THE MYSTERY REVEALED
The greatest mystery of all time was solved almost 2000 years ago, yet today few people are even aware of its existence. Today we will look at this mystery, and what it means to us. In the Church Epistles, the word mystery is the Greek word 'musterion', which also means 'secret'.
I Peter 1: 10, 11 -- Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching [out] what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
The Old Testament prophets searched the Word diligently, or minutely, to find the time period (Age of Grace) that we now live in, but they never found it. They knew that Christ would come to bring salvation to the world, but they couldn't find in the Word, when that would be, or what would happen afterward. It was never revealed by God in His Word. God kept it a secret. But when the right time came, God revealed the mystery (secret) to the apostle Paul:
Romans 16: 25, 26 -- Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began. But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
The third chapter of Ephesians covers the topic of the mystery:
Ephesians 3: 1 - 4 -- For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation [administration] of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward; How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
The word 'dispensation' (oikonomia) can also be translated as 'administration', as in the administration of a household, the handling of the day-to-day affairs. Paul is referring to the Grace Administration in which we now live. By revelation, God revealed the mystery to Paul, which he then wrote to the Christian churches.
Ephesians 3: 5, 6 -- Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now [lately] revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
Part of the secret was that the Gentiles could belong to the family of God. It was not reserved just for the Hebrews.
Ephesians 3: 7, 8, 9 -- Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable [untrackable] riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship [administration] of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things. [The verse ends here.]
[Note: 'by Jesus Christ' at the end of this verse is omitted by most critical Greek texts. GOD CREATED ALL THINGS. Jesus Christ was with God in His foreknowledge].
Paul's ministry was to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable (untrackable -- cannot be explored) riches of Christ, and to make known the mystery. The word 'fellowship' in verse 9 is the same word translated dispensation (administration) in verse 2. The Grace Administration was a mystery before the first century.
Colossians 1: 26, 27 -- Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 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 outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was not completely understood by the first century believers until Paul's revelation. The new birth means we have Christ in us. Hope refers to something in the future and we can look forward to the glorious second return of Jesus Christ when the devil and his works are permanently destroyed.
[Note: The new birth is 'Christ in you' and does not mean the same thing as being 'in Christ'. To be 'in Christ' is to be renewing your mind so that you can stay in fellowship with God. When we sin by not renewing our mind to the Word, we get out of fellowship. Our state with God can fluctuate, but our standing as a son of God is permanent. If we get out of fellowship, we confess our sin to God and get back in alignment and harmony with Him.] (See the teaching: STANDING AND STATE)
I Corinthians 2: 7, 8 -- But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes [Satan and all of his devil spirits] of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Once again, Paul tells us about the mystery being hidden until the time was right. Why did God keep it hidden? Because if the devil and his angels [devil spirits] knew the secret, they never would have conspired to have Jesus Christ killed. When Jesus Christ was walking the earth, he could only be at one place at any given time. Since he gave his life for us, and we now have 'Christ in us', it means we take his place on earth. Every born-again believer can walk with the same power that Christ did. This is the last thing the devil wanted to happen. He was better off with only one Christ on earth. But the devil did manage some damage control and has continued to keep the secret hidden from the majority of believers. How many of us know that we have 'Christ in us'? How many read these passages in the New Testament and don't understand the meaning? It is time for those who know the mystery to proclaim it to others, just like Paul did in the first century. God purposely kept the mystery hidden for ages and for generations, but now it is time for all believers to know and understand. The secret is out.