God Is Full Of Surprises

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

Most people can’t keep a secret. At least not for long. But God can. Even Jesus did. When God saved and called Paul to be the apostle to the Gentiles, He began a brand new program which caught everyone by surprise. Jesus’ disciples knew nothing about it. The Jews of Paul’s day were hostile to it. They were zealous and protective of the law. Originally, it was Israel who was supposed to preach to Gentiles, but they dropped the ball when they rejected Jesus Christ. So God began a new program in which He could bless the Gentiles despite Israel’s rejection of their Messiah. Through Paul, God created the Church, (the body of Christ) and brought in the Church age (which we are still in). The Church would not operate under Law as Israel had, but under grace (Romans 6:14). Therefore, Paul was the founder of Christianity. Not the 12 apostles.

In Romans 16:25, 26, Paul tells us a secret; a mystery that not even Jesus said a word about. It was something that had been hidden in God since the beginning:

“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:”

What was this secret? The gospel of the grace of God made possible only through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Did the 12 apostles preach this gospel? The Scriptures reveal they didn’t– not until they learned it from Paul. Jesus never revealed this gospel during His earthly ministry. He couldn’t because it wasn’t yet time. He had come for the lost sheep of Israel to offer them their King and the kingdom. They rejected it and sent Jesus to the cross. Despite this rejection, God still made a way for Gentiles to be saved without Israel.

In Matthew 25:31, we see Jesus withholding something important:

“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.”

What’s missing here? Notice whom Jesus said He would be returning with at His 2nd Coming: angels. Where is the Church? (the body of Christ) Why does He make no mention of Believers? Because He would give away the secret that was to be revealed only to Paul after His (Jesus’) Resurrection. Some of you may be asking: How do we know that the Church will be returning with Christ? Revelation Chapter 19 tells us. In verses 8-14 we read concerning the 2nd Coming in all of its glory, and power as Christ is descending from Heaven.

“And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Rev. 19:8)

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” (Rev. 19:11)

And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” (Rev. 19:14)

Here we see the saints coming back with Christ. (not just angels) But in Matthew 25:31, Jesus couldn’t reveal that during His earthly ministry. It was part of the secret (mystery). Neither Jesus nor the Twelve taught the gospel of the grace of God, which is the only gospel whereby we must be saved today. The very Gospel that the apostle Paul taught. We are under grace. There is no more law keeping. No more works of the flesh. When a Gentile comes to faith in Christ, he does not become a Jew, but a new creation. A child of God. He doesn’t have to work for it. Salvation is a free gift now. Everyone is free to accept or reject this gift. No one is required to be circumcised, abstain from certain foods, keep Feast Days, etc. But it does matter what we believe about Jesus as the Bible tells us He is the ONLY way to heaven; to eternal life with God. What will you do? Accept or reject this wonderful gift of God?



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22 thoughts on “God Is Full Of Surprises

    1. After the rapture of the Church, Jesus will return fully to the earth just ONE time. He does not return between the rapture and the 2nd Coming. Rev 6 is about the antichrist. This counterfeiter will pretend to be Christ by riding a white horse. He has a bow and is given a crown. Jesus will carry a sword and wears many crowns.

      If Christ were to ride forth in Rev 6, who is it that remains in heaven to open the remaining seals?

      The one who is Faithful and True (Christ) comes on His white horse in Rev 19 which is what Matthew 25:31 is about.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t hold to a pre-tribulational rapture, which it seems you may. I believe the rapture happens at the sixth seal and the day of the Lord begins at the seventh seal. This harmonizes with the many scriptures that speak of the day of the Lord, not to mention Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.

        The entire chapter 6 of Revelation is not about the antichrist. But the 1st seal seems to be. And the 4th seal is the great tribulation and murder of Christians and Jews by the antichrist.

        In Matthew 24, Jesus says the great tribulation will be cut short for the sake of the elect. This happens at the 6th seal when He comes back with the angels to gather the elect – the rapture.

        The pre-tribulational rapture was originated and distributed by John Nelson Darby in the 1800’s. This is not what the earlier Christians held to. They believed in a rapture that would happen just prior to the day of the Lord, which is what Jesus taught (in the chapters mentioned above), as well as Paul and Peter. This is also documented in the Didache, which is an extra-biblical teaching/commentary from the earliest church/apostles. Although it doesn’t carry the weight of the Bible, it does confirm what the early church held to in terms of eschatology.

        https://christianhistoryinstitute.org/study/module/didache

        If you’re interested, I’ve included a link to a series on my blog about this subject. It does a much better job of presenting the evidence for a pre-day of the Lord/wrath rapture.

        https://sixthsealministries.wordpress.com/2018/10/16/should-christians-prepare-for-the-tribulation-one-intro/

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    2. The 7 churches are Jewish assemblies. Note what Jesus said to the 7 assemblies: “He who overcomes.” (Jesus said the same thing to his disciples about enduring till the end) Nothing in Jesus’ words indicate that the members of these assemblies had salvation as a present possession. He said, “I will grant/give” salvation to those who “overcome.” Such language is entirely different from Paul’s teaching that believers “have” salvation as a present possession on the basis of believing his gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4; Ephesians 1.7; Colossians 1.13-14). For those whom Jesus addressed in Revelation 2-3, salvation is based upon “overcoming.” If they “overcome” they will (future tense) be saved. This is Israel.

      The Day of the Lord is always associated with God’s wrath. Paul specifically told the Thessalonians they would not go through the Tribulation which is the wrath part of the Day of The Lord of which Jesus spoke in Matthew 24. (1 Thes. 1.10, 5.9). “the day of the Lord” is a time of judgment. It will begin with the opening of the Tribulation and carrying right up to and including the Second Coming.

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      1. The belief that these churches were Jewish is purely conjecture. There is no evidence whatsoever to support this, and many biblical scholars do not believe this is true. These churches were in Asia, so it is more likely that they were comprised of both Jewish and gentile believers. However, whether they were or were not Jewish makes no difference. They are churches filled with Christians, not those adhering to Judaism.

        Also, the day of the Lord and God’s wrath are synonymous. The tribulation and the day of the Lord are not. The tribulation is not part of God’s wrath, but the allowed reign and wrath of Satan through the antichrist. Read Daniel 7:25.

        The ideas that you are proposing are not supported by scripture as a whole. It seems you are presenting what you have learned, possibly in tandem with your own study based on outside teaching.

        I would challenge you to read through all end time scriptures again with absolutely no pre-conceived ideas or regard for previous teaching.

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      2. Dee, I have taught the bible for many years. I also know that it is hard to get rid of beliefs that we have held onto for many years. We sit under a church and believe what is taught to us. Much of Christianity fails to understand that Rev is for Jews. The antichrist will sign a peace treaty with them. The 3rd temple will be built and operating. Some time later, the antichrist will desecrate the Temple and pretend to be Christ. The Jews will flee for their lives. Only 1/3 of them will be saved and protected by God in the mountains.

        When this church age ends (the last Gentile comes to Christ) God will return to the Nation of Israel which He had laid aside temporarily when they rejected Jesus. They are still God’s chosen people. The Church did not replace Israel. During the trib they will be preaching the gospel of the kingdom. 144,000 Jewish men will be preaching this. This is not the same as Paul’s gospel. They will not be taught the death, burial and resurrection, but that Christ is the Messiah. The bible says there are 3 kinds of people: Israel, Gentiles and the Church.

        The 7 “churches” in chapters 2 and 3 of Rev are Jewish assemblies, not Christian churches. The language associated with them is wholly Jewish; no Pauline or Church language is present. Everything the Lord said was associated with Israel and concerned God’s judgment and how to obtain salvation during those 7 years.

        All of Rev concerns Israel and the nations. The Trib is the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30.7) and God’s judgment of the nations. Paul wrote the Church, the body is Christ, would not go through the wrath of the Day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.1-9; 2 Thessalonians 2.1-15; Romans 5.9; Ephesians 5.6; Colossians 3.6).

        I pray that God will open your eyes.

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      3. ACB, the only point of contention you and I have is the timing of the rapture. I believe the final 7 years (at least part of it) is entirely for the Jews.

        What I don’t believe is that the church will be raptured before the Tribulation. But will be taken out before God’s wrath begins. Though, I am perfectly fine agreeing to disagree on this point, as it is not essential to salvation. 🙂

        One thing I would ask, though. Is there a scripture reference that you’ve found to show that the 144K Jews will be preaching the gospel during this time? I haven’t been able to find anything in that regard.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your views.I have heard this claim that Darby invented the pre trib rapture many times. However, it was the apostle Paul who taught it. Thess 1:10 tells us that Christ will rescue believers from the wrath to come. Paul also writes that those believers who are sill alive on earth will be caught up to meet Christ in the air and there shall they ever be with the Lord.(1 Thess 4:17)

      In Rev 6 the rider of the white horse will use a bow. Jesus is never said to have a bow, but will come with a sword. This rider is not the same as the rider in Rev 19. If Jesus were to ride forth in Rev 6 and then again in Rev 19, then this would be a 2nd and 3rd Coming since it’s talking about 2 events.This is not scriptural.

      Rev is about Israel. God’s wrath is about Israel’s unbelief. Christ will return and set up His kingdom on earth in Jerusalem and be their King. They will be a kingdom of priests. Revelation has nothing to do with the Church (body of Christ).

      I wish you well in your studies.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I only have a couple comments to that.

        First, if Revelation has nothing to do with the church, why is the book (not just the letters) addressed to the church?

        “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” Revelation 1:11

        This clearly does not refer only to the letters that John wrote, but the entire book.

        Also, I completely agree with you that Paul taught a pre-wrath rapture. That is also what I teach. But the tribulation and the wrath/day of the Lord are distinctly different. They are both part of the 7 year period, but they are not the same event.

        While Paul taught a pre-wrath rapture, Darby clearly taught a pre-tribulation rapture. They are not the same teaching at all. And Darby’s teaching is not what the earliest Christians believed.

        The church has taught a pre-tribulation rapture only since the 1800’s. Unfortunately, it has become so ingrained into the church now that it is difficult for most people to see the difference between what Paul taught and what Darby taught.

        Most Christians believe that the entire 7 years is the wrath of God. And they call it the Tribulation, which is an error. We are exempt from the wrath of God. Not the tribulation which precedes it, but still within the same 7 year period.

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  1. I totally agree that it seems likely for these 144,000 to be some type of evangelists. But the truth remains that the Bible does not specifically tell us what they will be doing.

    If we can make assumptions based on what is likely, then where do we draw the line that keeps us from deviating from the scripture?

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    1. Dee we have to take the whole bible into consideration. God is coming back for the Jews. His wrath is directed at their unbelief. Matt 24:14 says: “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.”

      What gospel is Jesus talking about? Not Paul’s gospel of the grace of God. Jesus had no ministry to gentiles. He came for the lost sheep of Israel. he taught only Jews and so did the twelve. They preached the gospel of the kingdom to Jews which was Christ was the Messiah and they needed to repent and be baptized. The 144000 will be sealed and commissioned. They will travel the globe. To do what?

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      1. ACB, we are definitively told that the Two Witnesses will preach the gospel. We are also told that there will be angel flying in midair preaching the gospel. But nothing is said of the 144,000 to this effect.

        I completely see your point. I’m not trying to be argumentative and I’m not disagreeing that this scenario is possible, just that it is not scriptural.

        The scriptures concerning these men do not say anything about them traveling the globe, evangelizing, or being commissioned. It says they are sealed. And the word used for sealed does not indicate ‘commissioned’. It is a seal of ownership and protection.

        Many people believe these men are sealed and protected during this time to ensure the survival of a certain amount of Jews from each of the twelve tribes. Many also believe that they are not saved yet when they are sealed.

        I’m not saying that I agree or disagree with this point of view. And honestly, it doesn’t matter, because whether I do or don’t the scripture doesn’t give enough information to draw a solid, factual conclusion.

        The reason the Jews didn’t recognize Jesus was because they formed opinions about Him and His purpose for coming, based on scriptures that were not meant to be understood at the time. And then they ignored those that clearly identified Him.

        So, while it’s possible that the 144,000 will be evangelists, I will not draw that conclusion, as their purpose may be much greater than that. Also, drawing that conclusion locks in an end time scenario that may or may not exist. And I don’t want to be one who misses what is truly happening, because I’ve decided to be dogmatic about something (anything) that is not clearly defined in the scriptures.

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    2. So the 144000 young, virgin, Jewish males are sealed and protected to be evangelists and yet they don’t evangelize? They are called servants of God. Their sealing will be a supernatural protection from the antichrist and those who take the mark of the Beast. Matt 24 tells us the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the end time. It is the Jewish gospel about the King and kingdom. Jesus and the 12 taught it to Jews. When they rejected Jesus, He went to the cross. After His ascension, He commissioned Paul to be the apostle to the Gentiles and taught Paul a “mystery.” That the Gospel was now the grace of God, no works. We must believe that Jesus died for our sins and on the 3rd day He arose again. For Christians, Jesus is not their king. He is Savior and Lord. So who is going to preach the gospel of the kingdom during the Tribulation? Certainly not Christians. There’s only 7 years to reach the world with this gospel. Can the 2 witnesses do it? They will be killed and their bodies will lie in the streets during the mid point of the tribulation.

      It’s not speculation that the 7 churches are Jewish. In the Greek it means: “assemblies.” Paul’s language of grace, peace, the cross, resurrection, the body of Christ, etc. does not exist in these passages about the 7 assemblies. Rather, the messages are of judgment, works, repentance, overcoming, etc. Members of these assemblies were not saved by believing Paul’s gospel of the grace of God, Paul taught that the Church will not undergo wrath—whether one thinks it is Satan’s wrath or God’s wrath is irrelevant (Romans 5.9; 1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9).

      I wish you well in your studies.

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      1. Dee, the word: ekklesia, means “called-out” or “assembly.” This word is also used in Acts 17:8 which refers to the ‘called out’ of physical Egypt. Or as some bible commentators put it: ‘congregation of Israel.’ The term could also include synagogue, since Jews assemble there.

        Some bible versions use the word: assembly, instead of church, in Acts 17, but it has nothing to do with a christian church.

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  2. Thanks for your reply, ACB. Just wanted to let you know that I will be out of town for a couple days but will reply to your comment when I get back. Would you prefer I email you through your contact link? This comment thread is getting pretty long. 😊 God bless.

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    1. Sure you can click on my Contact button and it will go to my email. Have a great weekend! Here’s a question: If these 7 churches were Christian, would they not be filled with mostly born again believers? Why does it not say they have salvation already? Jesus said they must first “overcome.” He also said they will be kings/priests. Only the Jews are a kingdom of priests and will be again when Christ returns to rule on earth in Jerusalem. Jesus is the King of Jews. He is not the King of Christians. We are His body. There are no priests in the Church. Note that Jesus said he would give some manna to the assembly at Pergamum. Manna is always for the Jews. To Thyatira, He says: he who overcomes and keeps my deeds. Where do you see Paul’s message of grace, the cross, Jesus’ death and resurrection? They are not being saved by Paul’s gospel. Jesus said the gospel of the kingdom will be preached at the end. This is for the Jews.

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