The Church Age: Part 9 of 16—Rightly Dividing The Word Of God

Acts 1:6-7

“Lord, will You at this time RESTORE THE KINGDOM TO ISRAEL?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.”

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In part 6 of this study, we saw how Jesus put all Israel under the Leviticus trespass offering; in other words, under ignorance, when He hung on the cross. That’s why He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Revealing Question.

On the third day, His Father raised Him from the dead. During the next 40 days before He returned to Heaven, He was seen by more than 500 people in His resurrected form.  As He stood on the Mount of Olives, just before ascending to His Father, BODILY, the disciples asked Him the question in the verse above.  You can see what was on their minds: The VISIBLE (millennial) kingdom, which we discussed in part 8. They had no idea, not even an inkling, about the Church Jesus intended to establish on earth. That revelation was given exclusively to the Apostle Paul.

Exclusionary Thinking.

Amazingly, none of the other disciples, those who actually walked, talked, ate, slept and lived with Jesus for three years, understood this; not at first anyway. It took quite a while for them to wrap their heads around it.  Why?  You see, Jewish people were a bit exclusionary in their thinking.  They believed that the Messiah was only for Israel.  They didn’t understand that Jesus came to save THE WHOLE WORLD. In their minds, Gentiles were like dogs, so the concept of them getting saved was completely foreign to them.

At this point in time they were thinking, now that the worst was over, that Jesus would set up His visible earthly kingdom.  After all, Jesus had conquered death itself!  But He told them it was not appointed for them to know “The times and the seasons” which God had put under His Own authority.

Another Chance.

Before the cross, while He traveled about, preaching, teaching, healing and blessing, the Jewish people were witness to THE MOST AMAZING THINGS such as the world has never seen, either before or since. Yet still they did not recognize their Messiah. He was rejected.  He made the above statement because Israel was to be given another chance–post resurrection–to recognize and accept Him.

Fast forward now to the Day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit came in like a mighty rushing wind, filling the upper room where they were all gathered. All 120 men and women, seated in the upper room, were supercharged! They were baptized in the Holy Spirit, came out speaking tongues, and Peter preached the greatest sermon of his life.  3,000 people were saved that day, ALL JEWISH!

In the early part of the book of Acts, Peter preached two sermons. He first reached out to his fellow Jews, though he never got angry with them or called them rebellious. Instead, he honored them by saying, “You men of Israel.” He was giving them another chance to accept Jesus.  He did, however, say to them, “You murdered the Prince of Life,” but softened his remark by adding, “I know that it was through ignorance that you did it, even as your rulers.”  He also put them under the Trespass Offering, just as Jesus had done from the cross.

(For more on the Tresspass offering, follow the link below:

https://emmausroadministries.wordpress.com/2017/01/21/the-five-offerings-of-leviticus-part-9-of-10-the-trespass-offering-asham-אָשָׁם/)

We Are All Guilty.
But, lest anyone wants to point fingers at the Jews, remember; the Gentiles are complicit here, too. It was at the hands of the Romans that the deed of crucifying Jesus was done. NOT A SINGLE ONE OF US HAVE CAUSE TO BOAST. We are all there. We are all responsible. We are all guilty.

After that revelation, he {Peter} said, as Jesus did, “Repent and be baptized and God will send THE TIMES OF RESTITUTION.” What are the “times of restitution?” THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM when everything will be restored to Israel!  Then in the very next line he says, “And God will send Jesus Christ.”

What does that mean?  That Jesus would have split the clouds at that very moment in time and returned BODILY for His the people if they, but more importantly their leadership through Peter’s preaching, said “Baruchaba baShem Adonai:  Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord.” The second coming would have happened!

Blessed Is He Who Comes In The Name Of The Lord!
Jesus told them they would have to say those words in order for them to see His face again. Sadly, to this day, they are still in unbelief. They have yet to cry out to Him.  The Jewish people returned to their land in 1948 but remain largely in unbelief, under temporary blindness.  This is an event which was prophesied in the scriptures. Right now, even TODAY, if they were to say those words, “Baruch haBa BaShem Adonai,” He would split the clouds and return!

Peter.

Getting back to Peter, He preached on the day of Pentecost, as you know, and 3,000 people were saved. Considering the total census in country at the time it was barely a remnant.  Immediately afterward, the Pharisees and Sadducees arrested Peter and dragged in front of their tribunal. They demanded to know how the lame man got healed in Acts 3:11. Again he doesn’t call them rebels but honors them as the elders and leaders of Israel.  Thus began the persecution of the Church.

Persecution Of The Church Begins.

Peter answered their question and said to them, “Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.” (Acts 4:10). Even though he didn’t say it, the Jews aren’t the only ones who were complicit. We are all guilty.

What did the elders and leaders do?  They rejected Jesus AGAIN.  They have had a chance to accept their Messiah: a) during His earthly ministry, b) after His resurrection, and c) through Peter’s teaching. Three chances to date; three times they rejected Him.  So what did God do?  Join me for part 10 of Rightly Dividing The Word Of God where we will discuss how God shifted gears once again and TURNED BACK TO THE GENTILES.

https://emmausroadministries.wordpress.com/2016/05/07/god-shifts-gears-part-10-of-16-rightly-dividing-the-word-of-god/

 

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