mysteryage 2
Thesis #90 of 95 When Ephesians 3:9-10 and especially Romans11:11-15 are taken as read and integrated within a cohesive biblical synopsis it will be appreciated that God's benign providence extends well beyond those elected to the exclusive covenants of promise. For if Paul is taken at his word, biblical salvation as we know it would not have been offered to the Gentile nations in the current age, yet the Old Testament is clear enough that people from every nation would ultimately be reconciled to God, for all the world is His and He loved it enough to send his Son to save it.


Eph3:9-10 (Paul) to enlighten all people regarding the administration* of the secret plan which for ages has been hidden in God (the Father) who created all things (by Jesus Christ)*; so that the multifaceted wisdom of God might now be made known by the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places  * [see Note#1 re: textual variants].

Rom11:11,12,15 I say then, (the Jews) did not stumble in order to fall, did they? By no means! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make (the Jews) jealous. Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfilment be! … For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

Jn3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Rom13:9 (NASB) For this, “You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”


Concluding this series of theses concerning what I have referred to as “the dispensational mystery”, I repeat, this does not concern my disclosure but the Apostle Paul’s. What I am doing that virtually no one else appears to have done is to take Paul at his word concerning what is recorded in Romans chapter 11, particularly verses 11,12,15 and 30. That pertains to God’s secret plan which he outlines, albeit cryptically in Ephesians chapter 3. “But surely (you say), Paul could not mean that if the Jews had not rejected their Messiah, ‘salvation’ would not have been offered to the Gentile nations in the current age?” “Yes”, say I, “that is exactly what Paul meant”, albeit he is referring to Salvation rather than salvation. [By ‘salvation’ I mean final absolution/pardon/divine acceptance; by ‘Salvation’ I mean being born again, raised to eternal Life resulting in “an inheritance with those who have been sanctified” (Acts26:18 cf. Rev3:21). Such a soteriological distinction has been delineated in earlier theses.

In terms of how Paul is to be interpreted in Romans 11, there would seem to be three options: a) Paul is being very clumsy in the wording he utilizes [very unlikely given he effectually repeats the same assertion three times in different ways – highlighted in the biblical reference above]; b) the apostle is a degenerate liar [I think not] or c) what he has written he has written, and he means every word of it. The problem with c) for Christians who take the bible seriously is stated in my thesis – such an assertion must be able to be “integrated within a cohesive biblical synopsis”. [I trust I have done so; I am not currently aware of any other such attempts within cyberspace].

Either the Apostle Paul is profoundly in error concerning a matter that could hardly be more important – or biblical theologians since around the time of Augustine have substantially misunderstood what the bible means by “salvation” in the gospel context. For the Old Testament makes it clear enough that God never intended to restrict His redemptive purposes to the Jews. But what He did indicate through His prophets is that Israel and the seed of Isaac were expected to form His holy nation of enlighteners for the world. As for what the New Testament actually means by salvation (what it is from and what it is for), I have been demonstrating that this likewise has been misunderstood by the churches. Relatedly, there has been a misreading of what Paul means by “death”, especially in Rom7 and 8, and what Jesus means by “life”, for example in Jn6:53 &10:10 & 20:31.

Taking Paul at his word in Rom 11 could only mean what is stated in this thesis – that fulness of salvation would not have been offered to the Gentile nations in the current age if the Jews had not rejected their Messiah. Or rather, (for that was indeed foretold to happen), it was because they went on to reject the apostolic teaching concerning Jesus after His ascension and glorification. For what Paul is referring to in His various evangelistic admonitions of his fellow countrymen is not a result of their involvement in Christ’s crucifixion but their response to the apostolic message concerning His Lordship and Saviourhood – witnessed by the miracles the apostles were carrying out in Jesus’ name. This is evident in a number of passages in Acts:

Paul to certain Jews at Antioch: “Be careful! – or what the prophets say will (future tense)happen to you: “Cast your eyes around you mockers; be amazed and perish!  For I am doing something in your own days that you would never believe if you were told of it” [Acts13:40-41]

Shortly afterwards at Corinth, preaching in the synagogue, more Jewish leaders turned against Paul and started to insult him. Paul took his cloak and shook it out in front of them, saying:

“Your blood be on your own heads; I am clean; from now on I will go to the Gentiles[Acts18:6]

But why should Paul not have been clean (i.e. have a clear conscience) if he brought such a message of salvation to the Gentiles and the Jews had not first rejected it?  Was not such salvation envisaged for all? Clearly not: “For as a result of the Jews’ rejection, salvation has come to the Gentiles to provoke them to jealousy” (Rom11:11). It was not a matter of protocol or order (as the wording throughout Rom11 makes clear) – it was a transfer of privilege with respect to who in the current age were to be God’s chosen people – “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession” (1Pet2:9 vis-à-vis Ex19:6). This is not about “who shall go to heaven when they die”. I have hopefully demonstrated that in earlier theses, applying what has been set out (and just as significantly, omitted) in the New Testament. It is not a matter of religious faith but the absence or presence of “ἀγάπη”, noting also that Paul has re-envisaged the summation and summary of God’s Law as love for neighbour (Rom13:9) – see note #2.

If you have just stumbled on this post/thesis, being #90 of a series of 95, you may find it all too incredible for words. But as intimated in the text of the thesis it is just one aspect of what I am clear is a cohesive package of biblical interpretations – the result (I believe) of a prophetic insight rather than pure academic study – set out in its entirety in The Little Book of Providence.

– – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

NOTE #1 Textual variants in Eph3:9 - a) "by Jesus Christ" missing from some manuscripts  b) Either "fellowship" (Greek: κοινωνία)  Or “administration” (Greek: οἰκονομία) – textual variant no doubt arising from similarity of the Greek word
NOTE #2 This should help explain why love for God  and religious faith are not so much as mentioned within the definitive New Testament passage on final judgement (Jesus’ parable of the sheep and goats). Nor in what is effectively  the only teaching we have of an individual’s post-mortem experience in heaven/hell/hades. Note why Abraham said that Lazarus was experiencing heavenly comfort and the rich man wasn’t (Lk16:25). Likewise, in Paul’s pronouncements on the requirements of God’s law, it is  expressed, indeed, summarized in terms of love for neighbour (Rom13:9). But then as the apostle John would later affirm, claiming to love God is no guarantee that one loves one’s fellow man (1Jn4:20); whereas loving one’s fellow man, particularly the act of showing compassion towards him or her is regarded as loving and serving the Son of Man Himself (Mt25:40) – who happens to be the One appointed to judge all people.]  

Author’s FACEBOOK page HERE