Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Two Dispensations: Kingdom and Grace (Mystery) #3

In the year 64 AD, Israel was pronounced "Lo Ammi" meaning "not My people" (Hosea 1:9), and the Kingdom Purpose given to Israel has been held in abeyance ever since. This pronouncement of total blindness to the purpose of God for Israel came by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul near the end of the Book of Acts. (Acts 28:25-28). Why did this blindness come upon Israel? Simply stated Israel, except for a very few periods in its history, continuously "went after" strange gods and refused to believe the Word of God. Israel, God's "peculiar treasure",

"(Exo 19:5 KJV) Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
(Exo 19:6 KJV) And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.",

had failed to obey God and failed to keep His covenant. Although God continually exhibited patience to His "peculiar treasure", He finally puts Israel and His purpose for them on hold. In the 39 years prior to this monumental pronouncement given by Paul at the end of Acts, God raised a "voice crying in the wilderness" (Isaiah 40:3), John the Baptist, who heralded the fact that God Himself would come among Israel. Six months later, the Lord Jesus Christ, the carpenter from Nazareth, began His earthly ministry which was exclusive to Israel (Romans 15:8) but was soundly rejected in His efforts ending with His death on the tree. Yet, on that tree, Christ prayed,

Luke 23:34 .... Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

The prayer was subsequently answered and even though Israel had crucified their God, they were given another chance to obey God's voice, keep His covenant, through the ministry of the Twelve Apostles and the Apostle Paul. This ministry is reported and described in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. It is very important to note that Paul during this period, always directed his ministry and message to Israel first and then also the Gentiles. Paul describes this relationship and the reasons that it came to be in Romans chapters 9-11. Study these three chapters to understand God's great love and great patience towards Israel. Yet in the end, we see Israel left in blindness and in the LO AMMI condition prophesied by Hosea. But Hosea also leaves Israel with the knowledge that the "not my people (LO AMMI)" condition would not last forever. It would and will be for a period of 2 Days.

Hosea 6:1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.
Hosea 6:2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.
Hosea 6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

So, at the end of the Book of Acts, this prophesy of Hosea is brought to bear upon Israel, the Lo Ammi condition, and Paul states through the Holy Spirit,

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.

It is precisely at this moment that the one Dispensation, Kingdom, is abruptly halted, and the Mystery(secret)Dispensation begins. This Dispensation, its purpose, its precepts, and its peoples are laid out ONLY by the Apostle Paul in the Prison Epistles and most notably in Ephesians, Colossians, Phillipians, and 2 Timothy. God, for the time had suspended His purposes with Israel and taken up a new and unknown purpose with " a new man. Study Ephesians 2:11-22. When this Mystery Dispensation's purposes are complete, God will recall Israel as he prophesied through Hosea, and Israel will become a Kingdom of Priests, Exodus 19:6.

Not, however, without great trial and tribulation. More on this subject to come.

Blessings in Christ!