In the past two posts, I’ve attempted to set forth the truth that we now live in a period of time called the Grace Administration and that the revelation given to the Christian Church supersedes all previous revelation. The body of instruction given to the Christian Church is contained in what I call the Seven Church Epistles which are Romans through II Thessalonians. Now I’d like to set forth some of the most obvious differences between the Law Administration and the Grace Administration so we can rest firmly in that which God has given us. I’ll discuss the cultural implications to our adherence to the doctrine in the seven church epistles as well.
Law vs. Grace
Israel was given the law and were told if they could do all the things written in the law, they would be righteous before God. Herein is the fault with the law. Let’s read it from Romans.
Romans 3:19-20 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
Galatians 3:23-25 Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.
So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.
The law was given to show that nobody, not one single person, could attain the righteousness of God by their own doing. Therefore the law was given to condemn all mankind of their unrighteousness and to show them they needed salvation provided solely by God. This salvation which all the Old Testament prophets spoke of was through the sacrifice of God’s only begotten Son, the seed of the woman, Jesus.
The fault with the law was not the law itself. The law is the righteousness of God. The fault was on behalf of the people to whom it was given. They could not ‘keep’ the law. Each person would fail at some point, showing their inherited unrighteousness and alienation from God.
Grace on the other hand is all of God’s doing and leaves nothing up to mankind. There are those who think that because they believe in Jesus, they are saved. Not so. Yes, they are saved if they believe in Jesus but the salvation is granted by God purely through God’s grace through the faith of Jesus Christ given to the believer unconditionally by God. When you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you are brought “unto salvation” and “unto righteousness.” (Romans 10:9) When you believe, God reaches over that barrier between you and Him and grants you salvation freely. What I’m trying to say is that it’s not your believing that saves you, but God. Your believing only brings you to the point of salvation. God has to bridge that gap for you which He graciously does. He gives you faith, and that is not of yourself, it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
This puts the onus on God, not us. God is solely responsible for saving us through faith and it is God who gives that faith to those He has chosen. The law taught people they needed a savior; grace bestows salvation upon those who accept God’s sacrifice of His Son which pays for their sin and sins.
Believe to the End to Be Saved vs. Believe and Be Saved
Perhaps the most stark of the differences between the old covenant and the new is when a person is saved. When you read the Old Testament and the gospels (which are technically in the Old Testament because they complete the fulfillment of the law by Jesus), as well as the book of Revelation (after the Christian church has been taken off the planet), you read things like…
Matthew 25:1-13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Matthew 25;1013 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Contrast those verses with verses in the 7 church epistles.
Romans 10:9 If you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.
Ephesians 1:12-14 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Can you see the difference? When we believe during the Grace Administration, we are immediately saved. There is no language in the seven church epistles that say we have to endure to the end to be saved. In fact, the opposite is emphatically stated.
The Two Allotments (Inheritances)
Israel was promised physical blessings. They were promised a nation that would rule all nations on earth. If they obeyed God and did all the things in the law, God would bless them, their fields, give them children, and provide all manner of abundance for them in the physical realm.
The Christian Church has a different inheritance. We are given citizenship in heaven and we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Philippians 3:20,21 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,
who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
The “prosperity gospel” attempts to give Christians what was promised to Israel. This may sound like a good option, if it were even an option, because it showers us with physical blessings as we walk with God. While that may sound great, and while it is something we may greatly desire, that is not our lot. We have a different destination and therefore we have different blessings. Our lot is “the celestials” or “the heavens” as KJV and other modern translations put it. The Christian Church does not inherit Jersuslam, we inherit heaven. The bodies we receive when our Lord Jesus returns are celestial in nature, not earthly. The bodies Israel and her proselytes receive at the First Resurrection are immortal but are such that matches earthly dominion.
Cultural Implications of the Revelation of the Secret
The lesson here is to get very specific on what applies to you during the Grace Administration in which we live. Don’t try to appropriate Israel’s blessings to yourself. You have so much more. And while we cannot now fully perceive the vastness of our heavenly allotment, we can indeed begin to walk in it right now and experience some of those blessings. Am I saying God won’t make you rich? No, I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying your inheritance is different. You should not be looking for earthly blessings but rather you should be exploring and walking in your heavenly blessings. Don’t sacrifice more for less.
When you firmly understand your heavenly calling in the Grace Administration, you will no longer want to apply the lesser blessings to yourself. My exhortation is to study the 7 church epistles so you know them backward and forward so you can understand what God has given to you and what God expects of you in this period of time He calls the Grace Administration. Apply what is written to you in the seven church epistles, not that which concerns Israel in the gospels and elsewhere in the Bible.
Christians are not here to take over the world for Jesus. Our dominion is not of this world. We are here to help God by doing those works which he has foreordained for us to walk in, which is to build upon the foundation the first centiry apostles and prophets laid down, which is the gospel of the secret — the one body of Christ with Christ the Head and we the members of his body. We don’t live in the vine and the branches era, but in the Hand and members of his body era. Be sure to make that distinction when you read and apply God’s Word and you will be more attuned to God’s will for your life.