Thursday, June 28, 2012

The rending of the veil

I am a grace believer and I understand right division and I have a question.  What significance was there to the rending of the temple veil between the holy place and most holy place in the temple at the death of Christ have?  Did it signify the end of something?  Thank you for considering this question.

Thank you for your question.  The rending of the veil is recorded in the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke, but not in the book of John, interestingly enough.  We’ll look at the reason why a little later.

This is when the Lord Jesus Christ is being crucified.  Israel has rejected him as Messiah and they have delivered him to the Romans to be scourged, beaten, spit upon and ultimately crucified.

Mark 10:34
And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.

Mark 15:15
And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.

Let’s look at the passage in Matthew 27 in our King James Bible. 

Matthew 27:50-51
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost [he died].  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

Did this signify the end of something?  The short answer is yes. 

First of all, what is this veil?  There was a veil in the tabernacle and then later in the temple that divided the holy place from the most holy place.

God gave Moses some instructions about the veil when he brought the people out of Egypt.

Exodus 26:31-34
And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made:  And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver.  And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holyAnd thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.

The veil divided the holy place from the most holy place where God was present on the mercy seat.  Blue represents the heavenlies.  Purple represents royalty.

In 2 Chronicles, we see crimson, is another word for scarlet.

2 Chronicles 3:14
And he made the vail of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon.

Scarlet and crimson represent blood.

Joshua 2:18
Behold, when we [Joshua and the Israelites] come into the land, thou [Rahab] shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee.

Jesus paid it all;
All to him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain;
He washed it white as snow.

…and fine twined linen of cunning work…

Fine linen represents righteousness.

Revelation 19:8
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

…with cherubims shall it be made

The cherubims represent the holy presence of Almighty God.  Wherever God is, the cherubim are there.  They are defenders of his holiness.  All these are types and shadows of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What exactly does the veil represent with regard to the Lord Jesus Christ?  I have heard all types of things about that passage, but quite frankly what it represents is laid out in Hebrews.  When you search for the word ‘veil’ in a concordance, it is mentioned in the Gospels Matthew, Mark and Luke, as well as the book of Hebrews which is an epistle written to and about the nation of Israel, especially in the future.  And although Hebrews is not an epistle of Paul’s written for, to and about us today, Hebrews is beneficial to us as it expands on things that we first learn about in the old testament about the tabernacle and later the temple.

Hebrews 6:19-20
Which hope we [the Hebrew people] have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

Whatever this hope is, it allows them to enter within the veil by passing through the holy place into the holy of holies – the very presence of Almighty God.  That is what the veil represents – the division/separation that we saw in Exodus.

Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Remember who was allowed to go behind the veil – the high priest, and only once a year on the day of atonement.

Numbers 18:7
Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest's office for everything of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given your priest's office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.

Leviticus 16:2-3
And the Lord said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.  Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering.

Jesus was made a high priest forever, not after Levi but after the order of Melchisedec; an everlasting high priest.  He liveth forever.

Genesis 14:18
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

Psalm 110:4
The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

Almighty God is in the most holy place and he allows them to go in there.  So what we see in the rending of the temple veil is this entrance into the very presence of Almighty God through Jesus Christ.  What he accomplished with his death was that the believing Jew, the remnant of Israel, could now come to God.  According to Hebrews, that veil actually represents his body.

Hebrews 10:19-20
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest [most holy place] by the blood of Jesus, [When was his blood shed?  When he died on Calvary’s cross.  You asked if the rending of the veil represented something that was ending; watch this…] By a new and living way, [Not that old covenant way, but the new way.  Not that dead way, but the new way…] which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

So the rending of the veil was a picture of the physical death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross.  When he died at the ninth hour of the day (3 p.m.), it was the time of the evening burning of the incense.  So the priest and his assistants would have been in the holy place to see this happen.

Exodus 30:8
And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.

In addition, there were earthquakes and rocks rent as signs to Israel.  The rending of the veil was a sign to the priest that they had just killed their Messiah and that the Levitical priesthood was coming to an end.

The veil represents Christ’s flesh crucified on the cross.  The rending of the veil from top to bottom shows that it was God who did it; no man could do it.  Now there is access to Almighty God’s presence through the physical, bodily death of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But there is also a lot represented there about what took place in his inner man – in his soul – when God made his soul an offering for sin.

Isaiah 53:10
 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

…but, that is a whole other study in itself. 

What is the end represented by the rending of the veil? 
It is the end of the old way of coming to God through the law.  Now there is a new way of coming to God consecrated for the people of Israel and that is through Jesus; but specifically through his death.  He needed to die in order for them to come into the holy presence of Almighty God.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Falling from grace

Can a grace believer fall from grace?

Well, yes and no. 

Paul says in Romans 4 and Galatians 3 that Abraham was justified in Genesis 15:6.  James says in James 2:20-24 that he was justified in Genesis 22.  He bypasses Genesis 17 (the Abrahamic Covenant) and goes all the way to Genesis 22 (the sacrifice of Isaac).  James is saying, ‘You need to offer a sacrifice.’  When it comes to the Jewish prophetic program of Israel it is saying, ‘You need to offer a sacrifice on the altar.’  (Animal sacrifices were a type of the ultimate sacrifice of God the Son that should have taken place on the altar in the Temple.)

When you’re outside the dispensation of grace, that principle of Abraham being justified by works applies.  Abraham has a dual fatherhood, a dual purpose in scripture, and a dual justification.   Paul explains what it means to fall from grace in Galatians 5.  The curse for failing to keep the Law is equivalent to falling from grace.  The Jews, in Romans 4 and Galatians 5, say to Paul that performance-based acceptance is not the issue.  They say (as people do regarding the tithe), ‘Abraham was justified by works.’ 

In our dispensation, God tells us that Abraham was justified in Genesis 15.  God is silent about Genesis 15 in James and skips all the way to Chapter 22 to say, ‘this is how you’re justified under the Prophetic program’ (but not now in the Dispensation of Grace). 
If someone tries to use Abraham as an example of being justified by works in this Dispensation of Grace, Paul (unlike James who exalts that idea) objects to that false teaching in Romans 4:

Romans 4

 1What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?

Why bring up flesh?  Because Paul tells the Galatians and the Romans (chapters 7 and 8) the Law is flesh (carnal and religious performance-based acceptance, where your flesh is involved).

 2For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
 3For what saith the scripture?

Both James, an apostle to the circumcision (Israel), and Paul, the apostle to the uncircumcision (Gentiles), appeal to scripture.

Abraham believed God, and it (his belief in what God said) was counted unto him for righteousness.  Look how Paul starts verse 4.  He doesn’t start, “to him that worketh.”

 4Now [in this dispensation] to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

Before (in Time Past) to him that worketh, the reward (eternal life) was reckoned of grace; God is gracious in every dispensation.  But Paul is not saying that in every dispensation mankind was saved through faith and God’s grace plus no works.  If that is true, what makes the dispensation of grace unique?  Why do we even need a dispensation of grace if everyone has always been saved the same way?

 5But to him that worketh not [in the ‘But Now’], but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly.

Not that they’re sinners, but they’re not doing the religious rites and rituals that God gave Israel – godliness has to do with god-likeness.  But God justifies a person today who does not do those things – the ungodly.  His faith is counted for righteousness.

Romans 5:6-7

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

God is looking for the person today who is not trying to be justified by his own works.  He wants an ungodly person.  Believing what God has said about the cross of Christ is accounted to him as righteousness.


Galatians 5:1-2

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage [the Law].  Behold, I Paul say unto you, [He is focusing on his unique ministry.  He’s telling them something that Moses, Jesus and Peter didn’t tell them.  It has something to do with ‘this grace given unto me.’] that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

In Time Past circumcision was profitable.  They received eternal life in the Kingdom.  They were part of the covenant.

3For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

Reward is reckoned of grace, not of debt.  Paul is telling Gentile grace believers that if they try to go back and try to be justified in the eyes of God based upon the law by being circumcised, they are putting themselves under a performance-based acceptance system. 

Today the equivalent is water baptism which is a human work intended to make someone right in the eyes of God or man.  Most who support water baptism say that it isn’t required for salvation (a fabrication); although in context the bible said it is.

Acts 2:38

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Then they say it is ‘an outward sign of an inward faith.’  That is also a fabrication.  The bible never says that.

Romans 11:6

And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

Paul is saying in Galatians 5:3 and Romans 11:6, ‘pick a side: grace or works.’  That’s the danger of trying to tithe. 

Galatians 3:10

For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

If you’re trying to do anything that is under the law, Paul says you’re under a curse.  This is the issue:

 Galatians 5:4
 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Paul is talking to saved people so we know he’s not talking about their initial justification at salvation, but rather their sanctification.  Justification has a lot of different meanings.  The main one is a general term for ‘declared righteous’ when initially saved.  Sanctification (one’s ‘being set apart’ resulting in growth, service) follows justification.

But the church is also justified in the spirit – a daily justification.  How am I living today as a Christian?  Not my sin, but am I trying to gain God’s approval as a grace believer by serving under the law?  If so, it will be of no effect – not only in my daily life, but there will be no profit at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  I might be ‘working,’ but in my works I’m actually denying Him.

The only thing God is looking for is whether your heart believes Paul’s message.  You don’t have to do anything.  Are you trusting what God says about Paul and the grace of God today?  Most saints are not, so they’re not justified (living right) in the eyes of God.  They’re saved, but they’re not right with God.  It’s not about sin; it’s about what they believe.  This is how they fall from grace:  by wanting God to accept them, not by the blood of Christ and who they are in Christ, but by what they are doing – a performance-based acceptance.

Galatians 5:4
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

There is the curse.  How can a grace believer be cursed today?  By not believing God’s grace.  He’ll allow you to try to be justified daily in his sight by the works of the law, but you can’t do it.   Your life will be useless to the Lord. 

The only thing He will reward you for is what you believe about the grace of God.  Denominational brethren who believe in the pre-tribulational rapture will be rewarded for that.  God rewards you on the quantity of grace doctrine that you adhere to.  We all have different levels of understanding and will be held accountable accordingly.  How do we adhere to what we have learned, what we believe?  By operating in it!

When Paul talks about the law, he’s talking about it in this dispensation of God’s grace.  Paul is not looking back to Times Past.

Titus 1:16

They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Walking with God…literally!

How were people saved before Abraham and the Covenant?

There is a more extensive study on this subject available on our blog (Death Before The Cross),  but here is a quick reply as well, regarding  the people after the fall of man, from Adam until Abraham. 

When we think of salvation in the dispensation of grace today, it is different than in prophecy in time past.  We are saved eternally the moment we trust the shed blood of Christ.

Ephesians 1:13
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Our salvation is not based upon any works.  It is a justification unto eternal life.  Our soul is saved from the penalty of hell and the lake of fire, which is the second death.

This is the only dispensation in which people are saved in a moment (split second) of time. Outside of our dispensation of grace (in prophecy—that which had been spoken of by the prophets of Israel), salvation (justification: being declared righteous in the eyes of God) was based upon a short-accounts system.  Even before the Law was given to Moses, God instituted blood sacrifices for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 3:21
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins [the first blood sacrifice], and clothed them.

Genesis 4:4
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his [blood] offering:

They would meet God where he placed the cherubim.

Genesis 3:24
So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Cain and Abel knew they were to bring a blood sacrifice there, even though Cain decided to bring an offering of the cursed ground instead.

Genesis 4:3
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.

It was by animal sacrifices that people were accepted by God.

Genesis 4:7
If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

They were to bring a proper blood sacrifice.  You always need blood.  The blood pointed to the blood of Jesus Christ.  We know that from the book of Hebrews and other passages.

Hebrews 9:12-14
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.  For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

So the issue was definitely blood sacrifices to the Lord; but it was also doing what God said.  For example, during the time period between Adam and Noah, every man (the sons of Adam) had access to God if they wanted it, just like Cain.  Cain had access; he just didn’t want it.  And men did call upon the name of the Lord.

Genesis 4:26
And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.

The Lord would appear if they wanted a relationship with him.  God wanted a relationship with man.  Enoch is an example of a man who chose to walk with God.

Genesis 5:22
And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

So that is how man was justified in those days.  They walked with God and kept his word.  That is what God was trying to institute with Adam and Eve in the garden.  They would meet with him.  They walked with God and kept his laws, statues and judgments, although they were not written down as scripture until the Law was given to Moses.  But God did share his word(s) with them.  Abraham kept God’s law before it was written down.

Genesis 26:5
Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

So walking with God and blood sacrifice was the way to be right in the eyes of God in time past.  If they continued to do that throughout their lifetime, except Enoch, the seventh from Adam, who was a type of the body of Christ, who was caught up to heaven to be with the Lord.

Genesis 5:24
And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

But at the time of their death, if they were walking with God with a righteous lifestyle before God – keeping his word to them (God would just appear to man and talk to them), and offering blood sacrifices – they  would be accepted.  God had a relationship with man.  Cain and Abel actually talked with the Lord.  Even after the flood when Noah left the ark he offered sacrifices:

Genesis 8:20
And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar [worship].

Most people think that the animals only went on the ark two by two.  But of the clean animals, Noah took seven.

Genesis 7:2
Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

Noah took more of the clean beasts so that he could offer sacrifices when he left the ark.

Genesis 8:21
And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

The point that I want you to see is that Noah built an altar.  He was a man of God and even after the flood he offered sacrifices.  In those days people were not saved as we define salvation as justification unto eternal life in a moment of time (when we believe the Gospel).  They had a short-account system.  They had to walk with God and offer blood sacrifices on the altar, even before Abraham did.

So between Adam and Abraham, God would appear to people just as he did to Abraham, Noah, Methuselah, Adam and his sons.  Anyone could say to the Lord that they wanted to see him and talk to him and he would appear to them and share his word with them if they had a heart of faith and believed his word(s).  You can see that in the life of Abraham.  That is how he dealt with men who walked with him.

It didn’t take long after Noah and before Abraham for men to go into idolatry.  At the tower of Babel they had already determined to do things their way.

          Genesis 11:4

And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

God told Noah and his sons and daughters-in-law to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth in Genesis 9.  By Genesis 11 mankind is doing their own thing apart from God.  In Genesis 12 God chooses a man named Abram, son of Terah (Gen 12:1), who came from an idolatrous lifestyle in the Ur of Chaldees, but who had a heart of faith.  It didn’t take long for man to go into apostasy again after the Flood, just like they did before.

So before Abraham, God dealt with humanity by appearing to them and give them his word; if they responded in faith and offered blood sacrifices, God would accept them like we see with Abel, Noah and Abraham.  They were saved if they continued walking in faith until the end.  This is pictured in Ezekiel:

Ezekiel 18:21-22
But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.  All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.

If they did not continue in righteousness and died in wickedness, they would be lost forever.

Ezekiel 18:24
 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

They were ‘saved’ if they died in their righteousness:  walking with the Lord and offering blood sacrifices (faith plus works).  And like it says about Abraham who ended well:

Genesis 25:8
Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A mystery to "Jesus"

Did Jesus know about the Pauline Grace message and the dispensation of grace before his death?  Obviously God the Father did, but when was all of this revealed to the Son?

I get this question from people who learn right division and start growing in the knowledge of the revelation of the mystery.   Surprisingly, this has been a point of contention between brethren, but it shouldn’t be.  People try to defend the Lord’s deity.  The Lord Jesus Christ is God; he’s God the Son.  But before he became ‘Jesus,’ he was known as “The Word.”  That was his name. 

John 1:1-2
In the beginning was the Word [capital W, denoting a name], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.

Revelation 19:13
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

“Jesus” is his human name.  The angel Gabriel tells Mary…

Luke 1:31
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus .

And the angel of the Lord tells Joseph…

Matthew 1:21
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Jesus means "Jehovah Saviour."

John 4:42
And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

Luke 3:6
And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

He is Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One.

Matthew 1:16
And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Daniel 9:25
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Psalm 2:2
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,

So did the Lord Jesus Christ, before his incarnation – before he became a man, know the mystery?

Colossians 1:26
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

The Godhead knew:  God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; they all knew of the Mystery before Jesus Christ became a man.

Titus 1:1
Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

Paul was called to be an apostle according to or in line with the "faith" or doctrine of grace. And that faith* (body of teaching, doctrine) belongs to God's elect--the body of Christ.

Ephesians 2:13
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

When Paul wrote this epistle to Titus, the body of Christ had been around about 30 years since Paul’s conversion.  His elect in time past was the nation of Israel.

Hebrews 1:1
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers [Israel] by the prophets,

His elect after the dispensation of grace ends will be Israel again.

Titus 1:1-2

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness [Paul’s doctrine];  In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

So before the world began; before God created heaven and earth, God (the Godhead beginning with God the Father, through the Son and in the Spirit) came up with this plan called 'the mystery' given to Paul.

Ephesians 3:9
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 3:2
If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Titus 1:3
But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

Jesus Christ, as “The Word,” knew the mystery; he was one of the original planners.  The Godhead made a promise about this information before the world began.  Notice that verse 3 says “But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me [Paul].”  So, the Lord Jesus Christ (as “the Word,” the glorified Son of God in eternity past) knew the mystery and the timing of it.

Romans 16:25
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,

Notice it says that it was first revealed unto Paul.  That gives us some understanding about the Lord’s earthly ministry.  Did ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ know about Paul’s dispensation of grace ministry?  Of course the answer is ‘no.’  To me it is clear that Jesus Christ in his earthly ministry did not know about the mystery.  But you would be surprised how many people, even those who call themselves dispensationlists, balk at that because ‘Jesus is God so he must have known everything.’

Jesus is God; he never stopped being God in his humanity.  God can’t stop being God.  But he also became a man.  He did do something that no one had ever seen before; he took on humanity.

Philippians 2:6-7
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

He was (and is) 100% God and 100% man.  He wasn’t 50/50.  But as ‘a man’ (as Jesus of Nazareth during his earthly ministry), he limited the independent (key word independent) use of his deity by allowing the Father to show him what to do.  Everything he did was according to the will of God the Father through the scriptures and the Spirit.  Let’s look at a couple of verses. 

The book of John shows Jesus Christ as Jehovah God.  But even as Jehovah God he operated as the Son of man:

John 5:19
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son [of God] can do nothing of himself, …[This is the Lord, even though he is God, he is saying: I can’t do anything of myself as ‘Jesus of Nazareth’]…but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

It is the Father who is telling him what to do during his earthly ministry.  He submitted himself to his father’s word, as found written in the scriptures of the old testament!

John 8:28
Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

Notice he does nothing of himself.  God the Father did not teach Jesus anything about the mystery.  The biggest reason is that if God had revealed it during the Lord’s earthly ministry, Satan, his angels and the holy angels would have all known…

1 Peter 1:12
Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

…but they didn’t know; otherwise Satan would have withstood him.

1 Corinthians 2:7-8
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:  Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Satan is the god of this world and he has his princes.  Three times in the book of John the Lord Jesus calls Satan the prince of this world.

John 12:31

Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

John 14:30
Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

John 16:11
Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged

If Satan had known about the mystery—that because of Christ’s shed blood, God could and would form the church, the body of Christ, filling it with both Jew and gentiles, destined to rule and reign with Christ in the heavenly places—he would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  Satan and his angels would have allowed Jesus Christ to be King over all the earth; but he (Satan) would have kept the heavens.  So obviously God didn’t let anyone know before Paul. 

The Lord (as Jesus of Nazareth) said that there were things that even he (as the Son of man) did not know.

Mark 13:32
But of that day and that hour [the time of his return] knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven [they don’t even know and they’re up there with God], neither the Son [of man], but the Father.

He’s saying, ‘I don’t even know when I am going to return.  Only the Father knows.’ So anyone who can’t see that Jesus limited the independent use of his deity while he was on earth obviously doesn’t want to see it.


When was the complete Mystery revealed to the Son?  It’s not stated exactly when, but I will give you what I see.  Evidently it was when he ascended into the heavens.  Here is the caveat.

Psalm 110:1
The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Jesus Christ ascended and sat at the Father’s right hand.  We see in Luke 13 that there would be one year between Christ’s ascension (Acts 1) and the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7).

Luke 13:7-8
Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?  And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:

God gave Israel a renewed opportunity to receive the Kingdom through the work of the Holy Spirit through the twelve apostles.  It was a legitimate offer.  But at the stoning of Stephen we see the Lord standing.

Acts 7:55
But he [Stephen], being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

According to the prophets…

Psalm 110:1
The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

…when Stephen sees the Lord standing he is about to come down and make war in order to make his enemies his footstool.  I believe it was at that time that God revealed to the Lord Jesus Christ that the legitimate offer of the Kingdom to Israel had expired after that one-year extension. 

I’m not going to be dogmatic about it; people can believe what they want, but according to Daniel the Son of man went to heaven to receive a kingdom.

Daniel 7:13-14
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds [the holy angels, cf. Acts 1:9]  of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

The Lord even says this in a parable while he was still operating under the prophetic program.  He went up to heaven to receive a kingdom and return.  So the Lord did not know the Mystery until he stood up and was about to pour out his wrath at the stoning of Stephen.  That is when the Father revealed the Mystery to him.  Instead of pouring out his wrath, we see in Acts 8 Saul of Tarsus continuing to persecute the Little Flock of believers; and in Acts 9 the Lord returns; but not to pour out his wrath.  He saves the Apostle Paul and tells him to go into the city to be told what he must do.

Acts 9:6
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord [evidence that Saul believes that Jesus is Lord], what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

The prophecy program for Israel is interrupted and the dispensation of grace for all men, both Jew and Gentile, begins.

1 Timothy 1:16
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy [saved by grace and faith alone after committing the ‘unpardonable sin’ – blaspheming the Holy Spirit, Mark 3:29; Luke 12:10], that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

Hopefully this helps...Maranatha! 

A helpful thing to keep in mind when you come across the word “faith” in Romans thru Philemon…

When Paul mentions the word "faith" it sometimes means "faithfulness."

Romans 3:3
For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? 

It sometimes means "to trust/believe in."

Romans 5:1
Therefore being justified by faith...

And it sometimes means "the doctrine or words that are to be believed" like the doctrine found in his epistles is called "the faith."

Romans 1:5
By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

Ephesians 4:13
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

It is this last one (from Romans 1:5 and Ephesians 4:13) that Paul is referring to in Titus 1:1.