First 2000 Years
The first eleven chapters of the Bible God deals with ALL mankind, all mankind knows of God and has access to God. Those first 2000 years of Biblical history detail mankind’s evil heart by completely rebelling against everything God tells them to do.
God Chose One Man
In Genesis 12, God does something completely different and no longer deals with all mankind. Instead, God chooses one man Abraham (Nehemiah 9:7) to create a new race of people for Himself. (Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 7:6,7) God’s sovereign act of choosing one man Abraham, and creating a new race of people, divided humanity by Jew and Gentile. During this 2000 year period, only 7 Gentiles were saved under the provisions of the Abrahamic covenant.
Abraham and God’s Promise
God dealt with His chosen people through covenants and Jewish prophets. God’s prophetic plan for the next 2000 years begins with one man and a covenant. God promises Abraham a geographical area of land, God will make Abraham a great nation, God will bless Abraham, make Abraham’s name great, Abraham would be a blessing, God would bless those that bless Abraham (Israel) and curse those that curse Israel, THROUGH ABRAHAM WOULD ALL THE NATIONS OF EARTH BE BLESSED. The Abrahamic Covenant is unconditional and everlasting and can not be broken.
The Abrahamic Covenant is key to understanding the Bible. This covenant lays the foundation for all of Scripture moving forward.
Use the Timeline to familiarize yourself with where God called Abram out of the mainstream of humanity. From that point in Genesis 12 until God calls another man Paul God deals with His chosen people only. (with 7 Gentile exceptions)
The Prophetic Plan
Through the Abrahamic, Mosaic, and Davidic Covenants and Jewish prophets, God revealed His prophetic plan to His chosen people. God promised King David, that one day in Israel’s future their Messiah would come on the scene, born of a woman, under the Law, from the lineage of David. He will crush Israel’s enemies and rule the nations of the world from His father’s throne in Jerusalem. (2 Samuel 7:12-16)
He will be King of kings and Lord of lords and all Gentile nations will recognize Israel’s God as the one true God. The Gentiles will seek to worship Israel’s God and they will be blessed. God always had Gentiles in mind but their divine blessing and salvation would have to come through Israel. (Zechariah 8:20-23; Isaiah 45:14; Isaiah 60:1-3; Isaiah 49:5,6; Luke 2:29-32)
Israel’s Disobedience is the World’s Gain
The nation of Israel had such a glorious prospect. But Israel rejected the King and the kingdom. Together with the Romans, they crucified the Prince of Life. (Psalms 2:1-3)
What does God do after His chosen people crucify His Son, Israel’s promised Redeemer, Messiah, their King? Does God destroy the Jew, or cast them away forever for murdering His Son? No! Instead, God does the most amazing thing ever in the history of the universe. God reveals a mystery or secret μυστήριον. That would turn the whole world upside down.
‘For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery (or secret), lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. ‘
The mystery or secret that has been hidden in God until revealed to the apostle Paul is further explained in the verses below. Read on.
‘I say then, have they (Israel) stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall (because the nation of Israel rejected and crucified their own Messiah) is riches for the world, and their (Israel) failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! (God is not done with His chosen people, No Way!) For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles (Paul was designated by God to preach this message to the Gentile world), I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. For if their (Temporarily God’s Prophetic Plan for Israel is on Hold) being cast away is the reconciling of the world (This is just Mind-Boggling), what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?’
I hope it’s becoming clear, that God in His immeasurable love for all mankind already (Acts 2:23) had a plan of salvation for the whole world apart from the Mosaic Law. That was hidden until revealed to the apostle Paul. That plan is the gospel of the grace of God.
No Gospel of Grace Before the Apostle Paul
Until the apostle Paul comes on the scene there was no gospel of grace (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), no Body of Christ, No being baptized by the Holy Spirit Into the Body of Christ, No Jews and Gentiles being equal, No indwelling Holy Spirit, No Salvation apart from the law. The entire Old Testament, four gospels and early chapters of Acts reveal only prophecies about Israel’s King and the kingdom.
It’s not possible to find it before Paul or before 40 AD. It wasn’t revealed yet.
We Are Not Under Law But Under Grace
For 2000 years God has been dealing with His chosen people. The entire Old Testament from Genesis 12 right through the four gospels into the early chapters of Acts is about the King and the kingdom. It is Israel that was given the promises, given the Law which they had been under for 1500 years. Of which the Gentile world around them had nothing to do with or wanted anything to do with. The dietary laws alone made the Gentile world cringe.
During Christ earthly ministry the Pharisees had adulterated the Mosaic law to point where the Jews accumulated on their own, 613 laws. Temple worship had become meaningless because the Pharisees were hypocrites (Matthew 23) they had no faith. Never the less the Jewish people were steeped in Temple Worship and the Mosaic Law meant everything to the Jew.
Paul Versus 1500 Years of the Mosaic Law
Then Paul, Pharisee of Pharisees taught by the most famous Rabbi of Paul’s day, Gamaliel. (Acts 22:3-5) Comes on the scene proclaiming to law-keeping Jews that God is now offering salvation to Jews and Gentiles APART FROM THE MOSAIC LAW AND THE 613 LAWS THEY CREATED.
Can you see why after 1500 years of being taught the Mosaic Law it would be hard for any Jew to believe what the apostle Paul was saying.
So Paul’s message was that circumcision and keeping the law was no longer required for salvation. Salvation was based on what Christ already did on the cross for the whole world. (2 Corinthians 5:18,19) That Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again from the dead three days later. (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)
The book of Acts demonstrates how the majority reacted to Paul’s message. They wanted to kill Paul and they tried several times. (Acts 23:11-15) Remember Israel has been under the law for 1500 years. The Temple was the center of Jewish society and life. It’s no wonder they wanted to kill him. It didn’t matter though God had spoken and declared it in the following verses;
‘But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; ‘
‘For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.’
‘For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.’
The Gospel of Grace was a Mystery “Secret”
The Gospel and doctrines of grace were Hid (“Mystery” μυστήριον a secret) from the patriarchs and Old Testament prophets. (Ephesians 3:3-5, Romans 16:25, Romans 11:25, Colossians 1:24-27)
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself made no mention of these doctrines in His earthly ministry. Just the opposite He commanded the apostles “do not go into the way of the Gentiles but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” – Matthew 10:5,6.
Peter and the eleven knew nothing of these things. It wasn’t that the Lord did not know of course He knew but the King was among His people, in the flesh, under the law, to fulfill the promises He made to the fathers. (Romans 15:8)
The risen and glorified Lord Jesus revealed the gospel of grace and doctrines for the Body of Christ, His Church, to Paul. (Galatians 1:11,12; Ephesians 3:1-10) These new revelations to Paul came on the scene eleven years after Pentecost around 40 A.D.
But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
How that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets:
Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began.
This is the Gospel that Saves Today
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.‘
‘Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
God’s Word is Perfect
The gospel of the grace of God has been on the scene for almost 2,000 years and will end when that last Gentile is saved “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in”. (Romans 11.25) After this, God will take His Church (the Rapture 1 Corinthians 15:51-54) off the scene. When the Body of Christ is off the scene He will go right back to His prophetic plan for Israel. (Romans 11:25-27)
God’s promises and the prophetic plan will climax with the return of the King, the second coming. (Zechariah 14:9) Jesus Christ will destroy Israel’s enemies, cast alive the beast and the false prophet into the lake of fire. Satan will be bound and off the scene for 1000 years.
The King and the Kingdom
It is at this time that the “Abrahamic Covenant” will be fulfilled. The nation of Israel will be in the land God promised Abraham, Israel’s promised King will be ruling the nations from David’s throne in Jerusalem. The Gentile nations will worship Israel’s God because all will know Israel’s God is the ONE TRUE GOD. (Isaiah 2:2-4, 11:10, 42:1-7, 49:5-7, 60:1-3; Isaiah 61:4-7, 62:1-5; Zechariah 8:20-23)
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Mesa Bible Study