In previous teachings we have taken a brief look at how God has worked with and instructed mankind from one age to the next. We have taken a brief look at an event or characteristic from each administration, from the Garden to the times of Jesus. Hopefully you are seeing the differences in these ages and how these administrations dovetail into one another as well as work together with the other aspects of God’s Word. There is by no means an attempt to negate God’s commitment to nor to diminish the importance of the covenants God has entered into with individuals or the nation of Israel. God is not a man that He should lie, when God makes a covenant He will perform His part in fulfilling the agreement. The covenants, which came after the promise, will not negate nor hinder God fulfilling His promise. Rather each administration and covenant will point directly to God’s ultimate plan of reconciliation and fellowship.
Whether we are speaking of covenants, administrations, promises, Law, or anything else pertaining to God’s Word all aspects will always point to the Promised Seed of the Woman; either looking forward to his first coming, or looking back to his accomplishments, or looking forward to his second coming. All of these aspects of God’s Word must work together and fit together. God will not contradict Himself nor will He work against Himself.
God began a loving family relationship with man back in the Garden of Eden. If you want to make this account a myth or a story used to make a point, then you are about to miss the richness of the love, and the fullness of the joy that comes with a relationship with a gracious Heavenly Father. For the Bible is God’s written account, His journal, of His unconditional love for and His commitment to mankind.
Many have rejected God’s attempts at reconciliation; they have turned to their own methods and counsels. Many more just aren’t sure about God; there are so many unknowns and so many questions in their minds and so they turn from one to the other never taking a step forward in believing. But there have also always been men and women like Abel, Noah, Abraham, and Mary. People that believed God, people that took God at His Word, people that say in their heart “Behold, the handmaiden of the Lord”.
God promised a Savior and a Redeemer and God sent a Savior and Redeemer. God made a covenant with Abraham and his descendants concerning a land where they can stand in the presence of God in all holiness and righteousness and God will bring them into their land and they will be holy and righteous as they stand in His presence. God is faithful. He will fulfill His covenants with those whom He has entered into covenant and He will keep His promises to those whom He has promised.
From Genesis to Revelation the account of God working with man unfolds. From the tender fellowship with Adam to the almost complete rejection of God in the days of Noah, the one who found grace with God. Some years after Noah Abraham comes along and he believes God and God enters into a covenant. The covenant is extended to Abraham’s descendants, the nation of Israel. God works with Israel to bring forth the promised Redeemer, their promised King from the line of David. And when the time had fully come, God had a child, a perfect child with pure blood, the first person since Adam with pure blood. This child grew and proclaimed the coming of the Kingdom but Israel didn’t want God’s King and as was prophesied, they slew him.
It was his sacrifice that enabled God to bring in the New Covenant, a better covenant. God enters into this New Covenant with those He has promised, Israel. To those who believe God, He pours out spirit and walks and talks with Israel unlike at any other time this nation has existed. No person in the line of Adam has had this access and fellowship with God since Adam and Eve walked out of Paradise.
But there were also prophesies of what would happen if the King was rejected but Israel ignored, or failed to understand, what had been prophesied. Jesus tried to explain to his disciples about the time of tribulation, a time of judgment that was coming upon not only Israel but the entire world; a time spoken of in the books of Daniel and Isaiah and Ezekiel and others.
Why a time of judgment after the completed work of Jesus Christ? Because Israel had a covenant with God and a covenant is an agreement that requires both sides to do their part. When a covenant is fulfilled there are blessings and benefits and when a covenant is broken there are consequences. In order for God to be Just He must abide by the words of the covenant that He agreed to enter into with Israel.
Then after this time of tribulation and judgment Christ would return and he would set up his kingdom in the Promised Land, from the Nile River unto the great river Euphrates. This Promised Land would be the kingdom of Israel with Christ sitting on the throne of David ruling the world. Until finally, God would bring to pass a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells only righteousness. This is the account of God working with mankind, through the nation of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, the man who believed God.
But, while all of this was taking place, God had a secret that He kept entirely to himself. A secret God hid within His own heart from before the foundation of the world. An extra administration, never spoken of to the prophets, never mentioned in the written records of Israel’s walk with God. An administration composed completely of God’s grace. Grace is unmerited favor. Unmerited means you can never earn grace. Grace can be given and grace can be received but grace can never be earned. These believers living in this time of Grace are not covenant people for a covenant is based on the works of the parties involved. A covenant will give you what you have earned or merited but grace is unmerited favor, unearned blessing.
Once the king was rejected by Israel it had been prophesied that a time of wrath, a time of judgment and tribulation would come upon the world. It would not be a time of grace, for Israel will not see the fullness of God’s grace until the time of glory, the time of the kingdom, the time when God’s son returns.
When the day of Pentecost was fully come, it had come for Israel and Israel alone. For the Age of Grace was God’s secret until He revealed it to the Apostle Paul and that does not happen until years after the day of Pentecost had fully come.