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The Age of Mercy

Millions will see the light of God


                             by

                         Keith Hunt


     The mercy and grace of God has always been there in every
age of mankind. But there is coming an age when that mercy and
grace will be ABUNDANTLY given and shown in such a way as to
dumb-found the human mind.
     Many reading through the Bible miss the remarkable fact that
many if not most people on earth, have never been given the heart
and mind to REALLY understand God and His way to salvation and
eternal life.

     Even the Lord's chosen people of Israel could never
understand God in a true spiritual way that leads to salvation.
     Those people were BLINDED to spiritual perception. They
never had the heart of mind to understand the ways, the truths,
the deep things of God. They were never filled or led by God's
Spirit. They could not come to the Eternal and be His spiritual
children. They never had full mercy and grace shown to them. They
were never SAVED and will NOT be in the resurrection to GLORY at
the coming of Jesus back to this earth, as will those who were
led by God's Spirit, were given spiritual understanding, under
the Old Testament's ages (Adam to Noah, Noah to Abraham, Abraham
to Moses, and Moses to the time of Jesus the Christ born as a
human person).

     There are some very plain and straight-forward passages in
the books of Moses (specifically Numbers and Deuteronomy), which
we shall now see.

     Moses called Israel together and told them about the time
when God made a Covenant with them 40 years earlier (Deut.5:1-5).
They at that time literally heard the voice of God, and could not
bear to have God talk to them. They wanted Moses to go to God,
hear what He had to say and then report it to them (verses
22-28).
     It was then that the Eternal God said, "O THAT THERE WERE
SUCH A HEART IN THEM, THAT THEY WOULD FEAR ME, AND KEEP ALL MY
COMMANDMENTS ALWAYS...." (verse 29).

     God knew that they did not have the true spiritual heart to
be close to Him and walk with Him, in all His ways. 

     At the end of leading Israel around the desert for 40 years
here are some of the words Moses spoke to them, "YET THE LORD HAS
NOT GIVEN YOU A HEART TO PERCEIVE, AND EYES TO SEE, AND EARS TO
HEAR, UNTO THIS DAY" (Deut.29:4).

     The vast majority, most in fact, of the people of Israel,
did NOT have God's Spirit. This is clearly shown to us as we read
the ELEVENTH chapter of Numbers. Here we find the Holy Spirit
that Moses had is given to called and CHOSEN ones. Some were even
jealous for Moses' sake, but notice how Moses answered them:

     "...enviest you for my sake? WOULD TO GOD THAT ALL THE
LORD'S PEOPLE WERE PROPHETS, AND THAT THE LORD WOULD PUT HIS
SPIRIT UPON THEM!" (verse 29).

     The truth of the matter is that under the Old Testament only
a very small FEW were granted a heart and mind to PERCEIVE, to
really KNOW God, to understand REPENTANCE, in its deep way that
leads to SALVATION and obtaining God's Holy Spirit.

GENTILE NATIONS WITHOUT SALVATION

     The apostle Paul said words that most people would find
shocking, and most Christians find hard to comprehend or even
take them for face value, thinking Paul must have meant something
different from the actual words he spoke.
     Here are those words:

     "Wherefore remember, that you being in times past Gentiles
     in the flesh, who are called Un-circumcised by that which is
     called the Circumcision in the flesh by hands. That at that
     time you were WITHOUT CHRIST, being STRANGERS from the
     commonwealth of Israel, and STRANGERS from the covenant of
     promise, having NO HOPE, and WITHOUT God in the world"
     (Ephesians 2:11-12).

     Now it is true that Paul talks about people acknowledging
God via physical creation (Romans 2). But a superficial saying,
"Well I believe there must be a God being who created all this
marvellous world and universe" is FAR from having the heart and
mind to PERCEIVE and UNDERSTAND the ways, truths, commandments,
sin and righteousness, and mercy through Christ as Messiah. In
that context the apostle Paul says the Gentiles had NO HOPE, NO
SALVATION, they were without Christ and God in the world!

     Only those Gentiles who became a part of the nation of
Israel and/or whom God REVEALED Himself to, and gave a heart to
perceive and understand the Lord's salvation and hence be led by
His Spirit, were saved. ALL others had NO HOPE, were without God
in the world, without Christ (and without Christ there is no
salvation, see Acts 4:12). They had NO salvation in THEIR LIFE
TIME!!

BUT.....

     Does this mean they will NEVER have a heart to perceive, to
understand, to find grace and mercy and Christ as personal
Savior?
     NO IT DOES NOT!

     The wonderful chapters of Romans 9 through 11, show us how
great is the MERCY and GRACE of God.
     Please take the time to read them SLOWLY, and MEDITATE on
the words you read.

     Yes it is addressing mainly the people of Israel, but as the
Bible tells us that God is no respecter of persons, and that He
loved the WORLD (not just Israel) and sent His only begotten Son,
so all who believe on Him can have eternal life (John 3:16) then 
we can know that what Paul talks about in these chapters towards 
Israel's salvation, also applies to all the Gentile nations.

     These chapters of Romans 9 through 11 contain some of the
most INSPIRING and COMFORTING words ever written on the subject
of God's GRACE and MERCY.

     Are you concerned about loved ones, blood relatives, or just
friends, and what is their fate because they did not KNOW or
ACKNOWLEDGE God and Jesus as their savior? In these chapters of
Romans as well as some other verses in the New Testament (also
those in Deuteronomy and Numbers we have already read), we have
wonderful HOPE and ASSURANCE that God is going to grant MERCY to
all in due time, so all can PERCEIVE and UNDERSTAND the way to
salvation. Of course God cannot force anyone to walk in the light
of His salvation, but He does tell us that ALL at least will be
given a heart and mind to perceive and understand. What they
choose to do with that perception and understanding, will be in
their power (as it has always been for anyone at any time - see
Deut.30:15-20).

     In the first verses of Romans chapter nine Paul shows his
love for his fellow countrymen. Verse 7 he draws the distinction
between physical seed of Abraham and those who are children of
Abraham in the spiritual sense that make them also children of
God as Abraham was. The physical seed of Abraham were MAINLY going
to be known through Isaac - Isaac-sons, or SAX-SONS and in wider
usage ANGLO-SAXONS. Other studies on this Website go into detail
of WHO and WHERE the sons of Isaac are today. But the most
important message is that of becoming a CHILD of Abraham in the
spiritual salvation of God through Christ. Being a child of God
is quite DIFFERENT than being a physical child of some physical
person (verses 8-13).

     Paul now goes on to demonstrate that than God does at times
in this physical life CHOOSE certain individuals or a nation of
people for a specific purpose as He works His plan on earth for
other individuals and other peoples. God even HARDENS the heart
of SOME, showing mercy to some while showing no mercy to others
(verses 14-18). 
     The natural question arises then as to why God can find
fault with anyone. Paul's answer is simply, you cannot tell God
what to do and when to do it with whom He wants to do it. God is
the potter and we are the clay. But Paul says be assured that the
Lord KNOWS exactly what He is doing and there is a purpose behind
it all, especially when it comes to taking BLINDNESS and
DECEPTION away from people, giving them a heart and mind to
PERCEIVE and to UNDERSTAND and to be given MERCY for salvation
through Christ, while others are chosen by God to be left with a
heart and mind that CANNOT perceive or understand spiritual
truths. Some given MERCY are Jews/Israelites and some are Gentiles. 
     Paul continues to show that it is relatively FEW  Israelites
that are given MERCY and GRACE, but there are some, for it was
written there would be a REMNANT who could have the heart to
perceive and understand, yet it was in God's plan that while MOST
Israelites would not find mercy in their life time, MANY Gentiles
would. 
     And this is all to do with God REMOVING spiritual blindness
or  NOT removing spiritual blindness. Israel may have had the law
of Moses and the Old Testament words of God, they may have
followed many of the laws of God in some form of the physical way
of life, but as we have seen from Deuteronomy and Numbers, they
were STILL in spiritual BLINDNESS and God had NOT given them the
heart to perceive and understand as far as eternal salvation for
them was concerned, only the few in Israel were granted the heart
for salvation. Then on the other hand, the Gentiles who did not
really try to follow God, were doing their own thing shall we
say, were as we have seen Paul say, WITHOUT God in the world,
without any hope for salvation, were NOW being called and chosen
and given a heart to perceive and understand the spiritual ways
and truths of the Eternal God.
     The Israelites had thought that merely following some laws
of God would give them right standing with God and hence
salvation. They had not the heart to perceive they had to have
FAITH in a SAVIOR, the very Son of God, having to come as a human
to die for their sins. And even when it was told them they sill
did not have the heart to see, but stumbled with offence at the
very one whom could give them mercy and grace for salvation
(verses 24-33).

     Paul acknowledges in the first verses of chapter 10 that
Israel had a zeal for God, but it was WITHOUT knowledge. Many of
the Israelites under Moses had a kind of zeal for God, they said
they would obey the Lord's commandments, do his will. It was
words they spoke, sounded very "religious" and had an outward
piety. They sure knew God existed, they even heard His voice for
a while. Yes they had a kind of form of religion, but in reality
it was really just so many words. They did NOT have the heart,
they did not have God's Spirit leading them, they did not have
real KNOWLEDGE, as Paul is here saying, the knowledge and heart
that leads to true REPENTANCE of sin, and FAITH in the Savior
Christ Jesus.

     So it is today, there are MILLIONS who have a FORM of
"religion" both in the Christian world and in the none Christian
world. Millions in the none Christian world believe in a GOD, but
reject His Son Jesus as their Savior. Think of all the millions
in the Islamic religion etc. They are BLINDED, they are DECEIVED,
by the one who deceives the whole world (Rev.12:9) - Satan the
Devil. God has not given them the heart to perceive and to
understand the way to eternal salvation through Christ. Then you
have millions in the Christian world who have a zeal for God,
even acknowledging Jesus is the Savior, but as Paul said about
Israel, they have a zeal but not ACCORDING TO KNOWLEDGE! They
also have not the heart to perceive the truths and the ways of
the ALMIGHTY GOD. They are just as much in spiritual DARKNESS as
the Israelites were and are, who indeed had the law and the words
of God (Romans 10:1-4).

     Paul then goes into a some long explanation of how the Jews
by not believing in Christ as Savior did NOT have God's mercy and
grace, were not saved, did not have salvation. Oh, they would
hear the message of the words of God being taught by God's
prophets, as many today may hear them in church services or on TV
or by reading the Bible, but the bottom line is still the fact
that they do NOT have the HEART to really listen, to really obey,
to really have the zeal according to KNOWLEDGE. They STILL,
despite the words of God being preached all around them, have a
heart that is DISOBEDIENT and GAINSAYING (verses 5-21).

     People will find every reason under the sun to not serve and
obey God on this point or that point, will come up with every
argument as to why this law or that law does not have to be
obeyed today. Some will obey the 7th day Sabbath but REFUSE with
stiff hearts to observe God's seven annual Sabbaths. Some will
shun the observance of the world's pagan festivals but will
refuse with stony hearts to observer God's Festivals. Some will
refuse with gainsaying hearts to observe God's clean and un-clean
food laws. Some will just refuse coldly the observance of the
FOURTH commandment period! Some can read where Abraham and Jacob
tithed to God, of ALL they had, way before the Old Covenant came
into existence, but will somehow read into the Old Covenant ideas
that make tithing "done away with" for children of Abraham today.
Some can read the Bible and be willing to observe many things of
God's way, but refuse to admit that homosexuality and lesbianism
is an abomination in God's sight, and so practice and teach that
same sex marriage is okay with the Lord; why even some churches
today have practicing "gay" ministers. 
     On and on it goes even with those who have been given the
words of God either by the Lord's true servants or with the Bible
in their hands. So it has always been with even those to whom God
did reveal Himself. Most of the time those people have had a form
of godliness, a form of zeal, but NOT according to true
knowledge.

     Now with all of this said, Paul answers what many by now
reading his epistle so far have probably surmised, God has then
cast away His people, they are doomed for eternal destruction.
NO, Paul answers that is NOT so! He quotes from Elijah, where he
thought he was the only one left in Israel serving God, but the
Lord told him that He, the Lord, had 7 thousand others who had
not bowed the knee to Baal (Romans 11:1-4).

     Then the apostle takes this example of old to say that God
is exactly working this way to this very day. There is a REMNANT,
relatively few, who are the ELECTED of GRACE or mercy, and the
REST, are not damned to eternal destruction at all for the REST
are BLINDED, and as SHOCKING as it may seem to many, it is GOD
HIMSELF that has BLINDED the rest.

     "According as it is written, GOD has given them the spirit
of SLUMBER, eyes that they SHOULD NOT SEE, and ears that they
SHOULD NOT HEAR, unto this day" (verse 8).

     Paul explains they have not stumbled that they should FALL
forever. But God is working out a salvation plan. Through many
stumbling now, others can be called and chosen and be the
election of grace and mercy. So it was then with the Jews
stumbling so many Gentiles could be elected to grace.

     It was a wonderful plan of election and grace that God was
working with the peoples of the earth, and Gentiles now coming
into God's family should not boast and feel proud over the many
Jews being NOT elected to grace at this time (verses 11-24).

     Then comes the WONDERFUL HOPE INSPIRING WORDS of Paul that
shows he understood there was an OVERALL PLAN of God for ALL to
be ELECTED to have GRACE and mercy shown to them in due time, in
the time plan of the Lord.

     "For I would not brethren, that you should be ignorant of
     this mystery, lest you be wise in your own conceit; for
     BLINDNESS in part is happened to Israel, UNTIL the fullness
     of the Gentiles be come in. And so ALL Israel shall be
     saved; (so  many that the few who may reject God's saving
     grace through  Christ, will make it be as "all" - Keith
     Hunt) as it is written, 'There shall come out of Zion the
     Deliverer, and  shall turn ungodliness from Jacob, For this
     is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their
     sins'....For as you in times past have not believed, that
     through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God has
     concluded them ALL in UN-believe, that He might have MERCY
     upon ALL" (verses 25-32).

     Ah, do you see the WONDER of it all? Do you see the
INSPIRING teaching of it all? Do you see what God is working out
here below?
     Every single person who has ever lived has been in utter
spiritual BLINDNESS as far as saving grace through faith in
Christ is concerned. Everyone is given a heart that CANNOT
perceive or understand the ways, the truths, the true knowledge
of God. It is the Lord who must REMOVE that veil of blindness
(see 2 Corinthians 3:12-18) from our hearts and give us a heart
of flesh, take away the heart of stone and make that heart soft
and pliable, a heart that can have zeal, yes, but zeal according
to knowledge. 
     Until God grants the individual a heart to perceive Him and
His ways to life and salvation, that person is neither saved or
lost. As Paul showed us in Romans 11, some, even the many, will
have to WAIT until the DELIVERER comes, until the Messiah comes
in glory, to set up the Kingdom of God on earth, to be delivered
from spiritual blindness and have their sins taken away.

ALL TO BE RAISED TO LIFE

     Jesus knew the plan of God's salvation for every person who
has ever lived. 
     Jesus knew that the DEAD would one day hear His voice and
LIVE. He told us not to marvel at it, in the sense of thinking
this is incredible or something so far out that it is not worth
thinking about, or even silly to think about. Christ said the day
was coming when ALL in the graves would hear His voice and come
forth from the dead. Some would come forth to a resurrection of
glorious eternal life (called the FIRST resurrection in
Revelation 20 and explained in 1 Cor.15 and 1 Thes.4:13-18 with
Mat.24:29-31) at the coming of Jesus in glory, at the beginning
of the 1,000 years reign of Christ and the saints on earth - see
my study called "The beginning of the 1,000 year reign"). Others
are to come forth to a resurrection NOT of damnation (as the KJV
gives) but of JUDGMENT! (John 5:25-29). 

     Judgment takes time. As Peter said, "The Lord is NOT SLACK
concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is
longsuffering towards us, NOT WILLING that any should PERISH, but
that ALL should come to REPENTANCE" (2 Peter 3:9). God DESIRES
that not one single person should refuse salvation. He desires
ALL to be elected to grace, be called to grace, to have the veil
of blindness removed from their heart of stone, to be given a
heart that will perceive Him and His holy way, to perceive how to
be saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
     But that heart is not given to many during their life time
on this earth. It must wait for a future resurrection for most.
Everyone who has ever died will be raised to life again one day.
For some, the saints of God from Adam to the Messiah's coming in
glory, it will be the resurrection to glorious eternal life,
called the first resurrection.

     For the rest it will be a physical resurrection (like the
Israelites in the valley of dry bones spoken about in Ezekiel
37), at the END of the 1,000 year reign mentioned in Revelation
20. 

     This GREAT resurrection of the dead is found in Revelation
20:12-15. It is the time when the book of life is opened, a time
of spiritual discerning is granted to millions upon millions of
people who were never given the heart to discern God according to
knowledge during their one physical life on this earth. They will
rise again, they will have the blindness lifted from their eyes,
they will see, they will come to know the true Jesus, and walk in
the light of God's word, the books (Greek is "biblos" - from
whence we get "bible"). They will be judged now (as the saints
are today) according to the way they work and live with the zeal
according to knowledge, that is now granted to them as the
election of grace.

     Jesus, AFTER the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7) RETURNED the
NEXT day, John 8, and preached in the Temple. This was the 8th
day, or Octave. It was a Sabbath day, the Sabbath day of the 8th
day after the 7 day feast of Tabernacles (Lev.23). Jesus was back
in the Temple preaching. It was the day on which the BLIND man
received his SIGHT, He saw Jesus not only literally but as we
read, he saw Him for who He was. All this is the TYPE of the
GREAT resurrection mentioned at the end of Revelation 20.
SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS will be removed for millions raised to
physical life during that age of grace and mercy. The truth of
John 7:37 and John 8 is fully covered in my study "The Truth
about John 7:37." 

     God has indeed concluded ALL in UN-belief that He may have
MERCY upon ALL. But God decides WHEN the un-belief is removed,
for SOME it is NOW, for the MAJORITY it is in the time of the
GREAT WHITE THRONE age of Revelation 20.

     Then the salvation of mankind is all finished. Then comes
the time for the Almighty God the Father to come from heaven with
the heavenly Jerusalem and dwell on this earth with all His sons
and daughters.

     "Behold the tabernacle of God is with mankind, and He will
     dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God
     Himself shall be with them, and be their God.....And there
     shall be no curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb
     shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him. And they
     shall see His face, and His name shall be in their
     foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need
     no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God gives
     them light, and they shall reign for ever and ever"
     (Revelation 21:3; 22:3-5).

                       ...............

Written on the Last Great Feast 2004


 
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