Versus – Prophetic Program Versus Mystery Program

April 21, 2011

by Shawn Brasseaux



“spoken since the world began” (Acts 3:21)

“kept secret since the world began” (Romans 16:25)

focuses on the earth (Exodus 19:5-6)

focuses on the heaven (Ephesians 2:6-7)

the nation Israel (Deuteronomy 4:20)

the Church the Body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23)

Peter / the 12 apostles
(Matthew 10:5-7; Matthew 16:16-19)

The Apostle Paul
(Acts 9:15-16; Romans 11:13)

Salvation goes to Gentiles through Israel’s rise to kingdom glory (Isaiah 60:1-3)

Salvation goes to Gentiles through Israel’s fall (albeit temporarily) (Romans 11:11-12, 25)

The Gospel of the Kingdom (Matthew 9:35)

The Gospel of the Grace of God (Acts 20:24)

From Adam to Abraham, about 4004 B.C. to 2000 B.C., there was neither Jew nor Gentile (non-Jew). In other words, there was only one race of people. During this time period, there was global wickedness, which brought about Noah’s Flood (2350 B.C.) and the scattering/confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel (2175 B.C.). There were billions of people on earth, but there were only eight believers in the world at the time of Noah (2 Peter 2:5)! It was at the tower of Babel that God gave the nations up (Romans 1:21-32).

God selected one pagan, Abram, and renamed him Abraham. See the Abrahamic Covenant of Genesis 12:1-3, 15:1-18, and 17:1-11. Through his future son Isaac, God would establish the nation Israel, He would set them in a geographic area of land (Canaan, Promised Land, the land of Palestine), and God would one day rule Israel in an earthly kingdom. God would set apart (“sanctify”) this one little nation Israel, and He would use Israel to evangelize the world.

The LORD repeated this covenant to Abraham’s son Isaac (Genesis 26:1-6). The Jewish race can be traced through Abraham, his son Isaac, Isaac’s son Jacob, and Jacob’s twelve sons, which headed up the twelve tribes of Israel (Deuteronomy 1:8; Genesis 32:28; Acts 7:8). In 1500 B.C., God promises Moses that Israel would be a “kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:3-6). Five hundred years after Moses, God made a promise to King David that a King would come through his bloodline, and this coming King would rule in an everlasting kingdom (2 Samuel 7:10-16; Luke 1:31-33).

Coming up through the Old Testament, we find more references to Israel’s kingdom (Psalm 2:6-8; Isaiah 9:6,7; Isaiah 42:1-3; Isaiah 60:1-3; Jeremiah 23:5-8; Daniel 2:44; Micah 5:2; et al.). In Zechariah 8:20-23, we learn that Israel would evangelize the lost Gentiles in her kingdom (cf. Isaiah 61:6). The word “judgment” in Isaiah 42:1 refers to “government,” Christ bringing government to the world, not just to Israel.

By the time we get to Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, we find John the Baptist water baptizing and commanding the nation Israel to repent (change their thinking), “for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:1-6). The King, Jesus of Nazareth, is about to make His appearance to offer Israel the kingdom long promised in the Old Testament covenants. Jesus Christ performs miracles, proving who He claimed to be (John 4:48; 1 Corinthians 1:22; cf. Isaiah 35:3-10), preaching the “Gospel of the Kingdom” (Matthew 9:35): “Jesus of Nazareth is you Messiah-King” (cf. Matthew 16:16-18; Mark 1:14,15).

In unbelief, the Jews crucified their Messiah-King on Calvary, but He resurrects. The apostles asked Jesus in Acts 1:6,7, “Wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Soon after, the Lord Jesus Christ ascends to heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand, just after instructing them to fulfill the Great Commission. The apostles start evangelizing Jews in Jerusalem (Luke 24:46-49). Israel has to be saved nationally, and the twelve are hoping Jesus Christ will return soon. However, they also know they must go through seven years of Tribulation before the kingdom (remember Psalm 2:3-8?).

In Acts chapter 2, the Apostle Peter urged Israel to repent (change their thinking), and told them their King they crucified was alive and He would return one day to bring in that kingdom (Acts 2:22-38). They needed to embrace Jesus Christ as Lord, not reject Him like they did before. In Acts 2:38, the Holy Spirit leads Peter to speak God’s message to Israel: “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.” A year later, the prophet Stephen in Acts chapter 7 is still trying to turn Israel around, but with little success (there are a few believers in Israel, but not many).

The Jews beheaded John the Baptist (sent by God the Father), rejected God the Son (Jesus Christ), and they stoned Stephen (filled with the Holy Spirit). Israel has rejected all three Persons of the Godhead! They have committed the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31,32). Just as Stephen is stoned, God is ready to bring in wrath and vexation of the Tribulation. Psalm 110:1 KJV said: “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” In Acts chapter 7, it was now time for God to pour out His wrath on the nation Israel, as promise in Psalm 2:4,5.

The prophetic program in Israel begins to diminish, as Israel refuses to cooperate with God. At the stoning of Stephen, we find a persecutor of those Jewish believers who embraced Jesus Christ—his name is Saul of Tarsus! Saul is religious, lost, and angry at Jesus of Nazareth because He was a threat to his religion Judaism (Acts 26:9-11; Galatians 1:13,14). This one Jew, whom God named “Paul,” would minister to the Gentile world now that Israel had fallen nationally (Romans 11:11-13). Instead of Israel ministering to Gentiles in their kingdom, the Lord would send Paul as “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Acts 9:15,16; Acts 22:21; Acts 26:17; Romans 11:13; Romans 15:16; 2 Timothy 1:11).

As Saul is heading to Damascus to seek out more kingdom believers and persecute them, and/or put them to death, the Lord strikes the man to the ground in Acts 9:1-6, and Saul is now saved. God sets Israel aside, going to the Gentiles for a certain period of time. By Acts chapter 28, Israel’s program is fully set aside.

Paul received the “dispensation of the grace of God” (Ephesians 3:1-9). This is a special time, separate from Old Testament prophecy. The “revelation of the mystery” (Romans 16:25) involves our Gospel of Grace being preached (Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4) to Gentiles, without benefit of the nation Israel being saved today. Israel’s prophetic program was based on the Old Testament being fulfilled: the Apostle Peter said in Acts 3:21 KJV that he was preaching that “which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.Yet, Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 16:25,26a KJV that he is preaching “according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest….”“Mystery” involves the Body of Christ, kept secret since the world began and not found in the Old Testament (it is only revealed when we get to Paul’s ministry). These two programs cannot be the same.

Today, Paul writes that Israel is “fallen,” “blind” spiritually, and “cast away,” until the “fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Romans 11:11,15,25). Once God completes the Body of Christ with Gentiles (and some Jews), the Dispensation of Grace will conclude, the rapture will happen, and God will return to dealing with the nation Israel during the seven-year Tribulation. Old Testament prophecy—the period of Tribulation, Christ’s Second Coming, and the earthly kingdom—will continue to be fulfilled (Romans 11:26-29).

Finally, almost 4000 years after the promise, the kingdom offered to Israel is established on earth at the Second Coming of Christ.