[…] Then there is what Paul calls “the mystery of the faith,” which, while it includes all the above, includes also the pattern of resurrection of death, of deliverance out of affliction and weakness. We see it in Joseph, David, Daniel, all the prophets, and ultimately and perfectly in Christ as the suffering Servant of servants. I call it the Jacob’s trouble principle, whereby Christ is always revealed at the end of strength (see Deut 32:36; Dan 12:7). This is how it is that “the just shall live by faith” This is particularly the issue in tracing the character and necessity of Israel’s king as coming first in the form of the suffering Servant. This is the pattern seen so clearly in both Joseph and David, and in Zechariah’s prophecy that sees the Messiah as a priest upon His throne (Zech 6L13). It is the tremendous mystery of the incarnation of the seed of the woman in the poor and afflicted. This should be to some real measure evident in every believer, since it is the mystery of “Christ in you” (Col 1:27), just as it was no less the mystery of “the Spirit of Christ which was in them” (1Pet 1:11). […]
…At Pentecost it became clear that the Spirit promised in connection with the coming day of the Lord had come ‘already’ in unexpected advance of that day. Now it could be seen that the Spirit and the new baptism of power and life is inextricably bound to the new revelation of Jesus as the Messiah and mediator of the everlasting righteousness. It could now be seen that only the righteousness provided through the cross of Christ can avail for an everlasting justification (But how then were Old Testament saints justified if not by same precious blood?). Hence, the Spirit becomes the sign that seals and vindicates God’s once and for all acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice, who is now shown as the exalted Servant and Lord over all. …
[…] But though I agree with Kaiser that there is only one regenerate people of God, the elect of all ages, I also believe that it is not only permissible, but necessary to speak of Israel as the ‘people of God’, or ‘the chosen people’, even now in their present state of unbelief. Even the individual Jew in his unbelief and set to perish apart from gospel regeneration, is nonetheless part of a nation that is UNDER both judgment and promise of a sure and certain destiny. That’s unique to the Jew alone. Even in unbelief, he is part of a body, a nation, a distinct ‘entity’ if you will, that abides in a unique covenant relationship. Though Israel’s covenant does not guarantee the personal salvation of the individual, it does in fact guarantee covenant severity ‘UNTIL’ the end, and covenant mercy ‘AT’ the end. So in that sense, then yes, for the moment only, there are two peoples of God, but not in the dispensational sense. When ‘all Israel’ shall be saved, the two collapse into one forever.[…]
[…] In this sense, ‘apostolic sending’ is itself ‘an apocalyptic phenonmenon’, theologically speaking. Because the secret is more than new information. It is an event not only of divine disclosure but of spiritual quickening. It at once kills and makes alive. The revealed secret, as only apprehended by the Spirit, completely shatters the pride of self-reliance and gives an open heaven of revelation and power. A full and true apprehension of the mystery of God in Christ designs not a knowledge by which one may glory above another (1Cor 4:7), as in gnosticism. But rather a freedom in love that casts out fear and enables a selfless obedience unto death. “And they loved not their lives unto death” (Rev 12:10). The power that loves the enemy, and the freedom from the fear of death are the tests that prove the value of any knowledge or any mystery (1Cor 13:2).
Ever since Pentecost the secret has been the ‘open secret’, but whether it has been apprehended by the Spirit is shown by one thing only, namely, the presence and power of the life of the age to come, Christ revealed in the church (Jn 13:35; Eph 3:21), with the result that “now is come salvation, strength, the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ” (Rev 12:10). Thus the ACTS of the apostles (Dan 11:32-33). […]