apostles (Acts 1-8) who not only preached the Kingdom Gospel message with Christ, but witnessed His rejection and crucifixion. Peter their representative explained to the Jews the gravity of what they had just done. By crucifying Christ, they had likewise rejected the Abrahamic Covenant postponing the kingdom they claimed to be waiting for. Peter didn’t let them off the hook when he said, “Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed” (Acts 3:24-25; see Gen. 12:1-3; 22:18). Paul later revealed that Israel’s rejection of the Messiah actually caused her diminishing and blindness (Rom. 11:7, 12, 25). [2]

 

Importance of the prophets to Israel

 

God never advanced His program for Israel or earth without revealing it to His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). Additionally in the overwhelming number of prophesies given to Israel we find that eighty percent of the Bible is to Israel from which the prophets were an indispensable part.

 

The prophets predicted a future where King Jesus will rule the earth from Jerusalem, Israel. The Body of Christ is merely provisional “fill in” on earth during Israel’s blindness, “until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25). Once we are removed, Daniel’s [3] prophecy clock which paused at Christ’s rejection by Israel (Dan. 9:24-27) will begin ticking again. Until that time, we will remain on earth – an unknown entity to any of the prophets – provoking Israel to jealousy.

 

Fact: It was prophecy – not mystery – that pronounced the upcoming Day of the Lord –that includes Israel’s Tribulation for Israel first prophesied to her by Moses (Deut. 4:30). The prophets never saw the Body of Christ and thus didn’t include it in their writings. Since Israel is destined for her earthly kingdom, God must ultimately reinstate her to prophetic significance, which fits perfectly with Daniel’s seventieth week. In a precious twist of divine irony, prophecy (Israel, earthly) gave way to mystery (the church, heavenly) at Daniel’s 70th week; now mystery must give way to prophecy, which will resume for the one week still future.

 

Fact, the foremost intention of the prophecy program is the Kingdom of Heaven on earth as promised to Israel in the Covenants. Peter explained this,

 

“The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses … But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.” (excerpted from Acts 3:13-18).

 

Then, in another show of mercy and grace, God through Peter offered Israel another chance to receive the Messiah and the kingdom:

 

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21).

 

Again, Israel refused her King (Acts 4-7); Paul was saved (Acts 9), and a new dispensation emerged the prophets were not privy to.

 

The Mystery Program

 

The Mystery program concerns a heavenly inheritance for the Church Body of Christ kept secret since the world began (Rom. 16:25).

 

Mystery >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Inheritance
Heaven Church Body
“the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began
(Romans 16:25).

The Mystery Program is God’s plan for heaven featuring the Body of Christ and our inheritance there in heaven with Christ given to Paul in “the revelation [4] of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began” (Romans 16:25).

 

When studied in its entirety we discover the Mystery is that body of truth revealed to and proclaimed by the Apostle Paul  alone (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 1:9-10; 3:1-11) concerning Heaven and the exaltation of the Body of Christ together in Heaven with Christ (Eph. 2:4-10, 3: 1-4; also read carefully Col. 3:1-6).[5] The student who understands the distinction between prophecy for Israel and earth, along with the mystery of the Body and heaven, is thoroughly equipped to avoid conflating Israel’s expectation of a coming Revelation of a King and kingdom – with His parenthetical plan for the Body. The blood bought, born again church (ekklesia- called out assembly) is the Body of Christ (Col. 1:18, 24). Since she has NO inheritance on earth [6]there’s no reason for us to be here during a single moment of Israel’s Tribulation (study Eph. 1-3; Col. 3:1-6) trying to eke out a safe existence in order to earn an earthly kingdom.

 

God carefully hid the mystery Body of Christ from the prophets until it was unveiled to Paul by our heavenly risen Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:20) in a personal post ascension revelation (Rom. 16:25; Gal. 1:12; Eph. 3:1-9). The mystery features the Church as the Lord’s BODY (Eph. 1:3; 2:6) and the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:22-33; Rev. 21:9) in a “but now” time-period (Eph. 2:13). I repeat, the prophets didn’t know about us and never mentioned us in any of their writings, so we aren’t included in the promises and prophecies concerning earth and the future of the NATION Israel. The fact is, even Peter and the apostles didn’t know this new doctrine until Paul taught them (Gal. 1:12; 2:6-7) later admitting how hard it was to understand and yet theologically destructive it was for all who fought against it (2 Pet. 3:15-16).

 

Here’s Paul’s explanation of the mystery exclusivity:

 

“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:10-12).

 

In chapter two, he continued defining the distinctiveness of his doctrine by contrasting the gospel he preached with the one Peter preached:

 

“But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.” (Galatians 2:6-9)

 

Fact: The dispensation of the mystery of the church [7] isn’t Jewish and it wasn’t known by any of the prophets or the twelve apostles until Paul taught them (Gal. 1:11-12; 2:6-9; 2 Pet. 3:15-16; see also 1 Thess. 2:13). It was secretly revealed by the Lord Jesus to Paul – the Apostle to the Gentiles (Rom. 11:3) – literally as a mystery (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:4-5, 9) – after the Lord temporarily set aside Daniel’s prophecy at the end of the 69th week (Dan. 9:24-27). Sadly, this very special revelation of the mystery given by Jesus to Paul has been the object of defiance and disdain accompanied by bitterness, badgering, and blackballing on the part of inflexible men who fight tooth and nail against it even though it is specifically for this dispensation. Recognizing the damage this causes, Peter lamented,

 

“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:15-16).

 

Fact: The Church is the Lord’s heavenly BODY (Eph. 1:3; 2:6); a mystery “kept secret since the world began” (Rom. 16:25), given to Paul alone by our risen Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:20) during His current heavenly ministry in a personal post ascension revelation (Rom. 16:25; Gal. 1:12; Eph. 3:1-9). Once the mystery Body of Christ (Rom. 16:25) is removed at the Rapture (1 Cor. 15:51), Israel’s prophecy clock will resume at Daniel’s seventieth week (one week of seven years – see Dan. 9:27; Rev. 11:2-3), the time of Jacob’s trouble that Jesus referred to as (great) Tribulation (Matt. 24:21, 29).

 

Consider the following facts about the church Body of Christ:

 

  • Presented as a Body where Christ is Head [no laws, land, or covenants] [8]
  • The Body exists as a mystery (Rom. 16:25) that will one day disappear in a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51).
  • The Body of Christ was unknown by the prophets and has no association with prophecy or future Tribulation. [Our salvation is secure; sealed forever in Christ (Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30) with no further purification required].
  • Our inheritance is not in the earth, but in heaven with Jesus where we spiritually exist in Him (Eph. 1:3-4, 10; 2:6; col. 3:1-3) [9] at this moment, awaiting the promise Jesus made to return and take us to heaven (John 14:2-3; see 1 Thess. 4:13-18). This will happen at some undisclosed time in the future when the “fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25).
  • Paul is our apostle (Rom. 11:13; Gal. 2:7-8). His epistles (Romans-Philemon) provide all doctrine and duty for those in this “dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph. 3:2) personally given to him by Jesus in the “revelation of the mystery” (Rom. 16:25).
  • Occupies a temporary position on earth during Israel’s hiatus between Daniel’s 69th and 70th week (Dan. 9:24-27)
  • Was established by God to provoke Israel to jealousy leading to her conversion (Rom. 11:11).
  • Was unknown to any of the prophets (Col. 1:26)
  • Was never included in earthly prophecies featuring Israel’s Davidic Kingdom, and Tribulation (“Jacob’s trouble” – Jer. 30:7) preceding it.
  • Appeared as a mystery (Rom. 16:25) [10] during Israel’sblindness (Rom. 11:7),
  • Will disappear in a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51) when “the fullness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25).
  • Cannot be seen anywhere in Israel’s Tribulation! [11]

Time to reflect on something: the necessity of God’s revelation for the future, must include the prophetic word: “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). Since Israel’s Tribulation is prophecy for Israel, it cannot begin while the mystery Body of Christ is here. The church Body of Christ is NEVER MENTIONED anywhere in prophecy and thus the church which appeared as a mystery (Rom. 16:25) after Daniel’s prophecy clock stopped after the 69th week must be removed in a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51; see 2 Thess. 2:7) in order to restart that prophecy clock at the 70th week. That event is imminent; it’s the rapture of the church in the heavenlies by Christ and it removes us before Antichrist [12] is revealed and the time of Jacob’s trouble begins with the signing of a seven year covenant of peace (2 Thess 2:6-8; see Dan. 9:27). The Revelation of Christ occurs on earth immediately after Israel’s Tribulation (Matt 24:29) and just before the kingdom begins (Matt 25:31-46). The fact that the Body of Christ returns with Him at the Revelation demands that we be removed prior to that event. Although PreWrath [13] advocates argue for a removal of the church about ¾ of the way through Israel’s Tribulation their charts are perplexing and pretentious.

 

Chart: Prophecy and Mystery

 

Prophecy – Israel – Earth Mystery – Church – Heaven
Concerns a kingdom; a political

Organization (Dan. 2:44; Matt.6:10).

Concerns a body;  a  living  organism (I  Cor.12:12,27;Eph.4:12-16).
The  kingdom to be established on earth

(Jer. 23:5; Matt.6:10).

The body given a position in heaven (Eph.

1:3; 2:5-6; Col.3:1-3).

Christ to be its King (Jer.23:5; Isa. 9: 6-7). Christ its living Head (Eph.1:19-23; Col. 1:18).
The  kingdom prophesied “since the world

began” (Luke 1:68-70;Acts3:21).

 

The body chosen in Christ before the world began, but “kept secret since the world began”
(Rom.16:25; Eph.1:4-11;3:5-9).
Israel to be given supremacy over the

Nations (Isa. 60:10-12; 61:6).

Jew and Gentile placed on the same level

Before God (Rom.10:12; 11:32; Eph.2:16-17).

The  Gentiles to  be  blessed through

Israel’s instrumentality
(Gen.22:17-18; Zech. 8:13).

The Gentiles blessed through Israel’s

Obstinacy (Acts13:44-46; Rom.11:28-32).

The Gentiles to be blessed through Israel’s

Rise (Isa. 60:1-3; Zech.8:22, 23).

The Gentiles blessed through Israel’s fall

(Acts28:27-28; Rom. 11:11-12, 15).

Prophecy mainly concerns nations as such (Isa. 2:4; Ezek.37:21-22). The mystery concerns individuals (Rom.

10:12-13; II Cor.5:14-17).

Prophecy concerns blessings, both material and spiritual, on earth (Isa. 2:3-4; 11:1-9; etc.). The mystery concerns “all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies” (Eph.1:3; Col. 3:1-3).
Prophecy concerns Christ’s coming to the

Earth (Isa. 59:20; Zech. 14:4).

The mystery explains Christ’s present absence from the earth (Eph.1:20-23; Col.3:1-3).
In prophecy salvation by grace through

Faith alone  is not contemplated.

Salvation by grace through faith alone lies at the very heart of the mystery (Rom.3:21-26; 4:5; Eph.2:8-9).
The proclamation of the prophetic program Committed particularly
to the twelve
(Matt.10:5-7; Acts1:6-8; 3:19-26).
The proclamation of the mystery committed particularly to Paul (Eph.3:1-3, 8-9; Col.1:24-27).
The prophetic program revealed through Many of God’s servants (Luke1:70; II Pet. 1:21). The mystery revealed through one man: Paul (Gal.1:1, 11-12; 2:2, 7, 9; Eph. 3:2-3).

 

Old testament writers frequently did not under- stand the prophecies made known through them
(Dan. 12:8-10; I Pet. 1:10-12).

 

Paul longed  that  others might understand the mystery revealed to and through him
(Eph.1:15-23; 3:14-21; Col.1:9-10;2:1-3).
This chart adapted from Cornelius Stam

 

God’s program for earth comes from prophecy revealed in His Word by the mouth of His holy prophets since the world began. It’s main subject is the inauguration of a Kingdom with His Son as King in a nation He chose specifically for this purpose. This is the subject of our next chapter.

[1] Prophecy is the distinguishing factor separating the Bible from all “religious” books in the world. Prophecy is what drew my dad to Christ in 1975 and kept him excited about the Lord’s return until April 10, 2009 when the Lord took him home. In short, prophecy for Israel is the main subject connecting our tribulation trilogy together.

[2] Romans 9-11 Explains Israel’s past, present and future. Regardless of the tradition that told you otherwise, none of the Covenants God made with Israel were ever retracted nor given to the Body of Christ in the revelation of the mystery Paul received (Rom. 16:25). The Body of Christ is merely the provisional beneficiary of His work through Israel during this her diminishing (Rom. 11:12) and blindness, only however, “until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25). Indemnifying this are prophesies God gave Israel for her future which still includes the seventieth week (7 years) of Daniel’s prophecy that must be fulfilled by her (see Dan. 9:24- “thy people”). Paul’s explanation in Romans 9 through 11 makes clear God’s intention for Israel in the future. Romans 9 tells us the Covenants of Israel are not set aside by Gospel, and the blinding of Israel led to God’s mercy to the Gentiles. Romans 10 proves Israel’s attempt at law keeping wasn’t accepted because self-righteousness is not a ground of salvation and provides a way for Gentiles to be saved. Only our humble faith in Christ’s satisfaction of the law, and so be “justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Finally, Romans 11 warns against boasting the church replaced Israel. It reveals although temporarily blind, God’s program for Israel is still on. In due time she will emerge when “the fullness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25) and the church is gone.

[3] Daniel is part of the prophetic landscape of earth and thus features Israel. In order to fit the pieces together leading to the Kingdom, we need to understand Daniel’s seventy weeks. Remember, the vision was delivered by the angel Gabriel (Dan. 9:21), to the prophet Daniel, for “thy people” (Jews) concerning “thy holy city” (Jerusalem; see Dan. 9:24). Although it is a comprehensive narrative, the prophecy is incomplete; it’s missing a single week of seven years that must be fulfilled through Israel according to the Davidic Covenant and the prophetic Word (Dan. 9:24-27). The Jewish prophet Daniel saw the Lord’s first presentation of the Kingdom in a prophecy he foretold of seventy weeks of seven years (for Israel) leading to the cutting off of the Messiah (Dan. 9:24-26). With the Davidic Covenant in mind, John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ began preaching “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2; 4:17). This of course was God’s offer to inaugurate the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:16) and fulfill Daniel’s prophecy. When Jesus was officially rejected on the exact day Daniel’s seventieth week was to begin, the prophetic calendar for Israel stopped; allowing for a parenthetic body to be inserted into the fabric of God’s providence- a mystery that was unknown by the prophets- called the church. However, this left unfulfilled one seven year period the prophets and dispensational scholars refer to as the time of Jacob’s (Israel) trouble (Jer. 30:7); the day of the Lord (Isa. 2:12; 13:6, 9; 34:8; Joel 1:15, 2:1; etc); a time of trouble (Dan. 12:1); and the Tribulation (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 24:21-29). Bear in mind, the day of the Lord is a Jewish phrase used by at least nine Jewish prophets that centers on earth and concerns Israel not the church (see Zech 12-14; Matthew 24; Rev. 12: the focus is Jerusalem and the abomination of desolation in the Temple Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:4). The Body of Christ is NOT in view during the time of Jacob’s trouble!

[4] But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:11-12).

[5] Cornelius Stam has written extensively on this. PMI also offers more on Prophecy and the Mystery.

[6] Our inheritance is NOT earth. It exists “in heavenly places” where we are spiritually sealed (Eph. 1:13-14) and seated in Christ (Eph. 1:3, 20; 2:6; Col. 3:1-2; Phil. 3:20). We are simply occupying a provisional position on earth during Israel’s hiatus between Daniel’s 69th and 70th week (Dan. 9:24-27) to provoke her to jealousy (Rom. 11:11) until “the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25). At that precise point, the church which appeared as a mystery (Rom. 16:25) will suddenly disappear in a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51) wherein Israel’s prophecy program will resume at Daniel’s 70th week where it was halted.

[7] Paul explains this very clearly in Ephesians 3:1-9.

[8] God made 5 unilateral covenants with Israel, none with the Body of Christ. We are merely the beneficiaries through Jesus.

[9] In Christ: 1:1,3,10,12,20; 2:6,10,13; 3:6,11; In the Lord: Ephesians 1:15; 2:21; 4:17; 5:8; 6:1,10,21;

[10] More information on the mystery nature of the Body of Christ discussed in Eph. 3:1-9; Col. 1:24-27.

[11] TO REITERATE IN TERMS AS CLEAR AS POSSIBLE: If the Body of Christ (church) is present on earth during Israel’s tribulation (Deut. 4:30; Zeph. 1-2), the Holy Spirit went to great lengths to keep us from knowing it. To wit, while we can easily find Israel and the anti-Semitic Gentile nations on earth during the tribulation – aka “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15), the heavenly Body of Christ – which has been promised deliverance from this divine punishment (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9; 2 Thess. 2:5-7; Rev. 3:10; see also Rev. 4:1) – is conspicuously absent (Rev. 6-19). Since we are not mentioned anywhere, it is clear to objective minded students the Lord has mysteriously removed us, “in a moment in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Cor. 15:51). Hallelujah to the Lamb, Jesus Christ our Lord!

[12]Antichrist, aka the beast. This “Beast” is the “little horn” of (Dan_7:24-26), and “desolator” of (Dan_9:27), the “abomination of desolation” of (Mat_24:15), the “man of sin” of (2Th_2:4-8), earth’s last and most awful tyrant, Satan’s fell instrument of wrath and hatred against God and the Jewish saints. He is, perhaps, identical with the rider on the white horse of (Rev_6:2), who begins by the peaceful conquest of three of the ten kingdoms into which the former Roman empire will then be divided, but who soon establishes the ecclesiastical and governmental tyranny described in Daniel 7, 9, 11; Revelation 13. To him, Satan gives the power which he offered to Christ. (Mat_4:8); (Mat_4:9); (Rev_13:4). (Old Scofield Study Bible)

[13]We have information explaining the facts while exposing the fallacies of this confusing ruse.

Right Division Leads to Right Conclusions

September 7, 2016 Leave a comment

Dr. Mike Johnston

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Rightly dividing is more than a familiar verse. It’s an underlying hermeneutic recognizing division as a basic Bible principle God introduced in Genesis when He divided:

  • “the light from the darkness” (Gen. 1:4)
  • “the waters from the waters” (Gen. 1:6-7)
  • “the day from the night” (Gen. 1:14)
  • “the light from the darkness” (Gen. 1:18)
  • “good from evil” (Gen. 2:9)
  • and much more.

God also espoused division by dispensing His Word to a variety of men “here a little, and there a little” (Isa. 28:10, 13) covering a sweeping time triad of past, present, and future narrative. This discrete dispensing of truth is the essence of what’s known as dispensationalism, and God’s word provides us with many examples of how this was accomplished:

  • God instructed Adam not to eat from a particular tree
  • God commanded Noah to build an ark
  • God directed Abraham to circumcise his progeny
  • God told Moses to lead His elect people Israel and gave Him 613 Laws to do it with; and
  • Jesus revealed the mystery Body of Christ to Paul, who revealed it in 13 epistles – Romans through Philemon. [IMPORTANT: This is Scripture written specifically to us as the Body of Christ].

Studying the responses to God’s will for great men of the Bible is a blessed lifetime endeavor. In that light, it becomes profitable for us, [1] without having to be personally to us. Right division will keep us from cross-pollinating commands God issued to other people in other dispensations from that which He gave to us through Paul (Romans – Philemon).

Rightly Dividing Between Two Overarching Programs:
Prophecy and Mystery

God’s primary division for studying His Word is hidden in plain sight in the opening verse of Scripture: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Although Bible scholars like Darby, Scofield, Torrey and many others have recognized a number of dispensations (see Appendix [i]) two dominant programs God has used since the world began:

1. The Prophecy program for Israel predicting a coming earthly kingdom:

“As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began” (Luke 1:70; see Acts 3:21)).

2. The Mystery program for the Body of Christ promising a heavenly inheritance:

“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began” (Romans 16:25).

Both of these programs – or dispensations – have separate participants, purposes and ordinances (Jer. 33:25); existing “since the world began” (Acts 3:21; Rom. 16:25), which more detail will be given later.

Now here’s the essence of right division: God’s plan is to rule earth for one thousand years. In the Providential panorama, all non-Pauline Scripture exists to explain or enhance the prophetic program for Israel leading to the coming King and earthly kingdom.

God’s Earthly Program

Prophecy – Earth – Israel                                                                                   King – Kingdom

The Body of Christ is a temporary mystery God set in place at Israel’s rejection of the Messiah which produced Israel’s blindness, to remain here “until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25). At that point, the Body that appeared as a mystery (Rom. 16:25) will likewise disappear in a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51).

In short, the plan is underway and the Kingdom is still on!

Rightly Dividing Between a Time Triad:
Time past, but now, ages to come

The two programs – heaven (mystery-Body) and earth (prophecy- Israel) – extend across three periods: Past, Present, Future. Our Apostle Paul (Rom. 11:13) reveals them in context as follows:

“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus … Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (excerpted from Ephesians 2:7-13). 

1. Time Past (Eph. 2:11-12)

Part of the Prophecy Program for the nation Israel (which includes her history) – (Genesis – Acts) 

2. “But now” (Eph. 2:13)

Part of the Mystery Program of  the Body of Christ exclusive of the nation Israel – (Romans – Philemon) 

3. “Ages to come” (Eph. 2:7)

Part of the Prophecy Program to be fulfilled through the nation Israel – (Hebrews – Revelation)

Chart of Time Triad

“Time past”

(Eph. 2:11-12)

Genesis-John

Profitable for us

“But now”

(Eph. 2:13)

Romans-Philemon

Personally to us

“Ages to come”

(Eph. 2:7)

Hebrews-Revelation

Profitable for us

PROPHECY
for Israel, a Nation

Old Covenant

[Kingdom presented and rejected]

Which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his

holy prophets

since the world began

(Acts 3:21; see Luke 1:70)

MYSTERY
of the Church, a Body

New Covenant

<- [Began at the death of Christ] ->

… according to the revelation of the mystery, which was

kept secret

since the world began

(Rom. 16:25; see Eph. 3:1-9)

PROPHECY
for Israel, a Nation

Old Covenant (continues)

[to be ratified at the Revelation]

For these be the days of vengeance, that all things

which are written

may be fulfilled

(Luke 21:22)

in Adam

earthly kingdom

Christ prophesied as Messiah

Moses/Prophets

Dispensation of the Law

Gospel of circumcision

(Gal. 2:7)

Gospel of the kingdom

(Matt. 4:23; 9:35)

 

Revelation (Zech. 14:3-4)

in Christ

heavenly inheritance

Christ is Head of Body

Apostle Paul

Dispensation of Grace

Gospel of uncircumcision

(Gal. 2:7)

Gospel of the grace of God

(Acts 20:24; see 1 Cor. 15:1-4)

 

Rapture (1 Thess. 4:13-18)

in Adam

earthly kingdom

Christ becomes the Messiah

Moses/Prophets

Dispensation of the Law

Gospel of circumcision

(Gal. 2:7)

Gospel of the kingdom

(Matt. 24:14)

 

Revelation (Rev. 19:11)

 

 

 

 

Blind, asleep, lost

(Rom. 11:7,8,25)

 

For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery … that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in

(Romans 11:25)

 

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth (Revelation 3:10)

 

 

 

 

Aware, awake, saved

(Dan. Rom. 11:25-26)

 

Foretold

Daniel’s 70 Weeks – Dan. 9:24-27 Jacob’s trouble/Day of

trouble/Day of the Lord

Coming of the Messiah

Davidic Covenant/New Covenant

Resurrection (John 5:28-29)

Ages to come
 

Fulfilled
Matt. 24; Rev. 6-19 Tribulation/Great Tribulation/Hour of temptation

Revelation of Christ

Millennial Kingdom

Resurrection (Rev. 19-20)

Rightly Dividing Between the Two Testaments

Understanding right division as given us through prophecy for Israel and mystery for the Body, is the proper foundation for rightly dividing between the Old and New Testaments. But this division has caused other division as Bible teachers have reduced Second Timothy Two fifteen to a catch phrase without really employing it in their studies. The result of this has rendered to us conclusions suspect from the outset since they were obtained from study using an improper dichotomy between the Testaments as I’m about to explain.

Conventional wisdom convinced us that the Old Testament is for Israel – which is true, but that it ended with Malachi, which is NOT true. The New Testament didn’t begin until the death of Christ the Testator (Matt. 27; see Hebrews 9:16-17).   Now traditionalists will contend this is inconsequential nonsense – and for them it probably is. However, for those of us committed to right division, we understand that ignoring this facilitates error by basing our study on an improper division between testaments that can only lead to wrong interpretations and improper conclusions. One example ignored routinely is the division between the Testaments.

Since the NT didn’t begin until sometime after the crucifixion, Jesus’ teachings are a furtherance of the Old Covenant narrative (we will discuss later) extending through the Gospel of John. This includes the Sermon on the Mount, Mysteries of the Kingdom, and the Olivet Discourse. [2]

Rightly dividing the word of truth begins by understanding the right division between the Old and New Testaments then employing the right principles to identify the correct program, covering the proper time period, employing the appropriate gospel message which further demonstrates why the Body of Christ will not go through Israel’s tribulation. (see Appendix [ii]).

We now come to a critical yet controversial subject regarding …

Rightly Dividing Between Two Primary Gospels:
Gospel of Circumcision and the Gospel of Uncircumcision

2 Primary Gospels
“Time past” (Eph. 2:11-12)

Israel-Earth

Prophecy

Genesis – John

Kingdom gospel to the circumcision
(Matt. 4:23; Gal 2:7)

“But now” (Eph. 2:13)

Body of Christ, Heaven

Mystery

Romans – Philemon

Grace gospel to the uncircumcision
(Acts. 20:24; Gal. 2:7)

“Ages to come” (Eph. 2:7)

Israel-Earth

Prophecy

Hebrews – Revelation

Kingdom gospel to the circumcision
(Matt. 24:14; Gal. 2:7)

 

If you’re ever itching for a fistfight, explain to a carnal Christian that God changed the gospel message from what it was in time past to what it is in the but now dispensation. Let me explain.

The word gospel means “a good message” (Strong), not necessarily the plan of salvation as it has often represented to be. The fact is, there are several of them listed in the Bible [3] that God dispensed to and through people in specific time periods. In his superb book “Why So Many Churches”, Dr. Noah Hutchings, one of my favorite Bible teachers, writes, “It is important for Christians to understand … Paul and Peter did not preach the same message. They preached the same Christ, but not the same gospel.” [You will understand this shortly when I unfold this].

Two primary Gospel messages exist within the harmonious framework of the three specific time periods:

1. The Gospel of the Kingdom during the Prophecy Program – (time past, ages to come)

The gospel of the kingdom (Matt. 4:23; 9:35) – is good news to the Jews which Christ preached “in time past” connecting Israel to the Abrahamic Covenant [4]and the circumcision (Gen. 17; Gal. 2:7) and Davidic Covenant (earthly Kingdom from David’s seed (2 Sam. 7:8-16). [5] Bear in mind the church must be removed at the rapture allowing for Jewish tribulation evangelists in the “ages to come” to once again preach this gospel of the kingdom message heralding the Lord’s return to inaugurate His Davidic Kingdom in Jerusalem (Matt. 24:14). [6]

2. The Gospel of the grace of God during the Mystery Program – (but now)

The gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24) – is good news for Jews and Gentiles who come to Christ by faith and are saved, justified, sanctified, glorified, and spiritually baptized into the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13) where we are seated in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6) and sealed forever (Eph. 1:13-14) apart from anything other than faith in Christ’s shed blood which permanently removes our sin from us.

By Paul’s own words this was a “but now” gospel unique for the uncircumcision (Gal. 2:7), never before preached or taught: “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12). Dr. William MacDonald observes that this “is the thrilling message of God’s undeserved favor to guilty, ungodly sinners who deserve nothing but everlasting hell. It tells how the Son of God’s love came from heaven’s highest glory to suffer, bleed, and die on Calvary in order that those who believe on Him might receive forgiveness of sins and everlasting life.” (Believer’s Bible Commentary, 1995) This is the only gospel of salvation (Eph. 1:13; see 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Gal. 1:6) for this dispensation. [7]

Rightly Dividing Between Three Study Principles

This principle is somewhat reactionary and predicates itself on the ones preceding it. Having come face to face with the truth a decision must be made regarding how you – as an honest student of the Bible will approach Scripture from this point forward.

My experience tells me students – knowingly or unknowingly – study Scripture through one of two lenses: the objective lens (exegesis), or the outcome lens (eisegesis). Every time you pick up your Bible, you view it through one of these two perspectives.

Principle 1. Exegesis over Eisegesis

Exegesis is the fact based analytical explanation of a text

In a Scriptural context, exegesis means “evidence driven Bible study.” It is the proper interpretation of a passage of Scripture as it appears with cumulative Biblical support. It rejects emotion in favor of evidence. Exegesis, therefore, is incorruptible, objective, reliable, and principled. It greets facts with humility and views Scripture corporately and in context without cheapening or changing it because it lays no claims to a preconceived conclusion. In short, it follows the text wherever it leads and reports its findings with honesty and humility.

Eisegesis is the feelings based argumentative explanation of the same text

Eisegesis is driven by emotion so it greets opposing facts with suspect and hostility. Eisegesis is corrupt, subjective, unreliable, and unprincipled. Since it approaches Scripture as a means to an end, and therefore feels no compunction about distorting data to ensure a desired conclusion. In short, it flouts the text wherever it’s necessary, and misrepresents its findings with regularity.

The number of students viewing eschatology through this latter lens is scandalous. I know from experience with them that they willingly compromise integrity to arrive at preconceived conclusions otherwise impossible if employing exegesis as the basis for their analyses.

Optional Means of Studying Scripture
Option #1: Exegesis Option #2: Eisegesis
Objective based

Analytic

Relies on evidence

Follows text

Discloses facts

Honors truth

Context is critical

Follows the truth

Israel and the Church distinct [8]

Ends with a conclusion

Outcome based

Argumentative

Relies on emotion

Flouts text

Disparages facts

Hides truth

Critical of context

Fudges the truth

Israel and the Church not distinct

Begins with a conclusion

 

Viewing the Bible from the objective lens – exegesis – is the right choice and will provide us with the right perspective to make the following choice between …

Principle 2. Context over Pretext

Exegesis will determine the precise meaning of any Bible Book, verse, or passage. Its preliminary inquiry is ascertaining the specific circumstances encapsulating it. That’s the context.

In every passage you have to ask yourself who, what, when, where, and why. This is the setting. The 16th Century Bible translator Myles Coverdale put it like this (sic): “It shall greatly helpe ye to understand Scripture, if thou mark not only what is spoken or wrythen, but of whom and to whom, with what words, at what time, where, to what intent, with what circumstances, considering what goeth before and what followeth.” (The Structural Principles of the Bible, 1969, p. xiii).

Essentially, Mr. Coverdale was advocating the need for interpreting the Bible – not from one’s experience, shrewdness, or theological perspective – but solely from its divinely orchestrated setting in which each of the sixty-six Books exists and from which an impartial interpretation can spring forth when studied contextually. This setting consists of the following factors: The person who wrote or dictated it; the purpose for writing it (concern, conflict, correction, compassion, etc.); the people receiving it (Israel or the Body of Christ); the period covered – past, present, or future which we’ll discuss shortly. Armed with this information, we need to draw a distinction between … 

Principle 3. Truth over Tradition

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8). Tradition comes to us with strong emotional attachments. Caution is needed here because tradition becomes idolatry when it stands in the way of the clear teaching of Scripture. What most Bible students fail to understand – and which leads them into confusion and heresy – is that Jesus’ mission was under the Old Covenant as “minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers” (Romans 15:8). Believe me, conversations about this begun in innocency can explode into major confrontations rather quickly when the golden calf of tradition is threatened.

In Christ’s day, those controlled by tradition often victimized Him. Clearly, He was the subject of the prophets (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; Matt. 2:23; 5:17; 26:56; etc.) throughout the Old Testament, pictured as the loveliness of God incarnated in the Son, Israel’s Messiah. However even though Jesus’ mission was under the Old Covenant as “minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers” (Romans 15:8), He was viewed as an illegitimate inconvenience to the religious community who would have recognized Him had it not been for their Fascist Torah traditions. [9] Since highbrow Pharisees considered religious duties equal to Scripture, they held congregants hostage by enforcing them through various means including extortion (John 9:22; 12:42). Therefore, when their fuming at Christ’s refusal to respect their rituals surfaced, He warned them that their cold tradition would result in their inability to recognize and obey clear teaching from God’s Word (Matthew 15:3) which of course included what Scripture said about Him.

Unfortunately, these traditionalists also sought opportunity to nullify Paul’s ministry as well (Acts 15; 21:21; 25:7-8; etc). Although his doctrine remained a mystery hidden from the prophets since world began (Eph. 3:9; see Rom. 16:25; Col. 1:26) in due season it too was rejected by the same cabal that hated Jesus and rejected Him (Acts 13:43, 50; 14:4-5; 17:5; etc).

Albeit, while rejection from the unsaved is to be expected, what is most troublesome is the violent opposition Paul received from brothers who refused out of hand the mystery Jesus revealed to him (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:1-9). In fact it became so problematic, Peter – apostle to the Jews (Gal. 2:8) – penned a note of warning to all the brethren who were fighting against Paul’s mystery doctrines (Rom-Phile), that they were actually destroying themselves [10] in the process:

“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:15-16).

I’ll go into more detail as this treatise unfolds.

With this as our backdrop, we will move into deeper discussions of many of the subjects introduced in this chapter beginning with highlighting the premier distinction of Israel in God overarching program for the coming kingdom on earth.
(see Chart of Exegesis in Appendix [iii])

[1] This is most certainly what Paul had in mind when he wrote: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

[2] Pause to remember the number of times Matthew 24 is offered in proof of a post trib rapture when the fact is, the passage is Jewish and has no bearing on the Body of Christ whatsoever. We will discuss this much more in depth later in our treatise.

[3] Salvation in God’s economy has always involved faith and grace that He dispensed separately to particular individuals at any given time. For instance, Adam and Eve never heard the Name Jesus Christ, but God pictured His sacrifice by shedding the blood of innocent animals to cover their sin (Gen. 3:21). They apparently demonstrated their faith the moment they put on this new clothing.

[4] O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen. He is the LORD our God: his judgments are in all the earth. He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance: (Psalms 105:6-11)

[5] God made 5 unilateral Covenants with Israel and none with the Body of Christ. Bear in mind our status: “without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise …” (Ephesians 2:12).

[6] This includes the gospel of circumcision (Gal. 2:7), which is good news for the Jews preached “in time past” linking them to the Abrahamic Covenant, the foundational contract for Israel’s relationship with God. It formed the groundwork for the promises that would be revealed in the other covenants. The Lord Jesus Christ, James, Peter (Cephas) and John were all ministers of the circumcision (Rom. 15:8; Gal. 2:7-9). [Old Covenant, Dispensation of the Law]

[7] This includes the gospel of uncircumcision (Gal. 2:7), which is is good news for Gentiles as Paul explains, “Ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:11-13). [No Covenant, Dispensation of Grace]

[8] Most doctrinal disagreements stem from men conflating God’s prophetic program for Israel and her earthly kingdom, with His mystery program for the Body of Christ and our heavenly inheritance.

[9] The major repositories of the Oral Torah are the Mishnah, compiled between 200–220 CE by Rabbi Yehudah haNasi, and the Gemara, a series of running commentaries and debates concerning the Mishnah, which together are the Talmud, the preeminent text of Rabbinic Judaism. In fact, two “versions” of the Talmud exist: one produced in Jerusalem c. 300–350 CE (the Jerusalem Talmud), and second, more extensive Talmud compiled in Babylonia and published c. 450–500 CE (the Babylonian Talmud). Belief that the Oral Torah was transmitted orally from God to Moses on Mount Sinai during the Exodus from Egypt is a fundamental tenet of faith of Orthodox Judaism, and was recognized as one of the Thirteen Principles of Faith by Maimonides. However, not all branches of Rabbinic Judaism accept the divine provenance of the Oral Torah, such that Conservative and (to a greater extent) Reform Jews give deference to the Talmudic sages while empowering themselves to formulate and adopt their own rulings and interpretations. – Source: Wikipedia

[10] This is evident in the Body of Christ today. Bible teachers totally ignoring the difference between prophecy for Israel and the mystery of the Church, often try to disparage us with names such as “hyper” dispensationalists, and “Bullingerites” to name a few. Scoffing at the Word of God is never wise.

[i] 7 Dispensations

 

Dr. C.I. Scofield

From his classic work Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth, Dr. CI Scofield writes: The Scriptures divide time (by which is meant the entire period from the creation of Adam to the “new heaven and a new earth” of Rev. 21: 1) into seven unequal periods, usually called dispensations (Eph. 3:2), although these periods are also called ages (Eph. 2:7) and days, as in “day of the Lord.”

These periods are marked off in Scripture by some change in God’s method of dealing with mankind, or a portion of mankind, in respect of the two questions: of sin, and of man’s responsibility. Each of the dispensations may be regarded as a new test of the natural man, and each ends in judgment, marking his utter failure in every dispensation. Five of these dispensations, or periods of time, have been fulfilled; we are living in the sixth, probably toward its close, and have before us the seventh, and last: the millennium.

From the Old Scofield Study Bible: [i] dispensation is a period of time during which man is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God. Seven such dispensations are distinguished in Scripture. (see Gen_1:28)

The First Dispensation: Innocence (Gen 1:28). Man was created in innocence, placed in a perfect environment, subjected to an absolutely simple test, and warned of the consequence of disobedience. The woman fell through pride; the man deliberately. (1Ti_2:14) God restored His sinning creatures, but the dispensation of innocence ended in the judgment of the Expulsion (see Gen_3:24)

The Second Dispensation: Conscience (Gen 3:23). By disobedience man came to a personal and experimental knowledge of good and evil — of good as obedience, of evil as disobedience to the known will of God. Through that knowledge conscience awoke. Expelled from Eden and placed under the second, or ADAMIC COVENANT, man was responsible to do all known good, to abstain from all known evil, and to approach God through sacrifice. The result of this second testing of man is stated in (Gen_6:5) and the dispensation ended in the judgment of the Flood. Apparently “the east of the garden” (Gen_3:24) where were the cherubims and the flame, remained the place of worship through this second dispensation.

The Third Dispensation: Human Government (Gen 8:21). Under Conscience, as in Innocency, man utterly failed, and the judgment of the Flood marks the end of the second dispensation and the beginning of the third. The declaration of the Noahic Covenant subjects humanity to a new test. Its distinctive feature is the institution, for the first time, of human government — the government of man by man. The highest function of government is the judicial taking of life. All other governmental powers are implied in that. It follows that the third dispensation is distinctively that of human government. Man is responsible to govern the world for God. That responsibility rested upon the whole race, Jew and Gentile, until the failure of Israel under the Palestinian Covenant (Deuteronomy 28 – (Deu_30:1-10)) brought the judgment of the Captivities, when “the times of the Gentiles” (See); (Luk_21:24); (Rev_16:14) began, and the government of the world passed exclusively into Gentile hands; (Dan_2:36-45); (Luk_21:24); (Act_15:14-17). That both Israel and the Gentiles have governed for self, not God, is sadly apparent. The judgment of the confusion of tongues ended the racial testing; that of the captivities the Jewish; while the Gentile testing will end in the smiting of the Image (Da 2.) and the judgment of the nations (Mat_25:31-46).

The Fourth Dispensation: Promise (Gen 12:1). For Abraham, and his descendants it is evident that the Abrahamic Covenant (See Scofield) – (Gen_15:18) made a great change. They became distinctively the heirs of promise. That covenant is wholly gracious and unconditional. The descendants of Abraham had but to abide in their own land to inherit every blessing. In Egypt they lost their blessings, but not their covenant. The Dispensation of Promise ended when Israel rashly accepted the law (Exo_19:8). Grace had prepared a deliverer (Moses), provided a sacrifice for the guilty, and by divine power brought them out of bondage (Exo_19:4) but at Sinai they exchanged grace for law. The Dispensation of Promise extends from (Gen_12:1) to (Exo_19:8); and was exclusively Israelitish. The dispensation must be distinguished from the covenant. The former is a mode of testing; the latter is everlasting because unconditional. The law did not abrogate the Abrahamic Covenant (Gal_3:15-18) but was an intermediate disciplinary dealing “till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made”; (Gal_3:19-29); (Gal_4:1-7). Only the dispensation, as a testing of Israel, ended at the giving of the law.

The Fifth Dispensation: Law (Exo 19:8). This dispensation extends from Sinai to Calvary — from Exodus to the Cross. The history of Israel in the wilderness and in the land is one long record of the violation of the law. The testing of the nation by law ended in the judgment of the Captivities, but the dispensation itself ended at the Cross.

(1) Man’s state at the beginning (Exo_19:1-4).

(2) His responsibility (Exo_19:5); (Exo_19:6); (Rom_10:5).

(3) His failure (2Ki_17:7-17); (2Ki_17:19); (Act_2:22); (Act_2:23).

(4) The judgment (2Ki_17:1-6); (2Ki_17:20); (2Ki_25:1-11); (Luk_21:20-24).

The Sixth Dispensation: Grace (Joh 1:17).

Grace. Summary:

(1) Grace is “the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man. . . Not by works of righteousness which we have done” (Tit_3:4); (Tit_3:5).

It is, therefore, constantly set in contrast to law, under which God demands righteousness from man, as, under grace, he gives righteousness to man (Rom_3:21); (Rom_3:22); (Rom_8:4); (Phm_3:9). Law is connected with Moses and works; grace with Christ and faith; (Joh_1:17); (Rom_10:4-10). Law blesses the good; grace saves the bad; (Exo_19:5); (Eph_2:1-9). Law demands that blessings be earned; grace is a free gift; (Deu_28:1-6); (Eph_2:8); (Rom_4:4); (Rom_4:5).

(2) As a dispensation, grace begins with the death and resurrection of Christ (Rom_3:24-26); (Rom_3:4); (Rom_3:24); (Rom_3:25). The point of testing is no longer legal obedience as the condition of salvation, but acceptance or rejection of Christ, with good works as a fruit of salvation, (Joh_1:12); (Joh_1:13); (Joh_3:36); (Mat_21:37); (Mat_22:24); (Joh_15:22); (Joh_15:25); (Heb_1:2); (1Jo_5:10-12). The immediate result of this testing was the rejection of Christ by the Jews, and His crucifixion by Jew and Gentile (Act_4:27). The predicted end of the testing of man under grace is the apostasy of the professing church:

(see “Apostasy”

(See Scofield) – (2Ti_3:1); (2Ti_3:1-8); and the resultant apocalyptic judgments.

(3) Grace has a twofold manifestation: in salvation (Rom_3:24) and in the walk and service of the saved (Rom_6:15).

The Seventh Dispensation: the fullness of times (Kingdom) (Eph 1:10)

The Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. This, the seventh and last of the ordered ages which condition human life on the earth, is identical with the kingdom covenanted to David. (2Sa_7:8-17); (Zec_12:8).

Summary;

(Luk_1:31-33); (1Co_15:24); and gathers into itself under Christ all past “times”:

(1) The time of oppression and misrule ends by Christ taking His kingdom. (Isa_11:3-4).

(2) The time of testimony and divine forbearance ends in judgment. (Mat_25:31-46); (Act_17:30-31); (Rev_20:7-15).

(3) The time of toil ends in rest and reward. (2Th_1:6-7).

(4) The time of suffering ends in glory. (Rom_8:17-18).

(5) The time of Israel’s blindness and chastisement ends in restoration and conversion. (Rom_11:25-27);

(Eze_39:25-29).

(6) The times of the Gentiles end in the smiting of the image and the setting up of the kingdom of the heavens.

(Dan_2:34); (Dan_2:35); (Rev_19:15-21).

(7) The time of creation’s thralldom ends in deliverance at the manifestation of the sons of God. (Gen_3:17); (Isa_11:6-

8); (Rom_8:19-21).

 

Excursus on the Tribulation [ii]

Prophecy is for Israel and the Tribulation exists purely as prophecy. Moses was the first to reveal it (Deut. 4:30). Through the years – by means of Progressive Revelation – the prophets unfolded it to Israel. However, in doing so, God never revealed His mystery Body to any of them; reserving it for Paul alone.

We would do well to study carefully the words of Zephaniah as he uses many terms for the tribulation for Israel:  “The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.” (Zephaniah 1:14-18). (See: Deut. 4:30; Isa. 24; Jer. 30-31; Joel; Zephaniah; Matt. 24; Rev. 6-19)

Coinciding with Zephaniah’s prophecy, the book of Revelation delineates the tribulation as a time of “wrath” by using the word at least 10 times. It is called “the wrath of God five times (Revelation 14:10, 19; 15:1,7; 16:1) and “the wrath of the Lamb” once (Rev. 6:16 see v 17). Opening the first seal unleashes the tribulation [ii] which continues 7 years (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 11:2-3; 12:6, 14) and concludes with “the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Rev. 19:15) when Christ returns to fight the armies gathered against Israel at Armageddon (Rev. 19:11-21).

The following info is from the Old Scofield Study Bible. 

Seventy Weeks 

Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. These are “weeks” or more accurately, sevens of years; seventy weeks of seven years each. Within these “weeks” the national chastisement must be ended and the nation re­established in everlasting righteousness (Dan9:24). The seventy weeks are divided into seven = 49 years; sixty-two = 434 years; one = 7 years (Dan – 9:25-27). In the seven weeks = 49 years, Jerusalem was to be rebuilt in “troublous times.” This was fulfilled, as Ezra and Nehemiah record. Sixty-two weeks = 434 years, thereafter Messiah was to come (Dan – 9:25). This was fulfilled in the birth and manifestation of Christ. (Dan_9:26); (Dan9:26) is obviously an indeterminate period. The date of the crucifixion is not fixed. It is only said to be “after” the threescore and two weeks. It is the first event in (Dan 19:26). The second event is the destruction of the city, fulfilled A.D. 70. Then, “unto the end,” a period not fixed, but which has already lasted nearly 2000 years. To Daniel was revealed only that wars and desolations should continue (Compare (Mat-24:6-14).

The New Testament reveals, that which was hidden from the Old Testament prophets; (Mat – 13:11-17); (Eph3: I – 10) that during this period should be accomplished the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven (Mat – 13:1-50) and the out-calling of the Church; (Mat – 16:18); (Rom – 11:25). When the Church-age will end, and the seventieth week be- gin, is nowhere revealed. Its duration can be but seven years. To make it more violates the principle of interpretation already confirmed by fulfillment. (Dan9:27) deals with the last week. The “he” of (Dan – 9:27) is the “prince that shall come” of (Dan_9:26); 9:26); whose people (Rome) destroyed the temple, A.D. 70. He is the same with the “little horn” of chapter 7. He will covenant with the Jews to restore their temple sacrifices for one week (seven years), but in the middle of that time he will break the covenant and fulfill; (Dan – 12:11); (2Th – 2:3); (2Th_2:4). Between the sixty-ninth week, after which Messiah was cut off, and the seventieth week, within which the “little horn” of Daniel 7. will run his awful course, intervenes this entire Church-age. (Dan – 9:27) deals with the last three and a half years of the seven, which are identical with the “great tribulation.” (Mat24:15-28) “time of trouble” (Dan_12:1) hour of temptation- (Rev_3: 10).

The Time of the End 

Daniel 11:35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed Here the prophetic foreview, having traced the history of the two parts of Alexander’s empire which had to do with Palestine and the Jews, namely, Syria and Egypt, to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, and having described his career, overleaps the centuries to “the time of the end,” when he of whom Antiochus Epiphanes was a type, the “little horn” of (Dan – 7:8) the “Beast out of the sea” of (Rev – 13:4- 10) shall appear (cf) (See Scofield) – (Dan7:8). Prophecy does not concern itself with history as such, but only with history as it affects Israel and the Holy Land. Antiochus Epiphanes was insignificant as compared with historical personages whom the Bible does not mention, but he scourged the covenant people and defiled God’s altar, thus coming into prophetic light. From verse 36 (Dan – 11:36), the “little horn” of (Dan7:8); (Dan7:24-26) fills the scene. His prosperity lasts until “the indignation” (the “time of trouble” of, (Dan – 12: 1); (Mat24:2 1) is accomplished (Dan – 11:36). This is parallel with; (Rev – 17:10-14); (Rev19:19-21). (Dan_11:37-45) supply details not mentioned in the New Testament The expression “God of his fathers” (Dan I 1:37) has been held to indicate that the “king” is an apostate Jew, but this does not accord with (Dan_9:26) which was fulfilled by the Gentile armies of Rome. The “little horn” is an apostate, but from Christianity, not Judaism (compare Ho – 2:18); (1Jo_2:19). (DanI 1:38-45) describe his career. Substituting “the god of forces” (that is, Forces of nature) for the true God (Dan I 1:38); (Dan1 1:39), he soon presents himself as that god (cf) (2Th 2:3); (2Th2:4). While his career lasts he is an irresistible conqueror (Dan I 1:40-44). He established his palace in Jerusalem, probably at the time of his su­preme act of blasphemous impiety; (Dan T 9:27); (Dan – 12:11); (Mat 24:15); (2Tb2:4). From this time begins the great tribulation; (Dan_12:1); (Mat24:21) which runs its course during the last half of Daniel’s seventieth week, namely, three and one half years; (Dan7:25); (Dan_12:7); (Dan_12:11); (Rev_13:5).

That Day
Isaiah 10:20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel
, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. “That day”: often the equivalent of “the day of the Lord” (Isa_2:10-22); (Rev1 9:11-2 1). The prophecy here passes from the general to the particular, from historic and fulfilled judgments upon Assyria to the final destruction of all Gentile world-power at the return of the Lord in glory. (See “Armageddon,”; (Rev 16:14); (Rev – 19:21) “Times of the Gentiles,”; (Luk21:24); (Rev16:19); “The great tribulation,”; (Psa2:5); (Rev_7:14) 

Great Tribulation 

Revelation 7:14 And 1 said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. The great tribulation is the period of unexampled trouble predicted in the passages cited under that head from (Psa_2:5) to (Rev_7:14) and de­scribed in Revelation 11-18. Involving in a measure the whole earth (Rev 3: 10) it is yet distinctly “the time of Ja- cob’s trouble” (Jer – 30:7) and its vortex Jerusalem and the Holy Land. It involves the people of God who will have returned to Palestine in unbelief. Its duration is three and a half years, or the last half of the seventieth week of Da­niel. (See Scofield) – (Dan – 9:24). (Rev_11:2); (Rev1 1:3) [Editor’s note: Please never forget that the Lord Jesus promised to keep us from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth Rev. 3:10].

The elements of the tribulation are: 

  • The cruel reign of the “beast out of the sea” (Rev – 13: 1) who at the beginning of the three and a half years, will break his covenant with the Jews (by virtue of which they will have re-established the temple worship, (Dan 9:27) and show himself in the temple, demanding that he be worshipped as God. (Mat – 24:15); (2Th-2:4).
  • The active interposition of Satan “having great wrath” (Rev12:12) who gives his power to the Beast. (Rev – 13:4); (Rev_13:5).
  • The unprecedented activity of demons (Rev – 9:2); (Rev_9:11), and
  • the terrible “bowl” judgments of Revelation 16.

The great tribulation will be, however, a period of salvation. An election out of Israel is seen as sealed for God (Rev_7:4-8) and, with an innumerable multitude of Gentiles (Rev7:9) are said to have come “out of the great tribu­lation” (Rev_7:14). They are not of the priesthood, the church, to which they seem to stand somewhat in the relation of the Levites to the priests under the Mosaic Covenant. The great tribulation is immediately followed by the return of Christ in glory, and the events associated therewith. (Mat 24:29); (Mat-24:30).

  • The time of the end in Danielbegins with the violation by “the prince that shall come” (that is, “little horn,” “man of sin,” “Beast”) of his covenant with the Jews for the restoration of the temple and sacrifice (Dan9:27) and his presentation of himself as God; (Dan – 9:27); (Dan_11:36-38); (Mat24:15); (2Tb2:4); (Rev13:4-6) and ends with his destruction by the appearing of the Lord in glory. (2Th_2:8); (Rev 19:19); (Rev-19:20).
  • The duration of the “time of the end”, is three and one half years, coinciding with the last half of the seven­tieth week of Daniel. (Dan – 7:25); (Dan_12:7); (Rev_13:5). This “time of the end” is the “time of Jacob’s trouble.” (Jer – 30:7) “a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation” (Dan 2: 1) “great tribulation such as was not from the beginning of the world… nor ever shall be” (Mat24:2 1). The New Testament, especially the Book of the Revelation, adds many details. [ii] The churchis never mentioned- nor can it be clearly identified- in any part of the 7 year tribulation.

AntiPreTrib Problems Associated with the Tribulation

The Tribulation is a ubiquitous term that has become a well-known doctrine. Prophecy is for Israel and the Tribulation exists purely as prophecy. It was well known by the prophets (Deut. 4:30) so it was never a part of the mystery. That being said, there isn’t a prophecy or verse for that matter anywhere in Scripture: (1) clearly consigning the mystery Body of Christ to the time of Jacob’s trouble,  or (2) revealing her as being on earth for a single hour during this time [unless two terms used for Israel, “elect” and “saints” are pulled from their context to prove something that simply is not provable in any other fashion].

There are several problems AntiPreTrib advocates have with the Tribulation.

  1. Their first problem is what to call it.

The term tribulation, which includes the great tribulation (Matt. 24:21, 29), is part of “the day of the Lord” (Isa. 2; 13; 34; Jer. 30-31; 46; etc). It is also called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7) [Jacob is Israel], “Daniel’s Seventieth Week” (Dan. 9:24-27), and the “time of trouble” (Dan. 12:1), and “the hour of temptation” (Rev. 3:10).

  1. Their second problem is the length of it.

The first mention of seven in the Bible tells us how it stands connected in God’s mind. “. . . on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made” (Gen. 2:2). Seven from that point on signifies something started and finished. Since Daniel’s prophecy of seventy weeks is our Rosetta Stone for interpreting the tribulation trilogy, we have one seven year period still future, dispensational Bible scholars view in connection with the beginning and ending of tribulation and great tribulation period; Scripture bearing witness. In the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:21; 29), and the Book of Revelation, two separate three and one-half year periods form one whole seven year tribulation: 42 months (Rev. 11:3); 1260 days (Rev. 11:3, 12:6); and time, times, and half a time (Rev. 12:14).

However, in a concerted contrarian effort to thwart scholarly teaching, you’ll find antiPreTrib proponents to be of the most creative antagonists on the planet; especially those espousing the most recent – and perhaps most confusing – PreWrath rapture ruse. Their claim to fame is in arbitrarily placing the church into the time of Jacob’s trouble for most of seven year period with nothing more than bizarre calculations and misguided outcomes they arbitrarily apply to the Body of Christ without ever proving she is here during any part of the Tribulation aka Jacob’s trouble.

  1. Their third problem is not accepting its origin and purpose.

The Tribulation is for Israel through prophecy; Moses being the first prophet to reveal it (Deut. 4:30). The purpose of the tribulation is to punish sin and purify Israel and her supporters for the Millennial Kingdom (Jer. 30-31; Obad. 1:15; Zech. 13:9; Matt. 25:31-46; study the great catastrophes in Rev. 6-19). “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city . . . to seal up the vision and prophecy …” (Dan 9:24). Although Daniel prophesied that the seventy weeks would seal up the vision and prophesy, there appears to be a secondary reference here to a cessation of prophecy which occurred at the 69th week and will last for an unspecified time. Knowing what we now know, that happened when God moved from prophecy to mystery at the rejection of Jesus’ Kingdom offer. Interestingly, the corollary to this rejection brought about a dual blindness each leading in separate  directions for distinct purposes.

  1. Their fourth problem is consigning the Body of Christto it.

The tribulation is a watershed for Israel given through prophecy before she ever knew about the coming kingdom (Deut. 4:30). It was later expanded upon by the prophets (Jeremiah, Isaiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, etc) through Progressive Revelation. When the Lord summed up Israel’s end time’s scenario in Luke 21:22, He referred to this epoch as “the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” The days of vengeance is the tribulation – aka the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7), and the “time of trouble” (Dan. 12:1), also referred to as Daniel’s Seventieth Week for Israel and Jerusalem. All things fulfilled refers to Israel’s prophets. The notion that the Body of Christ will share in the prescribed horrors of the Jewish tribulation is an invented doctrine without clear Scriptural support.

There are only three ways to place the church in the tribulation: 

(1) by wresting Scripture from its context where it clearly can be found implicating Israel and the Gentiles, not the Bride of Christ (Rev. 19:9; 21:2,9; 22:17);

(2) by superimposing the church over the top of Israel, which is Satanic Replacement Theology condemned by the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 2:9; 3:9); or

(3) by a dogged determination to maintain the anti-rapture mantra even when presented with clear evidence refuting it. The tribulation is for Israel (Deut. 4:30; Jer. 30-31; Dan. 12:1, etc) and placing the Body of Christ here during that time is a manmade doctrine devoid of integrity and Biblical authority.

In summary, the tribulation – known by other names – covers Daniel’s Seventieth Week and as such is seven years in length.  Its purpose is to punish sin and prepare Israel for the Revelation of the Messiah and the Davidic Kingdom on earth which the prophets applied exclusively to Israel. Any suggestion that the Body of Christ will be here for a moment of the time of Jacob’s trouble is without Scriptural authority and should be rejected out of hand with no more ink devoted to it.

Chart of Exegesis [iii]

Chart of Exegesis – 2 Tim. 2:15
Time past – ages to come

(Eph. 2:11-12; Eph. 2:7; Heb. 1:1)

But now

(Eph. 2:13; 5:8; Col. 1:26)

Israel Church (Body of Christ)
OT

Gen-John

NT

Acts-Revelation

Nation of Jews Body of Believing Jews and Gentiles
Christ is Messiah of the Nation Christ is Head of the Body
Prophets Paul
Prophecy Mystery
Circumcision

Ministry to: Christ, Peter, James, John, etc
(Rom. 15:8; Gal. 2:7-9)

Uncircumcision

(Rom. 11:13; Gal. 2:7-9)

Spoken since the world began

(Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21)

Kept secret since the world began

(Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:1-9; Col. 1:26)

Gen-John; Hebrews-Revelation Romans-Philemon
Kingdom in Earth Inheritance in Heaven

 

The Rapture and the Revelation are Different

September 7, 2016 Leave a comment

Dr. Mike Johnston

The Revelation is part of the prophecy program in the “ages to come” category. It’s the deliverance of Israel following “the time of Jacob’s trouble”. It is a well-known Jewish teaching (Psa. 102:16; Isa. 66:15-18; Dan. 7:13-14; Zech. 14:3-4; etc). It originated through the prophets, centers around earth, concerns the establishment of the Davidic Covenant Kingdom in Jerusalem, and occurs at the completion of the great tribulation (Matt. 24:29) also known as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7), Daniel’s seventieth week (Daniel 9:24-27, “the day of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:12; 13:6,9; 34:8; Jeremiah 46:10, etc), a “time of trouble” (Dan. 12:1), and “the hour of temptation” (Rev. 3:10). [Continued discussion in Annotation [1]]. His purpose is completely separate from what we know to be the Rapture.

In an article entitled The Glorious Appearing of Christ, Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost wrote: “When the Son returns in glory (Rev. 1:13-16 He is fulfilling His God given role as Judge (John 5:27). He is portrayed in that role throughout the book of Revelation. Christ is the one (Rev. 5:5) who looses the series of judgments described in the breaking of the seals (Rev. 6:1-17) and the blowing of the trumpets (Rev. 8:2-9:21) . . .  Upon the Second Coming, He will assemble living Israel for judgment (Matt. 24:31; 25:1-30) and will judge living Gentiles to determine who will enter the covenanted kingdom.”

 

Chart: Revelation vs. Rapture

 

Revelation of Christ (prophecy)

“Ages to come”

Rapture by Christ (mystery)

“But now”

“Ages to come” (Eph. 2:7)

Occurs after the time of Jacob’s trouble aka Daniel’s 70th week

Dan 7:9,22; Matt 24:29-31;

Rev 19:11-21

“But now” (Eph. 2:13)

Occurs before the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7) aka Daniel’s 70th Week (Dan 9:24-27)

Luke 21:36; Rev 3:10

A prophecy given to Israel by the Lord Jesus Matt 24:29-31; Mark 13:26 A promise given to the church by the Lord Jesus John 14:2-3; Rev 3:10
Was well known to the prophets

1 Chron 16:33; Isa 26:21; Dan 7-13-14; Zech 14:4-5

Was a mystery unknown to the prophets

1 Cor 15:51

In the day of the Lord

Isa 2:12; Jer 46:10; Ezek 30:3; Joel 2:11

In the day of Christ

2 Thess 2:1-2; 1 Cor 1:8; 5:5; Phil 1:6

Christ comes with His own

Rev 19:14

Christ comes for His own

John 14:3; 1 Thess 4:17

He comes to the earth

Zech 14:4-5; Acts 1:11

He comes in the air

1 Thess 4:17

He comes with His Bride

Rev 19:6-14

He comes to claim His Bride

1 Thess 4:16,17

Public: Every eye shall see Him
Rev 1:7; Matthew 24:30
Private: Only His own see Him
1 Thess 4:13-18
A time of mourning and wailing

Psa 114:7; Isa 26:21; Matt 24:30; Rev 1:7

A blessed hope Titus 2:13
Unsaved have experienced wrath

Rev 6:12-17; see Nahum 1:2

Saved are delivered from wrath

1 Thess 1:10; 5:9; Rev 3:10

Signs precede the Second Coming

Matt 24; Mark 11; Luke 21

No signs precede the Rapture

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3

Focus: Israel and Kingdom

Matt 24

Focus: Lord and Church

1 Thess 4:13-18

Followed by sheep and goat judgment

Matt 25:31-46

Followed by judgment seat of Christ
Rom 14:10; 2 Cor 5:10
Millennial Kingdom begins

Rev 20:1-7

Daniel’s 70 week begins sometime after

2 Thess 1:6-9

   

The Rapture is part of the mystery program. It delivers the Body of Christ from “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Luke 21:36; Rev. 3:10). It was taught by Paul, was unknown to the prophets, centers around heaven, and is a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51) that removes the mystery Body of Christ (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:1-11) at the day of Christ, prior to Daniel’s seventieth week, and the day of the Lord. [2]

  • Mystery appearance of the Body of Christ: “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of JesusChrist, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began” (Rom 16:25; see Gal. 1:12)
  • Mystery disappearance of the Body of Christ: “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1Co 15:51-52). [SIDENOTE: I find the allusion to the eye quite interesting in that Israel is currently blind. Could this twinkling be in the Jewish eye? Time will tell].

Once the mystery Body of Christ is removed – which will occur when “the fullness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25) – the prophecy clock and final preparations for the Kingdom can once again get underway. [3]

The Revelation was well known by the prophets, is for Israel, and occurs after “the time of Jacob’s trouble”. The Rapture is the final mystery in the mission of the mystery Body (Eph. 3:1-11), and it occurs prior to “the time of Jacob’s trouble”.

Summary: The Rapture and the Revelation (see Appendix [i]) are different; therefore, they are not the same!

[1] In order to fit the pieces together leading to restarting the prophecy clock and ultimately to the Kingdom, we need to understand Daniel’s seventy weeks, which we will study shortly. Daniel – a Jewish prophet – saw the Lord’s first presentation of the Kingdom   in a prophecy he foretold of seventy weeks of seven years (for Israel) leading to the cutting off of the Messiah (Dan. 9:24-26). With the Davidic Covenant in mind, John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ began preaching Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt. 3:2; 4:17). This of course was God’s offer to inaugurate the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:16) and fulfill Daniel’s prophecy. When Jesus was officially rejected on the exact day Daniel’s seventieth week was to begin, the prophetic calendar for Israel stopped making way for a parenthetic body to be inserted into the fabric of God’s providence- a mystery that was unknown by the prophets- called the Body of Christ (aka the church). However, this left unfulfilled one seven year period the prophets and dispensational scholars refer to as the time of Jacob’s (Israel) trouble (Jer. 30:7); the day of the Lord (Isa. 2:12; 13:6, 9; 34:8; Joel 1:15, 2:1; etc); a time of trouble (Dan. 12:1); and the tribulation (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 24:21-29). Bear in mind, the tribulation is part of the day of the Lord; a Jewish phrase used by at least nine Jewish prophets that centers on earth and concerns Israel, not the church (see Zech 12-14; Matthew 24; Revelation 6-19), where the focus is Jerusalem, and the abomination of desolation in the Temple (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:4). Not surprisingly, Daniel’s seventieth week – which the Olivet Discourse outlines and the Book of Revelation reveals – will be the worst period of devastation and anti-Semitism in world history. It will be a time when a sinister figure called Antichrist and the Beast leads a carnage against the saints of God (Jews: Dan. 7:18, 21-22, 25,27; Rev. 11:18; 13:7, 10; 14:12; 16:16; 17:6; 18:24, etc). In the end, Israel- at the point of utter annihilation at Armageddon (Joel 3:14; Zech. 14:1-3; Rev. 14:20; 16:16; 19:11-21)  – will look up to see a white horse in the sky carrying the glorious Messiah Jesus who is returning in glory to rescue them from total destruction. His feet will split open the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:4) and He will gather earth’s survivors, separating the sheep from the goats in judgment (Matt. 25:31-33), therein establishing the Covenanted Kingdom of David (2 Sam. 7:16) in Jerusalem. This visible, triumphant return to Israel- called the Revelation is an event the prophets of Israel saw (Dan. 7:13-14; Zech 14). What they didn’t see was the mystery; the church playing a parenthetic role during Israel’s blindness (Rom. 11:25). It was Paul – the converted Jewish scholar- that taught two separate comings of the Lord; one for Israel on earth which he’d learned in his Jewish studies (Dan. 7:13-14) at the feet of the brilliant Gamaliel (Acts 22:3); and one in the heavens for the church he learned from Jesus in the revelation of the mystery (Rom. 16:25; Gal. 1:12; Eph. 3:3) separated by at least seven years that could begin shortly. The former called the Revelation (aka Second Coming) happens on earth and is for Israel; it will be seen by everyone in the world (Rev. 1:7). The latter called the Rapture happens in the heavens and will be seen by all who have trusted Him (1 Thess. 1:10; 4:13-18; Heb. 9:28). In divine irony, the church- which began in a mystery- will likewise disappear in a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51).

[2] Anti-PreTrib proponents claim the church needs to endure the tribulation to prove herself worthy. How can Bible teachers in good conscience subject the church to any of the earthly tribulation hell knowing Christ’s bride has been redeemed (Eph 1:7), justified (Rom 3:28), and glorified (Eph 1:20; 2:6) by faith in our Saviour’s shed blood – with no subsequent requirement to “prove herself worthy”?   They pull this sleight of hand trickery simply by redefining a couple words most who read this have never really studied- saints and elect.

[3] At some point in the future, God’s program will once again feature Israel. Anti-PreTrib rapturists have identified no starting point for this.

Appendix [i]
The Revelation and the Rapture Differences

The Revelation- also called the Second Coming – is for Israel. Keep this in mind and prophecy becomes clearer. It originated through the prophets, centers around earth, concerns the establishment of the Davidic Covenant Kingdom in Jerusalem, and occurs at the completion of the great tribulation (Matt. 24:29) also known as the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7), and the day of the Lord (Isaiah 2:12; 13:6,9; 34:8; Jeremiah 46:10, etc).

The Rapture is for the church. It originated with Paul, centers around heaven, and is a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51) that removes the church (also a mystery) prior to the day of the Lord, at the day of Christ. Once the church is removed, the prophecy clock and final preparations for the Kingdom can once again get underway.

In order to fit the pieces together leading to the Kingdom, we need to understand Daniel’s seventy weeks. Remember, the vision was delivered by the angel Gabriel (Dan. 9:21), to the prophet Daniel, for “thy people” (Jews) concerning “thy holy city” (Jerusalem; see Dan. 9:24). Although it is a comprehensive narrative, the prophecy is incomplete; it’s missing a single week of seven years that must be fulfilled through Israel according to the Davidic Covenant and the prophetic Word (Dan. 9:24-27).

The Jewish prophet Daniel saw the Lord’s first presentation of the Kingdom in a prophecy he foretold of seventy weeks of seven years (for Israel) leading to the cutting off of the Messiah (Dan. 9:24-26). With the Davidic Covenant in mind, John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ began preaching “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2; 4:17). This of course was God’s offer to inaugurate the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:16) and fulfill Daniel’s prophecy.

When Jesus was officially rejected on the exact day Daniel’s seventieth week was to begin, the prophetic calendar for Israel stopped; allowing for a parenthetic body to be inserted into the fabric of God’s providence- a mystery that was unknown by the prophets- called the church. However, this left unfulfilled one seven year period the prophets and dispensational scholars refer to as the time of Jacob’s (Israel) trouble (Jer. 30:7); the day of the Lord (Isa. 2:12; 13:6, 9; 34:8; Joel 1:15, 2:1; etc); a time of trouble (Dan. 12:1); and the tribulation (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 24:21-29).

Bear in mind, the day of the Lord is a Jewish phrase used by at least nine Jewish prophets that centers on earth and concerns Israel, not the church (see Zech 12-14; Matthew 24; Rev. 12: the focus is Jerusalem and the abomination of desolation in the Temple Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:4). The Body of Christ is NOT in view during the time of Jacob’s trouble!

See Chart of Differences between the Revelation and the Rapture on the next page

RAPTURE

Unrevealed and not predicted in O.T. Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:51 – “mystery” compare Eph. 3:9 – “which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God”)
Christ comes in the air (1 Thess. 4:16-17)
Christ comes for His saints (1 Thess. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-56) and returns to Heaven (John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:14).
Christ claims His bride (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25-27)
Only His own people see Him (1 Thess. 4:17-18; Phil. 3:20; Titus 2:13)
A wedding ceremony will occur following this coming (Rev. 19:7; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25-27)
Christ coming as the bright and morning star (Rev. 22:16)
Translation of living believers to Heaven (1 Cor. 15:51-52; John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18)
A time of blessing and comfort (1 Thess. 4:18; 5:11)
Earth not judged (John 14:3; 1 Cor. 15:51-53; 2 Thess. 2:1 – no mention of judgment)
Imminent (any moment), signless – (Phil. 3:20; 4:5; Titus 2:13; 1 Cor. 16:22; Rev. 3:11; 22:12. 20)
Believers only are involved with this coming (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor.15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18)
Occurs before God’s wrath  (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:4, 9; Rev. 3:10 – “keep thee from the hour”)
Marks the commencement of God’s day of wrath on earth (1 Thess. 5:1-9).
Tribulation begins following this coming (1 Thess. 1:10; 2 Thess. 2:1-3; Rev. 3:10; Rev. 6-19)

No mention of Satan (1 Thess. 4:13-18)

REVELATION

Revealed and predicted often in O.T. Scriptures (Isa. 9:7; 11:4; 26:19-21; 63:1-4; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:9-12; Zech. 14:1-9; Ma. 4:2-3)

Christ comes back to earth (Zech. 14:4)
Christ comes with His saints (Zech. 14:5; 1 Thess. 3:13; Jude 14) and returns to earth (Rev. 19:11-14).

Christ comes with His bride (Rev. 19:7-9; 11-14)
Every eye shall see Him – visible to entire world (Matt. 24:27; Rev. 1:7)
A wedding feast will occur following this coming (Rev. 19:9; Matt. 22:1-14; Lk. 14:12-24; Isa 25:6)

Christ comes as the sun of righteousness (Malachi 4:2)
Transfer of unbelievers to judgment (Matt. 24:37-41; 25:31-46; 13:41-42; 3:11-12)
A time of earthly destruction and judgment (2 Thess. 2:8-12; Matt. 24:51; 25:46)

 

 

Earth judged (Rev. 16:14-20; 19:15; Isa. 11:4)

Follows definite predicted signs (signs occurring during the Tribulation Period – Matt. 24:29-34)
All humanity is affected by this coming (Matt. 24:1-25:46 – Israel and Gentile nations)
Occurs “after the tribulation of those days” (Matt. 24:29-30) – 7 years later
Marks the culmination of God’s day of wrath on earth (Joel 2:31; Rev. 19:15)
Millennium begins following this coming (Rev. 20:1-3; Matt. 13:41-43; Daniel 7:13-14; 12:2-3)

Satan is bound (Rev. 20:1-3)

 

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