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New Testament Continuance Of Messianic Christology Part 2

New Testament Continuance Of Messianic Christology Part 2

Biblical Theology of Mission Course – 9b



One of the reasons there is such confusion concerning the true nature of the “gospel” is because very few times in the New Testament does anyone actually detail what the gospel is. Many times New Testament writers talk about the gospel, but very rarely does anyone actually detail the gospel itself. Why? Because the whole New Testament assumes the gospel of the Old Testament.
The New Testament assumes the same “gospel” of the Old Testament because it assumes the same cosmogenical framework, the same eschatological conclusion, and the same messianic hope of the Old Testament.
This session’s notes also include the supplemental notes “Mystery” and New Testament Messianic Expectation.


The content of this class’ teaching notes are below with partial formatting. If you would like to see the notes with complete formatting, click 

Download “New Testament Continuance Of Messianic Christology” Notes.

This document is the same PDF as the previous session, and the audio picks up at II.B.2 in the notes




A.    Continuity of the “Gospel”

1.    One of the reasons there is such confusion concerning the true nature of the “gospel” is because very few times in the New Testament does anyone actually detail what the gospel is.[1]  Many times New Testament writers talk about the gospel, but very rarely does anyone actually detail the gospel itself.[2]  Why?  Because the whole New Testament assumes the gospel of the Old Testament.

And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel (Gk. euaggelion) of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. (ESV Matthew 4:23)

Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee… 15 And he taught in their synagogues… 17 He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah… 18 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel (Gk. euaggelizo) to the poor… (cf. Is. 61:1-3)” (NKJV Luke 4:14-18)

  • The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news (Gk. euaggelizo, LXX) to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,  2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,  3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion (i.e. Jerusalem)… (NIV Isaiah 61:1-3)

2.    The New Testament assumes the same “gospel” of the Old Testament because it assumes the same cosmogenical framework, the same eschatological conclusion, and the same messianic hope of the Old Testament.

When the governor (Felix) motioned for him to speak, Paul replied… 14 “I admit that I worship the God of our fathers (assuming OT messianic expectations) as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees (in messianic thought) with the Law and that is written in the Prophets,  15 and I have the same hope in God (concerning messianic restoration) as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked (cf. Dan. 12:1-3).  16 So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” (NIV Acts 24:10-16)

3.    The gospel of the Bible is thus an “eternal gospel” that will never change or be altered by the opinions of man.

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth– to every nation, tribe, language and people.  7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (NIV Revelation 14:6-7)

And he (“mighty angel”) swore by him who lives for ever and ever… “There will be no more delay!  7 But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God (i.e. redemptive plan) will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets (in the Old Testament).” (NIV Revelation 10:6-7)

B.    Continuity of the “Kingdom of God”

1.    God’s “kingdom” is referenced throughout the Old and New Testaments, and it is clearly a kingdom that presently rules over all creation (cf. 1 Chron. 29:11; Ps. 103:19; 145:11ff; Jer. 10:7ff; Dan. 4:3, 34; Jn. 19:11; Acts 17:24; Rev. 4:2ff).

2.    However, there are also many messianic references to a kingdom on the earth that is given dominion by God, receiving his favor and blessings, and is established eschatologically (cf. Ps. 2:6ff; Is. 9:7; Dan. 2:44; 7:14; Mt. 8:11; 20:21; Lk. 22:30; 2 Pe. 1:11; Rev. 11:15).

3.    This distinction has been the source of much controversy, which is simply solved by distinguishing between the two primary thrones of creation: one in the height of the heavens (cf. Ps. 2:4; 113:5; Is. 40:22; 66:1) and one delegated to man on the earth (cf. Gen. 1:26ff; Ps. 8:4ff; 115:16).

Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”  3 Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases… 15 May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth!  16 The heavens are the LORD’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man (Hb. adam). (ESV Psalm 115:2-16)

4.    Thus, the “kingdom of God” needs to be delineated between the “universal kingdom”, ruling over all creation from everlasting to everlasting, and the “messianic kingdom”, to be established upon the earth at the end of the age, restoring the original Adamic order.

In a preliminary survey of the very extensive array of Biblical references to the Kingdom of God, especially in the Old Testament, the investigator will be impressed by a series of differences which at first sight may seem to be almost contradictory.  Some of the more important of these differences may be stated as follows: First, certain passages present the Kingdom as something which has always existed; yet other places it seems to have a definite historical beginning among men. (Compare Ps. 10:16 with Dan. 2:44.)  Second, the Kingdom is set forth in Scripture as universal in its scope, outside of which there is no created thing; yet again the Kingdom is revealed as a local rule established on earth. (Compare Ps. 103:19 with Is. 24:23.)  Third, the Kingdom sometimes appears as the rule of God directly, with no intermediary standing between God and man; yet it is also pictured as the rule of God through a mediator who serves as channel between God and man. (Compare Ps. 59:13 with 2:4-6.) … Some of the above distinctions, if not all, have been noticed by Biblical scholars and attempts have been made to explain them; sometimes by asserting the existence of one kingdom with two aspects or phases; or by the assumption of two kingdoms.  For example… These citations, deliberately selected from authors of widely different viewpoints, will be sufficient to show that the distinctions mentioned above are not imaginary.  The question is how to explain them… In one sense it would not be wholly wrong to speak of two kingdoms revealed in the Bible.  But we must at the same time guard carefully against the notion that these two kingdoms are absolutely distinct, one from the other.  There is value and instruction in thinking of them as two aspects or phases of the one rule of our sovereign God.  In seeking for terms which might best designate these two things, I can find nothing better than the adjectives “universal” and “mediatorial.”  These are not exactly commensurate terms, of course, but describe different qualities; the first referring to the extent of rule, the latter to the method of rule.  Nevertheless, in each case the designated quality seems to be the most important for purposes of identification.[3]

5.    The harmony between these two kingdoms are forever restored in the age to come when the throne of the Messiah comes together with the throne of the Father in the complete renewal of the heavens and earth (cf. Rev. 22:1ff; Eph. 1:9ff; 1 Cor. 15:24-28).

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb  2 down the middle of the great street of the city… 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. (NIV Revelation 22:1-3)

Then comes the end, when he (Messiah) delivers the kingdom (i.e. Messianic) to God the Father (i.e. Universal) after destroying every rule and every authority and power.  25 For he (Messiah) must reign until he (Father) has put all his (Father’s/Messiah’s) enemies under his (Messiah’s) feet.  26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.  27 For “God (Father) has put all things in subjection under his (Messiah’s) feet.” (cf. Ps. 8:6) But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he (Father) is excepted who put all things in subjection under him (Messiah).  28 When all things are subjected (by the Father) to him (Messiah), then the Son himself (Messiah) will also be subjected to him (Father) who put all things in subjection under him (Messiah), that God may be all in all (governmentally). (ESV 1 Corinthians 15:24-28)

6.    The New Testament phrase “kingdom of God”, however, needs to be understood as a Jewish phrase used during the time of the Roman Empire to refer specifically to the Messianic Kingdom.  Though a few instances of its use may initially seem confusing (cf. Mt. 3:1; 11:11f; 12:28; 16:28; Lk. 17:21; 23:42f; Jn. 3:3ff; 18:36; Rom. 14:17; 1 Cor. 4:20), further investigation and larger context reveal a seamless understanding: the Messianic Kingdom is a future reality to be initiated upon the earth at the Day of the Lord (i.e. Second Coming).

I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,  12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. (ESV Matthew 8:11-12)

For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (ESV 2 Peter 1:11)

7.    Though the Universal Kingdom, which Jesus is presently ruling over amnestically (cf. Mt. 28:18; Acts 2:33; Eph. 1:21; 1 Pe. 3:22; etc.), retains absolute sovereignty over all the nations (cf. Rom. 13:1; Col. 1:17; Acts 17:24ff; etc.), it will execute judgment upon the nations at the hand of the Messiah at the end of the age.  The only confusion in the New Testament concerning this simple understanding of the Kingdom is the suffering of the Messiah before the establishing of the glory of the Messiah (cf. Lk. 24:26; Acts 3:18; 17:3; 1 Pe. 1:11; Heb. 2:10ff).

How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory? (NIV Luke 24:25-26)

Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,  11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. (NIV 1 Peter 1:10-11)

[1] The term “gospel” comes from one of two sources: 1) the noun euvagge,lion (euaggelion), used 6 times in the LXX and 77 times in the NT, meaning “good tidings, good news” (USB); or 2) the verb euvaggeli,zw (euaggelizo), used 19 times in the LXX and 55 times in the NT, meaning “to bring the good news, preach the good news” (USB).  Depending on the translation, these two words are generally rendered “gospel” or “good news” and “preach the gospel” or “preach the good news.”  Formal equivalence translations favor “gospel,” while dynamic equivalence translations often use “good news.”

[2] For example, the KJV/NKJV uses the word “gospel” more than any other translation (103 times) in the New Testament: Matt. 4:23; 9:35; 11:5; 24:14; 26:13; Mk. 1:1, 14f; 8:35; 10:29; 13:10; 14:9; 16:15; Lk. 4:18; 7:22; 9:6; 20:1; Acts 8:25; 14:7, 21; 15:7; 16:10; 20:24; Rom. 1:1, 9, 15f; 2:16; 10:15f; 11:28; 15:16, 19f, 29; 16:25; 1 Co. 1:17; 4:15; 9:12, 14, 16, 18, 23; 15:1; 2 Co. 2:12; 4:3f; 8:18; 9:13; 10:14, 16; 11:4, 7; Gal. 1:6ff, 11; 2:2, 5, 7, 14; 3:8; 4:13; Eph. 1:13; 3:6; 6:15, 19; Phil. 1:5, 7, 12, 17, 27; 2:22; 4:3, 15; Col. 1:5, 23; 1 Thess. 1:5; 2:2, 4, 8f; 3:2; 2 Thess. 1:8; 2:14; 1 Tim. 1:11; 2 Tim. 1:8, 10; 2:8; Phlm. 1:13; Heb. 4:2; 1 Pet. 1:12, 25; 4:6, 17; Rev. 14:6.  Of these instances, only a handful give any commentary on the nature of the gospel itself beyond the genitives “of God,” “of the kingdom,” “of Christ,” etc.: Rom. 1:1fff; 2:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-57; Gal. 3:8; 2 Thess. 1:5-10; 2 Tim. 1:8fff; 2:8ff; 1 Pet. 1:23ff; Rev. 14:6f.  Only 1 Corinthians 15 directly addresses the gospel and attempts to explain its content beyond one or two sentences.

[3] Alva J. McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom: An Inductive Study of the Kingdom of God (BMH Books, 1959), 19-21.




A.    Introduction of Messiah

1.    Genealogical Introduction

The record of the genealogy (ensuring legal right to the covenants) of Jesus Christ (transliteration > proper name;[1] “the Messiah” NLT), the son of David (assumed continuance of Davidic messianic prophecies), the son of Abraham (assumed continuance of Abrahamic messianic prophecies)… 17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ (“Messiah” NLT, i.e. assuming messianic expectations). (NIV Matthew 1:1, 17)

  • <5547> cristo,j christos {khris-tos’}

Meaning:  Christ = “anointed” 1) Christ was the Messiah, the Son of God 2) anointed

Origin:  from 5548 [chrio, “to anoint”]; TDNT – 9:493,1322; adj

Usage:  AV – Christ 569; 569


2.    Birth of Messiah

And the angel (Gabriel) said to her (Mary)… 32 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High (cf. 2 Sam. 7:14; Ps. 2:7; 72:1). And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David (cf. Jer. 23:5; Ez. 37:24),  33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever (cf. 2 Sam. 7:16; Is. 9:7; Mic. 4:7), and of his kingdom there will be no end (cf. Dan. 2:44; 7:27).” (NIV Luke 1:30-33)

And Mary said (in response to Elizabeth’s declaration), “My soul magnifies the Lord… 52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate… 54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,  55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” (ESV Luke 1:46-55)

And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied (concerning John the Baptist), saying,  68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people  69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,  70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old… 72 to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant,  73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham. (ESV Luke 1:67-73)

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby… 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news (Gk. euaggelizo) of great joy that will be for all the people.  11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ (“Messiah” NLT/NRSV) the Lord… 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,  14 “Glory to God in the highest (of heavens), and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests (i.e. prophetic declaration of his messianic government).” (NIV Luke 2:8-14)

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel (“eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel” NLT), and the Holy Spirit was upon him.  26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ (“Messiah” NLT). (ESV Luke 2:25-26)

3.    Preparation for Messiah

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,  2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven (lit. “heaven’s kingdom”, cf. Dan. 2:44; 7:14; etc.) is at hand (“near” NIV/NLT/NRSV; i.e. the Messianic Kingdom is soon to be inaugurated; cf. Is. 13:6; Joel 1:15; 2:1; 3:14; Zeph. 1:14).”… 5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him,  6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins (to escape the judgment of the soon coming Messianic Kingdom). (ESV Matthew 3:1-6)

  • In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. (NIV Daniel 2:44)
  • I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven one like a Son of Man was coming… 14 to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom… His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed… 18 the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.’ (NASB Daniel 7:13-18)
  • Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’  10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say,  11 ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’  12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. (NIV Luke 10:9-12)
  • Wail, for the day of the LORD is near (“at hand” KJV/NKJV); as destruction from the Almighty it will come! … Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. (ESV Isaiah 13:6-9)
  • Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; it is near (“at hand” KJV/NKJV/NIV),  2 a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! (ESV Joel 2:1-2)

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar… the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert.  3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  4 As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord (i.e. Messiah, cf. Is. 40:3; Mal. 3:1), make straight paths for him… 6 And all mankind will see God’s salvation (i.e. theocratic restoration of all things).'”  7 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath (of the Messianic Kingdom)? … 15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ (“Messiah” NLT).  16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come… He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit (i.e. reward of righteous in resurrection; cf. Is. 32:15; 44:3; Ez. 39:29) and with fire (i.e. punishment of wicked in judgment; cf. Mal. 4:1; Ps. 21:9f; Nah. 1:5f; Zeph. 1:18).  17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat (i.e. righteous) into his barn (i.e. Messianic Kingdom, cf. Mt. 13:30), but he will burn up the chaff (i.e. wicked) with unquenchable fire (i.e. Gehenna/Lake of Fire, cf. Is. 66:24).”  18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news (Gk. euaggelizo, “the gospel” NASB) to them. (NIV Luke 3:1-18)

4.    Baptism of Messiah

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him (cf. Is. 11:2; 61:1).  17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son (cf. 2 Sam. 7:14; Ps. 2:7; 72:1; 89:26), whom I love; with him I am well pleased (cf. Is. 42:1).” (NIV Matthew 3:16-17)

  • When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring (Hb. zera, “seed” KJV/NKJV) to succeed you… 12 He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever.  13 I will be his father, and he will be my son… 14 I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever. (NIV 1 Chronicles 17:11-14)
  • The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One (Hb. mashiyach)… 7 I (mashiyach) will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He (YHVH) said to me (mashiyach), “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.  8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.” (NIV Psalm 2:2-12)
  • Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness… 8 He will rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth… 11 All kings will bow down to him and all nations will serve him. (NIV Psalm 72:1-17)
  • My faithful love will be with him (David), and through my name his horn will be exalted.  25 I will set his hand over the sea, his right hand over the rivers.  26 He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.’  27 I will also appoint him my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth. (NIV Psalm 89:20-27)

B.    Ministry of Messiah

1.    Early Declarations

Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him (cf. Is. 11:2; 42:1; 61:1)… 34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God (cf. 2 Sam. 7:14; Ps. 2:7; 72:1; etc.).” … 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah (Gk. messias) (that is, the Christ [Gk. christos, “which is translated Anointed” NRSV]).” … 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote.” … 49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel (i.e. Messiah/Anointed; cf. Ps. 2:6; Dan. 9:25; Hos. 3:5; Mic. 5:2; Zech. 9:9).”  50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.”  51 He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man (cf. Gen. 28:12-15; to serve him; strengthen him, and establish his government over the heavens and earth).” (NIV John 1:32-51)

  • <3323> messi,aj messias {mes-see’-as}

Meaning:  Messias = “anointed” 1) the Greek form of Messiah 2) a name of Christ [“Messiah—Aramaic and Hebrew equivalent of Greek Cristo,j” USB]

Origin: of Hebrew origin 04899 [Hb. mashiyach]; see 5547 Christos, TDNT 9:493

Usage: AV – Messias 2; 2 [Jn. 1:41; 4:25]

  • To which of the angels did God ever say, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet” (cf. Ps. 110:1)?  14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation (esp. Messiah; cf. 1:3, “appointed heir of all things”)? (NIV Hebrews 1:13-14)
  • When the Son of Man comes (to the earth) in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne (in Jerusalem, cf. Is. 2:3; Ps. 2:6; 48:2; Joel 2:32; Zech. 14:8) in heavenly glory (i.e. angels upholding his governance). (NIV Matthew 25:31)

The woman said, “I know that Messiah (Gk. messias)” (called Christ [Gk. christos]) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”  26 Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he (without dishonesty concerning her expectations).”… 28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people,  29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ (“Messiah” NLT)?”… 39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him (as OT Messiah) because of the woman’s testimony… 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.  41 And because of his words many more became believers.  42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world (i.e. cosmogenical restorer).” (NIV John 4:25-42)

“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.  68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life (i.e. resurrection from the dead; cf. Dan. 7:27; 12:3).  69 We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God (i.e. the OT Messiah; cf. Ps. 16:10; Is. 40:25; Dan. 9:24; Hab. 3:3).” (NIV John 6:67-69)

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said (OT Scripture > OT Messiah), streams of living water will flow from within him.” … 40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet (cf. Deut. 18:15-18).”  41 Others said, “He is the Christ.” Still others asked, “How can the Christ come from Galilee?” (NIV John 7:37-41)

[1] “As has already been implied, messianism did not match the character of Jesus’ actions and teachings. From what we can recover of his public activity, we find nothing that points in the direction of messianic ambition… So how could Jesus have used the term Messiah of himself, or encouraged his disciples to do so, without causing immense confusion and misunderstanding? One can only wonder how the church might have been different, had the title “Christ” not become a proper noun, and Christians not rallied around the messianic concept so persistently—and how different Jewish-Christian relations might have been, had the messiahship of Jesus not become an issue between Jews and Christians.” (J. Peter Bercovitz, “Messianic Expectation in Judaism, Its Reception in the Early Church, and Jesus,” Proceedings: Eastern Great Lakes and Midwest Biblical Societies, 27 August 2003; available at’n.htm.)




2.    Teachings

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people… 25 Large crowds… followed him (in expectation of the Kingdom).  5:1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside… 2 and he began to teach them, saying:  3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (cf. Dan. 7:27; Ps. 149:6ff; Is. 54:3; 60:11ff)… 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth (under the headship of Messiah, cf. Ps. 2:8; Ps. 37:11; etc.)… 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven (present governmentally, not future metaphysically), for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you (who declared the messianic promises).  (NIV Matthew 4:23-5:12)

After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the (Roman) collectors (of Herod) of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax (in submission to the earthly governments)?”  25 “Yes, he does,” he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth (i.e. anthropocratic kings) collect duty and taxes– from their own sons or from others?”  26 “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the sonsare exempt (implying present messianic pre-eminence and future messianic roles on the earth),” Jesus said to him.  27 “But so that we may not offend them…” (NIV Matthew 17:24-27)

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven (governmentally, not metaphysically)… 27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”  28 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things (on the earth), when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne (in Jerusalem; cf. Ps. 48:2; Is. 2:1; Zech. 14:8), you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (i.e. earthly messianic government). (NIV Matthew 19:23-28)

Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons (James and John) came to Jesus with her sons… She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit (governmentally) at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom (on the earth).”… 23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places (affirming the expected governmental positions in the coming messianic kingdom) belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.” (NIV Matthew 20:20-23)

When the Son of Man comes in his glory (to the earth; cf. “arrived” v. 10 and “returned” v. 19), and all the angels with him (cf. Zech. 14:5), he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory (in Jerusalem; cf. Ps. 48:2; Is. 2:1; Zech. 14:8).  32 All the nations will be gathered before him (in mourning; cf. Mt. 24:30; Joel 3:2), and he will separate the people one from another (governmentally, not metaphysically) as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats (for reward/punishment; cf. 24:45-51; 25:10-12, 19-30)… 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world (cf. Gen. 1:26; 3:15; Acts 3:21; etc.). (NIV Matthew 25:31-34)

When you pray, say: “Our Father in heaven (cf. Ex. 4:22; Deut. 32:6; 1 Chr. 29:10; Is. 63:16; 64:8; Jer. 3:19; 31:9; Mal. 1:6; 2:10), hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  3 Give us day by day our daily bread4 And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” … 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (NKJV Luke 11:2-13)

  • I trampled the nations in my anger (cf. Messianic Kingdom); in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground.” … 8 He said, “Surely they are my people, sons who will not be false to me“… 10 Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit… 11 Then his people recalled the days of old, the days of Moses and his people— where is he who brought them through the sea… 14 like cattle that go down to the plain, they were given rest by the Spirit of the LORD. This is how you guided your people to make for yourself a glorious name.  15 Look down from heaven and see from your lofty throne, holy and glorious… 16 You, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.  17 Why, O LORD, do you make us wander from your ways and harden our hearts so we do not revere you? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes that are your inheritance… 64:1 Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you!  2 As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! … 8 O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.  9 Do not be angry beyond measure, O LORD; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look upon us, we pray, for we are all your people. (NIV Isaiah 63:6-64:9)

When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies (cf. Zech. 12:3; 14:2), you will know that its desolation is near… 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written… There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people (Israel).  24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near (temporally, not spatially)… 31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near (i.e. the Messianic Kingdom is soon to be established/inaugurated). (NIV Luke 21:20-31)

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word (as Messiah) and believes him who sent me has eternal life (i.e. resurrection from the dead; cf. Is. 25:7-9; 26:17-19; Dan. 7:27; 12:3; Hos. 13:12-14).  He does not come into judgment (of the Fall; cf. Gen. 3:19), but has passed from death to life (i.e. reconciliation with the Tree of Life; cf. Gen. 2:9).  25 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God (at the Second Coming; cf. 1 Thess. 4:16), and those who hear will live (i.e. resurrection from the dead)… 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice  29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life (cf. Lk. 14:14), and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment (cf. Acts 24:15). (ESV John 5:24-29)

3.    Healings

Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice,  34 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are — the Holy One of God (cf. Ps. 16:10; Is. 40:25; Dan. 9:24; Hab. 3:3)!”  35 But Jesus rebuked him (not correcting his messianic expectation), saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” … 41 And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!” And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ (“Messiah” NLT). (NKJV Luke 4:33-34, 41; cf. Mk. 1:23-25; 3:11-12)

Now when John in prison heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples,  3 and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One (Messiah), or shall we look for someone else?”  4 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see:  5 the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them (i.e. fulfillment of the defining characteristics of the Messianic Kingdom, cf. Is. 35:4-6; 61:1-3).  6 And blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me (“is not offended because of me” NKJV; i.e. concerning the timing of the Kingdom’s establishment).” (NASB Matthew 11:2-6)

Then a demon-possessed (Gk. daimonizomai, “demon-oppressed” ESV; “to be under the power of a demon”–Strongs) man, who was blind and couldn’t speak, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see.  23 The crowd was amazed and asked, “Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?” (NLT Matthew 12:22-23)

4.    Parables

The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field… 37 The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one,  39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels (cf. Zech. 14:5)… 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers,  42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father (cf. Dan. 12:3). (ESV Matthew 13:24-43)

There was a landowner who planted a vineyard (cf. earth)… Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers (cf. Adam, et al.) and went away on a journey.  34 When the harvest time approached (cf. Day of the Lord), he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit (cf. righteousness).  35 The tenants seized his servants… 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them… 40 Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants? … (Ps. 118:22-23) 43 Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you (unrighteous sons of Abraham) and given to a people who will produce its fruit. (NIV Matthew 21:33-43)

While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem (the center of the coming Messianic Kingdom) and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once (“begin right away” NLT).  12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country (height of the heavens) to have himself appointed king and then to return (to the earth).  13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas (responsibility to witness to the kingdom). ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’  14 “But his subjects hated him… 26 He (man of noble birth) replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has (revelation of the Kingdom), more will be given (responsibility in the Kingdom), but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away (at the Day of the Lord).  27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them– bring them here and kill them in front of me.'” (NIV Luke 19:11-27)

5.    Peter’s Confession

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”… 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ (“Messiah” NLT), the Son of the living God (cf. 2 Sam. 7:14; Ps. 2:7; 72:1; etc.).”  17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you (affirming Peter’s messianic expectations), Simon son of Jonah, for this (i.e. Peter’s expectation) was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven…

20 Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ (“Messiah” NLT).  21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life (in contradiction to common messianic expectation).

22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you (as Messiah)!”  23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God (i.e. loving governmental character), but the things of men (i.e. selfish governmental character).”

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself (selfish governmental character) and take up his crossand follow me (self-sacrificing governmental character)… 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world (governmentally), yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?  27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels (cf. Zech. 14:5), and then he will reward each person according to what he has done (cf. Is. 40:10; 62:11). (NIV Matthew 16:13-27)

6.    Transfiguration

As they went back down the mountain (of transfiguration), Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”  10 Then his disciples asked him, “Why do the teachers of religious law insist that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes (cf. Mal. 4:5)? ”  11 Jesus replied, “Elijah is indeed coming first to get everything ready for the Messiah (for theocratic consummation; i.e. affirming all messianic expectation).  12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come (to get everything ready for the messianic atonement), but he wasn’t recognized, and they chose to abuse him.” (NLT Matthew 17:9-12)

7.    Triumphal Entry

The next day the great crowd… took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna (“an exclamation of praise literally meaning, ‘Save, I pray’”–USB)!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord (cf. Ps. 118:26; i.e. expectation of literal messianic coronation)!” “Blessed is the King of Israel! (“Son of David” Mt. 21:9; “the coming kingdom of our father David” Mk. 11:10)”  14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it (fully affirming the messianic expectations of the people), as it is written15 “Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” (cf. Zech. 9:9) (NIV John 12:12-15)

  • See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey…  10 He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. (NIV Zechariah 9:9-10)

8.    Passover Meal

And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.  16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God (i.e. Messianic Kingdom).”  17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves.  18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until (undetermined period of amnesty) the kingdom of God comes (and executes judgment on the earth).”… 24 A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest (in the coming Messianic Kingdom).  25 And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them (malevolent character)… Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves (benevolent character)… 28 You are those who have stayed with me in my trials,  29 and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom,  30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (at the inauguration of the Messianic Kingdom).” (ESV Luke 22:15-30)

9.    Trial

The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ (“Messiah” NLT), the Son of God (cf. Mt. 16:16; Mk. 1:1; Lk. 4:41; Jn. 11:27).”  64 “Yes, it is as you say,” (“I am” Mk. 14:62; “You are right in saying I am” Lk. 22:70) Jesus replied (without dishonesty). “But I say to all of you: In the future  (vs. the present) you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven (to fulfill OT Messianic expectations, cf. Dan. 7:13; Zech. 14:5; etc.).” (NIV Matthew 26:63-64)

Jesus stood before the governor (Pilate), and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews (in fulfillment of OT prophecies)?”  “Yes, it is as you say (concerning Pilate’s expectation),” Jesus replied (without dishonesty). (NIV Matthew 27:11)

10. Crucifixion

Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads  40 and saying… “Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”  41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him… “He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him (as OT Messiah).  43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God (without dishonesty).'” (NIV Matthew 27:39-43)

Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS (i.e. OT Messiah)… 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed (without dishonesty) to be king of the Jews (i.e. OT Messiah).”  22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” (NIV John 19:19-22)

11. Road to Emmaus

And they (disciples) said to him (Jesus), “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth… we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel (ushering in the messianic age). Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened… 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken (concerning all OT messianic roles)!  26 Was it not necessary (for atonement) that the Christ (“Messiah” NLT) should suffer these things and enter into his glory (“then enter” NIV, “before entering” NLT)?”  27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (ESV Luke 24:19-27)

12. Ascension

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled (i.e. all OT messianic roles, including atonement) that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”  45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.  46 He told them, “This is what is written (in addition to other messianic roles): The Christ (“Messiah” NLT) will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,  47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations (before the Messiah enters into his glory, cf. v. 26), beginning at Jerusalem… 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. (NIV Luke 24:44-51)

After his suffering… he appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God (i.e. the Messianic Kingdom)… 6 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel (i.e. fulfill the covenants made with Israel)?”  7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set (implying that they have been set, and thus will happen) by his own authority.  8 But (implying soteriological pre-eminence, i.e. “first”) you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses (of the coming Messianic Kingdom, Jesus as the firstfruits of the resurrection, and the provision of forgiveness unto inclusion therein; cf. Acts 1:22; 2:32f; 3:14f; 4:33; 5:30ff; 10:39ff; 13:30ff; 26:16ff)  in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (implying the subsequent restoration of the kingdom to Israel).”  9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes… “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back (to restore the kingdom to Israel) in the same way you have seen him go into heaven (cf. Zech. 14:5; Dan. 7:13).” (NIV Acts 1:3-11)



1.    Acts

This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:  17 “In the last days (before the Day of the Lord), God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy (about the Day of the Lord), your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams… 19 I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke (signs of judgment).  20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.  21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (from the Day of the Lord).”  22 Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you (as the Messiah/Lord) by miracles, wonders and signs … 32 God has raised this Jesus to life… 33 Exalted to the right hand of God… 34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, “The Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand  35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet (cf. Ps. 110:1; Hb. 10:14).'”  36 Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord (cf. Joel 2:32; Ps. 110:1) and Christ (“Messiah” NLT)… 38 Repent (in fear of the day of the Lord) and be baptized (for inclusion in the Kingdom), every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. (NIV Acts 2:16-38)[1]

  • But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.  13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool (cf. Ps. 110:1),  14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. (NIV Hebrews 10:12-14)

Friends, I realize that what you and your leaders did to Jesus was done in ignorance.  18 But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah– that he must suffer these things (in addition to his other messianic roles).  19 Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away (cf. amnestic age).  20 Then times of refreshment (Gk. anapsuxis, i.e. resurrection) will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah.  21 For he must remain in heaven until the time (Gk. chronos, nGMP) for the final restoration (Gk. apokatastasis) of all things (“the times of restoration of all things” NKJV), as God promised long ago (“since the world began” KJV/NKJV; “from ancient time” NASB) through his holy prophets… 25 You are the children of those prophets, and you are included in the covenant God promised to your ancestors. For God said to Abraham, “Through your descendants all the families on earth will be blessed (i.e. through the “restoration”).”  26 When God raised up his servant, Jesus, he sent him first to you people of Israel, to bless you by turning each of you back from your sinful ways (implying a second sending for the full “restoration”).  4:1 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people (cf. 3:12-26).  2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead (summarizing the previous oration). (NLT Acts 3:17-4:2)

  • <403> avna,yuxij anapsuxis {an-aps’-ook-sis}

Meaning: a recovery of breath, a refreshing

Origin: from 404; TDNT – 9:664,1342; n f

Usage: AV – refreshing 1; 1

  • <404> avnayu,cw anapsucho {an-aps-oo’-kho}

Meaning:  1) to cool again, to cool off, recover from the effects of heat 2) to recover breath, take the air, cool off, revive, refresh one’s self

Origin:  from 303 [Gk. ana, “amidst”] and 5594 [Gk. psucho, “to breathe”; TDNT – 9:663,1342; v

Usage:  AV – refresh 1; 1

  • <605> avpokata,stasij apokatastasis {ap-ok-at-as’-tas-is}

Meaning:  1) restoration 1a) of a true theocracy 1b) of the perfect state before the fall

Origin:  from 600; TDNT – 1:389,65; n f

Usage:  AV – restitution 1; 1

  • <600> avpokaqi,sthmi apokathistēmi {ap-ok-ath-is’-tay-mee}

Meaning:  1) to restore to its former state 2) to be in its former state

Origin:  from 575 [Gk. apo, “away from”] and 2525 [Gk. kathistēmi, “to set, place, put”]; TDNT – 1:387,65; v

Usage:  AV – restore 7, restore again 1; 8

Peter and the other apostles replied (to the Sanhedrin)… 30 “The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead (as a firstfruits; cf. 1 Cor. 15:20-23)—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.  31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior (of the coming Messianic Kingdom) that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel (for inclusion in that Kingdom).”… 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ (“Messiah” NLT). (NIV Acts 5:29-31, 41-42)

Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.  20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God (i.e. Messiah; cf. 16:16; 26:63; Jn. 1:34, 49; 11:27)…  22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ (“Messiah” NLT). (NIV Acts 9:19-22)

Then Peter began to speak: …36 “You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all (in the heavens and the earth)… 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead (common OT messianic expectation).  43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him (as OT Messiah) receives forgiveness of sins (unto inclusion in the Messianic Kingdom) through his name.” (NIV Acts 10:34-43)

Paul and Silas… came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.  2 As was Paul’s custom, he went to the synagogue service, and for three Sabbaths in a row he used the Scriptures to reason with the people.  3 He explained the prophecies and proved that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead (before entering into his Kingdom). He said, “This Jesus I’m telling you about is the Messiah (assuming the continuance of common messianic expectations).”  Some of the Jews who listened were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas. (NLT Acts 17:1-4)

Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone– an image made by man’s design and skill.  30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.  31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice (by the Messianic Kingdom) by the man (Jesus the Messiah) he has appointed (Gk. histēmi; cf. Gk. apokatastasis, Acts 3:19). He has given proof of this (messianic restoration) to all men by raising him from the dead (as a firstfruits). (NIV Acts 17:29-31)

Each Sabbath found Paul at the synagogue (in Corinth), trying to convince (with OT Scriptures) the Jews and Greeks alike.  5 And after Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul spent all his time preaching the word (of the coming Messianic Kingdom). He testified to the Jews (in accordance with Jewish expectations) that Jesus was the Messiah. (NLT Acts 18:4-5)

When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed.  28 For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. (NIV Acts 18:27-28)

Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus (acknowledgement of messianic appointment).  25 As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come (in the coming Messianic Kingdom), Felix was afraid (as a corrupt governor) and said, “That’s enough for now! …” (NIV Acts 24:24-25)

I am fortunate, King Agrippa, that you are the one hearing my defense today… 6 Now I am on trial because of my hope in the fulfillment of God’s promise made to our ancestors (concerning the messianic restoration).  7 In fact, that is why the twelve tribes of Israel zealously worship God night and day, and they share the same hope I have. Yet, Your Majesty, they accuse me for having this hope! … 19 I teach nothing except what the prophets and Moses said would happen–  23 that the Messiah would suffer (before entering into his glory) and be the first to rise from the dead (foreshadowing the resurrection of the saints in the Messianic Kingdom; cf. 1 Cor. 15:20-23), and in this way announce God’s light (of the messianic age) to Jews and Gentiles alike. (NLT Acts 26:2-23)

2.    Pauline Epistles

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,  2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,  3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh  4 and was declared to be the Son of God (according to the definition of the “prophets in the holy Scriptures”) in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead (as a firstfruits of Dan. 12:2, et al.), Jesus Christ our Lord. (ESV Romans 1:1-4)

  • He was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. (NLT Romans 1:4)

It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world (governmentally, cf. Gen. 12:1-3), but through the righteousness that comes by faith… 16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring… He is the father of us all.  17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” (i.e. prophetic declaration; cf. Gen. 17:5)  He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed– the God who gives life to the dead (i.e. resurrection) and calls things that are not as though they were (i.e. Messianic Kingdom). (NIV Romans 4:13-17)

  • As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations.  5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.  6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. (NIV Genesis 17:4-6)

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you… 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs– heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory… 23 we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  24 For in this hope we were saved… 28 And we know that in all things (i.e. sufferings) God works for the good of those who love him (in the resurrection), who have been called according to his purpose.  29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn (of the resurrection) among many brothers. (NIV Romans 8:11-29)

…that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming (Gk. kērusso):  9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord (of the heavens and earth; i.e. OT Messiah),” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead (as a firstfruits), you will be saved (i.e. resurrected and included in the Kingdom)… 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile– the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,  13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (from the Day of the Lord; cf. Joel 2:32) (NIV Romans 10:8-13)

And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation (restoration to original glory) is nearer now than when we first believed.  12 The night (age of subjection to death and Satan) is nearly over; the day (age of liberation from death and Satan) is almost here (cf. “the day of the Lord is near”). So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (NIV Romans 13:11-12)

Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil (cf. Gen. 2:17).  20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet (i.e. governmentally in the coming Messianic Kingdom, cf. Gen. 3:15; Dan. 7:27; Ps. 149:6ff; Is. 54:3; 60:11ff). The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. (NIV Romans 16:19-20)

If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?  2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world (under Messianic headship; cf. Dan. 7:27)? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?  3 Do you not know that we will judge angels (under Messianic headship; cf. Heb. 1:4-2:8)? How much more the things of this life (before the messianic age)! (NIV 1 Corinthians 6:1-3)

Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you… 2 By this gospel you are saved (inclusion in the messianic restoration)… 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep…  22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.  23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.  24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power (cf. Ps. 2:9; 110:5; Is. 60:12; Dan. 2:44; etc.).  25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet (i.e. Millennial Kingdom; cf. Rev. 20:1-6).  26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death (at the Great White Throne judgment; cf. Rev. 20:14)… 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him (after the Great White Throne judgment; cf. Rev. 22:3), so that God may be all in all.  (NIV 1 Corinthians 15:1-2, 20-28)

…you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus.  15 Because I was confident of this, I planned to visit you… 17 When I planned this, did I do it lightly? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner (cf. worldly covenants) so that in the same breath I say, “Yes, yes” and “No, no”?  18 But as surely as God is faithful (to the covenants of restoration), our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.”  19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.”  20 For no matter how many promises (i.e. covenants) God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ (i.e. they will all find fulfillment “in the day of the Lord Jesus”). And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us (i.e. “witness” to coming fulfillment of messianic promises) to the glory of God.  21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us (with power for demonstration),  22 set his seal of ownership (cf. Eph. 1:13) on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come (i.e. resurrection and Kingdom). (NIV 2 Corinthians 1:14-22)

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing (i.e. experiencing death), yet the inward man is being renewed day by day (in faith and belief in the messianic promises).  17 For our light affliction (under death and anthropocracies in this age), which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (under messianic restoration in the age to come),  18 while we do not look at the things which are seen (present world order, i.e. death and anthropocracy), but at the things which are not seen (future world order, i.e. life and theocracy). For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  5:1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent (i.e. our dying body), is destroyed, we have a building from God (i.e. our resurrected body), a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens (cf. Mt. 6:20; 19:21; 1 Tim. 6:19; etc.)… 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee (“a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” NIV). (NKJV 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:5)

And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ (Messiah),  10 to be put into effect (Gk. oikonomia: Gk. oikos “house” + Gk. nomos “law”) when the times will have reached their fulfillment– to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head (Gk. anakephalaiomai, Gk. ana “again” + Gk. kephalaioo “bring under headings”), even Christ… 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation (inclusion in the messianic restoration), and believed in him (as OT Messiah), were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (as a deposit),  14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance (i.e. resurrection) until we acquire possession of it (in the Messianic Kingdom), to the praise of his glory. (NIV Ephesians 1:9-14)

  • Author …that in the fullness (tou/ plhrw,matoj, nGNS) of the times (tw/n kairw/n, nGMP) of the household administration (oivkonomi,an, nAFS), all things (ta. pa,nta, aANP) in the heavens (evpi. toi/j ouvranoi/j, nDMP) and on the earth (evpi. th/j gh/j, nGFS) would again be brought together under headship (avnakefalaiw,sasqai, vAMInf) in the Messiah (evn tw/| Cristw/|, nDMS).” (Ephesians 1:10)

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus… 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!  9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place (presently, governmentally) and gave him the name that is above every name,  10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow (eschatologically, in submission to his governance), in heaven (Gk. epouranios aMPG) and on earth and under the earth (cf. Sheol; implying resurrection of righteous and wicked, cf. Dan. 12:2; Mt. 25:32ff; Jn. 5:29; Acts 24:15),  11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (cf. Is. 45:23), to the glory of God the Father. (NIV Philippians 2:9-11)

I want to know Christ (Messiah) and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,  11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead (in the Messianic Kingdom)… 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior (to establish the Kingdom), the Lord Jesus Christ,  21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself (governmentally).  4:1 Therefore, my brothers… 3 help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel… whose names are in the book of life (i.e. resurrection, cf. Dan. 12:1; Rev. 20:12). (ESV Philippians 3:10-4:3)

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above (in the heavens), where Christ is seated at the right hand of God (cf. Ps. 110:1; Acts 2:34f; Heb. 10:13f).  2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth (cf. Mt. 6:33).  3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  4 When Christ (Messiah) who is your life appears (for messianic restoration), then you also will appear with him in glory (cf. resurrection of the body). (ESV Colossians 3:1-4)

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you  7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven (for messianic restoration) in blazing fire with his powerful angels (cf. Zech. 14:5; Enoch 1:9).  8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power (i.e. Messianic Kingdom; cf. “glorious throne”—Mt. 19:28; 25:31)  10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people (governmentally; cf. Ps. 149:9; Is. 49:23; 60:11ff; Dan. 7:27; 12:3) and to be marveled at among all those who have believed (in him as Messiah). (NIV 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10)

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (Messiah) and our being gathered to him… 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed (by the rebellion, cf. Dan. 8:13), the man doomed to destruction… 5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you (“three Sabbath days”–Acts 17:2) I used to tell you these things (specifics of eschatology)? … 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory (of the Messianic Kingdom) of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV 2 Thessalonians 2:1-14)

  • Out of one of them came another horn… 10 It grew until it reached the host of the heavens… 11 It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host (cf. 2 Thess. 2:4)… 12 It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground (cf. 2 Thess. 2:10).  13 Then I heard a holy one speaking… “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled– the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation (cf. 2 Thess. 2:3), and the surrender of the sanctuary (cf. 2 Thess. 2:3)… 23 In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise.  24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power (cf. 2 Thess. 2:9)… 25 When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power (cf. 2 Thess. 2:8). (NIV Daniel 8:9-25)

3.    General Epistles

But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.  27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment (in the Messianic Kingdom),  28 so Christ (Messiah) was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation (as foretold in the OT—i.e. resurrection of the dead and enforced global theocracy) to those who are waiting for him. (NIV Hebrews 9:26-28)

Now listen, you (wicked) rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you (in the messianic judgment)… 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence… 6 You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.  7 Be patient, then, (righteous) brothers, until the Lord’s coming (for messianic judgment). See how the farmer (cf. believer) waits for the land to yield its valuable crop (cf. righteousness on the earth; i.e. purging of the earth of wickedness) and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains (i.e. messianic judgment).  8 You too, be patient and stand firm (in faith of messianic restoration), because the Lord’s coming is near… The Judge is standing at the door! (NIV James 5:1-9)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (as a firstfruits),  4 to an inheritance (i.e. resurrected body) that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you (until the time for the restoration of all things; cf. Acts 3:21),  5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time… 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace (of the messianic inheritance; cf. v.13) that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,  11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ (Messiah) in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ (for atonement) and the glories that would follow (in the Messianic Kingdom)… 13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed (from heaven to inaugurate the Kingdom). (NIV 1 Peter 1:3-13)

Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure (into the Messianic Kingdom). For if you do these things, you will never fall,  11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (cf. Is. 9:7; 24:23; Dan. 2:44; 7:27; etc.)… 16 We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ… 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain (i.e. the Mount of Transfiguration as a foreshadowing of the Messianic Kingdom).  19 And we have the word of the prophetsmade more certain (i.e. reaffirming OT messianic expectations), and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns (i.e. messianic age). (NIV 2 Peter 1:10-19)

First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come… 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? (as all scoffers OT and NT have said)”… 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.  6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed (as a type of the messianic judgment, cf. 2 Pe. 2:5-6; Mt. 24:37).  7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men (i.e. the Day of the Lord, cf. Joel 2:11; Zeph. 1:14-18; Mal. 4:5). (NIV 2 Peter 3:3-7)

4.    Revelation

And they (4 living creatures & 24 elders) sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.  10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth (in the coming Kingdom).” (NIV Revelation 5:9-10)

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ (“Messiah” NRSV), and he will reign for ever and ever (cf. Ps. 145:13; Dan. 2:44; 7:14; Mic. 4:7; Zec. 14:9; etc.).” (NIV Revelation 11:15-16)

[1] The logical implication of this statement is that since they crucified him, he cannot be the one to redeem Israel.  As Wright remarks, “The cross, we note, already had a symbolic meaning throughout the Roman world, long before it had a new one for the Christians.  It meant: we Romans run this place, and if you get in our way we’ll obliterate you—and do it pretty nastily too.  Crucifixion meant that the kingdom hadn’t come, not that it had.  Crucifixion of a would-be Messiah meant that he wasn’t the Messiah, not that he was.  When Jesus was crucified, every single disciple knew what it meant: we backed the wrong horse.” [N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (New York: HarperOne, 2008), 40.]  Thus, the ultimate meaning of Jesus’ resurrection was his messianic validation by God.  Not only did he have power over the curse of Adam (i.e. death), but he was logically then the one to fulfill the governmental role of Adam, which Rome was presently perverting.  Rome had killed him, but God had raised him to life, and thus it was only a matter of time before God would give him Rome’s throne.




A.    The Scriptures clearly articulate God revealing “mysteries” that were unknown to those in the past.  This has been developed into the doctrine of “progressive revelation.”  However, what is revealed, and does that revelation change the ultimate plan of salvation?  Moreover, what is the relation of this revelation to messianic expectation?

B.    Biblical Use of “Mystery”

  • <7328> zr’ raz (Aramaic) {rawz}

Meaning:  1) secret

Origin:  from an unused root probably meaning to attenuate, ie (fig) hide; TWOT – 2993; n m

Usage:  AV – secret 9; 9[1]

  • <3466> musth,rion musterion {moos-tay’-ree-on}

Meaning:  1) hidden thing, secret, mystery 1a) generally mysteries, religious secrets, confided only to the initiated and not to ordinary mortals 1b) a hidden or secret thing, not obvious to the understanding 1c) a hidden purpose or counsel 1c1) secret will 1c1a) of men 1c1b) of God: the secret counsels which govern God in dealing with the righteous, which are hidden from ungodly and wicked men but plain to the godly

Origin:  from a derivative of muo (to shut the mouth); TDNT – 4:802,615; n n

Usage:  AV – mystery 27; 27[2]

1.    The only Old Testament appearance of “mystery” is found in Daniel (2:18f, 27ff, 47; 4:9), where the LXX renders Ar. raz by Gk. musterion.

Then the mystery (Ar. raz; Gk. musterion, LXX) was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven…  20 “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might…  21 he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;  22 he reveals deep and hidden things…” (ESV Daniel 2:19-22)

Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery (Ar. raz; Gk. musterion, LXX) that the king has asked,  28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days… 29 To you, O king, as you lay in bed came thoughts of what would be after this, and he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be.” (ESV Daniel 2:27-29)

2.    However, throughout the Old Testament, the Lord reveals hidden knowledge to those whom He trusts and deems “wise.”

When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it?  7 Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan (of specific temporal events) to his servants the prophets. (NIV Amos 3:6-7)

3.    Though some knowledge of specific future events is unknown (i.e. “sealed”), the overarching plan of redemption, as outlined in the covenants (beginning at creation), remains constant.

“At that time… there will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people– everyone whose name is found written in the book– will be delivered.  2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake (resurrection): some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt… 4 But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end (cf. “mystery” Rev. 10:7)…” 8 I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?”  9 He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end… 13 You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.” (NIV Daniel 12:1-13)

  • And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever… “There will be no more delay!  7 But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery (Gk. musterion) of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” (NIV Revelation 10:6-7)

4.             The use of Gk. musterion in the New Testament likewise does not refer to knowledge that cannot be understood, nor to a change in knowledge pertaining to overarching messianic expectations, but rather to knowledge of specific details that are hidden in the councils of the Godhead.[3]

Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you,  3 that is, the mystery (Gk. musterion) made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.  4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery (Gk. musterion) of Christ,  5 which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. (NIV Ephesians 3:2-5)

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery (Gk. musterion) that was kept secret for long ages  26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith. (NIV Romans 16:25-26)

C.   The Effects of Progressive Revelation

1.    Based on a perverted understanding of “mystery,” the doctrine of “progressive revelation” developed early in the Church in context to Gnosticism.  Though Gnosticism was ultimately rejected, the remnants of the belief that God is revealing secret hidden knowledge, of which the apostles were ignorant, has persisted.

2.    This led to a juxtaposing the Old Testament against the New Testament (as typified in Marcionism), the remnants of which are still prevalent in the church today.

“Although both the Old and New Testaments are inspired, it is a canon of interpretation that revelation is progressive. Therefore, in formulating truths about God and His dealing with man, the New Testament has priority over the Old Testament.”[4]

3.    The mysteries spoken of in the New Testament never change nor violate any of the covenants.  In most modern theology, the doctrine of progressive revelation is used to validate the reinterpretation of the covenants or the advancement of a particular doctrine.

4.            The modern use of progressive revelation undermines and invalidates the central beliefs of the apostolic church, i.e. the resurrection and the Kingdom.  If revelation is “progressing,” then it is assumed that people’s understanding of salvation as a whole is progressing, and thus the view of the “primitive church” ought to be abandoned.[5]

[1] Dan. 2:18, 19, 27, 28, 29, 30, 47; 4:9.

[2] Matt. 13:11; Mark 4:11; Luke 8:10; Rom. 11:25; 16:25; 1 Cor. 2:1, 7; 4:1; 13:2; 14:2; 15:51; Eph. 1:9; 3:3f, 9; 5:32; 6:19; Col. 1:26f; 2:2; 4:3; 2 Thess. 2:7; 1 Tim. 3:9, 16; Rev. 1:20; 10:7; 17:5, 7.

[3] “In most biblical passages it relates to the wise counsel of God in his guidance of history to its destiny. The most specific and significant application of the concept of mystery is to the plan of God regarding the death of Christ. It does not refer to a secret that God is unwilling to tell or to something so obscure that it could not be understood even if told.” [Walter A. Elwell and Philip Wesley Comfort, Tyndale Bible Dictionary (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001), 925.]

[4] Paul P. Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology (Chicago: Moody Press, 1997), 150.

[5] “An orthodox doctrine that evangelicals have long held is the belief in progressive revelation; God did not reveal all truth about Himself at one time but revealed Himself “piecemeal,” portion by portion to different people throughout history (cf. Heb. 1:1). Biblical theology traces that progress of revelation, noting the revelation concerning Himself that God has given in a particular era or through a particular writer. Hence, God’s self-disclosure was not as advanced to Noah and Abraham as it was to Isaiah. An earlier book of the New Testament, such as James, reflects a more primitive view of the church than books written later, such as the pastoral epistles.” (The Moody Handbook of Theology, 20.)



A.    The Dual-Coming of Messiah

1.    The Delay between Comings

And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”  11 Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries (Gk. musterion) of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.  12 For whoever has (presently), to him more shall be given (eschatologically), and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have (presently), even what he has shall be taken away from him (presently)… 17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. (NASB Matthew 13:10-17; cf. Mk. 4:11; Lk. 8:10)

  • The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field… 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared… 28 The servants asked him, “Do you want us to go and pull them up?”  29 “No,” he answered… 30 “Let both grow together until the harvest (i.e. time between sowing and harvesting)…” (NIV Matthew 13:24-30)[1]
  • And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it (cf. covenant of creation and hope of Messianic Seed), and said, “There will be no more delay (in the establishment of justice on the earth)!  7 But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery (Gk. musterion) of God will be accomplished (primarily concerning the “delay”), just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” (NIV Revelation 10:6-7)[2]

2.    The Suffering of the Messiah before the Glory of Messiah

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”… 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ (“Messiah” NLT), the Son of the living God (cf. 2 Sam. 7:14; Ps. 2:7; 72:1).”  17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you (affirming Peter’s messianic expectations), Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven… 21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.  22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you (as Messiah)!”… 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person (in the messianic government) according to what he has done (cf. Is. 40:10; 62:11). (NIV Matthew 16:13-27)

  • He (Jesus) said to them (disciples), “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory (“before entering his glory” NLT)?”  27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself (concerning the pre-glory suffering). (NIV Luke 24:25-27)
  • This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled (concerning atonement) that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms… This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,  47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (before the Messiah enters into his glory). (NIV Luke 24:44-47)

B.    The Governmental Consolidation of the Heavens and the Earth under One Head

And he made known to us the mystery (Gk. musterion) of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,  10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment– to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. (NIV Ephesians 1:9-10)

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations… 20 And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NIV Matthew 28:18-20)

  • May you be blessed by the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.  16 The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to man. (NIV Psalm 115:15-16)
  • Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me?” (ESV Isaiah 66:1)
  • …in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world…  3 After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,  4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. (ESV Hebrews 1:2-4)

C.   The Gentiles Brought into the Covenant and Made Fellow Heirs with Israel

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth… 12 were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.  13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ… 15 His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace… 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household… 3:4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ… 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. (NIV Ephesians 2:11-3:6)

  • If the dough (Messiah) offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump (messianic assembly), and if the root (Messiah) is holy, so are the branches (messianic assembly).  17 But if some of the branches (unbelieving ethnic Jews) were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot (believing gentiles), were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree,  18 do not be arrogant toward the branches… 23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.  24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (ESV Romans 11:16-24)

D.   The Partial Hardening of Ethnic Israel unto the Fullness of the Gentiles

What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.” (cf. Deut. 29:4; Is. 29:10)…  11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous… 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? (implying the common expectation that Messiah will come when Israel returns to the Lord)… 25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery (Gk. musterion)– so that you will not be wise in your own estimation– that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;  26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written… (NASB Romans 11:7-26)

  • A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.  2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him… 4 He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked… 11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people… 12 He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. (NIV Isaiah 11:1-12)
  • The days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.  6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.  7 So then, the days are coming, declares the LORD… 8 they will say, “As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.” Then they will live in their own land (under the headship of the Branch who resurrects the righteous).” (NIV Jeremiah 23:5-8)
  • Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land… 24 My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd… 25 They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever. (ESV Ezekiel 37:21-25)

E.    Outpouring of the Holy Spirit as a Deposit of the Coming Resurrection

I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness–  26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.  27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery (Gk. musterion), which is Christ in you (as a deposit), the hope of glory (i.e. the resurrection).  28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ (at his coming). (NIV Colossians 1:24-28)

  • In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,  14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (ESV Ephesians 1:11-14)
  • For we know that if our earthly house (mortal body), this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God (immortal body), a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens… 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee (of the resurrection). (NKJV 2 Corinthians 5:1-5)

F.    Regenerational Resurrection of the Righteous Who Are Living at the Coming of Messiah

Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.  51 Behold, I tell you a mystery (Gk. musterion); we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,  52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality (to inherit the kingdom of God). (NASB 1 Corinthians 15:50-53)

  • According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord (cf. Great Distress), will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.  16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (NIV 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)

G.   The Messiah’s Inheritance of the Saints as a Bride

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,  26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word… 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,  30 because we are members of his body.  31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” (cf. Gen. 2:24)  32 This mystery (Gk. musterion) is profound (“great mystery” KJV/NKJV/NASB/NRSV/NLT), and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (ESV Ephesians 5:25-32)

H.   The Mystery of Anti-Messianic Lawlessness

Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?  6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.  7 For the mystery (Gk. musterion) of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.  8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. (ESV 2 Thessalonians 2:5-8)

  • I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns.  4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality.  5 And on her forehead was written a name of mystery (Gk. musterion): “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” (ESV Revelation 17:3-5)

[1] “Another aspect of this passage lies in the unasked question as to why, if the Messiah has come, evil still persists in the world. The servants in one of the parables wanted to pull up the weeds, symbolizing evil or evil persons, but were told to allow them to grow until the time of harvest—that is, the judgment (Mt 13:24–30). The persistence of evil in the world and the way God will eventually deal with it is one of the ‘mysteries.’” (Tyndale Bible Dictionary, 926.)

[2] “The mystery which has been revealed in time still awaits its divine consummation and fulfilment in eternity. This is the sense in which the term must be understood in Rev. 10:7: the ‘mystery of God’ already announced will be corporately fulfilled without delay, ‘in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel’. And this is equally true in terms of personal salvation—the ‘mystery’ of ‘being changed’ when the trumpet sounds, of mortality’s being finally replaced by immortality (1 Cor. 15:51ff).” [D. R. W. Wood and I. Howard Marshall, New Bible Dictionary, 3rd ed. (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 795.]

John (117 Posts)

John lives in Columbia, SC with his wife, Lydia, and four children. He travels and teaches on the Cross, the return of Jesus, and the Great Commission.

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