An Interruption in Israel’s Prophetic Program
One of the greatest prophecies of Scripture is found in Psalm 110:1 where David wrote:
“The LORD [the Father] said unto my Lord [Jesus], Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Psalm 110:1 (KJV)
In Matt. 22:41-46 our Lord explained that this was a prophecy about Himself, as both David’s Son and Lord. Men would hate Him and cry “away with Him!” and “crucify Him.” They nailed Him to a tree, laughed and sneered at Him, but God the Father responds through David writing:
“… Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Psalm 110:1 (KJV)
After His crosswork The Lord Jesus ascended to the third heaven and was seated at the right hand of the Father where He remains until His enemies on earth are brought low by “the wrath of God” poured out during the Tribulation Period. Then the Lord Jesus Christ will return to bring judgment upon all the evil doers, save the remnant of Israel believers and set up His promised Millennial Kingdom on earth.
We should never forget that according to Bible prophecy God’s response to man’s rejection of Christ was to be judgment and wrath. But that has not yet happened.
In Psalm 2 the question is asked why the nations [Gentiles] rage and the people of Israel imagine a vain thing: that they can get along without the One whom God has anointed to be King. Psalm 2 depicts God laughing at their attempts to thwart His purposes and predicts “the Lord shall have them in derision [contempt]” and “speak unto them in His wrath.”
At the time of Pentecost, after the Cross, all was ready for the judgment to fall upon all the evil doers of mankind on earth. Christ had been crucified and “the last days” had begun even as Peter preaching to “Ye men of Israel” declared a 2-part prophecy quoting from the prophet Joel in Acts 2:16-20 as follow;
- First Joel prophesies the blessing of the Holy Spirit outpoured at Pentecost upon the “little flock” believers of Israel. Peter said; “16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons [of Israel] and your daughters shall prophesy, and your [Israel’s] young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters [of Israel] shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
- Joel then directly continues in prophesying of God’s wrath to be outpoured:
19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before That Great and Notable Day Of The Lord Come:” (Acts 2:16-20 (KJV)
But strangely, while some of Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled, or began to be fulfilled at that time, the rest of it ‘the wrath of God’ part of Joel’s prophecy was not. God did not then— and has not yet — sent the prophesied judgment of “that great and notable day of the Lord,” the terrible 7-year Tribulation period that is to come.
We can thank God that in His infinite grace He interrupted Israel’s prophetic program, delaying the remainder of the fulfillment of Joel’s words concerning the wrath to come in “that great and notable day of the Lord.” Instead, the Lord Jesus from heaven spoke to and converted Saul of Tarsus as we read in Acts 9, for this Saul was to later be called Paul “the Apostle to the Gentiles” (Rom 11:13).
The ascended Lord from heaven revealed Himself by speaking to the Apostle Paul multiple times concerning “the revelation of the mystery [Grk. musterion, the God held secret plan]”
This “mystery” is His planned secret purpose of the Cross of the Son of God … which was to offer to ALL His enemies everywhere salvation and reconciliation with God by free grace, through faith in the crucified, risen Savior.
This “revelation of the mystery” (Rom. 16:25) that Paul received for us was key to a totally new program of God’s ‘pure grace’ for All men, having nothing to do with Israel’s interrupted program that was put on ‘hold’ now “until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in” (cf. Rom. 11:25).
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part [temporarily] is happened to Israel, UNTIL the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” Romans 11:25 (KJV)
Today’s Gentile program will end with “fulness of the Gentiles” at the Rapture of the Gentile “body of Christ.” This will simultaneously RESTART God’s planned “great and notable day of the Lord,” in which His “wrath to come” will “purge out the rebels” (Eze. 20:38).
It had earlier been a Jewish prophetic program for Israel that operated “under the Law,” but now it as the time of the Gentile program that operates under pure grace. Thus, Paul wrote of this saying;
“… for ye are NOT under the law, but under grace. Romans 6:14b (KJV)
In His Ephesian letter the Apostle Paul asks whether they have heard of “the dispensation [age] of the grace of God, which is given me [Paul] to you-ward [you Gentiles, v1]; how that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery [the secret plan of God]” (cf. Eph. 3:1-3).
Today, thank God, His eternal purpose in Christ Jesus is no longer a secret. While today’s age of the pure grace of God lasts, all men regardless of Race (Gentile and Jew), may be “justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).
The revelation and explanation of this new Gentile program of the pure grace of God for the Gentiles has been revealed to us through Paul’s epistles, Paul being the Moses of the Gentile “body of Christ.”