Part 10

The Delay in Israel’s Program


Under the influence of Satan as “the god of this world” since Adam’s fall, mankind long ago declared war on God. We see this in many ways, but more directly by Israel ’s threefold attack on God. First, Israel killed the Lord’s “prophets” (Rom 11:3), then they “killed the Prince of life” (Act 3:15), His Son who was sent to redeem and save them, and then they killed Stephen when they “stoned him to death” (Act 7:58). Stephen was the witness of “the Holy Spirit” (Act 7:51). Thus they have literally attacked the Triune God in total.

Yet, even after man and Israel ’s attacks upon the Lord, He is still withholding and delaying His judgment and wrath that is prophesied to come, for a reason - “that all should come to repentance” (2Pet 3:9). Peter goes on to tell his Jewish hearers the delay in the coming judgments of God will not last forever, “the DAY OF THE LORD (judgment) will come as a thief (suddenly).”

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering (patience) to us-ward, not willing that any should perish (Gk., apollymi, be destroyed), but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the DAY OF THE LORD (judgment) will come as a thief in the night (suddenly); in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are (of man’s hands) therein shall be burned up. (2 Peter 3:9-10)

Paul wrote that God’s “vengeance” (v8) will ultimately fall upon all those who “receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thess 2:10). At the consummation of the ages when Christ returns to earth, the Lord’s wrath will fall upon this Christ-hating world, and upon Israel as a refiner’s fire that they might call upon His name (Zech 13:9).

For we know Him Who said, Vengeance is Mine [retribution and the meting out of full justice rest with Me]; I will repay [I will exact the compensation], says the Lord. And again, The Lord will judge and determine and solve and settle the cause and the cases of His people.” (Hebrews 10:30 AMP)

But then, in bringing the Kingdom He will not forget His promise to give “twelve thrones” to the “the twelve” Apostles who walked with Him on the earth (Matt. 19:28) in His eternal Kingdom. They will reign over the twelve tribes of Israel in the eternal Kingdom. Rome claims its Popes to be successors to the Apostle Peter but there can be no successors to Peter or the other Apostles, since it is the original twelve (Mathias, not Judas) who will be resurrected in the “first resurrection” of Rev 20:6. They will fill those thrones of authority in the Millennium and eternal kingdom on earth. Even Paul was not qualified to be one of “the twelve.”

We need to recognize that almost immediately following Israel’s “fall” (Rom 11:11-12), when its religious leaders stoned Stephen to death, the Lord “blinded” Israel and set Israel aside for a time, that is “until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom 11:25) at the Rapture. With Israel ’s fall the age had turned from Israel under the Law to the Gentiles under the pure grace of “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph 3:2, cf. Rom 6:14). The Lord interrupted Israel ’s prophesied program and inserted a new program for the Gentiles that will last for an unspecified time period, which some call the parenthesis. (See chart: “Daniel’s 70 Weeks (490 Years) of Israel Under Gentile Rule”) The Lord’s interruption of His program for Israel delayed His coming Kingdom on earth. He turned to and saved Paul, sending him with the message of “the mystery” and “gospel of the grace of God” (Act 20:24) to “ye Gentiles” (Eph 3:1-5).

Peter, as “the Apostle to the circumcision ( Israel ),” came to understand this interruption and delay in God’s program for Israel some years after the cross. Peter suggests that it was through Paul’s spoken words and epistles that he came to understand Paul’s unique calling to the Gentiles and…Paul’s explanation of the full meaning of the cross to save all men of all ages who would trust in the Lord. Peter then understood that the Lord had, so to speak, pressed the pause button on Israel ’s program when He inserted the unprophesied “dispensation of the grace of God” into the timeline of the ages for the Gentiles. Being unprophesied, Paul’s message was God’s “secret” plan that Paul calls “the mystery” (secret), his unique “gospel” message.

“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my (Paul’s) gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY (the secret plan of God), which was KEPT SECRET SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN (Romans 16:25)

Thus, there was a delay in God fulfilling His prophesied program for Israel and the coming Kingdom in wherein Israel will reign with Christ as His agents on earth. So, Peter wrote these words below to Israel , “the circumcision” (Gal 2:7) to whom he was sent (Matt 10:5-6). Peter refers them to read Paul’s epistles that explain the delay in the appearing of Christ in His 2nd coming, warning them of ignoring Paul’s words.

“And account that the longsuffering (patience) of our Lord is salvation (opportunity for salvation before the prophesied judgments that are to come); even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him (Paul) hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which THEY THAT ARE UNLEARNED AND UNSTABLE WREST (twist), AS THEY DO ALSO THE OTHER SCRIPTURES, UNTO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION. (2 Peter 3:15-16)

Paul here explains the delay in Christ’s 2nd coming for Israel . Paul says Israel is under “blindness” for a time, but only until the inserted Gentile age is finished. The parenthesis in God’s program for Israel will end with the Rapture or out-taking of the then completed mainly Gentile “body of Christ.”

“… BLINDNESS in part is HAPPENED TO ISRAEL, UNTIL the fulness (pleroo, COMPLETION) OF THE GENTILES BE COME IN.” (Romans 11:25).

When the “body of Christ” is Raptured, God will simultaneously turn again to Israel to restart and fulfill all prophesy concerning Christ’s Kingdom to come to earth, and believing Israel ’s reign with Him.

The first thing that occurred during this God ordained interim period of delay in God’s Kingdom program for Israel, was that God chose “another Apostle,” who was NOT one of “the twelve.” The Greek word for “apostle” is apostolos, meaning “a sent one” This new Apostle, Paul, who stands apart from “the twelve.” Christ actually descended from the 3rd heaven to appear to “Saul of Tarsus” as a bright “light” (Act 9:3) and a “voice” (Act 9:4). Saul of Tarsus was a Jew with freeborn Roman citizenship (Acts 22:27-28). God saved “Saul of Tarsus” sending Him now as “Paul,” THE Apostle to the Gentiles (Rom 11:13), with a new gospel message called “the mystery” (Rom 16:25). The “mystery” was the “gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24), “for ye Gentiles” (Eph 3:1-5), which included the Rapture of the mainly Gentile “body of Christ” (1Cor 15:51).

We today are blessed to live in the period of the parenthesis or time of delay in God’s program for Israel . While we are blessed today with the grace gospel and eternal salvation, the parenthesis serves to delay Christ’s return to bring judgment as well as the blessings of His righteous Kingdom on earth.

So it is clear that the Apostle Paul was not and is not one of “the twelve,” nor is Paul an afterthought on God’s part. In fact Paul would not have qualified to be one of “the twelve Apostles,” which required that the Kingdom Apostles had to have “walked with Him (Jesus) from the beginning,” per Acts 1:21.

Paul is separate from “the twelve Apostles,” being converted after the cross, after Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection and ascension. The Lord, in His celestial ministry reached down from heaven to convert “the chief of sinners.” Paul then was sent to bring his new gospel of God’s “grace” to all races in this Christ-rejecting world. Thus, Paul’s far-flung missionary journeys are the most noted in the New Testament.

God’s love and mercy was extended to the Gentiles through the Apostle Paul. Paul is to “the body of Christ” as Moses was to “ Israel ” – God’s chosen sent ONE. Paul “laid the foundation” (1Cor 3:10) of the faith through the revelation He received from Christ and his subsequent “preaching of the cross” (1Cor 1:18) as the “power of God” to save men by faith in Christ, apart from any requirement of works (Eph 2:8-9, Titus 3:5).

In the light of these facts, how then are men saved today? How are their sins remitted? Must men today come to some recognized religious authority and be “baptized for the remission of sins” as Jesus instructed “the twelve”? The answer is “No”! Men are to simplybelieve on the Lord Jesus Christ” to be “saved” (Acts 16:31).

Yet, many today still follow Peter, “the Apostle to the circumcision ( Israel ).” Sadly the vast majority of the church-at-large today still clings to Israel ’s program and law. Many mistakenly expect God’s promises to Israel will to be fulfilled for them as Christians today – then they wonder why it does not work for them. They fail to recognize the age has changed and that they have their own Apostle, Paul. They marginalize Paul and his “(unique) gospel that I (Paul) preach.” Christ sent Paul with His distinctive message of the pure grace of God for “ye Gentiles,” which includes a new way of living – purely by faith.

Let’s now see what “the Apostle to the Gentiles,” Paul, had to say about salvation and the remitting of sins, under the grace gospel for today, then comparing it with what Peter preached to ye men of Israel.”

Paul wrote: “FOR BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED, THROUGH FAITH, and THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES: IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9). NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHICH WE HAVE DONE, but ACCORDING TO HIS MERCY HE SAVED US, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the holy ghost” (Tit 3:5).

Paul’s words stand in striking contrast to Peter’s words to “Ye men of Israel (Act 2:22, 3:12, 5:35). Peter preached, “Repent and be baptized ... for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Peter at Pentecost and thereafter was preaching to Israel , to whom he was explicitly sent by Jesus. His words were for Israel ONLY (Matt 10:5-6). Peter was NOT sent to address the Gentiles, or “the body of Christ,” which was yet to be revealed to and through Paul some time later.

Romanism today still says water baptism offers justification for salvation from punishment for sin. Catechism 192:“The remission of all punishment that we owe because of sin, both temporal (in this world and in Purgatory) and eternal (the punishment that we would suffer in hell).” Justification is conferred in Baptism

Jesus said, “He that believeth AND is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). Water baptism was for Israel only, being required for salvation under the “gospel of the Kingdom” that Jesus said was to be preached to the “the circumcision ( Israel )” (cf. Matt 10:5-6). Paul’s preaching stands in stark contrast to the words of the so-called Great Commission that Jesus of Nazareth gave to His Jewish disciples.

By contrast, Paul offers these words of pure unadulterated grace, simply BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and (this is offered to all in) thy house (Acts 16:31). Paul says salvation under the “gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24) today is freely made available by God’s grace alone, through faith in Christ alone. This is the great doctrine of “justification by faith” (Rom 3:28) that Luther and the Protestant reformers recovered, noting its stark contrast with the requirements of Romanism in their day.

The majority of Christians today are bound by religion’s manmade laws and misinterpreted or twisted Scripture, so they miss out on the security and assurance of their salvation. This is lost because such salvation joy comes only “by grace through faith… not of works.” Paul says every genuine grace believer is sealed securely with “the Holy Spirit of promise unto the day of redemption” (Eph 1:13, 4:30).

These and many other differences indicate a major change in God’s program took place when the Lord raised-up Paul, that “other apostle” for the predominantly Gentile “body of Christ.” With Paul’s calling and ministry there was a massive paradigm shift. God turned His focus from Israel to the Gentiles during this period of the gap or parenthesis in Israel ’s Kingdom program. Today Israel has been set aside, temporarily. Here Paul clearly says Israel has “fallen”… so thatthe gospel would go to the Gentiles.

“I say then, Have they ( Israel ) stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather THROUGH THEIR ( ISRAEL ’S) FALL salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them ( Israel ) to jealousy. 12 THE FALL OF THEM ( Israel ) BE THE RICHES OF THE WORLD, and the DIMINISHING OF THEM THE RICHES OF THE GENTILES… (Romans 11:11-12)

blindness in part is happened to Israel, UNTIL the FULNESS OF THE GENTILES BE COME IN. (Romans 11:25b)

The King of all kings, Jesus Christ, and His kingdom currently remain in exile until His enemies become His “footstool” (Heb 1:13b) by the many judgments to be suffered by the end of the Tribulation. Yet TODAY believers can participate in and enjoy the riches of the invisible kingdom (realm) of God by freely receiving the “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” who will come to indwell their human spirit as their new and eternal life.

“… CHRIST WHO IS OUR LIFE…” ( Col 3:4b)

“But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit (with Him).” (1 Corinthians 6:17)

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this MYSTERY AMONG THE GENTILES; WHICH IS CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY” (Colossians 1:27)

You see, when a sinner today believes “the gospel of the grace of God” that Paul preached he receives Christ as His Savior. But then even more, the believer also simultaneously receives the literal resurrected “Spirit of Christ” by which he is “translated into the kingdom of His dear Son” (Col. 1:13), and “made accepted in the Beloved (Jesus)” (Eph. 1:6). Christ has settled the problem between fallen mankind and God by His death of the cross on our behalf; all one needs is to believe, trusting in the resurrected Christ.

“(Christ) Who GAVE HIMSELF FOR US, THAT HE MIGHT REDEEM us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:14)


We today live in a time when all men of all nationalities may be saved “by grace through faith as the gift of God… not of works,” to enjoy the peace and rest of eternal security. That security rests solely in the finished work of Christ on the cross offered for us. GOD WAS IN CHRIST, RECONCILING THE WORLD UNTO HIMSELF, NOT IMPUTING (counting) THEIR TRESPASSES (sins) UNTO THEM…” (2 Cor 5:19a)

Paul says all believers today are no longer Jews or Gentiles – they are “all one in Christ Jesus.”

For by one Spirit are we all baptized (immersed) into one body (of Christ), whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)

 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for YE ARE ALL ONE in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

Thus, the fall of Israel delayed the purpose of God on earth, but because of the delay, God has gained more than He would have otherwise gained because, as it is now, God will have gained two great people groups.

1.      The Raptured heavenly glorified people of the “church, which is… the body of Christ,to reign in heaven, and…

2.      The Resurrected glorified people of Israel who will co-reign with Christ over the coming generations of natural believing people on the New Earth.

Therefore, if the fall of Adam and fall of Israel had not come, then all men would have continued as natural people forever – not having God’s life by Christ in them. There would have been no class of resurrected glorified saints taken from the human race to be used of God in administering the affairs of the heavens and affairs on earth in place of Satan and His angels. Thus, God is working by use of both the fall of Adam and the fall of Israel in order to accomplish His “eternal purpose that was purposed in Christ Jesus” (Eph 3:11).

After the Millennium, the resurrected glorified saints (Rev 20:6) of Israel will return to earth to reign over and bless all the surviving believers who are still in their in natural human bodies on the New Earth in the Eternal Kingdom . They will be fully redeemed and will live on the New Earth in human bodies just as Adam did before the fall, but with Christ resurrected eternal life dwelling in them. They will enter the gates of the Holy City the New Jerusalem to eat of “the tree of life” and drink of “the river of life” knowing that it is His life that is their life and source, for eternity.

These restored natural believing people will carry out God’s original purpose of replenishing and having dominion on the earth (Gen 1:27-31; 9:12, Isa 45:18), now in a world free of sin. With the “Tempter and Accuser” (the Devil) and “Sin and death” in “the lake of fire,” and the truth of the cross made evident, the former “Sin nature” in man’s flesh body will have been made absolutely “of no effect” (Rom 6:6-7). Man’s identification with the cross will be manifestly actualized in their human living on the New Earth.