Message NotesThe Fullness of the Time Page 1
Word of the Kingdom Conference
February 14th – 16th 2014
The Fullness of the Time
1). Ga 3:22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
a). As Paul writes to the ‘church’ in Galatia he makes a distinction between the Law and that which is in place by promise, through the revealing of the faith, and we can see that the law remained in place only until the faith was revealed with the coming of Christ – the law then had a shelf life if you will as it was instituted for a specific purpose within a specific timeframe –
Ga 3:19 ¶ What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.
b). And we see from v22 that ‘the promise by faith in Jesus Christ’ is to be given to those who believe, those who would have faith, and clearly ‘those who believe’, who would have faith, is not a reference to believing on the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal salvation, but is rather having faith to the saving of the soul with respect to the promise, physically manifested in Christ, the Seed who had come, something that is only an option for someone who is already eternally saved – faith being revealed should be understood in the same way as the mystery of the gospel being revealed - Col 1:26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.
c). And with regards to the promise and the Law this is what we see a few verses earlier in Chapter 3 – Ga 3:17 And this I say, that the law, which was
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four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
d). That which we see then in the promise given to Abraham is to come through faith – and this promise existed 430 years before the law and has to do with rulership in both realms of God’s Kingdom, the heavens and the earth by the descendants of Abraham.
e). As we have seen in previous weeks in our study of Malachi the tithe that Abraham gives to Melchizedek is inextricably connected to this promise and therefore remains in place so long as the promise remains in place.
f). The details of the promise we can see in - Ge 22:15 ¶ Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: "By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son - 17 "blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."
g). And we find commentary on this in - Ro 4:13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 ¶ (as it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations") in the presence of Him whom he believed--God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
h). And more commentary still recorded in - Heb 6:13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, "Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you." 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. 17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to
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lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
i). So then, the promise is to the seed of Abraham and the seed of Abraham must be seen through 2 distinct groups – firstly the seed would be those who are the physical descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob and Jacob’s 12 sons, the nation of Israel – then there is Abraham’s seed through faith – those who believe God’s promise just as believing Abraham did and have fled to lay hold of the hope set before them - Ga 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed." 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
2). Now we also know from Galatians Chapter 3 - Ga 3:16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ.
a). Christ is the Seed of Abraham, He is the physical descendant of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob by birth and the spiritual descendant of Abraham through the promise. Now, the fact that Christ is described here as Abraham’s Seed in the singular does not negate that which we just read concerning Abraham’s seed in the plural, rather we realize from this that the promise given to Abraham was always to be manifested in and through the Christ and the coming of His Kingdom - Heb 1:2b ¶ His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
b). And it is the promise fulfilled in Christ as the heir of all things which is the substance of that which we see recorded in - Ps 2:5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: 6 "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion." 7 ¶ "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today [for this day] I have begotten You. 8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.'"
b). Then within Psalm 2 we again see that the promise is that of rulership with respect to both realms of the Kingdom, given to Abraham’s Seed, Christ, to take place within a specific timeframe – ‘for this day I have begotten You’.
c). And this Day is a very specific Day that will have an historical fulfillment, the certainty of which is laid out for us in foundation that we should not miss it – Ge 2:1 ¶ Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of
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them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
It is the 7th Day – the 7th period of 1000 years following the creation of Adam –
The Sabbath rest, the age to come, the Day of the Lord, the Millennial Kingdom.
d). And within this context of the 7th Day we also see in foundation the promise of the coming of Christ, the One in whom the promise to Abraham will be fulfilled – Ge 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."
Christ is the Seed of the Woman and Christ is the Seed of Abraham and Christ is the embodiment of the promise – and this promise embodied in Christ can only be attained by the physical and spiritual seed of Abraham by faith, through Christ. Without Christ there could be no promise and therefore no fulfillment of the promise.
e). Simply put then the Seed of the Woman who would bruise the head of the serpent would come through the lineage of Abraham being the recipient of the promise – in effect then we would have to see that the promise given concerning the Seed of the Woman is essentially the same promise given to Abraham and ratified through covenant – The Lord Jesus Christ is the heir of the world looking to that Day when the present system of rulership in the heavens and Gentile world power on the earth will be overthrown and He with His brethren according to the flesh, the physical descendants of Abraham on the earth, and His Bride, the spiritual descendants of Abraham, by faith, in the heavens, looking to that Day when the King of kings and Lord of lords will rule the nations with a rod of iron.
f). The Lord Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Law, the manifestation of the promise and the living hope of that future Day - 1Pe 1:3 ¶ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
3). With all of this in mind we can now move into the beginning of the next Chapter in Galatians, but we will do this by reading the last verse of Chapter 3
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first as we would find no chapter break in the original letter - 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. 4:1 ¶ Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5 to redeem those who were under law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
a). So according to the last verse of Galatians Chapter 3, those who are Christ’s are, through their faith, Abraham’s seed, and as Abraham’s seed they are heirs with him, heirs of the world, according to the same promise – this of course would be the promise given to Abraham, but must also include that which is laid out through the promise made to the serpent in the Garden as the Christ, in the person of God the Son, the manifestation of the promise, has always been the One that God the Father had determined would rule over this one province in God’s universal Kingdom within a specific time period – a decision made before there was a heaven and an earth or a provincial ruler created to administer it - Col 1:16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
b). The beginning of Chapter 4 continues the discourse regarding heirs from Chapter 3 – v1 tells us that the one who is an heir, although he will inherit all things, does not differ in legal standing from a slave all the while the heir is a child – the Greek word translated ‘child’ here is a compound word that literally means one who is unable to speak, in other words a child in its immaturity.
c). Such a child even though an heir, because of his immaturity, must be placed under guardians and stewards, one of whom looks after the child’s person and the other the child’s property – and this is done until a specific time set by the father when the child will make the transition from his minority to his majority.
d). And this role as guardian/steward, as we have seen, was the exact function of the Law with respect to the physical descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob who we would have to see as immature intellectually
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and morally with respect to the things of God – 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
e). The fulfillment of the Law then, fulfilled in Christ, was the time set by the Father when those in their immaturity as children were now to depart their immaturity and become sons – In this particular instance we are dealing with those Jews who accepted Jesus as their Messiah and had therefore made the transition from the Law to the faith.
f). But that accomplished at Christ’s first advent was not exclusive to the Jews as the Holy Spirit, through Paul, is at pains to make clear, as we can see in our opening verses from Chapter 4 - 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.
The word ‘we’ is an inclusive personal pronoun that encompasses Paul, Jews within the legalistic system of Judaism and Gentiles within the ritualistic and ceremonial practices of pagan religion – Whether Jew or Gentile all become one in Christ Jesus and all were set free from their immaturity to become a son of God through creation - 2Co 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
g). And all this was accomplished at the precise time determined by the Father - 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5 to redeem those who were under law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
h). ‘When the fullness of the time had come’ – This is an interesting phrase that perhaps could be best understood through the ball drop on New Year’s eve – there is a precise countdown that brings everyone to the point wherein, in the passing of one second one year ends and another begins. It is this degree of precision that is accommodated in our phrase.
i). At the precise moment that God the Father had determined, to the very second, He sent forth His Son that the Law should give way to faith and those in their immaturity could be received as sons all with a view to their future adoption, literally ‘son placing’, as a firstborn son in that coming Day.
j). And we see that God’s Son was ‘born of a woman’ – When God sent forth His Son, it was not just a sending from the heavens to the earth, but a sending out from the glory that He had with God the Father from the beginning to experience incarnation, to become a human being, being literally born into a world of sin and then living His life to the time of His crucifixion subject to the Mosaic Law. And the phrase, ‘sent forth’ in the original language
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speaks of one who is sent as being an ambassador possessing credentials on behalf of the One doing the sending - Joh 12:49 "For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.
k). The definite article ‘the’ is not found in the Greek rendition of Galatians 4:4-5 before the word ‘law’, signifying in v4 that our Lord did not just come to a place where the law was in existence, but rather that He lived His life subject to that law.
l). And He did this that those under law in v5, whether Jew under the Mosaic Law or Gentile in bondage to the elements of the world, could be redeemed from being under law with a view to their future adoption as a firstborn son – all of which of course speaks again to rulership within the Millennial Kingdom in fulfillment of the promise given to Abraham, accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
4). Now, the sending forth of God’s Son when the fullness of the time had come is the exact same event that we saw described in Psalm 2 and quoted within the first Chapter of the Book of Hebrews, along with 6 other OT quotations, a Book that deals with the age to come that will not be subject to angels –
Heb 1:5 For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You"? And again: "I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son"?
a). And as we have noted this is all with a view to fulfillment within the 7th Day – a Day that still awaits us yet future - 2Pe 3:8 ¶ But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
b). So then, we may conclude from this, that everything concerning Christ’s birth, death, resurrection and ascension have the 7th Day as their focus and all move toward that end - Lu 24:25 Then He said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 "Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?" 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
c). All of which provides for us the Divine paradox – The Lord did come with a real offer of the Kingdom of the heavens exclusively to the Jews as the seed of Abraham, but at the same time this offer could never be accepted nationally and it had always been God’s intention that a Bride would be taken for His Son for the purpose of rulership from those who were formally
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Gentiles, but now part of the one new man in Christ – seen in foundation through Adam and the Woman and through the types of Joseph and Moses, Rebekah and Ruth, those who would accept the offer of the Kingdom of the Heavens.
d). He was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and yet through all He accomplished both Jew and Gentile have a place in the 7th Day as it was always supposed to be.
e). The best thing to do with this paradox is to leave it alone as only madness can come from trying to overthink it.
f). Suffice it to say, that when the fullness of the time had come God sent forth His Son. This was not an arbitrary event but a specific and exact moment within the course of human history that had been predetermined in the eternal council chambers of God before time began and recorded for all to see
Da 9:24 "Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. 25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
g). The fullness of the time then was not concealed in a dark place, but openly revealed. Nor was this a secretive event done in the shadow of obscurity, but an event that God had revealed to man from the very beginning, in the Garden as He addressed the serpent.
h). And the focus for this event, before the Lord ever inhabited the womb of the virgin, as we have seen, is the 7th Day, the Millennial Kingdom. ‘God sent forth His Son….that we might receive the adoption as sons’ – a clear reference to events at and beyond the Judgment Seat.
i). We see then once again a direct connection between the birth of God’s Son and our own future adoption as sons – Christ’s birth, as part of the plans and purposes of God with regards to rulership over the earth, made our adoption as sons, and all that goes along with that, possible.
j). The scripture is unequivocal – Christ was begotten, went through the process of a natural birth, for the purpose of realizing His inheritance in the age which is to come – He was born for that purpose - Joh 18:36 Jesus
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answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here."37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
k). His life, His death, His resurrection and His ascension to become High Priest are all with a view to the 7th Day, and it is only in the realization of the 7th Day that these events find their full significance.
5). We find this recorded in the Book of - De 18:18 'I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 'And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. 20 'But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.' 21 "And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?' - 22 "when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
a). With this in mind let’s remember the last word’s recorded in the Book of Malachi and the first words spoken prior to the birth of Messiah, the first words spoken when the fullness of the time had come –
Mal 4:4 ¶ "Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments. 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. 6 And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse."
Lu 1:13 But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 "And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.15 "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 16 "And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 "He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
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b). That which Malachi had prophesied was beginning to come to fulfillment and therefore it could be known that this was the word which the Lord had spoken and it began to be spoken to Zacharias whose name means ‘God remembers’ and would come to pass through a child born of Elizabeth whose name means ‘God of the oath’.
c). But John was not Elijah and therefore the fulfillment of these events would await a future Day.
d). And so before Messiah is born it is already implicit that the events about to transpire over the next 33 years or so were to declare and make possible the fulfillment of the promise to the Seed of Abraham in the coming 7th Day – Christ Himself being the promised Prophet like Moses who was to be heard - Heb 1:1 ¶ God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son,
Mt 17:5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"
e). But we will need to pick this up again in our next session – if the Lord is willing.