Part 5 of 25
A Change In How The Lord Provides for His Believers
As stated earlier, this paper discusses a dispensational change in the way God most often now meets the needs of His people as they suffer and endure the trials of life on earth.
The fact is the time in which the outer miracles by which people were delivered from their suffering at the hand of Jesus of Nazareth “the twelve” Apostles… has ended.
Nevertheless, Jesus remains “the way” for believers to deal with their sufferings, but now He ministers to His trusting ones in a different way; a way that changes them within. God has supplied the rich deposit of the indwelling life of Christ (
1:27, 3:4a) as God’s life-supply to meet the needs of believers who are secure “in Christ.” Today, the trusting ones are now carried through their sufferings by the inner supply of the very life of the resurrected Christ as the believer’s resource. Col
Though God may occasionally heal and deliver us, Paul does not hold out a hope of healing or deliverance as in the day of Jesus of Nazareth. Rather, Paul says we believers also have the eternal “hope” of “the redemption of our bodies,” (Rom 8:23-25, Eph 1:14) that unbelievers do not have. That hope in itself carries us onward as we trust Him and His words, knowing that “all things are working” for the eternal “good.” Paul says we should look to and count “the things which are not seen” as the things of the “eternal” (2Cor 4:18).
Christians often react to hearing the many undeniable Biblically based facts of the truth that the dispensational age has changed. They may say “God does not change,” and that is true. Nevertheless, His relationship with men through the several dispensations did and do change – in one Adam’s diet was as a vegan; then Noah, after the flood, could eat anything; then under Moses Israel could only eat clean foods, and under Paul’s mystery gospel of grace we can eat anything. These are God ordained changes.
Having the foregoing dispensational change as our premise for understanding; the question they then might ask is this. “Okay, if as you say the day of the sign-gifts of miracles is over because God has set Israel aside and the signs are no longer needed, then how is it that God, in this day of the dispensation of the grace of God, delivers Christians from the suffering they might endure?” They may go on to say “I know God still does miracles because at times I have been miraculously healed or delivered, and I know of others who also have been delivered”
First, let me make this clear, God still sometimes miraculously heals and delivers His trusting ones out of their suffering. But, today this is the exception rather than the rule, particularly as the Christian matures. My wife, my children, and I have personally experienced divine physical healing and situational deliverances (jobs, houses, etc), but these all occurred in our early years, before we clearly knew of His literal indwelling presence as our enduring life supply. Today we’ve learned to simply trust Him in our life situations. DeVerne Fromke once wrote this of the believing son’s of God “A child has God’s nature; a son has God’s character.” Only the grown up “children of God” (Rom 8:16), as His sons, have come to know Him and obey Him (Rom 8:14); better reflecting God’s character and intent.
As you read this study series you will see that most often today God’s deliverance for believers is not as He once did during the ministry of “Jesus of
” or “the twelve.” During the time the sign-gifts, healing and deliverance came to “all” those who came to Jesus and to “the twelve.” As stated in the previous installment, God’s purpose in these miraculous signs-gifts exhibited by Jesus was to bear a powerful witness to the announcement of the “kingdom” being “at hand,” and then also “the twelve” Apostle’s actually offering of the King and His kingdom in Acts 2:38, 3:19, and 8:12. All that was required of Nazareth was that they would receive her Messiah, the King, and His kingdom. But, the record is clear that they did not – they killed Him and then rejected the witness of the Holy Spirit. Israel
We must admit that today we never see wholesale deliverance from suffering by God or by the hand or any of the so-called healers to heal “all” that come. We do see, according to God’s mercy, the occasional genuine healing among the thousands who come expecting to receive deliverance from God.
It is undeniable that Paul’s epistles reveal there has been a major change in dispensations and in the way God deals with His own. The sign-gifts are no longer operational because
rejected the King and His kingdom. With this rejection, Israel has fallen, become blinded or hardened, and now is set aside by God “until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled,” that is until the very last member of “the body of Christ” has been saved and added. Israel
Romans 11:11-13 I say then, Have they stumbled (
) that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? 13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I (Paul) am the apostle of the Gentiles… Israel
Romans 11:25 (NIV) I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited:
has experienced a hardening (KJV, “blinded”) in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. Israel
will ultimately receive all that God promised to Abraham and his seed, including the kingdom to come to earth. But for now, as prophesied, today God says of Israel , “Loammi, for ye are not my people” (Hosea 1:9). Israel
The Biblical record shows us
Israeldid not receive Jesus as their Messiah/King, as offered; so that time of the offer of the on earth has past, for now. The miraculous “signs” are no longer needed… so they have ceased, and with that God immediately introduced a new, heretofore secret, unprophesied dispensational program that “had been kept secret since the world began” (Rom 16:25) kingdomof God
Thus, God has turned to “the Gentiles” (Acts 13:46, 28:28) with a new gospel relationship and He has provided them their own appointed Apostle, Paul.
Ephesians 3:1-2 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he (Jesus) made known unto me the mystery (secret plan); (as I wrote afore in few words,
Romans 11:13 I (Paul) speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles…
1 Corinthians 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I (Paul) write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
It is only from Paul that we may learn of our new pure grace relationship with God; we learn of His desire for us and of all that God has provided for us via the cross of Christ. Paul says we have God’s promise of the eternal redemption of our bodies as our blessed hope.
It is in knowing and trusting these God ordained Pauline truths that we are encouraged, that we might endure the trying situations we each face in this life. Paul consistently points us to our literal union with Christ as our all-sufficient innermost life-supply. Here Paul offers us his view of life’s distressing “circumstances” and “situations.”
Philippians 4:11-13 (AMP) Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I HAVE LEARNED HOW TO BE CONTENT (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am. 12 I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened (distressed) CIRCUMSTANCES, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all CIRCUMSTANCES the secret of facing every SITUATION, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. 13 I HAVE STRENGTH FOR ALL THINGS “IN CHRIST” Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through HIM WHO INFUSES INNER STRENGTH INTO ME; I AM SELF-SUFFICIENT IN CHRIST’S SUFFICIENCY].