Prophets and apostles have been ordained by God to vindicate, justify, and expound the mystery of the Gentile Church Age as it is foretold in Holy Scripture (albeit mostly through inferior applications of prophecies that were originally & ultimately intended otherwise). However, there are yet to arise prophets and apostles to vindicate, justify, and expound the mystery of salvation coming to and (and how this relates to ). After all, this was the original intent and is the ultimate purpose of these prophecies. The work of God among the Gentiles, commonly called the Gentile Church Age, truly is an after-thought (Rom. 11:11-25). In other words, it has been brought to birth by a repentance in God resulting from the fall of the Jews (). This biblical fact has certainly been justified through Scripture, but in the process of this justification the glory of God in the Gentile Church Age has wrongfully eclipsed the glory of God in the next age.
The Gentile Church of today has become wise in their own conceits and boastful against the Jews (Rom. 11:25), and herein they are blinded to the superior intent of the prophecies that bear witness of the Gentile Church Age in an inferior sense. Sadly, and erroneously, in the mind of a nominal Gentile the inferior fulfillment has eclipsed the superior! Therefore, the Gentiles would be baffled to hear a thorough answer contrived from the Prophets responding to the question, “how much more their fulness?” (Rom. 11:12), and, “what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” (Rom. 11:15). The Kingdom of God in the Gentile Church Age is glorious, truly, but I marvel to see its inferiority, its ingloriousness compared to the glory that is to come (1 Cor. 15:35-58). I marvel to behold this after-thought work of God occupy so small a portion of Biblical Prophecy comparatively to the original, transcending, and ultimately impenitent purpose of God being foretold throughout all ages (; Rom. 11:28-29)!
In the 1st Century, the Jews / Christians in general didn’t perceive what God would do among the Gentiles as foretold by the Law and the Prophets. Not even the apostles understood this mystery. Likewise, in the Last Century, the Jews / Christians don’t perceive what God will do among the Jews as foretold by the Law and the Prophets. Why? The Gentiles are too unacquainted with the Old Testament and thus are puffed up to think of themselves as the crowning achievement of the New Testament, which isn’t the case. In other words, the Gentiles are puffed up to think of themselves as a superior work of redemption in comparison to what the LORD will do with and among the Jews.
Being ignorant of the Old Testament, the Gentiles are prone to lightly esteem what took place in , which is a historical account of how the came short of Restoration Prophecy. The Gentiles read the record of what took place and they can’t relate. They’re perverted by pride. The whole process of discovering the mystery of God’s work among the Gentiles, and the clear apostolic struggle to grasp it, as accounted in , is a reading that should humble the Gentiles rather than puff them up. Yet, the perverted Gentiles of the Last Century can’t help but belittle the Jews, those to whom the apostles were originally sent, nor can they possibly understand why the apostles weren’t willing to let it go or leave the Jews be. Fearfully, the Gentiles humorously reflect upon how ignorant and hard-of-learning the apostles were, thinking, “don’t they understand the Scriptures?”. The Gentiles simply can’t understand how the apostles couldn’t see it…
“Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures…” – Luke 24:44-49
Yet, the divine purpose that is so apparent to the Gentiles today is such only because it was divinely revealed to the apostles (who, without God’s help, couldn’t understand the Scriptures), and meanwhile the Gentiles are blinded to the eye-opening miracle performed in Luke 24:44-49. Hence, the Gentiles need an eye-opening realization of their own (for the learners to become more like their teachers, the lesser like the greater) to no longer snub their noses at the apostolic struggle. The Gentiles are fearfully ignorant of how and why the Gentile Church Age is indeed a mystery, a hidden work, that is obscurely fragmented throughout the vast annals of Biblical Prophecy that speaks to the Jews. Take, for example, the fragmented citations of Old Testament prophecy cited in the Gospel of Matthew.
The Gospel According to Matthew
Christ was foretold to be born of a virgin (Matt. 1:23, Isa. 7:14) in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:6, Micah 5:2), then, to sojourn in Egypt (Matt. 2:15, Hos. 11:1) because of the slaughter in Bethlehem associated with His birth (Matt. 2:18, Jer. 31:15). Also, it was foretold that He would be forerun by “the Voice…in the Wilderness” (Matt. 3:3-4, Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1-3 [Matt. 11:10], Mal. 4:1-5 [Matt. 11:14-15]), that He would begin His ministry in Galilea (Matt. 4:14-16, Isa. 9:1-2), and that He would demonstrate unprecedented healing power all throughout His ministry because of the atonement (Matt. 8:14-17, Isa. 53:4). So, also, the peculiarity of the forerunning prophet (Matt. 11:10, 14-15; Mal. 3:1, 4:5), the peculiarity of the judgment-wrought victory of this King (Matt. 12:17-21, Isa. 42:1-4), and the peculiarity of the delusion at work among the damned (Matt. 13:13-16 [Isa. 6:9-10], Matt. 13:35 [Ps. 78:2], Matt. 15:7-9 [Isa. 29:13]) were all foretold beforehand. The synergistic mixture of these foretold realities could only be devised by divine genius. It was all preplanned and foretold for the glory of the Messiah’s Kingdom in the end (Matt. 13:43, Dan. 12:3). Therefore (to the dissolving of all doubts), great detail was employed to prophesy: the Messiah’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:4-5, Zech. 9:9; Matt. 21:9, 15, Ps. 118:24-26, Isa. 11:1, 10), that the Temple is intended for Jews & Gentiles (Matt. 21:13, Isa. 56:7), that the common people would praise Jesus as the Messiah (Matt. 21:16, Ps. 8:2), that contrastingly Christ would be overwhelmingly rejected (Matt. 21:42, Ps. 118:22-23), that He would be both God and man (Matt. 22:44, Ps. 110:1), that judgment would come for rejecting Christ until they adoringly accepted Him (Matt. 23:37-39, Ps. 118:26), that the Beast would be raised to execute the foretold judgment to the humiliation of the Jews (Matt. 24:15, Dan. 9:27), that Jesus would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (Matt. 26:15, Zech. 11:12-13), that He would be betrayed by a friend (Matt. 26:23-24, Ps. 41:9, 55:12-14), that His betrayal would be of God for a greater purpose (Matt. 26:31, Zech. 13:7), and that He would return to Earth again in a 2nd Coming appearance in accordance with the glory that David foresaw (Matt. 26:64, Ps. 110:1). Also, it was foretold what His betrayer would do with his blood-money (Matt. 27:9-10, Zech. 11:12-13), what the Romans would do with His garments while Christ hung naked on the Cross (Matt. 27:35, Ps. 22:18), and what Christ would say on the Cross in the throes of betrayal on all sides (Matt. 27:46, Ps. 22:1-3), all of which indicated that God was in complete control the entire time.