Part #03 of “The Mystery Of The Rapture”
“The Prophetic Plan which God spoke through His Old Testament Prophets, was predominantly for the nation of Israel.”
There is not a single prophetic utterance anywhere in the Old Testament, for the Church, the Body of Christ.
We don’t find it in the four gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John either.
And the reason is, that it was kept ‘secret’ in the mind of God, until revealed ‘only’ to the Apostle Paul.
But we ‘will’ come to that later.
The so-called prophetic ministry that is rampant within Christendom today, is nothing short of absolute deception.
It’s amazing how many come up publicly declaring that God spoke or showed them something personally about the Church today.
And they all seem to come up with something different, and so many Christians are naïve enough to fall for it.
Do Not Be Deceived
Both Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul exhort us, “do not be deceived for the days are evil.”
“God spoke to me” or “God showed me” are the most dangerous statements made in these last days.
If you come across anyone claiming to be a prophet, or anyone making these kinds of statements, here is our advice:
“Don’t wait around to pray, but first ‘RUN’ as far as you can, you can pray later.”
The last time God showed and spoke to anybody, was ‘Paul the Apostle of the Gentiles’ [Romans 11:13].
And the word was totally complete for this Age of Grace that we are in today [Colossians 1:25].
Read and study the Word, the Bible for yourselves, “rightly dividing the Word of truth” [2 Timothy 2:15].
It’s the only way God Personally speaks to us today, for He speaks only through his Word.
It’s only there, in the Word, that we find the real infallible truth, both for this life and the one to come.
Picking Up Where We Left Off
Picking up where we left off the in the last CRUMB 0122, we saw how God started new with Abraham.
And this was at 2000 B.C. 👇🏾
Starting with a promise, then followed by the Law Covenant through Moses in 1500 B.C. and the Old Testament prophets.
Then, we saw the Davidic covenant in 1000 B.C. followed by the captivity of Israel by the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar.
This was a 70-year captivity, which began in 606 B.C.
Israel along with its temple was utterly destroyed and the temple treasures taken.
Then we had the rebuilding of the temple led by Ezra in about 536 B.C. (not showed on the timeline).
This was then followed by Nehemiah who rebuilt the broken-down city walls, bringing the timeline all the way to the cross.
Israel’s Day of Visitation
The day of visitation for the nation of Israel had finally arrived, when Jesus Christ arrived on the scene.
That would be just before the cross on the timeline.
The Apostle Paul tells us in [Romans 15:8]:
“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the ‘circumcision’ for the truth of God,……….”
Now who were the ‘circumcision’? The Jew, the nation of Israel!
So Christ, at this first advent, came exclusively for the Jew, the nation of Israel.
And what is the ‘truth of God’ here in this Scripture verse?
Paul tells us that it was, “to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:”
Here is how Luke puts it across in [Luke 1:72-73]:
“To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;”
What is Luke talking about here regarding the ‘mercy promised’ and the God’s ‘Holy Covenant’?
Here it is👇🏽.
“The oath which he (God) sware to our father Abraham”.
So at the appointed time, God sent His Son, in fulfilment of the promise which HE made to Abraham in [Genesis 12:1-3].
Talking about this promise, this oath, the book of [Hebrews 6:13] tells us:
“For when God made promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, He sware by Himself.”
WOW! It’s worth taking a moment to think about that.
This is the God of Heaven we are dealing with, in Whom we can fully put our trust through ‘the Integrity of His Word’.
Apart from Abraham, Christ Jesus came in fulfilment of all that God spoke through His prophets.
The Kingdom Of Heaven at Hand
The promised earthly Kingdom of Heaven was at hand for the nation of Israel, it was at the door.
John the Baptist was sent ahead of Christ as a forerunner, to proclaim this good news to Israel.
“Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [Matthew 3:2].
And this was also in fulfilment, of what the prophet Isaiah spoke of, which John the Baptist quotes in [John 1:23].
“I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness”, he said.
“Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.”
Christ Jesus, after coming out of His forty-day wilderness experience, came preaching the same good news to Israel.
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” [Matthew 4:17].
Signs, Wonders And Miracles
Signs, wonders and miracles were the order of the day for the Jew, the nation of Israel.
They were the sign people [1 Corinthians 1:22], because that was what their forefathers were brought up with.
Beginning with their exodus from Egypt to the promised land, God had to continuously show them signs, wonders and miracles.
They were far too ‘stiff-necked’ to take God at His word by faith.
Yet, after seeing so much of what God showed them, many perished because of their foolish unbelief.
And as we’ll see, it was going to be exactly the same this time too, as Christ comes on the scene.
So even coming down the generations right up to this point, they would not believe a thing without a sign.
Some would, but for the most part, Israel as a nation would not.
Remember, Christ’s coming at this time, was God fulfilling His part of the promises “made unto to their fathers”.
So Christ Jesus, during His three years of His earthly ministry to the nation of Israel, was filled with signs, wonders and miracles.
He healed the sick, cast out devils, restored lepers, gave sight to the blind and raised the dead to life.
And what is listed in the Bible is just but the tip of the iceberg.
The list was so long, that John writes, “the world itself could not contain books” to list them [John 21:25].
Who Jesus Christ Was
All the miracles, signs and wonders that Jesus Christ did, was to show the nation of Israel, ‘Who He was’.
That was the ‘prime reason’, apart from His mercy and compassion.
That He indeed ‘was’ the Christ, the Son of God, the promised Messiah, the King Who was to come.
And all that Israel as nation had to do, was simply believe and confess it like Peter and Martha did.
That was their confession of faith unto salvation.
Keep in mind, apart from a couple of exceptions, Christ came strictly for the nation of Israel.
“I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” [Matthew 15:24].
When HE sent out his disciples on their first mission, He gave them a strict ‘command’ in [Matthew 10:5-7].
They were to go to ‘no one’ except, “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”.
Christ Jesus, A Law-Keeping Jew
This is good place to remind ourselves that Jesus Christ was a ‘Law-keeping Jew’.
He was born under the Law and ministered to the nation of Israel, under the Law [Galatians 4:4-5].
After healing the leper, He told him to go see the priest and make the required lawful sacrifice [Matthew 8:4].
And HE told the multitudes and His disciples to keep and observe the Law of Moses in [Matthew 23:1-3].
So never lose sight of that! Christ’s entire ministry was ‘under the Law’.
And once the nation of Israel, every single Jew, believed and accepted ‘Who Jesus was’, they’d have the Promised Kingdom.
So, it was a ‘conditional offer’.
And then Israel, as a kingdom of priests, under the Kingship of Christ Jesus, would take God’s salvation to the world.
This is what they were waiting for throughout their entire history, and are still looking out for that same hope today.
The Prophetic Timeline
Let’s take another look at God’s prophetic timeline, which was ‘under the Law’.
And keep in mind, that this👇🏽 is all that the Old Testament prophets saw.
We know from Scripture that the nation of Israel, led by their religious leaders, rejected Christ and sent Him to the cross instead.
This was in line with the Daniel prophecy in [Daniel 9:26], that, “the Messiah shall be cut off”.
But God raised Him from the dead three days later on resurrection Sunday.
And of course, the Psalms and Isaiah, speak of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
And after spending forty days with disciples, Christ ascended back to Heaven from the ‘Mount of Olives’ [Psalm 110:1].
Peter refers to this prophecy made by King David [Acts 2:34-36]
The two angels who were there, told the disciples in [Acts 1:10-11]:
“The way you’ve seen Jesus go, so like in the same manner, He shall return.”
Jesus Christ left from the Mount of Olives ‘head first’, and will return to the same Mount, ‘feet first’!
Peter And The Eleven Go To Work
Then after Pentecost, which was fifty days after the resurrection, Peter and the eleven went to work.
They preached their hearts out to the nation of Israel.
“That this same Jesus whom they crucified, God had raised from the dead.”
And if they could all believe, then God would “send back Jesus Christ which was preached to them” [Acts 3:19-20].
They would then go through the seven-year tribulation, after which Christ would return and destroy His enemies.
And then sitting on David’s throne in Jerusalem, the world would have the 1000 years of Christ’s rule and reign.
And Israel would be the top dog of the nations, bringing the rest of the world to the knowledge of their God.
This millennium rule would be a ‘benevolent one’, with no fear, poverty, lack or distress of any kind.
There would literally be ‘Peace on earth’ and ‘Good will to all men’ [Luke 2:14].
It would be ‘Heaven on earth” for a thousand years before moving on into eternity.
The prospect for Israel
This was the prospect for the nation of Israel, if they could nationally come to that place of belief.
Even though they sent Christ to the cross, God did not give up on them.
He waited patiently as the apostles were desperately reaching out to the nation of Israel, for the next seven years.
But it was not to be.
God, through Stephen made one final, last-ditch effort in [Acts 7].
Israel could yet have their promised King and Kingdom.
And in spite of Stephen’s heart-filled, desperate effort, the nation of Israel displayed the pinnacle of their rejection of Christ.
And this rejection was graphically displayed by their brutal stoning of Stephen to death [Acts 7:54-60].
God knew, according to His ‘foreknowledge’, that the nation of Israel would do this.
But yet, He had made them a ‘valid offer’.
The Timeline Interrupted
After the stoning of Stephen, God interrupted His timeline.
God pushed the last seven-year remainder of His dealing with Israel to a point out in the future.
And this left a gap in God’s prophetic timeline, which is an ‘undetermined period of time”.
And this👇🏽 is what it would now look like:
So, the moment Stephen was stoned, God stopped His prophetic time-clock.
And according to that same ‘determinate counsel and foreknowledge’, God set in motion, the final part of His plan.
And this was going to be His ‘Mystery Programme’ which He kept ‘hidden’ in Himself, before the world began.
Click [HERE] for Part #04 of this series.
(Please note, all that is written in the orange colour, are connecting links, so do read them. You will find them to be very useful.)