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New Wine for the End Times
Chapter 23
The Mystery of God

For the New Wine System to work, there must be two types of resurrections.  Some are resurrected into natural bodies.  Others into spiritual bodes.  Does Scripture make it clear that there are two types of resurrections?  Yes, but Scripture was easily misunderstood by the early Greek mind.  But the distinction is necessary for the New Wine System to work.  Was this a "mystery of God?"

The rich man asked Jesus, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"  (Matthew 19:16‑30, Mark 10:17‑32).  Jesus tells him to obey all of the Ten Commandments.  When he said he had done so all his life, Jesus tells him to sell all his possessions and to follow him.

When the man went away sad, Jesus told the disciples that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to “enter” the kingdom of heaven.  The disciples were astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”  Obviously the disciples interpreted “entering” the kingdom as being completely equivalent to salvation.  If this was wrong, Jesus did not correct them.

The disciples were very astonished at this, and started bringing up the fact that they had given up everything.  Were they concerned about their own salvation?  Jesus told them that at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, they would sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28).  (It’s my belief that Paul, not Matthias, will replace Judas.)  Will all the people, over which they will rule, also have sold all their possessions and given them to the poor?  After the rich man left Jesus, the disciples walked behind Jesus astonished, and everyone else walked behind Jesus afraid (Mark 10:32).  This was a very hard teaching.

Suppose a rich man today were to knock on the door of Billy Graham, or of some other famous evangelist.  Suppose this rich man asked the evangelist what he must do to be saved.  Would they tell him to repent of his sins and ask Jesus to come into his life?  Or would they tell him he must first sell all his possessions and give everything to the poor?  The evangelists would probably open their Bibles to the words of Paul in places like Romans 10, to put together the plan of salvation, but would not be likely to use the words of Jesus from these two passages about the rich man.

Did Jesus let the rich man go, knowing he would wind up in hell?  Or did Jesus understand that the man could still be saved in the age to come?  Obviously the disciples understood that the rich man would not be saved.  Even so, Jesus gave them some hope, telling them that all things are possible with God.  Is this a hint that the rich man would be saved, but would not “get eternal life” at first?

Mark 10:26-27 They were exceedingly astonished, saying to him, "Then who can be saved?"   (27) Jesus, looking at them, said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God."

What does Jesus mean here?  Of course no man can save anyone.  Only God can save.  Why then does Jesus say, “With men it is impossible?”  Was Jesus making a statement that was besides-the-point and obvious, which the disciples would have assumed anyway?  Of course the disciples would know that no man can save anyone.  The disciples were expressing confusion about who could be saved.  Basically, Jesus was saying that it’s not something that man understands (as yet).  The fact is that with God, all things are possible.  In this context, means they did not as yet understand how God will accomplish these things.

As we have already seen, the disciples at this point were afraid (Mark 10:32).  They were afraid for their own salvation.  Peter said, “See, we have left everything for you” (verse 28).  How does Jesus respond?  Does Jesus relate leaving everything to salvation?  Yes and no.

Mark 10:29-31 Jesus said, "Most certainly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the sake of the Good News,  (30) but he will receive one hundred times more now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.   (31) But many who are first will be last; and the last first."

Jesus does not directly equate salvation with the sacrifices made by the disciples and their obedience.  He says they will be highly rewarded for their sacrifice.  Yet we know that it’s because of the disciples’ obedience to Christ that they are saved.  

The important point to look at here is how Jesus finishes.  “The first will be last, and the last will be first.”  The rich man, at that time, was among the first in their society.  He will be saved, but he will be last.  The disciples were last in their society.  They will be first in the kingdom of heaven.  They will sit on twelve thrones, judging (ruling over) the twelve tribes (Matthew 19:18).

I contend that the focus of almost all of Christ’s teaching was not about salvation.  It was about what it ultimately takes to receive eternal life.  That’s what the rich man asked about.  The rich man had asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"  Christ’s answer was to stop sinning.  The only way to stop sinning, however, is to follow Christ.  Therefore, Christ’s answer was correct for the question.  But, the disciples didn’t exactly understand the question.

The disciples didn’t understand the cross, which was to come.  It was still part of the “Mystery of God.”  The cross brought salvation to everyone.  Therefore, what’s important is not salvation itself.  Everyone who does not reject this salvation will be resurrected when Christ returns.  And that also has been an aspect of the “Mystery of God.”  What’s important is what it takes to get eternal life.

Christ’s teachings, I believe, are all about the holiness that it takes to get eternal life before or after the resurrection.  Christ taught about what it takes to be a part of the true Israel, and about what it will take to usher in the kingdom of heaven.  If you miss out on that, however, Christ’s teachings are still about what it takes to get eternal life after the resurrection, during the millennium.

Paul, I believe, addressed both issues separately.  He talked about salvation, and about eternal life.  Between the two topics, however, Paul drew no explicit distinctions.  The evangelists of today tend to use Paul’s teaching about being saved, and not Paul’s teaching about what it takes to inherit the kingdom.  When explaining the plan of salvation, evangelists tend to avoid the words of Jesus, except for John chapter 3, which is the chapter on being born again.

If the New Wine System is true, then it’s not something that the disciples would have understood, at least during the ministry of Christ.  But did Paul understand the distinction?  Did Paul believe that there is such a distinction, and yet follow Christ’s example of not teaching about this distinction?

Jesus spoke of “seeing” the kingdom only the one time in John chapter  3, which is the one chapter that evangelists use.  It’s the chapter in which Jesus said that if you believe on Him, then you will be saved (John 3:16).  Elsewhere, Jesus spoke only of “entering” the kingdom.  Jesus never spoke of “inheriting” the kingdom.

Paul, however, never mentions “entering” the kingdom.  Paul seems to have changed “entering” the kingdom to “inheriting” the kingdom.  The word “inherit” much more relates to Israel “inheriting” the promise of Abraham.  In other words, “inheriting” the kingdom is much more suggestive of the exclusive relationship that Israel believed they have with God.  The word seems to make more of a distinction between Israel and the nations.  Perhaps that’s because Paul’s audience was mostly Gentile, and he wanted them to believe they are a part of true Israel.  Jesus was addressing Jewish people who believed that anyway.  In any case, Paul never speaks of “entering” the kingdom.

If there is a distinction between inheriting the kingdom and simply being resurrected to live in the nations, Paul does not teach the distinction.  It seems that both Paul and Jesus understood the distinction, but were not permitted by the Holy Spirit to teach it.  Paul indicated that he had been caught up to Paradise and "heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell" (1 Corinthians 12:4).  Paul understood more than he was permitted to teach.

Perhaps the New Wine System is true, yet it has been part of the “Mystery of God,” that has been withheld until the end-time generation.  If this New Wine System is true, then knowledge of it may have caused harm to previous generations that were not seeing all the signs of the coming great tribulation.  If it were not for the danger of the mark of the beast, even this generation could see this system as an excuse to allow sin to remain in our lives.

Even so, many people today adopt what is known as “cheap grace.”  In other words, the knowledge of salvation becomes an allowance for some sin to remain in people’s lives.  Without the danger of the mark of the beast, many people would combine “cheap grace” with this New Wine System to allow for even more sin.

23.1)  Some of the Mystery Revealed to Daniel

King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a statue (Daniel 2).  This dream is referred to as a Mystery of God, eight times in Daniel 2.

Daniel 2:17-19 ESV Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions,  (18) and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.   (19) Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

Daniel 2:47 ESV The king answered and said to Daniel, "Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery ."

The mystery of the statue, of course, foretold the eternal kingdom of God.  

23.2)  Paul’s Use of “The Mystery of God”

To one degree or another, the “Mystery of God” is about God’s redemptive plan.  The Jews did not understand that God’s redemptive plan was for the Messiah to be sacrificed and die for their sins.  The Jews did not understand that God’s redemptive plan included Gentiles as part of Israel.  The Jews did not understand that they would be hardened until the full number of Gentiles come in.  All these aspects of God’s Mystery were revealed to Paul.  All these aspects of God’s Mystery can be found in the Old Testament.  Understanding was hidden from the Jews.

Romans 11:25 ESV Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

Romans 16:25-27 ESV 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 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--   (27) to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Two points should be observed that Paul is making here.  (1) This mystery was intentionally “kept secret” by God, even though it had been in “the prophetic writings” all along.  (2) The mystery is only revealed to the wise.

This brings us back to Daniel 12, where understanding of the words of the scroll would only be revealed to the wise at the time of the end.  As we will see, understanding of the question in Daniel is very much a part of the Mystery of God.  And the Mystery of God was partially revealed to the wise, through Paul, at the time of Christ.  However, much of that Mystery is still “kept secret.”  For example, the specific answer to the question of “How long will it be until” the resurrection has not yet been fully revealed.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 Behold, I tell you a mystery. 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 incorruptible, and we will be changed.

The Mystery of God is all about how God's redemptive plan is to unfold.  When we receive our spiritual bodies, God’s redemptive plan is complete for the elect.  Of course that’s not the end of the plan.  We are the “firstfruits” of the harvest.

Ephesians 1:7-10 ESV In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,  (8) which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight   (9) making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ   (10) as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Ephesians 3:1-10 For this cause I, Paul, am the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles,   (2) if it is so that you have heard of the administration of that grace of God which was given me toward you;   (3) how that by revelation the mystery was made known to me, as I wrote before in few words,   (4) by which, when you read, you can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ;   (5) which in other generations was not made known to the children of men, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;  (6) that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of his promise in Christ Jesus through the Good News,   (7) of which I was made a servant, according to the gift of that grace of God which was given me according to the working of his power.  (8) To me, the very least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,  (9) and to make all men see what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things through Jesus Christ;  (10) to the intent that now through the assembly the manifold wisdom of God might be made known to the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places.

Colossians 2:2-3 ESV to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ,  (3) in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

The Mystery of God concerns the details of God’s redemptive plan.  The fact that Gentiles are included in Israel has now been revealed.  The fact has been revealed that God’s Mystery centers on the sacrifice of Christ.  The fact that the Jews would be hardened until the full number of Gentiles has come in has been revealed.

However, the exact timeline of God’s redemptive plan has not been revealed.  And the full extent of God’s redemptive plan, during Christ’s Messianic reign, has not been revealed.  In other words, our understanding of how the rich ruler can be saved is only now being revealed.  It can be seen in the New Wine System .  As Jesus said conserving the ruler’s salvation, “All things are possible with God.”  These details are all in Scripture.  But the wise are only now beginning to understand.  The time of the end is coming very soon.

23.3)  The Mystery of God’s Timeline

As a summary of the Mystery of God’s Timeline, consider the following dialog that happens in Scripture.  The dialog begins with Daniel and two angels in his last vision.  The dialog continues with Jesus and the disciples.  And the dialog ends in Revelation with John and an angel.

First Angel: He was above the water.  He asks, “How long will it be before the resurrection is fulfilled?”  (Daniel 12:6, 2, 13)

Second Angel: He was also above the water.  He holds up his right hand.  He holds his left hand up towards heaven.  He swore by him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times, and half a time.”  (Daniel 12:7)

Daniel: I don’t understand.  (Daniel 12:8)

Second Angel: You are not supposed to understand.  It’s a mystery.  Seal the words until the time of the end.  At that time, only the wise will understand.  The wicked will not understand.  It will be a time when there will be great increase in knowledge and travel.  (Daniel 12:9, 10, 4)

Second Angel: But here is a sign.  From the abomination of desolation it's 1290 days to the resurrection.  (Daniel 12:11) Once you see the abomination, there is no more mystery.  You will then be able to compute the day of the resurrection.  But only the wise will understand to do so.

The Disciples: "When will all this happen?"  (Matthew 24:3)

Jesus: No one hath known.  It’s still a mystery.  But here are some signs.  (Matthew 24:36, Acts 1:7)

Paul: The Mystery of God is about the resurrection.  Jesus was raised from the dead; and so shall we.  We will get spiritual bodies just like Jesus.  Also, part of the Mystery of God is that Gentiles are included, and that the Jews were hardened until the full number comes in.  (1 Cor. 15:51, Eph. 1:9-10, 3:1-13, Rom. 11:25)

Angel: He was standing on the sea (water) and the land.  He shouts.  (Rev. 10:3)

Seven Thunders: They speak, but John is told to seal the words.  No doubt they have something to do with a “time, times, and half a time.” The timing of the resurrection was still sealed when John wrote Revelation.  (Rev. 10:4)

Angel: He holds up his right hand toward heaven.  He swore by him who lives forever, saying, “There is no more delay.  The Mystery of God is accomplished in the days of the seventh trumpet.” (Rev. 10:6, 7)

Related to the seven thunders of Revelation 10, we find an angel who stands on the land and the sea, who swore by him who lives forever (Revelation 10:5).  We also find this in Daniel 12:7.  The angel in Daniel lifts his right hand and his left hand towards heaven.  The angel in Revelation lifts his right hand toward heaven.  This is not exactly the same.  But it's close enough to rule out coincidence.  Both the angel in Revelation and the angel in Daniel “swear by him who lives forever.”

In Daniel, the angel says, “It will be for a time, times and half a time.” This is in response to the question, “How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?”  Looking back to verse 2, and forward to verse 13, we see that “these astonishing things” includes the resurrection.  The question is, “How long will it be before [the resurrection]?”  The answer is, “A time, times, and half a time.” Daniel, of course, does not understand.  The angel tells him that the words are sealed until the time of the end.  In other words, Daniel is not supposed to understand.  It’s a mystery to Daniel.  Only the wise at the time of the end will understand.

Compare this with what happens in Revelation.  When the angel shouts, the seven thunders speak.  But John is told, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.” This is almost exactly what Daniel is told.  Daniel is told the words are sealed.  John is told to seal the words.  So, that which the seven thunders say is probably related to the answer given to Daniel, which is “A time, times, and half a time.” It’s an indication of how long it will be until the resurrection.

Until the time of the end, the day of the resurrection is unknown.  It’s the Mystery of God.  But Daniel is given a sign.  From the abomination of desolation, there are 1290 days to the resurrection (Dan. 12:11).  Once we see the abomination, the wise will be able to compute the days and thus know the date of the resurrection.  When we see the abomination, the Mystery of God will be over.  It will no longer be a mystery for the entire Church.  But the wicked will continue to be wicked, and will not understand.  This is what Daniel is told in Daniel 12:9-10.

23.4)  A Time, Times, and Half a Time

In response to the question, Daniel is actually told two different aspects to the Mystery that he, of course, didn’t understand.  The understandings of both points were sealed until the time of the end.

Daniel 12:7-8 NIV The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, " It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed."   (8) I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, "My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?"

The first point is in direct answer to the question, “How long will it be until the end of these wonders?”  The angel swears it will be for a “time, times, and half a time.”  This term can also be found in Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 12:14.  In both of these other passages, the term most likely refers to 3 ½ years.

Many people have also assumed that the unit is a year in this passage of Daniel 12:8.  It should be noted that the word used for “time” in Daniel 12:8 is different from the word used for “time” in Daniel 7:25.  The word used in Daniel 12:8 means “appointed time”, and can better be used to describe an age or a season.  Whereas the word used in Daniel 7:25 simply means “time,” like “hour” in the New Testament.  Therefore, the “time, times, and half a time” of Daniel 12:8 may be referring to a much longer amount of time.  However, it should also be noted that these two passages in Daniel are written in two different languages.  So this word comparison can be argued as invalid.

Therefore, we must go back to context.  The question is not, “How long will it take?”  Most people have assumed such because “time, times, and half a time” is usually interpreted as 3 ½ years, just like Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 12:14.  The real question is the one that Daniel would have much more naturally have wanted to ask.  The question the angel asked is, “How long shall it be [from that time], till the end of all these wonders?”  The answer to this question cannot be 3 ½ years.

If we interpret this answer along the lines of the beliefs of the early church fathers, before Augustine, then it makes sense.  They believed in the millennial week, with the earthly reign of Christ being the Sabbath.  Christ, therefore, is “Lord of the Sabbath” millennium.  Assuming that Christ is indeed returning in our generation, the question that was asked by the angel was asked in Daniel’s time.  It was asked around the middle of the seven millennia.  Therefore, the half a time would be from Daniel to Christ.  The times would be the two millennia of the Church Age.  And the single time would be Christ’s millennial reign.

The second aspect of this mysterious answer involves the power of the holy people.  The Hebrew word for “power” in this verse is ‘Yad.’  The word means ‘hand, strength, or power.’  It’s first used in the Bible in Genesis 3:22, speaking of Adam being able to reach out his hand and take from the tree of life, after he had eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  In other words, the “power of the holy people” is not a good power.  It’s our power that we take upon ourselves to decide what is good and what is evil.  We must allow God to declare what is good and what is evil.  When that power is finally broken in God’s holy people, then we will be ready to receive eternal life.

Philip Brown

If you find this book to be of interest, please send an email with a link to this website to all your Christian family and friends.  You could even include one to your pastor.

Philip Brown     Click to email me.

If you find this book to be of interest, please send an email with a link to this website to all your Christian family and friends.  You could even include one to your pastor.

Philip Brown     Click to email me.

If you find this book to be of interest, please send an email with a link to this website to all your Christian family and friends.  You could even include one to your pastor.

Philip Brown     Click to email me.