Advancing the Revelation of Truth

 

THE SILENCE OF GOD

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During his second commission it was the apostle Paulís responsibility to reveal to all Christians the details of the Godly mystery that at present governs all mankind:

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is the following grace given:  that

[1]  I should preach among the nations the untraceable riches of Christ

[2]  and make all see what is the fellowship of this mystery which from the beginning of the world has been hidden in God, who created all things  by Jesus Christ. [Ephesians 3:8]

 The character of this mystery is stated in its title [Eph 3:2]: 

The Administration of The Grace of God.

This is the way that God administers mankind at this time. You will have noticed that the knowledge of it was hid in God until Paul revealed it. It was introduced in 62ad after the imposition of Spiritual blindness upon the Jews which followed the ministries of Christ and His apostles.. It is not to be confused with His individual acts of Grace in previous Administrations during which He has blessed mankind, and particularly His chosen people Israel.

It has been said that these blessings of Godís Grace have protected mankind from self destruction. That is pure guesswork of course. We have no way of confirming such acts as Paul has stated because, during the present time Godís acts are untraceable. It is for this reason that God is said to be silent during this Administration. [For further study see THE SILENCE OF GOD by Sir Robert Anderson]

Concerning this Commission, Paul clearly states his Godly authority:  [Eph 3:7]

Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the Grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power.

 Having established the authority of these statements by Paul, the apostle to the nations, let us look again at the effect of untraceable riches:

 What does God mean when He tells us that during this present Administration of His Grace, His actions cannot be traced ?[Eph 3:8].  God is not, at the present time, acting in judgement upon manís activities. If He cannot act in Grace He will not act at all.


Godís previous Administration initiating His Kingdom in Israel

The ministry of Christ and His twelve apostles was confined to the Children of Israel, telling them the details of their coming Kingdom of Heaven and the identity and work of their Messiah King, The Lord Jesus Christ. Paul the apostle was commissioned to take the message to the nations, the Jews, the Israelites and foreigners.

 The Israelites had been Ďscattered in the worldí, only a few retuning to Palestine to live in the area of Galilee. Paulís missionary journeys reached out to them and to those of the nations who would listen. However, because he also went to the Jews first [Rom 1:16] he was the instrument by which God called a halt to this work when He told their gathering at Rome [Acts 28:26]:

hearing you will hear and not understand; and seeing you will see and not perceive

 This was and has been imposed upon all Jews from that time because of their lukewarm attitude and intransigence to the Gospel. They do not recognise the New Testament and cannot interpret correctly their Tanak or, The Old Testament. There are exceptions, of course, with the Messianic Jews.

From that point onwards, God began to demonstrate His Grace only, towards all mankind. He postponed the introduction of His kingdom in Israel and introduced through John the apostle, His invitation to [John 20:31]:

believe that Jesus is The Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through His name.

 This momentous change in Godís purpose caused Paul to tell the Philippian Church to:

Mark those things which carry through and that you may be sincere and without offence till the Day of Christ [Gk:Phil 1:10]


The silence of God means that all His acts are untraceable.

 During the period recorded in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles The Kingdom in Israel was being introduced:

 The Law and the Prophets were until John the Baptiser; since that time the kingdom of God is preached and every one is being forced into it [Luke 16:16]

That condition ended when God deprived The Jews of their Spiritual understanding. and because the kingdom was centred in Israel, all activity related to it was postponed. All the churches which had been prepared for that kingdom found themselves powerless, i.e. the gifts of The Spirit were no longer being given because their prime purpose was to build up that kingdom. However, the Good News continued to be circulated causing Paul to write to his two Ďsonsí, Timothy and Titus, explaining the means and the basis upon which they were to organise any new churches. During the time when the apostles were proclaiming the kingdom, Godís choice of Christians to have authority was made by casting lots [Acts 1:26], but in the new Administration, Paul instructed Timothy and Titus to make the choice by assessing their individual character. According to the order of this Administration of

Godís Grace, He intends that all Christians, being His workmanship should bear direct responsibility to Him, not to any hierarchy. Thus the mature Christian recognises that any such order is but a temporary step in their relationship with God.

All new Christians, both Jews and Gentiles were then being generated by word of mouth based upon the commissioned message of the Gospel of John [Rom 10:17]. Thus The Good News of Godís provision of Salvation was opened to the Ďwhosoeverí. All peoples in the world have benefitted from the missionary journeys of countess Christians ever since.

The majority of the members of the world wide church to-day, at the beginning of the Twenty-first Century, do not understand the major change that God made in His Administration when the Jews ceased to be the centre of His attention. By tradition Christians continue to mix their doctrine with the blessings of that kingdom, seeking to impose its attributes and order, not recognising that God is silent. This is immaturity.

We are asked to ensure that our worship of God is based upon the presence of His Spirit and the understanding of Truth. He tells us that anyone without His Spirit is none of His [Rom 8:9 & John 14:17]. The majority of the world are therefore unable to worship God. He also tells us that The Prayers of a Righteous man availeth much. From this we can conclude that the more accurate our prayers, the more they conform to the requirement of The Word of God, the more God will relate to them.

 Because of the lack of understanding concerning the principle of this present Administration of Godís Grace, there are many examples of erroneous beliefs which when acted upon, limit the effective activity of many Christians to-day.

1.   The Scriptures teach us that there is one man, The Lord Jesus Christ through whom our prayers should be directed to God. [1Tim 2:5]  There are many Christians who are taught to pray to a dead woman and angels, thus negating the substance of those prayers.

2.   Many Christians erroneously accept that they are part of a Spiritual Kingdom in the present Administration of Godís Grace. The Kingdom is not proclaimed to-day. We know of it but we cannot join it. We have no authority in relation to Godís kingdom. Our  responsibility lies in a direct relationship with Our God, there is no legitimate hierarchy.

3.   God gave power to the individual Christians of the Kingdom in Israel when He distributed the many gifts of The Spirit. Each man was given the manifestation of The Spirit for profit, Godís main purpose was directed towards the building up of the kingdom in Israel. When that kingdom was postponed, the giving of these gifts ceased. The present Charismatic movement and Pentecostal Church constantly seek such gifts, thus negating the Truth that is in them. Since God does not now manifest these gifts of miracles, and yet miracles of tongues, healing, prophecy, etc. do occur, we have therefore to recognise their alternative source. This type of disaster among well meaning Christians is continually exercised through their lack of understanding of this present unique Administration of Godís Grace.

4.   During the silence, Paul sought to win Christ [Phil 3:8]. He had been a Christian for over thirty years when he encouraged the Philippian Church to have the same mind, having been identified [baptised] with Christ in the beginning. This was his desire for a new and deeper relationship. Prior to that he had accumulated many Godly merits, which he lists [Phil 3:5-6].  He knew that these merits stood in the way of gaining Christ, i.e. having a mind identified with the pureness of Christ, as he says: gaining the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my LordÖÖ...not having a righteousness of my ownÖ..but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God and is by faith.  After telling the Philippians about this struggle, and some time later having gained this righteousness, he writes to the Ephesian Christians:  put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. [Eph .4:24] This righteousness is that of Christ, without sin.  Why therefore do we revert to the order of a previous Administration by confessing our sins, some even attending confessionals ?   We have the righteousness of Christ, Who paid a heavy price to achieve it.

5.   Paul aimed to expand the faith in Jesus by freeing it from the Jewish  law and traditions. He puts it this way: circumcised on the eighth day; of the people of Israel; of the tribe of Benjamin; a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, building the Church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. This he had regarded as the Godly merit of his own righteousness which gave him an important place in the kingdom of God. Do we to-day recognise the importance of leaving behind all those ídevotionsí and habits which tie us to the formalities of a local Church whose Spiritual activities continue to be based upon a previous administration having priests, bishops, elders, deacons, pastors, etc ?  These things are for those Christians who are young in the faith, desiring only the sincere milk of the Word. As they mature they should come to recognise that:

 anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish between good and bad doctrine.  [Heb 5:12-14]

They will come to appreciate Paulís prayer for us all:

 I keep asking that The God of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you The Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know Him betterÖ.that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the Hope of your calling and the riches of the glory of His inheritance among the saints. And what the transcendent greatness of His power for us who are believing in accord with the working of the might of His strengthÖ..[Eph 1:17-19]


To conclude:  We are encouraged by the revelation of a new Administration of Godís Grace through Paul, who was specifically commissioned to teach the nations, that by the progressive revelation of Godís needs, all the riches of that Grace would be untraceable. and that during this time we must put aside all those religious formalities which restrain our understanding. By this, we gain Christ, having only His righteousness, being conformed [Gk: summorphidO] to His death.  Paul tells us  that we who desire maturity should be of this mind; and if anything differently we are minded, this also God will reveal to you [Phil 3:15]

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