When we want to emphasize the fact that God does not play favorites in any way, we love to quote such passages as Galatians 3:26-28, where Paul said, "In Christ Jesus there is neither Jew nor Greek." What a wonderful truth this is. In respect to redemption and the circumcision of the heart, with God we are all the same. Men do not dominate that realm of things, nor does any ethnic group. Every person shall give account of himself or herself to God when we shall stand before Him at the time of judgment.
However, there are some passages in the Holy Scriptures, such as John 13:21-26 ("There was leaning on Jesus bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him that he should ask who it should be of whom He spake"), which show that God and Jesus really do play favorites in some circumstances. There are certain prophecies which must be fulfilled which require a certain ethnic group, such as all of The Twelve which Jesus chose, who, according to prophecy, had to be Jewish and had to represent nine of the twelve tribes of Israel. Also, certain works require of the worker a certain amount of natural wisdom, and ability. Paul is very clear on this point in 1 Cor. 12:1-11, saying, God gave spiritual gifts "To every man severally (individually) as He will." Jesus spoke to that point in Matt. 25:14-30, speaking concerning the five gifts of the Ministry, saying, "He gave unto one five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability."
In God's plan which He has outlined in the Holy Scriptures, He is completely evenhanded in dealing with all of mankind. In Romans 2:6-11, Paul really emphasized how God deals equally with all nations. He Said, "(God) will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, (He will give) eternal life: but them that are contentious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, (He will give) indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: for there is no respect of persons with God."
When God created Adam, He had already made His plan to divide the next 6000 years into three divisions of approximately 2000 years each. During the first 2000 years, plus or minus, there was no law, and every person had only to answer to their conscience. However, at the beginning of the second 2000 years, God chose Abraham and his descendants by whom He would raise up a nation which He would use to glorify Himself in the world. He gave to them the lively oracles of God, for all of us. And, in them, He taught that nation of the coming of the Messiah, how to know Him when He should come, and of the great promise of the outpouring of God's Spirit. However, they failed to faithfully obey God or His prophets.
Thus, when the Messiah, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, came, all but a remnant of that nation rejected Him, and, in A.D. 70, they experienced their part of the "tribulation" of Romans chapter 2. Of that fateful year, Jesus prophesied saying, "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: - For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."
This unique "great tribulation" was imposed upon the nation of Israel, because God had worked directly with them, and had dwelt among them, and them only, of all the nations of the world. No other nation has ever had that kind of experience with God nor ever shall, until immediately prior to the return of our Lord, when a group of Gentile Christians fulfills Daniel 2:43,44. No Gentile nation was ever given such great promises and instructions and warnings. Therefore, no other nation shall ever experience the total devastation which came upon that nation which was, of a truth, "The Kingdom of God" on Earth (1 Sam. 17:36).
In A.D. 70, according to Jesus' prophecy in Matthew 21:43, God took "the Kingdom of God" away from them and they ceased from being a nation. God cut short those days of "great tribulation" so that the elect saints could fully escape to continue their work unto their prophetic time of martyrdom (Ezekiel 5:3,4) near the end of the first century A.D. We now await the fulfillment of the rest of that verse of Jesus' prophecy, which says that the Kingdom of God shall later be "given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."
Israel had their time of "glory, honor and peace." That same blessing shall yet be given to God's Elect among the Gentiles. For it is written in Haggai 2:6-9, "I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine saith the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of Hosts."
Jesus came and purchased our redemption. He launched a wonderful new day by bringing forth a new creation of men reborn. In Romans 8, Paul called us "the creature," and no longer was it enough for a Jew to be "born of the water" in order to be a part of the family of God. Jew and Gentile alike must also be born again; yes, born of the water (flesh), but born also of the Spirit.
When Jesus came into the world, He came with the promise of Psalm 2. "I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."
So, about seven years after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, He returned and appointed Saul of Tarsus The Apostle to the Gentiles to secure the fulfillment of that prophecy unto Himself. By the end of the first century, all of those Jewish faithful had passed off of the scene, and the work of the gospel had passed into the hands of the Gentile converts.
The rules had changed by then, fulfilling Paul's proclamation in Hebrews 8:10-13 concerning the new covenant which Jesus had sealed with His own blood. He said, "In that He saith, A new covenant, He hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." It vanished away in 70 A.D. God had already begun the transfer of the work of the gospel to Gentile ministry, more than 20 years before that. James spoke of this transfer at the council on circumcision in Acts 15, saying, "Simeon (Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them 'a people' for His name." James went on to say that Jesus, by those Gentiles, would "Build again the tabernacle of David which is broken down." Therefore James limited the rules by which the Gentiles had to operate, giving them only four "absolutely necessary" rules in Acts 15:19-21. Those were not new rules, but rather a condensation of the laws of God which God gave to Noah and to Moses: two kinds of transgressions expressed in four laws.
In the process of about the past 2000 years, those necessary rules which James so solemnly sent to us have been largely overlooked by God's people. Christians knowingly eat blood and foods with blood in them. They also have neglected to "keep themselves from pollutions of idols, and from fornication. (Of course idolatry is, of itself, fornication against the covenant which God has made with those of us who have believed in, and accepted, Jesus Christ.)
As we look around us, we see almost all of Christianity, in some way, polluted with idols. Of course they would tell you that they are not worshiping idols. What is the problem here? Christian people will hardly read the Bible enough to really understand redemption or the "Principles of the Oracles of God: the Doctrine of Christ" in Hebrews 5 and 6, let alone believe that The Doctrine of Christ is somehow relevant to us. But they will read almost any kind of fiction books, and watch fiction movies, including the so-called "Christian fiction;" and they will often believe those things. I have seen several Bible-based movies, including some of the latest ones which were produced by and for believers, and have never seen one of them which was actually altogether true. That is especially so of the "end time" movies.
We have now come to the end of man's allotted six thousand years. We are actually in that last seven year period, so talked about among "God's people." Sadly, iniquity has waxed worse and worse, and, because it is so abundant, the love of many Christians has waxed cold. The zeal of the "Holiness" churches of the 1800s and early 1900s has long since cooled. The same is true of the fiery zeal of the "Holy-Ghost-Baptized" churches. They do not want to hear anything but "Jesus saves," and, once they are saved, they do not want to hear about how God wants them to live. So much for "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me."
"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso reads, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains ..." (Matt. 24:15,16). The parenthetical phrase, here, emphasizes the fact that Jesus' comments, about the abomination of desolation, require some serious consideration and effort, if we are to understand them.
Part of the difficulty with this term is the fact that it is also used concerning the judgment of God, against His Gentile family, just before Jesus returns. In that "Day of the Lord," every ungodly element in Christianity shall suffer what, in 1 Thess. 5, Paul referred to as "sudden destruction."
This abomination was committed by some official, or a group of officials, and it had to be serious enough for God to lay desolate the temple, and Jerusalem, and all of Israel, because of it. God gives us the answer in Ezekiel 33:29, saying to the inhabitants of the land of Israel, "Then shall they know that I am the Lord, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed." Again He said in Jeremiah 32:34, "They set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it."
I find it interesting that Ahaz, King of Judah, saw a pagan altar in Damascus, Syria, and admired it so much that he sent word back to Jerusalem, to Urijah the priest, with a drawing of it, telling Urijah to build one for him, just like it. When Ahaz returned to Jerusalem, he offered the sacrifices of the Lord on it, he moved the altar which Moses had made, at the command of God, away from its designated place, and set the abomination of the Syrians there in its place. It was for these things, "the Lord rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until He had cast them out of His sight" (2 Kings 17:20). We are not told exactly what the abomination was which the priests of the Lord committed in the temple shortly before it was made desolate, in 70 A.D. But the desolation came, and the gospel has been in the hands of us Gentiles for almost 2000 years now. But remember, it is written, "Indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that does evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile."
The last seven year period, before the end of this sixth millennium, began in late March, 2004. It is actually a period of only 2300 days, Somewhere within that time period, the "glory, honor and peace" which the Jewish Church experienced shall be experienced by the Gentile Church also.
Near the middle of this seven years, Gentile Christianity shall do something to parallel the erecting of the abomination, by the Jews, in the "Holy Place," just before 70 A.D. The natural sanctuary had a Holy Place, and a Most Holy place. It was in this Holy Place where the apostate priesthood set up that offensive thing, where it should never have been allowed to be. The righteous Jews also had the "spiritual" temple: the Church, and that is what Gentile Christianity, today, is working with.
We shall soon see the leaders of Christianity change our way of worship and make it abominable unto the Lord. The impetus behind this shall be a governmental bureaucracy, but our esteemed Christian ministers shall be the ones who actually do the deed, by accepting abominable doctrines into the Christian community, such as religious tolerance and Christians praying to the same gods as all of the other religions of this world.
The covenant of redemption waxes old, and is ready to vanish away. When Jesus comes to resurrect the dead saints, and change the living saints to immortality, the Grace Age will be finished. At that time, several things must happen, including the Marriage supper of the Lamb, Jesus will reward all of His servants, and then, when that last jubilee year comes to an end, Jesus will go forth "with ten thousands of saints, to execute judgment upon all the nations of the world.
And knowing the time, we know that now it is high time to awake out of sleep, and begin to prepare ourselves for the return of our Lord!