20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
That the delivering of the law was the beginning of the AION, or Hebrew world, is obvious from the words of Peter...
In the Authorised Version it is rendered "since the world began." If this be preferred, it is evident that the world referred to was coeval in its beginning with Moses, for he is cited as the first of the holy prophets by whose mouth God spoke of the reconstitution of the Hebrew commonwealth at the appearing of Christ from heaven.
Paul refers to the same epoch, saying, "the fellowship of the mystery hath been hid in God APO TON AIONON from the ages;" in the common version, "from the beginning of the world" (Eph. 3:9). From the beginning of the age, or of the ages, is the correct rendering of the Greek in these texts. They both refer to the beginning of the commonwealth of Israel in the giving of the law from Sinai.
To speak in the vernacular, God promised eternal life to man before the world began. Such a statement as this would be incomprehensible to a mere English reader; yet such is the import of the saying "God, who cannot lie, promised eternal life before the world began (PRO CHRONON AIONION); but in due times (KAIROIS IDIOIS) hath manifested His word by preaching" (Tit. 1:2, 3).
To whom did He promise it? Certainly not to any one before the formation of man. The world referred to cannot therefore be that founded in the six days, but a constitution of things long subsequent to it. A literal translation removes all difficulty. The phrase PRO CHRONON AIONION is before the aionian times; that is, before the times of the Hebrew commonwealth were arranged, God promised eternal life, and in KAIROIS IDIOIS definite times, such times, namely, as are particularised in Daniel (Dan. 9:24-26), He made His word, which had before been a hidden mystery, manifest (Rom. 16:26) through the apostolic preaching.
Elpis Israel 2.1.
24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
Christ and the prophets were not only not separate and incompatible, but that Christ was the very kernel - the inspiring principle - of the scheme of things that had been communicated through the prophets. When we come to compare the testimony of the apostles to Christ, and the foreshadowings of him in the Prophets, we find that this is the case.
There was to be a son of David manifested in the course of Israel's future (2 Sam. 7:10-16; Psa. 89:35-37; Isa. 9:6; Jer. 23:5). He was to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2): he was to be despised by the nation and rejected (Isa. 53:3); but to have a momentary triumph while he should ride into Jerusalem on an ass (Zech. 9:9), then to be smitten and insulted (Micah 5:1; Isa. 53:7), his clothes divided and he himself crucified in the company of vile men (Psa. 22:16-18; Isa. 53:9).
All these things were realised in Christ, who was a descendant of David (Matt. 1:1; Rom. 1:3) born in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:1); rejected by his own nation (John 1:11), but was the subject of a transient ovation (Matt. 21:6-9), was arrested, insulted, divested of his clothes on which the soldiers cast lots, and was then crucified (Matt. 26:57; 27:28,31,35).
The prophecy did not stop there. It spoke of his being raised from the dead (Psa. 71:20; 16:10), and the fact of his resurrection is the chief feature of the apostolic testimony (Acts 4:33). It spoke also of his ascending to God's right hand, to wait for a season in the presence of the divine glory, while God's face should be hidden from Israel (Psa. 68:18; 110:1; Isa. 8:16-17), and nothing is more conspicuous in the apostolic testimony than the declaration that Jesus after his resurrection was "received up to the right hand of God," "ascending to heaven itself, there to appear in the presence of God for us" (Mark 16:19; Heb. 9:24).
Bro Roberts - Reality of Bible History and Prophecy.
25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
'...it is perfectly true that "God's salvation," by Christ's rejection, "has received a wider circle (than Israel,) viz., the whole earth;" Yet this was no accident; it was part of the plan fore-ordained and made known to the prophets, that Christ should become the salvation of Yahweh to the ends of the earth. In fact this was the principal feature of the promise to Abraham, that in his seed all families of the earth should be blessed.
But are we to say that because Christ's operations are to bear upon the whole earth, therefore they are not to have their centre in the Holy Land? that because he is to rule all nations, therefore he won't be king of the Jews? that because the Gentiles are admitted to the privilege of Israel's commonwealth, therefore Israel's commonwealth is abolished?
By no means. No one truth destroys another. We must find a place for every feature'.
Ambassador of the Coming Age, Dec 1867. p317