The Atonement: Is it Past or Future?

Leviticus 23:27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

Leviticus 23:28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.

Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

Hebrews 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

There is much confusion in religion today over the issue of atonement. The word “atonement” carries the idea of reconciliation. It is being reconciled to God. Well, have we been reconciled to God by the cross of Christ or is there yet a future day that we must endure for in which we will be reconciled? Is there something, some work that we must do in order to maintain our salvation? In order to keep God’s favor?

The confusion over the issue of atonement stems from the fact that rather than use the bible as the basis for doctrine most in religion today study religious literature. They study publications written by the leaders of religious organizations rather than the written word of God. In other words, they are substituting the wisdom of men for the word of God. People do that, or else they simply don’t study at all, and if they have any thoughts or ideas about God, about their own future destiny, they come from what some preacher says, either in a pulpit or on television. Some even make up their own god’s, or goddesses and their own religion. Now the book of Hebrews carries a strong warning. It warns someone that there is the danger of falling, of falling away. It also says that if they do fall away, as in chapter six:

Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

Hebrews 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

Hebrews 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

So the implication is clear in the book of Hebrews. It is an “endure to the end message.” It is clear that the message in the book of Hebrews is in one accord with the message of the Lord Jesus Christ in the book of Matthew.

Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

So people in religion today have good sound verifiable bible reason for teaching and believing in a salvation that consists of repentance, confessing of sins, and doing good works in order to maintain favor with God, and hoping to the end, enduring to the end in order to be saved at some future date…at the end. And I suppose that “the end” would mean to them, the end of their lives or the end of the world as we know it, whichever comes first.

Are we already atoned? Are we already AT ONE with God by the cross of Christ, or is there something more? Is there yet some future day of atonement? Well, the answer is YES. The answer is YES to both questions. But it depends on knowing where you fit in the purpose of God as to whether you are saved, safe, sealed and secure in the finished work of the cross, or whether you are a lost, doomed, damned and condemned sinner on your way to Hell. You see, you cannot be saved by a message that was given to people in TIME PAST but is not the same message that is given to people NOW. You cannot be saved by building an ark, although you can look in your bible and find someone who was. In other words people are saved by faith in what God says, but God doesn’t always say the same things.

Because at a point in time, God interrupted one purpose so that he could institute another. It’s the two-fold purpose of God that most in the religious system of the world today seem to know nothing at all about. It’s the difference in HERE and THERE. It’s the difference in GOING and COMING. In other words, are you GOING to Heaven to be with the Lord or is the Lord COMING from Heaven to be with you? Both are going to happen.

At some future day, and I don’t think that day is far off, the Lord himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trump of God and a certain group of people are going to be CAUGHT UP. They will literally be snatched out, caught away from this present evil world, up into Heaven, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. And then, AFTER THAT, Jesus Christ, the same Jesus those 12 Jewish men in Acts chapter one stood and watched ascend into Heaven from the Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem is going to come again to the exact same spot.

Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

So the issue is that during a period of years represented by the time period of the book of Acts, there were two different groups of people who believed TWO DIFFERENT messages. Those who are GOING to Heaven and are saved by grace through faith in the finished cross work of Christ have NOW received the atonement, while there remains a future Day of Atonement for some other people. It’s the difference between going to be with the Lord, and the second coming of Christ to set up the Kingdom. Those are two different events and they are separated by a period of years, at least seven years. The two separate events affect two groups of people.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Now the two-fold purpose of God is just as clear as the simple English of Genesis:

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

So there are two places, two purposes, and two groups of people involved. The problem with religion today is that most are so blinded by a false religious system that they cannot and will not see that God interrupted one purpose so that He could reveal the other. At a point in time, God STOPPED dealing with people on the basis of his EARTHLY purpose and started dealing with people on the basis of his HEAVENLY purpose. It is the SINGLE but the two-fold purpose of God. And what people fail to see is that God interrupted his calendar of events for His earthly people and purpose for a different calling.

God’s channel of blessing for planet earth is Israel. It always has been, it always will be. Now when we say Israel, when God says Israel, he is talking about the physical, literal descendents of Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, who was called Israel.  In the book of Genesis, God singled out a man, Abraham, and he made certain promises to him. Those promises were unconditional and they were not temporary. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance. God made covenants of promise to Abraham, the Hebrew. Abraham was a Hebrew. The book of Hebrews is written to Hebrews. It is written in a tribulation context. It is God’s warning to the people of Israel. It is a tribulation message. It is about the second coming of Christ and a FUTURE Day of Atonement for Israel. All Israel will be saved at that time, at a day in the future. The bible says that the deliverer will roar out of Zion:

Joel 3:16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

That is God’s covenant with his earthly people, Israel. God made promises to Abraham, to Israel. They are called covenants. God will fulfill those promises to Israel at a future date. Between now and then, Israel is in blindness just as the bible says:

Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

So at a point in time God interrupted the fulfilling of His promises to Israel. It is plain that God is not dealing with Israel today. He is dealing with the church, the body of Christ, His heavenly purpose and people. But yet, God says, and Paul confirms it, that God will yet save Israel:

Romans 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

Romans 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

We see, then, that there is yet a future day when God’s covenant with Israel will be fulfilled. God will establish His covenant, the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31 and Hebrews chapter eight, with Israel. He will fulfill such passages as this one:

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Many in religion today try to use that passage as the basis of a conditional salvation. In other words, the same message preached in time past, enduring to the end to be saved at the end. What they don’t understand is that John, the apostle, is an apostle of the circumcision. He is an apostle to Israel. The book of 1 John is a tribulation message. It is about a holy priesthood, the EARTHLY priests of the Lord.  Think about it. If you are cleansed from all unrighteousness then how much more unrighteousness do you need to be cleansed of? What is in view in 1 John 1:9 is the Day of Atonement. A future day of atonement for the whole house of Israel:

Zechariah 13:1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

Well what day is that? The Day of Atonement for Israel is the second coming of Christ. This same Jesus, they saw, that they stood and watched ascend into Heaven will so come in like manner. He will come down from Heaven, and at that day He will “take away Israel’s sins.” The sins of Israel are not yet taken away. They crucified their King. They murdered their Messiah. But God raised him from the dead, He ascended into Heaven and at the day and at the hour God has in His own hand, Christ will come again.

But between then and now, between the time of Acts two, three, four, five and so forth, between the time that Peter preached a murder indictment against Israel on the Day of Pentecost in the book of Acts and the second coming of Christ, there is a GREAT parenthesis. There is a TIME-OUT in the fulfillment of prophecy. God interrupted his prophesied earthly kingdom, that Kingdom which was preached in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, that which was spoken by all the prophets since the world began, for something different. God stopped the prophetic time clock, and in here is a great parenthesis. It is called the dispensation of the gospel in 1 Corinthians. It is referred to as the dispensation of the grace of God in Ephesians:

1 Corinthians 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

Ephesians 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

Ephesians 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

A dispensation carries the idea of an administration. A pharmacist dispenses medicine to patients who are sick. If your child is sick with a fever, you administer medication to him to make him well. So God’s economy was changed. God didn’t change. God never changes. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. It was not God who changed, it was God who changed HIS ECONOMY. God, through Moses dispensed THE LAW. The Law came by Moses. In an economy of Law, God deals with men on the basis of Law. In the case of the children of Israel, and of those who worshipped God THROUGH the nation of Israel, (and that was the only way it could be done at the time) men worship God, they learn and observe and do the things of God, by means of the law. In the Old Covenant it was done on the basis of a WRITTEN LAW.

In the New Covenant, which is out there in the future, God will write His Laws on their hearts and in their minds, the bible says, and they will all know God, from the least to the greatest and nobody will be teaching anyone else about God, because they will ALL KNOW HIM. God’s laws are not written in your heart and in your mind today. Can you recite ten of God’s laws right now? God is not dealing with you on the basis of Law today, but on the basis of GRACE. He is dispensing grace. Have you heard of the “Dispensation of the Grace of God?”

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Now it is important that we understand these differences in scripture. All of the things said in the Old Testament, that which was “spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began,” pertained to Israel. The earthly Kingdom purpose of God is through the nation of Israel. But Israel fell. When Peter preached to the men of Israel in Acts chapter two, he told them to “repent and be baptized every one of you,” but they did not. For the most part Israel rejected both their King and their Kingdom. Now, did this catch God off guard? Did God have to scramble around and come up with some other idea? Absolutely not! All through the Old Testament, God was SILENT about his Heavenly calling and purpose. He was silent about things that he revealed to the Apostle Paul. Before the foundation of the world, God had already decided that he would have a Heavenly body of people. It is called the Body of Christ. It is not “spiritual Israel.” There is no such thing as “spiritual Israel.” That is nothing more than a made-up religious idea. So when the nation of Israel rejected their King and Kingdom, God revealed the MYSTERY to Paul. It was about a joint spiritual body of believers. It is not about a “kingdom of priests and holy nation.” (as in 1 Peter 2:9)

So the question we are dealing with is: Have you NOW RECEIVED the atonement, or, are you working and waiting and enduring to the end for a future day of atonement? If you are, then you have been reading the wrong mail, watching the wrong TV evangelist, or listening to the wrong religious leader. What we need to see, what we need to understand is the DIFFERENCE between the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ and His heavenly calling in the church, the body of Christ. The Lord’s ministry was to Israel. It was about Israel, and it was FOR Israel. Look at what the Lord said:

Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Now to “spiritualize’ the passage and take what the Lord said and twist it so that you can make it conform to your own religious tradition, or to be duped into doing that by some crooked theologian comes from a bad motive. He said I am “not sent” but to anyone but Israel and there are some preachers who will insist that He didn’t know what He was talking about. They will insist that He was and they have now even come to the point to where they will print new “translations” to show that He was. But your bible is plain:

Romans 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:

Now tell me, are you the circumcision? Of course not. There is no such thing today. Once again that program was interrupted. A new program was instituted, a new message was given, and a new apostle was called. And during the period of time in the book of Acts, when the church at Jerusalem was still in existence, a conflict arose because of Paul’s new and different message and the Lord sent Paul to Jerusalem to clear it up. As the result of that meeting, at the time of Acts chapter fifteen, a conclusion was reached and there is NO BIBLE AUTHORITY anywhere after that which would indicate that anything has changed:

Galatians 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

Galatians 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

Galatians 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

The gospel OF the circumcision is a message pertaining to the circumcision, about the circumcision, FOR the circumcision. Jesus Christ in the red letters of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John was a MINISTER of the circumcision and here in Galatians, those apostles agree to confine THEIR ministry to the circumcision and NOT go into all the world and teach all nations. (as in the so-called “great commission) The question is, do you believe your bible? Paul was given the message for you today, not Peter, James and John. The message to the Hebrews in the book of Hebrews which is written to Hebrews about the future salvation of Hebrews is NOT the same message written by Paul to the Gentiles in Rome in the book of Romans:

Romans 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

So, once more, the question is: Have you NOW RECEIVED the atonement or are you still waiting and hoping and enduring to the end for it. All of the bible is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable. All of the bible is FOR YOU but it is NOT ALL about you. There are some things that are different in the bible and we need to study them out. Else, how can we be “approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed?” A workman who is working with the wrong set of plans, the wrong instructions, is not doing very good work. He is not doing a good job.

So let’s reason these things out. Let’s look at what God was doing IN TIME PAST, what God is doing NOW and what will be going on in the AGES TO COME. The time past we want to talk about specifically here, is the time of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and the time of Peter’s ministry in Acts two, three, four, five and so on. In TIME PAST, God was dealing with men on the basis of the Covenants of Promise. The promises made to the fathers, as in Abraham, Isaac and Jacob being the father’s of the nation of Israel. It all started here:

Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee:

Genesis 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

That great nation was the nation of Israel. The name of Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, was changed to Israel. He had twelve sons and from them you have the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel. From Genesis chapter twelve 430 years went by, Jacob and all his house, seventy people in all went down into Egypt, and then God called Israel out of Egypt. Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, a great nation of people by that time, hundreds of thousands of people. (Exodus 12:37-38) Now let’s pick up in the book of Hebrews:

Hebrews 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Hebrews 3:2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

So we see then, that Moses had a HOUSE. It is referred to as the “whole house of Israel.” Moses led Israel out of Egypt to go into the promised land, the land promised to Abraham.

Hebrews 3:3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.

So Moses had a house and he was faithful in all his house, but Jesus Christ made the house. In Genesis 1:1 when God created the heaven and the earth, it was Jesus Christ doing the creating:

Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Hebrews 3:4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.

Hebrews 3:5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

Now from Mount Sinai in the wilderness, Israel received the Law of Moses, the Old Covenant. And God told Moses to say certain things:

Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

Exodus 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

Now you can’t have a “kingdom of priests” without having a Kingdom, so in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John you have the gospel of the kingdom:

Matthew 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

The gospel of the kingdom then has to do with the setting up of that promised kingdom, the forming of that holy nation Moses spoke of. The message was that the time had come, the period of time spoken of by the prophets of the coming of the Messiah and it was time for the kingdom to be set up.

Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

But, the people and the leaders of the nation of Israel did not repent, they did not believe the gospel. The bible says:

John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

The leaders of the nation of Israel as well as most of the people of Israel rejected their King and their Kingdom, but a “little flock” of people did listen, they did recognize their King. In other words, they were believers. But the majority rejected the Kingdom and the King. So the Lord said to them:

Matthew 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

So we know then that the nation the Lord is talking about is that “little flock:”

Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Now the salvation which is in view here is the whole house of Israel. The individuals who will believe are a part of that house but it’s the whole house which is in view. Hence Moses was faithful in all his house, but Christ built the house. That house, by the way, is also referred to as a church, the “church in the wilderness.”

Acts 7:37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.

Acts 7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

So we see then that we have a nation, which is a priesthood, which is a house, which is also a church. In Matthew 16, shortly before his crucifixion, the Lord tells the disciples HOW he is going to build HIS church. It has to do with Peter’s confession:

Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

So the church in view here is a Messianic church. It is a church based on the fact the Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the heir to the throne of David, the King of Israel:

Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Please note now, that this is near the end of the Lord’s ministry, just before he is crucified. Notice that Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. That confession is what was in view in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, NOT THE FACT that Christ died for our sins. They had no clue that Christ was dying for theirs or anyone’s sins. We know that by what takes place just a few verses later. The Lord tells them that he is about to be crucified, buried and raised from the dead and they know nothing at all about it. Look at Peter’s attitude:

Matthew 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

Matthew 16:22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

Now today, we know that the Lord was crucified, and that He was buried, and that He rose from the dead three days and three nights later, according to the scriptures. We also know, through Paul, that Christ died for our sins. We know through Paul that He was raised again for our justification. We know that the very TRUTH of the gospel, the very MEANS of our salvation is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. BUT, at that time and at that place IT WAS NOT KNOWN. The WHY of the cross of Christ is not in view in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The REASON for the cross was not known at that time and it is very plain, from scripture, that Peter, James and John DID NOT know it. They didn’t know it then and Peter doesn’t preach it in Acts chapter Two, Phillip doesn’t preach it in Acts chapter eight, and Peter, at the home of a Gentile in Acts chapter ten does not preach the fact that Christ died for his, yours, or anyone’s sins. The worst mistake of ALL fundamental, denominational religion in the world today is that they ANTICIPATE revelation. They try to make bible truth, which was not known and not revealed until a LATER DATE fit in a place where it was simply not known. The MYSTERY of Christ, the MYSTERY of the gospel was revealed to Paul and to Paul alone. If you don’t know this you could be unsure about your salvation! You could be unsure as to whether you have now received the atonement or whether you are enduring to the end for some future atonement.

For instance when the Ethiopian eunuch is reading from the book of Isaiah, chapter 53, reading a description of what we now know to be the cross work of Jesus Christ, he doesn’t understand it, and Phillip climbs up into the chariot with him and explains the passage. He tells the eunuch WHO it means but he does not tell him WHAT it means because Phillip at that time, doesn’t know the WHY of the cross.. He preached unto him Jesus and they came to some water and the eunuch wanted to be baptized. Now look at his confession:

Acts 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

Acts 8:37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

His confession is EXACTLY the same as Peter’s was in Matthew 16 and it does not include the fact, the good news that Christ died for his sins. He didn’t know it, Peter didn’t know it. Paul received that message only by direct revelation from the Lord and Peter only knew it when the Lord sent Paul to tell it. Peter does NOT glory in the cross of Christ in Acts chapter two. Now Acts chapter two is in a strictly Jewish setting. It is a Jewish holy day, the day of Pentecost. Only Jews are there, and only a Jewish message is preached. And wouldn’t you know it! It is exactly the same message that was preached by John the Baptist:

Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;

Mark 1:2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

Please note that there is a BIG difference between that which was written in the prophets and that which was NOT written in the prophets. We will be coming to that later on:

Mark 1:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Mark 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Before Jesus Christ was ever MANIFEST to Israel by his water baptism in the River Jordan, John the Baptist came on the scene to prepare the way of the Lord. And Peter, on the Day of Pentecost preaches the exact same message with one addition:

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Peter’s message of repentance and water baptism to the men of Israel on the Day of Pentecost is the same as that of John the Baptist with one difference. The difference in Peter’s message was the gift of the Holy Ghost, the power which they would need to endure to the end. That is the CONDITIONAL salvation in the Jewish Kingdom message that religion is so confused about today. Men simply do not rightly divide the word of truth, but instead they wrongly confuse it:

John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

That was a baptism performed by the Lord Jesus Christ. They were baptized WITH the Holy Ghost. Not BY but WITH. And there is a difference. They did not have the seal of the Spirit as believers do today. They had a performance to do. They had a trial to go through, the trial of their faith. Read Peter’s doctrine which was written to that group of people:

1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

So the Day of Pentecost was fifty days after the crucifixion of Christ. Jesus Christ had been raised from the dead, appeared to them and taught them for forty days and ascended into Heaven. He had told those 12 men to wait for this power baptism:

Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

And on the Day of Pentecost, from Heaven, Jesus Christ SHED FORTH the Holy Ghost. They were baptized WITH the Holy Ghost. There is a difference in being baptized WITH the Spirit and being baptized BY the Spirit. Today if you are saved you are baptized BY the Spirit INTO the body of Christ. Not them. They had to endure to the end. Their atonement was yet future. Their atonement is the second coming of Christ when that fountain will be opened as in Zechariah 13:1, when He will cleanse them from all unrighteousness as in 1 John 1:9.

Peter preaches to men of Israel in Acts chapter two and his message is not a message of grace. He does not say believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. He does not say that the grace of God which bringeth salvation has appeared to all men. In other words, Peter is not preaching Paul’s message. At the time Peter knows nothing of Paul’s message. It was Paul who received the message of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in the FINISHED WORK of Christ. And what Peter says he says he says to Jews only. Not Gentiles. Look at it:

Acts 2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

Acts 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

He says you have killed your King. You have murdered your Messiah, you have slain the Prince of life, but God has raised Him from the dead. And the good news he has for Israel there is the “acceptable year of the Lord.” On the cross Christ had said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,” and that prayer was answered and God gave Israel a year to repent. It is called “the acceptable year of the Lord” and you can clearly see it in the parable of the fig tree in Luke chapter thirteen. So Peter preaches:

Acts 3:17 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.

Acts 3:18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

Do you notice that the sufferings of Christ have been fulfilled, but that he doesn’t mention the glory? In prophecy, the sufferings of Christ are never, ever mentioned without the glory to follow. Now watch, because here is the glory:

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

Acts 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

So when Jesus Christ comes again, that’s the glory of the Lord revealed:

Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

Peter’s message then is the atonement. It is yet future for the nation of Israel. Before then, before the second coming of Christ is the tribulation. People who today are saved by grace through faith will not see that tribulation. But in the gospel of  Matthew, the Lord answers their questions about his coming

Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

So He begins to tell them about the coming destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple and about the coming tribulation:

Matthew 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

This is a reference to the coming anti-christ. He will go into the (rebuilt) temple in Jerusalem and proclaim that he is God. This is the man of sin, the son of perdition. John calls him the anti-Christ. The same person Paul talks about in Thessalonians:

Matthew 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Then he warns them of false Christs that will appear and then He says:

Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

So it is there, at the second coming that Israel looks for their Day of Atonement. So he teaches them about the tribulation and His second coming. There is not one single hint there about the coming of the Apostle Paul, about the dispensation of the grace of God. There is nothing at all about the last two thousand years. He just skipped right over it as if it didn’t even exist. He is NOT revealing the mystery that was later revealed to Paul. So what was in view, and what was revealed at that time, was the repentance of Israel and the coming of the King. God gave Israel that “acceptable year of the Lord,” and Peter preached, repent and be baptized every one of you,” but Israel refused and they were cast away and the bible says that through THEIR FALL salvation is come to the Gentiles. (Romans 11:11)

So all of that, all of the doctrine we have looked at, was the doctrine that pertained to Israel in TIME PAST. It is also the doctrine which will pertain to Israel in the FUTURE. The books of Hebrews thru Revelation is doctrine for TIME PAST and doctrine for AGES TO COME. Those books were written TO and ABOUT people who were living at that time, who read those letters at that time, and God has preserved those letters for people to whom they will apply in the future. But in between TIME PAST and AGES TO COME is that great parenthesis the bible calls the dispensation of the grace of God.

So unless you can see the difference between God’s prophetic program which is EARTHLY, which is for Israel, and the nations who will be involved in it and the MYSTERY about this age in which we live, the mystery about God’s heavenly purpose, you miss it. If your preacher doesn’t see it, according to your bible, he has NO authority to preach or teach. That would TOTALLY exclude just about every deacon in every church I know about:

1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

1 Timothy 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

In your bible there is doctrine for THEN and there is doctrine for NOW and there is doctrine for AGES TO COME. In your bible there is a message for BACK THEN and there is a message for NOW. The message for THEN is different from the message for NOW or the message in AGES TO COME. BACK THEN, they did not have the revelation of the mystery given to Paul. They had a different message. Their salvation was conditional. Go back to Hebrews:

Hebrews 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

There is a gigantic IF in that verse. It is the same IF you find in Matthew 24, IF they endure to the end. That is the consistent message of James, to “the twelve tribes scattered abroad,” as in James 1:1, the message of Peter, to the “strangers scattered abroad” in 1 Peter 1:1 and of John, who says they went forth, “taking nothing of the Gentiles,” in 3 John 1:7. One more time, notice the IF in verse 14:

Hebrews 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

For that Hebrew, faith without works is dead. If there was any doubt about it, James makes it clear:

James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

To make sure they know how dead their faith is unless they do works of faith he calls attention to the fact that in the tribulation there will be dead bodies. Christ said where the body is the eagles, the vultures, will gather:

James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

In Peter’s doctrine works is the only way to go. It is the only way to be acceptable to God. Remember that Peter is preaching according to the message committed to him. Peter does not yet know the message Paul preached. So Peter tells a man, who is a Gentile, by the way:

Acts 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

That was then. This is now. BEFORE works were required for salvation. NOW all the work of salvation has been done. It is the message revealed to Paul:

Titus 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

The Hebrew, BACK THEN, and the Hebrew OUT THERE, is looking for mercy:

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

But Paul the renegade, Paul the rebel, Paul the blasphemer, Paul the enemy of Christ, found mercy, and the Lord showed mercy to Paul for a reason:

1 Timothy 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

What people lack in religion today is understanding. They fail to understand MOSTLY because they are not taught to understand the bible. They are fed a mixed up and blended message. A message where a preacher goes thru and picks out a few verses to make his point. Three points and maybe a poem, a song or two, a few passes of the collection plate and sayonara. But you don’t have to remain in that confusion. Consider what Paul says:

2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

Paul was given the revelation of the mystery. Paul has the big picture. Peter, James and John had a ministry and a message. They were ministers of the circumcision as Jesus Christ was. They agreed, by a handshake, to continue with that ministry and that message, in Galatians 2:9. Their message was a Kingdom gospel. It concerned the throne of David and the restoring of the kingdom to Israel. That was Peter’s reason for the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Acts 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

Acts 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

You know of course, that David’s throne has never been anywhere but in Israel. David was King of Israel, and Christ will come, the heir to the throne of David, the King of Israel. David’s throne is not in Heaven, and Jesus Christ is not now ruling and reigning on David’s throne. But in the tribulation he promises something for overcomers:

Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

So according to Peter’s gospel, Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead to sit on David’s throne. But you know what? Paul never mentions the throne of David. Not once, in Romans thru Philemon. Instead look what he does say:

2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

2 Timothy 2:8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:

And according to Paul’s gospel Christ died for our sins, all of our sins:

1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

1 Corinthians 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

1 Corinthians 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Now according to Paul, instead of being raised to sit on the throne of David, which is out there in the future, that Jesus Christ was raised for a different reason:

Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Paul’s message is a message of salvation without works:

Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Now one more time, remember that Hebrews are Hebrews. The book of Hebrews is written to Hebrews. It is written to Israelites. Christ came to confirm those promises made to the fathers to them. But look at Paul’s description of people like you and me:

Ephesians 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

So because we were aliens and strangers and because we had no hope, then the only hope we can possibly have is in Paul’s gospel, the revelation of the mystery:

Ephesians 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

Ephesians 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Ephesians 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

Ephesians 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Ephesians 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

Now as far as the atonement: We are not looking for it, we already have it. Paul says that Christ died for sinners. He says that Christ died for the ungodly. He says that Christ died for the enemies of God. Only Paul was given the ministry of reconciliation:

Romans 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

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