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The Apostle Paul’s last ministry
After the close of the Acts period and the setting aside of Israel as God’s source for salvation (Acts 28:28), the Apostle Paul was given a special ministry (Col 1:25). His ministry was to reveal God’s hidden plan to the Gentiles and was the last ministry given to the Apostle Paul. This hidden plan was never before made known in other ages or to the other generations (Col 1:26). Paul was God’s prisoner/minister to preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph 3:1,8)
The Mystery is A Body of Truth For Today’s Believer
“The Lord spoke of a time when Jerusalem would be desolate and Israel would be dispersed, unitl the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:20-24) The “administration” or “stewardship” during Israel’s dispersion was revealed to Paul after the Gentiles became God’s source for salvation. “The Mystery” is God’s hidden administration until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Col 1:25-26) The body of truth for this administration is found in Paul’s prision Epistles.
According to Paul’s prison Epistles, we were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4), and we have been raised with Christ and seated with Christ (Eph 2:6) in the heavenlies far above. This is where our blessings are located (Eph 1:3) and where our affections should be set (Col 3:1-4). This is our hope.
Our promises are not the promises made to Abraham. Throughout the gospel period, God’s call was to the nation Israel (Luke 1:68-79). This was also true at the beginning of the Acts when the question was asked “Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore the again the kingdom to Isreal?” (Acts 1:6). After spending forty days with the risen Saviour (Acts 1:3), and having their eyes enlightened about the Kingdom of God (Luke 24:25), there was but one question asked and recorded by the Holy Spirit. Why just this one question? The answer seems obvious. The Apostles knew that the Kingdom here on Earth is the hope of Israel, and it rightfully belongs to that nation as it inheritance. God promised this Kingdom to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the twelve tribes (Acts 26:6-7). This is not our hope. In this Kingdom the Gentile will be a second class citizen
The New Covenant
God’s Old Covenant was made with Israel after their deliverance from Egypt. The Prophet Jeremiah said that God will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah (Jer 31:31). This was reaffirmed to Israel (Heb 8:8). This does not pertain to us today. Paul said that “the promises” belong to his kinsman after the flesh who are Israelites (Rom 9:3,4). He also said that Jesus was a minister to the circumcision (Israel) for the truth of God and that He came to confirm the promises made unto the fathers, i.e. the twelve tribes of Israel (Rom 25:8).
God, Who chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, began something new at the close of th Acts period (Acts 28:28). This was The Mystery (Eph 3:3), God’s sacred secret as revealed to the Apostle Paul for us Gentiles. Our blessings are not Abraham’s. Our inheritance is in the heavenlies with Christ. We don’t look for a Kingdom here on Earth. For our citizenship is in the heavens from whence we eagerly await the Saviour (Phil 3:20).