“Revelation is a wonderful word that is attributed exclusively to God”. God is a God of revelation.
The Bible is a progressive revelation of God’s unfolding plan of salvation for the entire human race.
We believe what we believe, not because man has invented it because the God of revelation has made it known.
“The Revelation of the mystery of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us our Gospel today.”
This revelation and mystery was always hidden and kept secret in the mind of God.
Nobody knew, not even Christ’s disciples who were the closest to Him.
In the book of [Luke 18:31-33], Jesus gets his twelve disciples together for a meeting.
He tells them that His moment had arrived. All things the prophets in the Scriptures had spoken about Him were about to be accomplished.
HE tells them about the way He’s going to be spitefully entreated and scourged.
THEN, he tells them about His death, burial and resurrection.
Now here is the amazing thing!
The very next verse in [Luke 18:34], we are told that these disciples of Jesus “understood ‘NONE’ of these things”.
Now isn’t that something!
Then we are told “why”…. “and this saying was ‘HID’ from them, neither knew they the things that were spoken”.
So let’s question this. “Who in Heaven’s Name “HID” this from them?”
Oh they heard it all right, but they just could not get hold of the revelation of it because God “HID” it from them.
The next question that would naturally follow is, “why did God hide this from men?”
The answer to this is found in [1 Corinthians 2:8].
Paul the apostle tells us, “for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory”.
Remember Satan’s agenda as described by Jesus in [John 10:10]?
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy”.
God’s Strategic Wisdom
Had Satan known the revelation what the death, burial and resurrection would accomplish, he would’ve made sure Christ’s crucifixion did not happen.
He would have stolen and destroyed God’s plan of salvation for you and me.
Jesus then would not have been able to be that “one time, all sufficient sacrifice”.
And all hope of our glorious eternal destiny in heaven would have gone up in a puff of smoke.
Instead, we all would spend a horrific eternal destiny in hell with Satan as our master.
And Jesus would not have been able to give us what HE stated below:
“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”.
Satan thought he had the victory by orchestrating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Little did he know that he signed his own ‘death-warrant’.
By sending Jesus to the cross, Satan eternally booked his seat in the “lake of fire”.
Now here is an awesome and amazing thing! Just think about this.
God allowed this ‘Satan’, who is God’s and ours arch enemy, to put to death His Son Jesus Christ.
By allowing this crucifixion of Jesus Christ, God got Satan to fall perfectly in line with HIS plan of salvation.
That’s right! That is exactly what happened for you and for me. It personal!
And Satan the devil had ‘no clue’!
Pre-Planned In The Boardrooms Of Heaven
[Acts 2:23] shows us, that this was all planned at some point in eternity past in the boardrooms of Heaven.
“Him (Jesus Christ) being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God…..”
There was a meeting of minds of God The Father, God The Son and God The Holy Spirit. They sat in counsel.
Leaders of nations do the same, when they call in their cabinet members for a meeting for making important decisions.
So they were in counsel in Heaven and in their foreknowledge, set the entire plan of the ages into motion.
And when it came to the crucifixion of Christ Jesus, everything was going perfectly according to the Divine plan:
“……ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain”.
The wisdom and the ways of God Almighty are past finding out.
What an amazing strategist God is!
Wouldn’t it sensible and wise to allow this same GOD to lead and direct every single day of our lives?
Or do we still need to figure out everything with our small, limited and finite minds?
Don’t you think we can trust HIM fully without reservation, no matter what our circumstances may be?
HEY! HE can and will even make our enemies fall in line with His plans and purposes for us.
For God categorically does have a plan for you and me [Jeremiah 29:11].
God Is Still Persisting With Israel
After meeting with His disciples for forty days, Jesus Christ left them with instructions before ascending to heaven.
This would also be in perfect fulfillment of the prophecy spoken by Joel the prophet [Joel 2:28-29].
This supernatural event took place on what is known as the day of Pentecost, fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
It was a spectacular event indeed and is vividly described in [Acts 2:1-18].
One hundred and twenty people including the apostles of Christ were empowered by the Holy Spirit.
They were to be witnesses for Christ within their borders of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria [Acts 1:8].
And then, they were to go to the rest of the world.
But Israel still had to nationally believe in the Messiahship of Christ Jesus.
The Gospel of the Kingdom was still valid. But it was conditional.
They could still have that promised Kingdom on earth only if they nationally believed.
God is still dealing with the “Jews only” at this time. There are no Gentiles on the scene yet. It’s all strictly Jews.
Now empowered by the Holy Spirit Peter and the others set to get the message out to all of Israel.
There is a slight change in the approach because now Christ has “risen from the dead”.
That should now convince the Jews. But does it? Let’s see what happens!
Peter is firing on all cylinders as he gives his first ever sermon in [Acts 2:22-39].
Ye Men Of Israel
Don’t forget, this Peter is the same one who not so long ago denied Christ Jesus just before His crucifixion.
But here, he’s on fire! Once a reed shaken with wind is now like a solid rock. What made the difference?
The HOLY SPIRIT.
“Ye men of Israel, hear these words…..” is the opening statement of Peter’s first ever Spirit-filled sermon.
He tells them in [Acts 2:23], that this Jesus “ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain”.
Then he goes on to tell them in [Acts 2:24], “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death”.
And then he gives them the reason why.
“…..because it was not possible that He should be holden of it”.
Because Jesus Christ was sinless, death had no power over Him.
And for those who are “in Christ”, death will have no power over them too. They will also be raised up.
Then in [Acts 2:36], he tells his Jewish people, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly……”. This man is on fire with his face set like flint.
Then with all boldness, “that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ‘YE HAVE CRUCIFIED’, both Lord and Christ”
That got them convicted, “what shall we do?” became their concern.
They repented and got baptized as instructed by Peter and three thousand Jews got their salvation that day.
However, Israel nationally, still has to believe for the promised Kingdom to be established.
FOR there can be no Kingdom without their King.
There are still no Gentiles on the scene as yet! It is still “Jews only”.
Stephen Comes On To The Stage
Stephen, a table server, comes on to the stage in [Acts 6:5]. Scripture tells us that he was “a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit”.
As a powerful instrument in the Hands of God, he performed many miracles as the “Kingdom Gospel” message went out.
Now that did not go down well at all with the Jewish religious leaders. So they laid hold of Stephen and falsely charged him through false witnesses, just as they had done with Jesus.
Brought before the council of the Jewish religious hierarchy for trial, his face was like that of an angel.
He laid it all out for them in truth beginning with the calling out of Abraham till their present day [Acts 7:1-53].
He went through their entire history of stubbornness and “stiff-necked” attitudes, right down to the current moment.
They didn’t like hearing the truth about their fathers and themselves.
So they stoned him to death! [Acts 7:54-60]
It is noteworthy to remember that this incident took place seven years “after” the day of Pentecost.
God was still dealing with the “Jews only”. No Gentiles still yet.
The stoning of Stephen to death was a total rejection of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit by Israel. It was a total rejection of the Kingdom message.
As a result, this promised Kingdom on earth with all its benefits and mandates got shelved for a future day.
That promised kingdom on earth will yet come.
“I say then”, Paul the apostle asks in [Romans 11:1], “has God cast away His people? God forbid”.
God through His prophets strongly spoke of this Kingdom.
And everything that God has spoken through His prophets ‘will’ be fulfilled.
Setting The Record Straight
Let us categorically state here, that the Church “IS NOT” the spiritual Israel just because they rejected Christ Jesus.
This concept has been propagated a lot and it is just not true. Scripture is very clear as we have seen.
God has NOT cast away His people. Period! That settles it!
There is no such thing as a “spiritual Israel”. Throw that concept out.
In God’s programme, there is “Israel” and there is “The Body of Christ”. That’s it!
There is no confusion here and we will address this in a later article.
God Now Does Something Totally New
The moment Israel totally rejected Christ and the Kingdom message, by murdering Stephen, God does something totally different and new.
God now raises up the apostle Paul an gives to him the revelation of His new agenda.
HE was now turning to the Gentiles, for they were always in the heart and mind of God.
The time of the Gentiles had arrived. They had always been in the heart and mind of God.
A glorious transition is about to take place from the old to the new.
Stay tuned for part #3 following very shortly.