The Gentile Gap Between His Appearings

I’ve been listening to your commentary on Isaiah 28 and you said at one point:

“Didn’t He tell you He would make you jealous by a foolish people?”
“Didn’t He tell you that while He’s hiding his face there is a secret….?”

I know the first is from Dt 32:21. What scripture were you referencing in the second?

Deuteronomy 32:21 is not the only verse that implies the calling out of gentiles before the millennium during one of the stages of Israel’s covenant judgement. It was well known that Israel’s exaltation from the death of exile would abound to the salvation of the nations, but that this would come during the exile and even BECAUSE of Israel’s fall was not expected and constitutes the great anomaly that is at the heart of the mystery. I hope to find those scriptures that compliment Deut 32 in showing salvation extending to the gentiles, not after but during the time of Israel’s fall and estrangement.

The scripture on the mystery that I was speaking of in particular was Isa 8:14-17. It appears by inference in Isa 28, and strongly by name in Isa 29:11. It is the ‘sealed vision’ or ‘testimony’ (really essentially the gospel of Christ’s two comings) that is shut up (Heb. ‘kept under wraps’) “among MY (not Isaiah’s, but the Lord’s) disciples (the nascent church).

I’m just now noticing how nearly some of the language in Isa 29 parallels Habakkuk, where the prophetic testimony is called ‘the vision’ that many will “run” with at the end, as shown by Daniel (Dan 8:26; 9:24; 12:4, 9) and Habakkuk (Hab 2:2-3), reaching all the way back to Deut 32:34 where God speaks of His sealed treasure, and that treasure is in how He has determined to convert corporate Israel to His image by appointing the time when their power will be gone (Deut 32:36). In other words, it is the glory of His pre-determined wisdom and plan to accomplish the vindication of His covenant purpose with the very people who have been such a grief to His heart. See what I mean?

So when Daniel speaks of the sealing of vision and prophecy, and speaks particularly of its unsealing at the time of the end, it has reference to two basic points of time that bound this present, formerly hidden, age. The sealed vision of Isaiah, Habakkuk, and Daniel is the gospel that has been unsealed for these last days. I see the term, ‘last days,’ as covering the whole time between our Lord’s two advents. That is why the early apostles could follow Jesus’ language of a “mystery” of the kingdom with language of the “mystery of the gospel” (Ro 16:25; Eph 6:19), which was hidden from the powers (1Cor 2:7-8) as strategic to their defeat. But there is also the capping off of the vision towards the very end in the final acts that surround the revelation of the mystery of iniquity in the final man of sin and the fullness that comes to the church when these final pieces come into place.

So although the mystery is mostly revealed in terms of the two advents and the future day of the Lord that can now be seen as the return of a Messiah who has made atonement, still, there is more to be unsealed, particularly, I suspect, with the last days’ controversy of Zion, which I expect will have all to do with how the issue of the land is seen in relation to a people that are not yet righteous in Christ.

That is what I expect will be a centerpiece of controversy and testing of the heart. I believe God is testing the hearts of men over the issue of His covenant promise and declared determination with regards to Israel and the Land. This is what I see as a principal if not THE principal stumbling block of the mystery in its last stage of fulfillment.

In short, the mystery that was hid in other ages is no longer hidden in one sense. It is an open secret in terms of open availability. There was a time when it was hidden from all flesh, even the righteous. Now it is only hidden from them that are lost, but it is available to anyone through the Spirit. But though it’s been once and for all revealed in that sense, there remains some aspects of the closing act at the end that is not fully unsealed until that time.

So, in a way, the end of the ages has come. We are in the ‘last days’ but the ‘end’ has not come, and when Daniel speaks of ‘the end,’ he has in view the time of the unequaled tribulation that ends in the deliverance of his people (Dan 12:1). This means that what has been revealed to the church (the maskilim / disciples), will not be revealed to the larger nation until the end of the time that God’s face is hidden from the nation, as whole. In the meantime, though available through the Spirit’s revelation, the mystery is hidden from the pride of the fleshpride, even Christian pride and complacency towards God’s covenant determination with Israel (Ro 11:25), but for those who stand in His full counsel, the vision gets clearer to the perfect day. It will be even further ‘unsealed’ at the time of “the end” in that stricter meaning of Daniel’s use of the phrase, “the end.” See what I mean?


Filed under
The Mystery of Israel, The New Hidden in the Old
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  1. Peter
    The number of Jewish believers throughout the inter-advent period has been so sparse after briefly flourishing during the early church of the book of Acts. Evidently, for some Jewish people Yeshua was a "sanctuary", and for others, He was a "stone of offense" and a "rock of stumbling" (Is. 8:14). It seems that the modern return of the Jewish people to the Land has seen a corresponding increase in the number of those counted among the believing "remnant according to the election of grace." (Romans 11:5) Being in the Land seems conducive to being in Christ for the Jewish person. Similarly, when Israel takes the Land in the natural, the Church takes ground in the Spirit. From now until the time of Jacob's trouble, the task of Jewish evangelism will result in the call and election of the 144 000 from Revelation 7 in expectation of the time of the end.
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