Part 11 of 17 –
Comparing “Prophesy” with Paul’s “Mystery”
(The Secret and Last Gospel)
The Old Tetsament of the Bible is replete with fulfilled prophecies concerning Jesus’ birth and the details of His first coming, to Israel, to announce the Kingdom as then being “at hand.” These prophecies were all fulfilled literally – as “spoken by all the prophets” (Luke 24:27, Acts 3:24).
In contrast with prophesy, “the dispensation of grace of God,” the mystery gospel, had been “kept secret.”
Colossians 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now (through Paul) is made manifest to his saints:
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:
Romans 16:25… to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel (Paul’s), and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
God’s secret gospel, which was first revealed to the Apostle Paul, is the culminating gospel. With this gospel we see that the resurrected Lord has been sent in “spirit-form” to live within, and be one with, the human spirit of the believers who then make up “the church, which is body of Christ.”
Now consider these verses to see how it is that we are able to become one with Christ. 2Cor 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit… Christ is now the Spirit and His Spirit will come into the human spirit of anyone who receives Him, to birth them with His eternal “Spirit of life.” Jn 3:6 … that which is born of the Spirit (Christ’s) is spirit (ours). In this way we become one with Him – “one spirit.” 1Cor 6:17 …he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
Today, under the “dispensation of the grace of God,” Christ as the “spirit of life” (Rom 8:2a) is available to indwell all men who receive Him; whether Jew or Gentile, all are now without distinction. Jew and Gentile now stand equal in Christ, forming what was unknown until Paul’s gospel… “the church, which is His body.”
Some Christians mistakenly think the Christian church is simply an
Two Aspects of “The Mystery” Gospel:
1) The Objective Aspect of “The Mystery” is “LIFE SAVING.”
The objective benefit of “the mystery” is “received” by all who believe to receive the work of Christ’s Cross on their behalf. It’s benefits are offerred universallly to all who believe Christ shed His blood and died on their behalf. Its benefits of sins forgiven, full salvation, and deliverance from judgment immediately apply to all who truly believe. “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved…” (Acts 16:31). These benefits apply to all who believe and thereby are “in Christ,” positionally. “Objectively” every Christian stands positionally “in Christ” and as such their life is hid “in Christ”; they are clothed with His righteousness (2Cor 5:21).
Paul further describes this objective aspect of “the mystery” by using the term “the fellowship of the mystery” (Eph 3:6- 9). This “fellowship of the mystery” is that fact that all believers, Jew and Gentile, are now one in “the body of Christ,” without distinction by race, skin color, or gender.
In “time past,” the Gentiles had been set aside when God turned away to call Abram in order to gain a people for Himself who would “bless all the families of the earth.” God erected a “middle wall of partition” in the way of the peculiar requirements for Jews, to set them apart from the nations; e.g., circumcision being primary, then ordinances, and laws concerning eating, worship, and separation from Gentiles, etc.
Among the Jews, whenever a Gentile became a
proselyte to Judaism; historians tell us that there was also a “middle wall of partition” beyond
which no proselyte could pass in the
Paul writes that “in Christ,” “the middle wall of partition” has been “broken down,” so Jew and Gentile may form the one new man, “the body of Christ.” Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Many dispensational writers refer to this union of Jew and Gentile in “one new man” as the new “joint-body” of Christ.
This applies to all true believers. It is the position of all who make up the joint “body of Christ;” joint meaning it consists of all the believing of mankind, including both Jews and Gentiles, male and female, slaves or free men, all who are now “one body,” without distinction. Every true believer, whether Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Catholic, Pentecostal, Nazarene, Methodist, or whatever denomination or non-denomination, all “stand holy and blameless in Christ” (Eph 1:3-4). Yet, initially the inner soul-life of the believer remains untouched, awaiting a further work of God to bring them to a deeper revelation, awareness, and understanding of their grace-filled relationship with Him who now is their new indwelling life. This then should ultimately lead a believer to the life-changing “subjective,” personal, or dispositional aspect of “the mystery,” seen as follows in Point 2.
2) The Subjective Aspect of “The Mystery” is “LIFE CHANGING.” All believers have access to Christ’s INDWELLING LIFE, but only some enjoy the fruit of His indwelling Life.
This subjective or personal aspect of the mystery is seen throughout Paul’s writings, but it is most concisely expressed here in Colossians as CHRIST IN YOU. Colossians 1:26-27 Even the mystery (Greek, musterion, secret) which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory.
The personal enjoyment of the indwelling Christ’s life is the aspect of the mystery that applies to all who come to see and then “appropriate” and enjoy the life of the Christ who indwells them. This changes the believer dispositionally, in his outlook and temperament.
In this way our view of life and living is forever altered.
We move from being fearful and asking or begging God to deliver us from difficulties…to trusting Him while in the midst of life’s difficult circumstances. This then is a new mindset or attitude. Philippians 2:5 (NASB) Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, Jesus’ mindset of trusting the Father becomes the mindset of the one who has come to trust Christ within. This trust comes because He now knows Christ personally, by His indwelling life.
The believer enjoys the personal or individual aspect of the mystery by “the spirit of life in Christ Jesus” coming to indwell the believer’s spirit as an individual member of the body of Christ. Sadly, only some believers, I believe only a small number, move beyond the objective or positionally aspect of their relationship with Christ – to taste and enjoy Christ’s life within them. The mark of one who has come to a subjective reliance upon the indwelling Christ is that they enjoy rest and peace, of which the Sabbath is figurative. Only “some” come to truly know Him by His indwelling life and enjoy His rest and peace. Paul writes the Hebrews saying “some will enter into” that personally acquired rest and peace
Hebrews 4:6 (AMP) Seeing then that the promise remains over [from past times] for some to enter that rest, and that those who formerly were given the good news about it and the opportunity, failed to appropriate it and did not enter because of disobedience,