DID GOD KEEP A SECRET?
Most of us can't keep a secret – especially a good one -- but God kept a secret for 4,000 years! You'd think He would've whispered it to Abraham, or Moses; but He didn't. Even the Lord, while He was here on earth, didn't breathe a word of it to His disciples. You see, God had hidden a secret in His heart since before the world began and was waiting for just the right moment to reveal it.
What was never a secret was that, since Adam's fall, God was working out His plan to save mankind through the nation of Israel. He made covenants with His chosen people in order to establish the framework by which man and the earth would be redeemed; but from the beginning, the deal was: believe in Me and do what I say to prove it. That's why Abraham left home, Noah built an ark, and Moses led his people out of Egypt, etc.
When the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, He begged His Father to forgive Israel for it. (Luke 23:24). After the resurrection, and ascension of our Lord, God continued to deal with Israel by offering them the kingdom (Acts 3:19-21) if they would accept His messiah and do the works that proved it. (Acts 2:38; Luke 12:33). The coming of the messiah, his dying for the sins of many, a time of tribulation, and his coming back in glory were no secret to those who knew the prophetic scriptures. (Romans 15:8). When Israel's leaders rejected the Holy Spirit by stoning Stephen (Acts 7), the time was ripe for the rest of prophecy to be fulfilled.
That's when God stopped Israel's “clock” and shared His wonderful secret with His greatest enemy on earth – Saul of Tarsus -- converting him to a saving belief in Christ on the road to Damascus. Saul, later known as Paul, declares to us, the Body of Christ saved by believing this secret, “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 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 fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel; whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 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; 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.” (Ephesians 3:9). In his letter to the Romans, Paul writes, “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). This declaration is in direct contrast to Peter's at Pentecost:“But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled;” and, “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 3:18; 21). Peter preached the fulfillment of all things that had been spoken of since the world began; while Paul preached that which had been hid in God since before the world began!
Instead of raining down His prophesied judgment and wrath, God interrupted what He'd been doing through His earthly people, Israel, since the world began; and instead, revealed His secret purpose to Paul, who revealed it to us: that while this mystery age lasts, God is turning from exclusively going through Israel to dealing with the whole world in grace and longsuffering, offering to all men the free gift of salvation for simply believing that His Son, Jesus Christ, died for our sins and rose again for our justification. There is at this time no need to go through Israel's Law Program to be saved. When this unprophesied time of God's grace closes with the rapture of God's people to the heavens, God will resume His dealings with the world through the nation of Israel and all prophecy will be fulfilled.
Why did God keep this mystery age a secret? First, to give Israel the opportunity to repent and get the kingdom; and second, if Satan and his princes had known what they stood to lose (the earth and the heavens) by killing the Lord of glory, they would never have gone through with the act that purchased our redemption! (1 Cor. 2:7, 8).
Posted by Deborah L. Collins at 9:17 AM 1 comments Links to this post
Labels: Did God Keep a Secret
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