by Stewart Topping
Have you ever thought that God might have different plans for the Human race over the last 6000 years? Well, I don’t think we will offer a sacrifice in the temple. That was a time for the Children of Israel to learn who God was and what was expected of them. To fulfill the prophecy of Jesus, their messiah. Paul said the Law was a schoolmaster for us.
Galatians 3:24 (KJV) 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.Have you ever wondered if God has written parts of the Bible for different people? Well if we look at whose address is given at the beginning of each letter or who is the audience it is written to, it would help us to rightly divide the word and it would give us a better understanding of the Bible. (2 Tim 2:15)We may believe something that was written for someone else. If the letter is addressed to the Jewish people under the Law; would we pay any attention to it since we are not under the Law?The Apostle Paul says to the Gentiles;
Romans 11:13 (KJV) I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: Now here we find that Paul was talking to the Gentiles, the heathens, not the Children of Israel.
The Apostle James says to the Nation of Israel; James 1:1 (KJV) James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
So in these two cases we found that James was addressing his letter to the Children of Israel, which were the twelve tribes of Israel. (These are the sons of Israel; Jacobs name was changed to Israel by God). Now here is another interesting verse; see what Paul is saying;
Galatians 2:7 (KJV) 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.
The Children of Israel are called the circumcision and the heathen which are the Gentiles are called the uncircumcised. Here he is dividing us into two groups of people, one for a ministry for Peter and the Twelve and the other group a ministry for Paul.We could go on and on and find that God has deal with different groups since Noah. Look at some of the things that God revealed over time. He called Noah and then He revealed the flood to him and the need to build the ark. He called Abraham to begin a journey to Canaan and to start a new Nation. He called Moses to lead the Children of Israel out of Egypt. Then we see that even before Paul revealed the Death, Burial and Resurrection to the Gentiles in 1Cor. 15:1-4.Jesus even told the Disciples but they did not understand it.
Read the following verse. Mark 9:30-32 (KJV) 30 And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it. 31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. 32 But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.Why would Jesus tell them something that they did not understand?
Could it be to emphasis a point in God’s time table, was this for us to understand the secret hid in God? Paul says the revelation of the mystery that he would be preaching would be part of his Gospel. The Gospel is the Good news of the Body of Christ and the age of Grace. The twelve were told before His death but didn’t know it was in the Old Testament in Isaiah Chapter 53. They might have read it but didn’t understand it. The same is true today; only those that God want to understand will. Today the non believer cannot understand the things of God.Should we do what the Christian of Israel was told in the Old Testament like keeping the sin offering or the holidays, maybe the Sabbath and the Sabbatical year? All are written in the scripture but not to the same audience. Let’s look at two verses concerning works, one by the Apostle Paul and the other by one of the twelve, James.
The Apostle Paul says to the Gentiles; Galatians 2:16 (KJV) 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
The Apostle James says to the Nation of Israel; James 2:24 (KJV) 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
Why the difference? One was under the Law and the other under grace. Here is a great example of the two different messages. Jews had to follow the Law, which were works, to be justified; today after the death of Jesus we are to follow grace not works. Both must believe what God has written to each group. One is written to a group of people before the cross, the other after the cross. God’s only purpose is to create fellowship for Himself, with people that believe in him and want to please him. If we can see that God is in control and has a message for us, we can trust Him more each day as we study and rightly divide the word of God.What is the revelation of the Mystery which was kept secret since the world began?
It must have been important if it was only revealed to Paul after Christ died on the cross. Remember it was not revealed to Israel or to the twelve Apostles. Why God would keep something secret is more than a coincidence; even when Jesus told the Disciples it was not the correct time for them to understand.
Romans 16:25 (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,God would over time reveal what He was going to do when He wanted to do it. If He revealed it before the time it would affect the plan that was in effect. What is the Mystery? If satan knew what was going to happen when Jesus died on the cross he would have prevented it from taken place.
Colossians 1:26-28 (KJV) 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 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: 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
We are the Saints, the body of Christ, not the Nation of Israel. Remember Paul is the Apostle called to the Gentiles, and we are the Gentiles. Remember when you are reading scripture to see who God is speaking to. Is it to those under the Law or thought under grace.