#6 Mystery--Hidden From Ages

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Christ admonished his disciples not to leave Jerusalem, to begin any sort of ministry, until the promise of the Father arrived. He went on to define that promise as the one given by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:11).

 

The promise arrived precisely on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:4-5, 2:1).

 

The feast of Pentecost occurs seven weeks and one day after the feast of First Fruits—exactly fifty days later. The word, Pentecost, means fiftieth (Exodus 34:22, Deuteronomy 16:9-10, Leviticus 23:15-16).

 

**NOTE - Detailed instructions on each of the Feasts of the Lord can be found in Leviticus 23, Deuteronomy 16 and Exodus 12 and 34.

 

Remember the first harvest feast, called the First Fruits, predicted the physical resurrection of the man Christ Jesus (Acts 26:23, Romans 8:29).

 

According to Acts 2:1-4, what happened exactly fifty days after Christ rose from the dead? On the fiftieth day after Christ rose from the dead, the mystery that had been hidden from the ages was revealed. A mystery so wonderful that had Satan known of it, he would never have crucified The Lord of Glory (1 Corinthians 2:7-8).

 

Until that glorious day, it had not been possible for salvation to be obtained by simply calling on the Lord to be saved. But through the atonement of Jesus Christ, through his resurrection from the dead and through the power of the Holy Spirit, God pulled off the impossible. He made it possible for a man to be born again—this time without the curse of Adam’s sin!

 

How did God do it? What was this wonderful mystery that was so carefully hidden from the ages?

 

The mystery was Christ in you. The feast of Pentecost (also known as the feast of Weeks) predicted the incredible harvest that would be taking place during the time of Christ in You, when men could now call on the name of the Lord to be saved—by faith—without the works of the law. Man could now be sanctified (made clean) through the Spirit and through belief of the truth (Ephesians 2:8-9, 3:2-4, Colossians 1:26-27, 2 Thessalonians 2:13).

 

A new dispensation had begun. Its beginning was foretold and its end is also foretold… in the Feasts of the Lord.

 

There are those who claim we are still waiting for, or are just now entering into the end-time harvest. This is not true. The end-time harvest began exactly fifty days after Christ rose from the dead—on the day of Pentecost. And has never let up since (Acts 2:16-21).

 

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit of God took up permanent residence within the bodies of all who came to him by faith in Jesus Christ. That happened to Jesus first after his baptism. But now, the bodies of all who come to Christ become the temple of the living God. What was a mystery to the prophet Joel, and to those of his time, is no longer a mystery to us (1 Corinthians 6:19, 2 Corinthians 6:16, John 14:17-18, Joel 2:32/Acts 2:16,21).

 

**NOTE - There are those who say the body is nothing; that in God’s scheme of things, it doesn’t count. If the body is insignificant, why then, when God simply spoke everything else into existence, did he take the trouble to fashion our bodies with his own hands? He cared enough about our bodies to include them in his plan of redemption, and saw fit to make our bodies his dwelling place here on earth.

 

In the resurrection, these bodies will rise from the graves as God’s glorious possession. Dare we say that anything created by God, and chosen to be his temple, is nothing (2 Corinthians 6:16, John 14:17)?

 

But Pentecost is a harvest feast. What has all this to do with a harvest?

 

Everything!!

 

Remember, at the feast of First Fruits, that small grain offering represented not simply grain—but souls? The feast of Pentecost ushered in the greatest age of harvest (soul winning) this world has ever known. The first sermon, that was preached after the Holy Spirit was given, won three thousand souls into the Kingdom (Acts 2:41)!

 

Mankind has been living in the last days ever since the Holy Spirit descended on that first Pentecost after Christ ascended (Acts 2:1-4,16-17, Ephesians 3:2, Acts 2:21).

 

Joel’s prophecy (that a man could be saved by simply calling on the name of the Lord) was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. This had been both unheard of and impossible under the Law of Moses (Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13).

 

There are those who minimize the importance of soul winning. They maintain that Christians who focus primarily on soul winning are fairly pathetic specimens of Christianity and very undeveloped spiritually. Do the scriptures bear that out?

 

The apostle Paul was very concerned that about those who may have been led astray by those who didn’t find the gospel exciting enough.

 

Paul defined the gospel clearly in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. It is simply the good news that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day.

 

In 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, we see Paul pleading with his people not to get stars in their eyes over another, more exciting, Jesus than the Jesus he preached, or another more exciting spirit than that which comes from Christ, or another more exciting gospel than the one they had already heard.

 

This, he feared, was having the affect of corrupting them from the simplicity of the gospel of Christ.

 

There is only one gospel, and it is the one clearly defined in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 by the apostle Paul.

 

God used the prophet Joel to prophesy of a time when men could simply call on the Lord to be saved. That concept was incomprehensible both to the prophet and to the people of the Lord when Joel gave that prophecy.

 

Had they suddenly been given that privilege (along with true understanding of it), there is no way the gift of salvation would have been sneered at in favor of subordinate spiritual gifts.

 

All spiritual gifts are for the purpose of lifting up the one who saves and are subordinate to the saving of the soul.

 

When Jesus gave his disciples (not just the 12 he called apostles—but the seventy others as well) power over all the power of the enemy, he told them they were not to be rejoicing in the power that was being demonstrated through them. He specifically told them that having all that power wasn’t the most important thing at all.

 

According to Jesus, what was the better thing?

 

Soul winning. He told his disciples to rejoice because their souls were saved.

 

Most people agree that a person’s last words before leaving this world are usually about the things they consider the most important. Well, Jesus’ last words had nothing whatever to do with developing subordinate spiritual gifts, they had to do with...

 

You guessed it… Soul-winning.

 

 *SUPPLEMENTAL READING: Acts 2:16-21, Joel 2:28-32

 

The Church—the Body of Christ was born on the day of Pentecost. The Church is not a building or any particular organization. The Church is a living organism. And it consists of all believers who have ever been born again through faith in the shed blood of Christ Jesus—from the day of Pentecost, which was the beginning of the time of Christ In You, until its purpose is fulfilled and it is consummated at the Feast of Trumpets (John 3:3-7,16, Ephesians 1:22-23).

 

Before the time of Christ In you—God’s dealings with people had been primarily with the nation of Israel. Although he always took an interest in world affairs, salvation was to the Jew first, and then to the gentile. In fact, the only reason salvation was offered to the gentiles was because the Jewish nation rejected it when it was offered to them (John 4:22, Acts 3:25-26, Ephesians 3:2-6, Romans 11:7-11).

 

Lest we be tempted to become conceited over this fact, we would do well to remember part of the reason the Jews rejected the Messiah when he came, was because it was in God's sovereign plan they do so in order for everyone to be offered salvation. Even so, the first Christians were all Jews, and God still extends to the Jew as well as to gentiles the opportunity to accept or reject his Christ (Romans 11:25, Galatians 3:26-29, 1 Timothy 2:3-4).

 

But Israel, as a nation, will be given the opportunity, once more, to receive Jesus Christ as their Messiah, and next time… they will do it (Romans 11:25-29).

 

The only nation ever directly created by God, is the nation of Israel. When the Jewish people rejected Jesus, as their Messiah, God stopped dealing with them on a national level (though never on a personal, individual level—Isaiah 43:15, 1 Timothy 2:4).

 

The Jewish people eventually ceased from being a nation (as predicted in scripture), and for many centuries were scattered throughout the world—a people without a country—but only until the times of the gentiles are fulfilled.

 

Another, very erroneous, teaching that is quite prevalent within the Body of Christ, is the assumption that all, as yet unfulfilled prophecies concerning Israel are now transferred to the Church. This assumption continues to gain ground within the Church largely due to erroneous Kingdom Now and Dominion Theology and Bibles that contain unscriptural footnotes and chapter headings.

 

We need to understand the subjective nature of all commentary (which is all those footnotes and chapter headings are). Just because something is inserted within the pages of a Bible, doesn’t make it scripture. That is why this writer recommends a King James Bible without chapter headings and no footnotes.

 

The fact that the Body of Christ is the Israel of God and the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, in no way negates the fact that there are some very specific promises given to physical Israel. The Church may ultimately share in some of those promises but they are in no way transferred from physical Israel to the Church.

 

In fact, as we will show in later chapters, it is the Church, and the world, which will benefit from the commonwealth of physical Israel and not visa versa (Galatians 3:29, Ephesians 2:12, Romans 11:12).

 

 In 1948 we saw the scriptures fulfilled, literally, concerning the restoration of the Jewish people back to their land, and the Jewish people will see other prophecies fulfilled just as literally (that will all be dealt with in a later chapter—Isaiah 43:15, Romans 11:5-7, Ezekiel 12:15, 11:16, Romans 11:25-26).

 

During the dispensation of grace, the time of Christ In You, which began on the Day of Pentecost, salvation is available to any person (Jew or Gentile) who will accept Jesus Christ, as the promised Redeemer, and by faith receive him as Lord and savior, along with true repentance from their sins (Colossians 1:26-27, Ephesians 3:2-5, Romans 10:9-10,13).

 

**SUPPLEMENTAL READING: Read the entire chapter of Romans 11.

 

The first four prophetic Feasts of the Lord (Hebrews 10:1, Revelation 19:10) were fulfilled literally and in the exact order in which they were observed—on the very day on which they were observed. Is there any reason to believe the remaining three, and the events they predict, may not also follow the same pattern?

 

Every part of God’s great redemption was planned, and the times and seasons set, before the foundation of the earth. Not one single thing having to do with any part of it is dependent upon the behavior of any man, woman or movement in order to usher it in or release it (Ecclesiastes 3:1, Daniel 8:19, Psalm 103:13, Acts 1:7). 

 

The events we have already looked at did not take place in a haphazard manner. They were not ushered in by anything or anyone. They were planned, and their times were appointed from before the foundation of the world. It is the same with all of the prophetic events foretold in the Feasts of the Lord—every last one of them.

 

Think on these things:

  • According to 2 John 7, who is the deceiver and antichrist?
  • In what condition will Job see God after the worms destroy his body (Job 19:26)?
  • When does Acts 2:16-17 say the last days began?
  • According to Acts 2:21, how can a person be saved during the last days?
  • According to Matthew 24:13, how can a person be saved during the Great Tribulation?
  • What does Romans 11:11 tell us about how the gentiles benefited from the fall of the Jews?
  • What is the mystery that has been hidden from the ages (Colossians 1:26-27)?
  • Who was offered salvation first (Romans 1:16)?
  • Whose power are the set times and seasons in (Acts 1:7)

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