Thursday, April 27, 2017

Acts 28:28

The great secret or mystery, The Salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, was made known to Paul by inspiration of God. It was not so made known to any other person. Paul declares that to him only was the dispensation of the mystery made known. See Ephesians 3:3,7-9; Colossians 1:25-27.

The apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers given to the church (Ephesians 4: 11) were not inspired. They had to get their message from Paul. For example, Timothy was to preach the things which he heard from Paul (2 Timothy 1:13; 2:2). The whole responsibility of preaching the dispensation of the mystery was laid on the apostle Paul, just as the kingdom of heaven was to be preached by the 12 apostles after the ascension of the Lord.

Acts 28:28 also tells Paul that the Gentiles will listen to his gospel of the dispensation of the mystery, the great secret.

Now just suppose that Paul had a visitor the next day after this one in Acts 28:23-29. What would Paul talk about? What would be his message? Would he continue in the old things, the gospel of the kingdom and the gospel of the grace of God? After having been introduced to the mystery, would he ever do such a thing as to refuse to go on with it? Two whole years he preached to all that came to him in his own hired house, bound to a Roman soldier.

During those 2 years in prison, Paul wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. And in each one, there is mention that they had heard the gospel that Paul was then preaching. How had they heard it? From the visitors who came and went, and then by Paul's epistles written from prison. No other way.

So then the secret was revealed by the Spirit to Paul when he spoke in Acts 28, and when he wrote the prison epistles. That is how that the Gentiles had heard the gospel of their salvation, that salvation that was sent to them upon the rejection of Israel. Paul even sent messengers to some of the churches to tell the good news.

So the 7 post-Acts epistles of Paul sum up the message, the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles. Actually the revelation of the mystery is not complete with any one of these lacking. Check them through and see.

Now to sum up this question of how the secret was revealed, both to Paul and to the Gentiles; It was revealed to Paul and him alone, he taught it to visitors in his home, he sent messages to the groups, and wrote his 7 last epistles, and also the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers he trained went everywhere and preached this message to all the new creation (believers). Colossians 1:23.

Today the mystery or secret is being proclaimed by a few in several countries. The reception is very poor. It is not long till it will be proclaimed no more and a new era will be ushered in, the kingdom of heaven gospel.

When Israel was brought forth from Egypt by the mighty arm of God amidst signs and wonders, it was not long till they rejected their Jehovah and set up the golden calf instead. And when this Redeemer came in person to Israel, they rejected, crucified Him, and set up Barabbas instead. There is a parallel.

After 2 years from the Exodus, they came to the border of Kadesh-Barnea. There they again rebelled, rejected Moses as leader, and would have selected another leader and returned to Egypt. For this they were forced to wander in the wilderness for 38 years till all the rejecters were dead and a new generation, a new nation, entered the land. These were other sheep. And when the Jews rejected Christ at the end of Acts, they were forced to wander again. But this time scattered among the nations, not in the wilderness. In this case no water supplied from the rock, no manna to gather, no quails for meat, no presence of God among them in the form of the Shekinah, no serpent raised on a pole to cure the snake bites, and no leader.

Today they have lost their identity; the records were burned in the temple. No one can prove that he is a Jew. Their condition was prophesied in Hosea 3. And in chapter 6, verse 2 is given the time of the wanderings among the nations. But just as they finally entered the land across the Jordan, even so some day they will receive their Messiah and enter into His blessings. The present time is parallel to the wilderness wanderings of 38 years.

So Calvary is parallel to the golden calf, and Acts 28:28 parallel to the refusal at Kadesh-Barnea to enter the land. But with this exception: today they are not God's people. He is not dealing with them in any way. But in the wilderness they were led from day to day till they entered the land. That is the difference.

And here is where we come to the reason for the secret. Here is the record in Acts 28: 25-27, And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed (were dismissed, divorced), after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, saying, 'Go unto this People, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this People is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.,

Now look at the word therefore in verse 28. It is the result of this prophecy having been fulfilled then and there. Therefore The salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles.

And as we go on into the mystery, we find that it is indeed an individual matter, not of nations, for they are to be blest thru Israel.

Mystery comes from the Greek, musterion. It can be translated secret. This Greek word, musterion first occurs in Da. 2:18. Here a secret is revealed to the king concerning the times of the Gentiles. So we can right there formulate a biblical truth; When Israel ceases to make history, then there is mystery. And so it was in Daniel. Israel had failed and so was taken out of their land. God was not working thru them, and so they were not making history. Mystery came in.

Now we mean by tiffs that when Israel was not remembering the promises made to Abraham, and were going their own way, God would forsake them for a time. In the Babylonian captivity they were Lo-Ammi (not My people). After the great festival upon the rebuilding of Jerusalem, AD 405, there was a great revival. But in about 30 years, as all revivals seem to do, this one fizzled out and there is silence at/out Israel till the Redeemer was born, 4 BC. We have to go to world history or tile Apocrypha to find out what was going on in Israel in that time.

There is a warning in Matthew 13 about Israel again becoming Lo-Ammi. Isaiah (5:10 is quoted in verses 14,15, which later is quoted for the last time in Acts 28:25-27. And so in Matthew 13 we have the mysteries (secrets) of the kingdom of heaven foretold. But the kingdom is then postponed for a season, no time given. It was re-offered during Acts, and because of the rejection of the kingdom by Israel, the axe fell, and the tree was cut down. Very few have any idea of  how much this event at the end of Acts has changed the course of world history.

If this had not happened, Israel would soon have had her King and with Him ruling over all the nations of the earth. That would have lasted from AI) 85 till AD 1085, the Millennium. But when we read our history books, we find nothing like that happening in those years. Not only did Israel fail, but in those years we have recorded the fall of the Roman empire, and the beginning of the crusades. All this is far from a glorious reign of the King of kings and Lord of lords from Jerusalem over the whole earth.

Since Acts 28:28 nations have risen and fallen. Empires have been set up and crumbled. Millions have been tortured and killed because of Israel rejecting their King and kingdom. A low estimate of 75 million has been set for the murders in the inquisition. Hitler made away with 6 million Jews. There is strife in the Middle East, nations becoming bankrupt, and Russia sitting at the back door of the United States, waiting for the door to open. And we do not know of the future until Israel repents and her Messiah comes and takes over the kingdoms of the world. Only one war in the Millennium, Revelation 20:7-10.

Spend some time in the prophecies and think on what might have been conditions today if it had not been for Acts 28:28. Historians never dream of the importance of this event.

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