From the beginning of the world (ap aiwno). Or, "from of old." James adds these words, perhaps with a reminiscence of Isaiah 45:21 . His point is that this purpose of God, as set forth in Amos, is an old one. God has an Israel outside of and beyond the Jewish race, whom he will make his true "Israel" and so there is no occasion for surprise in the story of God's dealings with the Gentiles as told by Barnabas and Paul. God's eternal purpose of grace includes all who call upon his name in every land and people ( Isaiah 2:1 ; Micah 4:1 ). This larger and richer purpose and plan of God was one of the mysteries which Paul will unfold in the future ( Romans 16:25 ; Ephesians 3:9 ). James sees it clearly now. God is making it known (poiwn tauta gnwsta), if they will only be willing to see and understand. It was a great deliverance that James had made and it exerted a profound influence on the assembly.