THE HOPE OF ISRAEL
Some months after the Apostle Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans he and the beloved physician Luke, after a very stormy and dangerous sea voyage, reached Rome. “And when we came to Rome.” (Acts 28:16 ). Paul was a prisoner. Paul called the chief of the Jews together, and said to them: “for THE HOPE OF ISRAEL I am bound with this chain.” (Acts 28:20 ). BUT LOOK, a few years later the Apostle Paul wrote, in Ephesians 6:19-20 and Colossians 4:3-4 , that he was the prisoner of Jesus Christ for Gentiles (Ephesians 3:1-2 ) for the MYSTERY OF CHRIST.
Peter was a Jew and he wrote to other Jews, to Israelites who believed, that they had been begotten into a living hope by the resurrection of Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:1-6 ). Their inheritance was reserved in heaven for them. Some were promised a crown when Christ appears. (1 Peter 5:4 ). John, who had been associated with Peter, wrote that those saved under his ministry should not be ashamed before Christ at His coming: that at Christ’s appearing they would be like Him; and this was their HOPE. (1 John 2:28-3:4 ). The Apostle Paul wrote, in 1 Corinthians 12:13 , that believing Jews and believing Gentiles had been baptized into the Body of Christ, and told them of the ‘MYSTERY’ coming of Christ to change the bodies of the members of that BODY OF CHRIST to bear the image of the heavenly. (1 Corinthians 15:51-54 ). To the Corinthians, Paul wrote that the resurrection of both Christ and Christians was their hope. (1 Corinthians 15:19-26 ). The resurrection of Christ was a part of the gospel by which they were saved. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 ).
In 1 Corinthians 12:12 the Apostle Paul wrote that the LORD Jesus Christ, and the members of His Body were…THE CHRIST. Read that last sentence a few times, and let it really sink in!
The Jews at Jerusalem would not believe 1 Corinthians 15:4 , that the LORD Jesus Christ rose again the third day according to the Scriptures; that is, in fulfillment of the prophecies of Moses and others. They rejected the sign of Jonah and Christ. (Matthew 12:40 ). Hear this plain, simple testimony of the Apostle Paul when he was arrested in Jerusalem, “of the HOPE and resurrection of the dead am I called in question.” (Acts 23:6 ). Again, in Acts 24:16 , “And have HOPE toward God, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” And again in Acts 24:21 , “Touching the resurrection I am called in question.” Note again Acts 26:6-8 . When Paul uttered the words of Acts 26:22 , “none other things,” he was NOT referring to the UNprophesied truth of Romans 11:30-31 , Romans 11:25 , 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 , and certainly Paul did not intend that Agrippa or any other person should believe that Moses and the prophets foretold that Jews and Gentiles would be baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ, which was God’s program during Paul’s ‘ACTS’ ministry.
The Apostle Paul did not preach, after Acts 13:16 , that believing Jews were begotten into the HOPE of being planted in the land of Canaan under the reign of Christ as King and Messiah on the throne of David. This HOPE OF ISRAEL is going to be realized in fulfillment of many, many prophesies; but NOT during the period that Almighty God is baptizing Jews and Gentiles into the ONE BODY of 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 , to make the ONE NEW MAN of Ephesians 2:15 . God will yet have a NEW ISRAEL (Isaiah 62:1-4 ), but NOT until He has completed the ONE NEW MAN, the filling up of Him that filleth all in all; ‘THE CHRIST’ of 1 Corinthians 12:12 ; Ephesians 1:21-23 ; Ephesians 4:13 .
God postponed the program concerning the Prophesied kingdom HOPE OF ISRAEL before Barnabas and Paul were sent forth in Acts 13:2 . Israel will remain the outcast nation until God has accomplished His eternal, UNprophesied purpose, which is the JOINT BODY of Ephesians 3:6 , and the presentation of Ephesians 5:26-28 : Christ and the Church ONE FLESH. (Ephesians 5:31-32 ). Then God will do all promised in Romans 11:26-29 , and Luke 21:27-33 , and Acts 3:19 , and Amos 9:11-15 , and Ezekiel 36:24-38 . The fulfillment of these Scriptures will indeed be the HOPE OF ISRAEL. But the BLESSED HOPE of Titus 2:13 is even a greater hope, and any Jew or Gentile who will receive Christ, and meet God at Calvary’s cross may experience this HOPE. The Body of Christ is included in the overall ‘Kingdom of God’ (Colossians 1:13 ; Ephesians 5:5 ), but ISRAEL’s hope is a different Phase of the Kingdom of God. (Luke 21:27-33 ).
Surely we have in Acts 2:5 to Acts 7:60 something of the meaning of Christ’s words in Luke 19:12-14 , “A certain Nobleman went into a far country to receive a kingdom for Himself and to return…The citizens hated Him and sent a message after Him. saying, we will not have THIS MAN to reign over us.” The messages of Peter and the Eleven, and Stephen, were concerning the Nobleman. The Apostle Peter said, in Acts 5:29-32 , that God RAISED UP Christ twice to be Israel’s Savior. In Acts 3:19-21 Peter told Israel that the heavens would receive Christ until the prophesied RESTITUTION. He called on Israel to repent. Peter told Israel why the Holy Spirit was sent: to witness that God has RAISED UP Christ in resurrection, to be Israel’s Prince and Savior to give them repentance and forgiveness of sins. This verse must be understood (Acts 5:32 ) to know God’s programs. Then, Stephen preached to Israel that he saw the Son of man standing in heaven; but that they were resisting the Holy Spirit at the time he was filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 7:51-60 ). They stoned Stephen, as Israel would not receive the testimony of the twelve apostles or of Stephen or of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 5:31-32 ). They would not have THIS MAN to reign over them. They had already said, “we have no king but Caesar.” (John 19:15 ). After Israel stoned Stephen to death, Israel was headed for the judgment of Matthew 22:7 , in which, that awful destruction by Caesar’s army would be God’s army to kill the murderers of His Son.
The LORD Jesus Christ on the cross prayed for His murderers (Luke 23:34 ) and God was willing to charge their crime to ignorance, if they would repent. (Acts 3:12-21 ). Read Acts 3:17 . But Israel added to their other sins, the sin of resisting and blaspheming the Holy Spirit and forbidding the Apostles to preach to Gentiles. The wrath of God came upon them unto the uttermost. (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 ; Acts 13:45 ; Acts 18:5 ). It is interesting to compare the Apostle Peter’s message of Acts 3:19-21 to Israel, with the Apostle Paul’s message to Israel in Acts 13:39 , complete justification by faith without the law, and then note why and when Israel stumbled and fell (Romans 9:29-33 ); and what Israel’s FALL, temporarily, meant for the rest of the world. (Romans 11:11-15 ).
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 . BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20 )
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