the Millennium & the new creation05-02-2013 - Posted by Andre Piet
In the future Millennium, the world will be ruled from Jerusalem. As we have known a Babylonian, a Medo-Persian and Greek empire in the past, so will the Israelitic empire, be the last and final one in the future (Dan.2:44; 7:27). Politically, culturally and religiously, this empire will bear the stamp of Israel. There will be a temple and sacrifices to teach people important lessons (Isa.2:3). Then, the house of God will serve to educate and demonstrate how all the rituals and rules were fulfilled in the Messiah. The Sabbath will apply worldwide, as a day of rest (Isa.66:23). Besides, the seventh day is a beautiful type of the Millennium, itself. This also applies to the Feast of Tabernacles (the seventh feast) that will be celebrated, worldwide (Zech.14:16).
the present reign of grace
In contrast to the Israelitic character of the future Kingdom, is the present reign (or household rule, dispensation) of the grace of God, entrusted to the apostle Paul (Eph.3:2). That is a gentile message and that is why Paul calls it “the Evangel of the uncircumcision“. This is in sharp distinction to James, Peter and John, who preached “the Evangel of the circumcision” (Gal.2:7-9), i.e., calling Israel to repent, which would result in the coming of the Messianic Kingdom (Acts 3:19-21). Only when Israel did not respond obediently, did God call Paul to be an apostle for the nations. The salvation of God would (temporarily) no longer go to Israel, as a nation, but it was dispatched to the other nations (Acts 28:27,28).
a gentile message
In the “body of Christ” (the ecclesia), of which only Paul speaks(!), the difference between a Jew and a gentile plays no role, at all. The wall of partition that stood between them, “the law of commandments contained in decrees,” is nullified (Eph.2:14,15). Nowhere in his letters gives the “teacher of the nations” even a hint to keep the Sabbath or to celebrated the other feasts, to eat kosher food or to maintain any ritual, whatsoever. On the contrary: in his letters he undertook to speak against judaists, i.e., people who wanted to Judaize the nations (Gal.2:14). Paul’s gentile message aroused much offence in Jerusalem. When he arrived there, it was a direct cause for his imprisonment (Acts 21:28; 22:21).
Considering Paul’s message from the perspective of the Evangel of the circumcision”, it is an intermission, a break, because in the future, the circumcision evangel will, as yet, and with success be preached. Considered from Paul’s perspective, the message he preached is a sequel to “the gospel of the circumcision”. Its content is of a higher order. His message does not anticipate the Messianic kingdom, but instead, “the new creation” following this Kingdom. It will in glory ever so greatly excel. No more temple, no sacrifices, no circumcision, etc.
So that, if anyone is in Christ, there is a NEW CREATION: the primitive passed by. Lo! there has come new! -2Cor.5:17-
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything, but a NEW CREATION. -Gal.6:15-
… nullifying the law of precepts in decrees, that He should be CREATING the two (= Jew and gentile), … into one NEW HUMANITY…; -Eph.2:15-