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Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Great Mystery Revealed

Ephesians 3:9  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

This is the goal of our ministry and the Great Secret The Father wants His children to know but what the Great Secret might be is still a mystery to many. The following explanation is not to teach what it is, for that would be useless. We cannot teach that which must come by revelation from The Holy Spirit. In Matt. 13 the Lord Jesus was giving out the mysteries of the kingdom. It was for His disciples to know these things. To others it was given in parables, for it was not for them to know.

The Great Secret or Fellowship of The Mystery has to do with a chosen people. They were chosen for this particular place in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). These people are known as nations or Gentiles. The reason for this appellation is that there is no difference in flesh in any respect in this fellowship.

The fellowship of the mystery has to do with a certain sphere of blessing. That sphere is not the earth, but the heaven above all heavens. All other dealings before the revelation of the fellowship of the mystery had to do with an earthly sphere and an earthly people, that is, a people that had the hope of future life on the earth. Also their sphere of service was in connection with the peoples of the earth. Not so with the fellowship of the mystery. The sphere of service is to make known the manifold wisdom of God to principalities and powers in the heavenlies. It is also in that sphere that those who are called will also reign with Him.

In the earthly program of Israel, not only was there a division and a difference in the flesh between Israel and the Gentile, but there was also warfare in the flesh and the Canaanite was to be exterminated. Not so with the fellowship of the mystery. There is no warfare or wrestling with flesh and blood. But there is a conflict in the spiritual realm, with spiritual wickedness. No carnal weapons are to be used here.

In the earth sphere Christ will be known as King of kings and Lord of lords. He came as the Messiah of Israel. He will be a Savior to the nations of them that are saved in the new earth. But in relation to the fellowship of the mystery, He is the Head of the Church which is His Body.

The fellowship of the mystery has no rituals to perform, Sabbaths to keep, or covenants of promise. It has no fathers. It has no law. It has no prescribed place of worship . Not being an earthly people, there are no divisions in the church which is His body; no one set above or over another, but all equally. So it is impossible for it to have an earthly organization. It is an organism.

This church has no Head but Christ. It has no authority delegated to it. All authority rests in Him. It cannot open or close its doors to anybody. The members are adopted, placed as sons. No one can join it. No one can boast of his membership for he did nothing to get it. We are His workmanship.

No trumpets, no shouts, marked the beginning of the fellowship of the mystery. Just the simple statement., "The salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles."

Because they cannot point back to some historical landmark, many are inclined to doubt these words in the Word. They cannot believe that such an important event could just happen without some eruption in nature or a great battle of world forces or some such landmark to point out a great change.

There is no evidence that the end of the fellowship of the mystery will be any more spectacular than its beginning. It is likely that it will never make the headlines in the papers.

It has been going on so secretly and silently during all these centuries since Paul spoke those words in Rome, that the great bulk of Christendom does not know anything about it. It is still a secret, made known only to such as are saints and faithful. It is not known by a study of the Bible as a book among other books. No amount of worldly learning or degrees can search out the secret. One must receive the gift of the spirit of wisdom and knowledge. The understanding must be enlightened.

There are those who talk about the mystery, but that is no guarantee that they know it. Many know that there was a dispensational boundary at the end of Acts, but know nothing of what lies beyond. This is especially true of some sects which have agreed with the teaching that there is a change of dispensation so that they might catch some unawares. But they are unable to define the mystery. You get absolutely no light on the subject from their writings, This is a good thing to keep in mind when examining anything new.

The term mystery, at the time Paul was writing his epistles, was a word used among the heathen. It was the degrees or steps by which they were gradually led into the secrets of the idol worship, A mystery then was something revealed to an initiate.

The mystery is something revealed to the initiate in the things of God, But very few seek to know. Few go on unto any perfection at all. Mere Christian professors then cannot be expected to know the mystery.

There is little likelihood of anyone having part in or reaping benefits from something he does not know about. He cannot receive anything by faith till he has heard about it. That is where many are deceived. They try to make the mystery a part of the kingdom. They think they can be meek and inherit the earth and get Heaven too. So they mix up the dispensations and say that the dispensation of the mystery will end with a shout, the voice of an archangel, and a trumpeting. They do not know the mystery.

Our mission today is "...to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery" (Eph. 3:9). But we are very limited in that mission. Many do not wish to see. Like Demas, they love the world. Many are entangled in religion so deeply that they cannot escape. But we press on.

Up to the great divorce of Acts 28:25-28, both spiritual and material blessings had to do with the earth, the land that was promised to Abraham and to his descendants. Even the New Jerusalem comes down to the earth to be inhabited by a chosen people. Among those will be Abraham and those who are children of the promise made to Abraham.

But abruptly in Eph. 1:3 is the announcement that a special chosen people will enjoy spiritual blessings in the heavenlies . This is a part of the great secret that was hid in God from ages and generations. This must have been a great surprise to the believers of that time. Not even a hint of such a thing had ever before been uttered.

We wonder what the Galatians thought of such an announcement! The Gentile believers of that district were told that by faith they had become children of Abraham and so could partake of the promises, but apart from keeping the law. They were under grace. The Roman church was told that they had partaken of the spiritual blessings of Israel . This church was mainly Gentiles. So all these Gentile believers would go to the synagogues or assemblies every Sabbath (Saturday) and hear Moses and the prophets and all about the material and spiritual blessings that were theirs by virtue of being a wild olive branch grafted into the true olive tree, Israel.

Suddenly Israel is cut off. There is no source any more for blessings for the Gentiles that believe on the God of heaven. And then comes the good news from a Roman prison that by a special revelation to the Apostle Paul , the scene of God's operations has shifted for the time being from the earth to the heavenlies; that there is a purpose in the great plan of redemption that also includes a realm of principalities and powers far above the earth. Had man ever imagined such a thing?

On the earth today are multitudes that have believed according to John 3:16 and have life and the hope of resurrection. But that resurrection pertains to the last day and the earth as its sphere. Many of these may want to know how one can obtain membership in the little band that is blessed with spiritual blessings in the heavenlies . This is something that is beyond the will of man. He cannot join the invisible church. The fact that a man may desire this membership shows that he may be in some such relationship in some way. But God does the choosing and the adopting of those that belong to the chosen people of today. And that is no different from the case of His chosen people, Israel , of yesterday. As soon as any person takes an interest in these spiritual blessings and wants to know how to obtain them, we feel assured that they have been chosen from before the overthrow and predestinated to the adoption . If they take no interest, then God must have foreknown it and they have not been chosen. Simple, is it not?

Have been reading some religious material lately in which speculation runs from the possibility of salvation after resurrection to the idea that members of the mystery body have a resurrection immediately upon death and go to be with the Lord. And all too often speculation precedes a ransacking the Scriptures to find what they have to say about it.

In Eph. 1:14 we have a pledge given which guarantees the redemption of the purchased possession. What else but resurrection could this redemption refer to? In Romans 13:11, in referring to another resurrection , the apostle says, "Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed." Each day is a step nearer the resurrection.

And in Eph. 1:19, He not only looks back to the redemption by blood, but forward to redemption by power at the end, and up to the Ascended Christ far above all, seeing Him there, Head over all things to the Church which is His Body, the Fulness of Him that filleth all in all.

In Colossians we learn that the life of the believer is hid with Christ in God and that when Christ appears {epiphaneia), the members will appear with Him {Col. 3:4). If there is to be a resurrection some great time before the manifestation, where and for what purpose will it be?

And in Ph'p. 3:11 we read again about resurrection. And the question comes up here as to how there could be the possibility of an earlier resurrection if all are resurrected immediately upon death? And so the question comes up again as to time of resurrection for each group of believers. Will any group be resurrected before the place they are to occupy is prepared and made ready? Why does any group have to wait? And also in Ph'p. we read in 3:20 that some have a homestead in the heavenlies.

In Paul's last epistle {2 Tim. 2:18) he warns against those who say that the resurrection is past already, overthrowing the faith of some. And he adds (4:1) that the judging of the dead and living believers is at His appearing, not some time earlier; and just 5 verses later he speaks of the time of his analysis {return to dust) as being at hand. From this we can see that when he spoke of departing and being with the Lord in Ph'p. 1:23, he had in mind the sleep and resurrection being between.

And since 2 Tim. 4:8 speaks of a crown being given at His appearing , does this mean that the resurrection and the appearing are at about the same time, or is there a long wait and suspense between resurrection and the judgment of the believers? How about other groups of believers; do they have to wait a period after resurrection till they are judged? Now, can there be a resurrection without salvation , or vice versa?

The church of the dispensation of the Mystery is different from all other callings in several respects. These should be noted.

1. A chosen out people without regard to any fleshly or national distinctions (Eph. 1:4). And they are chosen in Christ. They are believers chosen out of the great mass of believers for a special purpose. Remember that although Israel was a chosen nation, they were not the only ones who were believers.

2. The only people whose sphere of blessing is anywhere but on this earth (Eph. 1:3). They are blest in Christ (not Abraham) in heavenly places (not the earth). Therefore they do not have part in the millennial kingdom or the New Jerusalem.

3. The time of the choosing and the purpose of this group is unique. It is from before the overthrow (Eph. 1:4). No other family of God has this time factor. This puts the church in line to partake of a promise of eternal life made in Christ before the ages began (Eph. 3:6; 2 Tim. 1:1; Titus 1:2).

4. It is a people that are placed as sons (adoption) according to predestination (Eph. 1:5). Not all the children of God are placed as sons. And this position is by Jesus Christ. Again there are no fleshly or national distinctions in this matter as was with Israel.

5. A cognomen that is used of none other. This is a body of which Christ is the Head (Eph. 1;23). No other body has this distinction. This is a closer relationship with the risen Lord than is revealed elsewhere.

6. This people has an identification which transcends that of any other. They have been quickened, raised, and seated with Christ (Eph. 2:6 ). And the prospect is to be manifested with Him. Up to this time believers had been only dead, buried and raised with Him.

7. It is a fellowship, a dispensation or household of God which had not been revealed to the prophets, but was hid in God from ages and generations . And it has a unique commission in that it is to proclaim to all men the dispensation of the mystery (Eph. 3:9 R.V.).

8. In all other families of God there has been delegated authority, a difference in station of the various believers. But in this church which is the body of Christ there is a joint relationship in all aspects (Eph. 3:6). No member is above another. There is no priesthood. There are no judges, kings or authorities. All are on an equality. Even the teacher, pastors and evangelists have no more authority than you and I. This is a foretaste of the time when God will be all and in all.

God has set forth these 8 points in His Word. They are what He has said. Look for yourself. If you take exception and cannot believe, take it up with God. We are not responsible for what God has written. But our responsibility, and yours, is to believe God and let it rest there. So take your Bible and search to see if these 8 points be so, And if you find them to be true then the next step is yours to take.

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Comments  

 
+2 #8 dust 2012-02-14 06:11
I find it best to hear from the LORD through the Holy Spirit the truth rather than in church. i fell hell will sure be empty !!! Have Faith Love Jesus!!!
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+6 #7 Pastor Tony Layne 2012-02-11 14:08
This is what I have been seeking for all my life, I just knew there was something more than just going to church, just to go to church. I know there must be a life to be lived,or it was all in vain. I was like Solomon as he said " it is all vain) but how to do it. I was so through with the status quo (a fancy word for the mess that we are in) I want to preach with power and authority now I can. Thanks to God for this site where we can come and learn that you would have us learn about you oh mighty God
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+4 #6 GOD IS GOOD ALWAYS! 2012-01-05 08:24
GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!PRAISE HIM ALWAYS!
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Ephesians 1:22
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