The biggest confusion in Christendom is that most believers FAIL to recognize the DIFFERENCE between God dealing with ISRAEL on the basis of His COVENANT, and God dealing with the BODY OF CHRIST based on GRACE.
Matthew through Mid-Acts is simply an extension of the Old Testament LAW and COVENANT God has with the JEWS.
However, things CHANGED beginning in Acts 9 when Jesus from heaven made Saul/Paul His chosen vessel to offer salvation by grace alone through faith alone to ALL that will BELIEVE Paul's gospel that was given to him by the revelation of Jesus Christ. God tried to offer the Kingdom to the Jewish leaders through the preaching of His 12 disciples after Jesus had ascended, but they refused and the last straw was when they stoned to death Spirit-filled Stephen. Very soon after that event is when God turned to His greatest opponent Saul of Tarsus. God saved Saul/Paul and put him in the ministry of reconciliation to preach the gospel of grace according to the revelation of the mystery!
Jesus had Paul write Romans thru Philemon TO the BODY OF CHRIST. Paul ministered to both Jew and Gentile in his day, but by and large the Jews rejected Paul's message from God, so Paul concentrated mostly on the Gentiles later.
However, in God's eyes today there is NO difference between Jew and Gentile WITHIN THE BODY OF CHRIST because God broke down the middle wall of partition between the circumcision and uncircumcision.
Until Jesus appointed Paul to be the apostle of the Gentiles in Acts 9 people were required to go through the nation of Israel to have God's blessings. They had to be circumcised and be water baptised under the Law.
BUT NOW that's not how we get to God. Believers of Paul's gospel are NOT under the Law. TODAY we simply BELIEVE Paul's gospel (1Cor 15:1-4 KJV) and we are saved forever and become a member of the Body of Christ.
Why? Because things changed AT THE CROSS.
Christ said, "It is finished." And it was finished there and then. However, the preaching and teaching of the MEANING of that event was TO BE TESTIFIED IN DUE TIME.
And that's what God used apostle Paul for: TO EXPLAIN TO THE WORLD THE MEANING OF THE CROSS IN WRITING. And, to dispense a new set of rules for believers during the age of GRACE.
Apostle Paul explains to believers:
Col 1:25 KJV: "Whereof I AM MADE A MINISTER, according to the DISPENSATION OF GOD which is GIVEN TO ME for you, TO FULFIL THE WORD OF GOD;"
Ro 10:4 KJV: "For CHRIST IS THE END OF THE LAW for righteousness TO EVERY ONE THAT BELIEVETH."
Ro 6:14 KJV: "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW, BUT UNDER GRACE."
Ro 2:16 KJV: "In the day when GOD SHALL JUDGE the secrets of MEN by Jesus Christ according to MY GOSPEL [ i.e. 1Cor 15:1-4 KJV ].”
Long ago, Lucifer started a rebellion in heaven which extended to the earth. God's long-term plan was to use the nation of Israel to redeem the EARTH someday, and to use the Body of Christ to reign in HEAVEN someday to stop the rebellion for good.
ISRAEL = EARTHLY PEOPLE (Jews)
BODY OF CHRIST = HEAVENLY PEOPLE (all believers)
Two different agencies created by God for His eternal purposes and for the glory of His Son Jesus Christ!
After this current dispensation of grace has ended, at the rapture, God will resume His dealings with Israel and the Law will come back into effect. God will put Israel through trials that will reveal His faithful remnant. This remnant of JEWS will rule with Jesus in Jerusalem after the seven year tribulation. The books of Hebrews thru Revelation are written TO these tribulation saints to help them overcome.
While we the Body of Christ will already be IN HEAVEN even before the tribulation begins, reigning with God. Paul tells us we are not appointed to the wrath of God.
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