In These Last Days
Are we in the Last Days?
The Bible speaks of 4 classes of humanity; (1) the lifeless, (2) those who have life, (3) the dispensation of promise, (4) and the administration of the mystery. The last is that group which is said to constitute the church which is the body of Christ. It has some characteristics and possessions which none of the others ever had. It is unique in many ways.
1. Every blessing that is spiritual. This is not said of any other children or sons. Those under promise have spiritual blessings, but they also have material blessings as well. First of all they have a land promised, and this land is to be fruitful some day. They have a special protection and those that bless them will be blest, and those that curse them will be cursed.
So having every blessing that is spiritual is something new. To try to count those spiritual blessings would be an impossible task.
2. In heavenly places. This is where the spiritual blessings are enjoyed. Nothing like this had ever been heard of before. No sphere beyond the earth has ever been mentioned as a place of blessing before Ephesians 1:3. In all the Scriptures before this, man has been earthbound and his dominion was limited to the earth. But the church even now is making known the manifold wisdom of God to the principalities and powers in the heavenlies. This is a part of the kingdom of His dear Son. And those who suffer shall also reign with Him.
3. Before the overthrow of the world. This group called the church was chosen from before the overthrow of the world. No other group of humanity can claim such a unique distinction as this. The kingdom is spoken of being prepared from the foundation of the world. This gives us some important information. The administration of the mystery with its heavenly mission was first in the plan and purpose of the ages, first in the mind of God. This has something to do with the great promise of life in Christ made before the ages began and which was not revealed until the administration of the mystery was made known. So we learn for the first time that redemption does extend as far in creation as sin and ruin have gone. This is really good news.
4. Made to sit together in heavenly places. This position is in Christ. It is a great honor. A seat or throne denotes honor. That mere man who was first made to have dominion over beasts, fish, and fowls (and not over other men) should some day reign with Christ in the heavenlies is almost unbelievable. And few do believe it. And few have this great and high privilege. The members are few and scattered, but the Lord knows them that are His.
5. The twain created one new man. At one time there was a difference, yes, even enmity between Jew and Gentile who were believers. But when the nation of Israel was laid on the shelf for a season, such Israelites and Gentiles as believed the gospel of the administration of the mystery were reconciled to each other, created in one body as a new man (husband) and reconciled to God. This is the church of the administration of the mystery.
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