- Published: 09 December 2010
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The question before us is; Did Paul ever preach anything besides the administration of the mystery?
If he did preach the mystery during all his ministry from Damascus to his letters to Timothy, then we have a few questions to ask. We have problems.
1. The commission given on the Damascus road had as a part, to preach the things which he had seen. See Acts 26:16. And in this context we find that he says that he is being judged for the hope of the promise made unto the fathers and in connection with the 12 tribes. Where is the mystery?
2. In the same reference you will find that Paul was also to preach the things in the which the Lord would appear unto him. He adds that he has done all this at that time. So whatever was revealed to him then had been preached also. And he does say that the Lord appeared to him in Jerusalem (Acts 22:21). No doubt this was his first journey there after his conversion ( Acts 9:26-30). This must have been a vision similar to that of Peter when he too was to preach to Gentiles ( Acts 10:9-48). Was Peter also preaching the mystery? At least at the council in Jerusalem he said that he did first what Paul was doing among the Gentiles (Acts 15:7-11). Peter made mention of the fact in those verses that the Jews were saved the same as the Gentiles. Then James took the floor and said that what happened had been prophesied. Then how could it be a mystery or secret?
3. When Paul began his ministry he proclaimed that Christ was the Son of God (Acts 9:20) and further in verse 22 he was proving to the Jews that the one they had killed was very Christ. If he were preaching a mystery hid. in God from ages and generations, how could he prove anything from the Scriptures?
4. In Acts 13:32,33 Paul declares that the promise God had made unto the fathers had been fulfilled. When the Jews rejected this gospel, then in verse 46 Paul tells them that he will turn to the Gentiles, just as Peter had done at Caesarea. Does this context have anything to do with the mystery?
5. And something strange happened at Berea. If Paul had been preaching the mystery hid in God from ages and generations, how come the Bereans then looked into their Scriptures (the OT) to check to see if those things were so? Is the mystery revealed in the Old Testament? If so, where?
6. There is something else in the life of Paul that is very strange if he were preaching the secret during Acts. Acts 18:18 tells us that he made a vow and shaved his head and went up to the temple. Was all this in keeping with Col 2:16?
7. When we turn to Acts 28:23 we find Paul speaking to the Jews for a whole day arguing from the law of Moses, and from the prophets. This is the last recorded message of Paul during Acts, but no hint that he yet knew or preached the administration of the mystery. Did he somehow find it in the OT?
The reader should study the book of Acts and the epistles of Paul written during that time (Galatians, Hebrews, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, and Romans) and see if the mystery is anywhere in evidence. The Berean spirit requires such study.