The Prophetic Clock Has Stopped

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A notable fact, commonly overlooked, is that time, in reference to Israel and the Kingdom, is temporarily stalled in the Greek Scriptures. The clock has stopped.

Yahweh did not reckon time when His people were apostate. So it is today. Time has been temporarily stalled during this period.

We find ourselves in an administration where time plays no part. Our future does not lie in the Kingdom on Earth, beneath the sun, where time is reckoned by the shadow on a dial. Above the sun is our place, among the Celestials, where there are no days or weeks or months or years with which to reckon duration. All time predictions in this administration of the secret have proven futile and false in the past, and will continue to be so in the future. Let us beware of them! …

If he, to whom the truth of this present secret administration was revealed, did not know the date, how conceited must we be if we attempt to deduce it from a revelation that is not concerned with our celestial calling! After this interval is past, and Israel is once more in view, then the clock will be started again, and the prophetic dates will be literally and accurately fulfilled. But not now.

A.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Unsearchable Riches, Vols. 45 (1954), 50 (1959)
(abridged excerpts)
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Our prior-expectation will take place before the resumption of prophecy. This means that the possibility of our celestial assumption is more “perhaps today” than any supposed prophetic “rapture” ever could be. Our prior-expectancy is a part of the current Secret Administration, thus, prophecy and world events have no bearing whatsoever upon it. So, humanly speaking it is, like death, as “likely” to happen today as any other day. One day, known only to the plan of God, Christ will be manifest at God’s right hand, at which time He will, along with us, assume the government of the Universe.

So what’s taken Him so long to assume His dominion? After all, it’s been 2000 years! The answer is twofold:

  1. Time enough to write in the record of human history a profound testimony of abounding grace over sin, and,
  2. Time to fill up the complement of the Christ.

The first of these items, to write a record of God’s abounding grace over sin, requires at least three elements:

  1. an acceleration of sin;
  2. a demonstration of the longsuffering of God, in silent, non-re-compensatory love and grace (i.e., conciliation), and
  3. that, in hindsight, it should exceed the period of the demonstration of the curse of the law.

These three elements have been accomplished, but how fully God has planned to demonstrate how great His grace exceeds humanity’s sin remains to be seen.

That Christ will be manifested with his body is not dependent on any perceivable measures. It will be accomplished without any of Israel’s prophetic signs. “Perhaps today” is a greater possibility for us than any prophetic prognosticator’s reasoning.

One day we will appear with Christ in Glory. This will be a most splendid reality beyond the bondage of our current human limitations, thus fulfilling our prior-expectancy. In the meantime we have work to do.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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No Heavenly Destiny Revealed Before Ephesians

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… We have been reading this mystery [the Secret Economy] into previously revealed truth. Earlier Scriptures have been so colored by its presence that their true import is difficult to entertain.

Search the Scriptures and see: where is there any license for introducing a heavenly destiny and hope before Paul wrote Ephesians? All things shall be heavenly as to character, but this refers to position. It was a secret, not only unrevealed, but actually concealed.

A.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
The Divine Mysteries (The Secret Economy)
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 1, page 56 (1909)
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The One Body and Its One Head

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The doctrine of the one body is never referred to by any other apostle than Paul. He calls it “the Dispensation of the mystery” which he had especially been entrusted with [Ephesians 3:9]. …

Jew and Gentile being formed by the Spirit into one body… was a truth never before made known. The Old Testament will be searched in vain for it. It is not there, because it was “hid in God” [3:9].

The recognition of but one body and one Head … leaves one outside of all human systems, and apart from all recognition of human heads. “The Church must have a head!” was the Romanist’s challenge to Luther, as he began to set forth the claims of the Papacy. “Yes,” replied the mighty champion of the reformation, “and that Head is Christ!”

H.A. Ironside (1876-1951)
Sailing with Paul, Chapter 10
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The Divine Barrier

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Did you know that when God called Abraham, He placed a division between his descendants and all of the rest of humanity?

It was God Himself Who established the “barrier” between Jew and Gentile, Israel and the Nations. Paul called this division a “middle wall of partition” in Ephesians 2:14. The Concordant Version calls it “the central wall of the barrier.” The Dabhar Version renders it “the middle wall of the blockage.”

When reading the Scriptures, it is vitally important that you ask yourself the simple question: Is the middle wall of partition up, or is it down?

Recognizing and answering this crucial question is an important key in following Paul’s instruction found in II Timothy 2:15 of “rightly dividing” (KJV), “correctly cutting” (CV, 1976 – 6th Edition) or “correctly partitioning” (CV, 1927 – 2nd Edition) the “Word of truth.”

It’s not until you get to the pinnacle writings of Paul – Ephesians and Colossians – that you see the barrier removed. Read these letters that reveal the Secret Administration, and enjoy God’s truth for today.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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The Zenith of Man’s Day

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Mans Day [I Corinthians 4:3], which is the day of man’s prominence, exaltation and glory, reaches its very zenith in this the Dispensation of the Grace of God. This began with Paul’s declaration in Acts 28:28, and since that time all men and all nations have been utterly free to walk after their own ways without any fear of immediate divine retribution. Men commit the basest of crimes, they raise their voices against God every day; yet, He does nothing except show them a love and favor that they do not deserve.

“Does not God care?” “Is He really a God of love?” These are the questions regularly asked in view of the iniquities of mankind that exact such a great toll of suffering from the human race. The answer is that He cares and He loves; yet, because of His present purpose in grace, no sin or transgression receives its just recompense of reward, but this will not always be. Man’s Day will surely come to an end, and the prayer of the Psalmist will be answered:

Arise, O Lord; let not man prevail: let the nations be judged before Thee. Put them in fear O Lord: that the nations may know themselves to be but men (Psalm 9:19-20).

—  Otis Q. Sellers (1901-1992)
The Day of the Lord
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The Highest Quality of Faith

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Our hope and destiny are in no way contingent on the fulfillment of Hebrew prophecy for Israel. Our blessings are found primarily in Paul’s revelations for this present secret economy. While we are to walk by faith and not by perception, this after all is the highest quality of faith consistent with the highest plane of spiritual blessings among the celestials in Christ.

—  Melvin E. Johnson (1897–1979)
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The Above-Heavenly Sphere of Blessings

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Paul, in prison, wrote his last epistles, making known the subject of the special revelations he had received about the above-heavenly (epouraniois) sphere of blessings, and announcing a complete change of dispensation brought about by the temporary setting aside of Israel: no longer a chosen people, no longer any sign of the nearness of the Kingdom, no more fulfillment of the prophecies.

— S. Van Mierlo
The Development of Christendom
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