MYSTERIES OF GOD GIVEN TO PAUL THE APOSTLE (PART 2)
Mysteries of God Given to Paul the Apostle (Part 2) – by Pastor Mike Taylor – https://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2020/11/mysteries-of-god-given-to-paul-apostle_10.html
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:4-9)
In my last message we dealt with how Paul, who was transformed from Saul the persecutor of those who followed Jesus Christ, called the Way (before they were called Christians at Antioch), into Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles after being met on the road to Damascus by the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
We touched briefly on “mysteries” (secrets) that were revealed to Paul alone and that make up a vast portion of the New Testament that touch the Church body of Paul’s time, and ours today. Some make the statement in my last message that Abraham was the beginning of faith in God. True, Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness, but Paul showed that since Jesus death and resurrection, grace alone through faith is what is required for salvation. Let us recap what we have learned and take a moment and review each found on my blog space as we go further into the “secrets” that Paul learned from the risen Lord Jesus:
The Secret of the Gospel of the Grace of God
The Secret of the Blinding of Israel temporarily to their Messiah
The Secret of the “catching away” of the Church
Let us go further in the revealed mysteries or “secrets” that our Jesus Christ revealed to Paul and to him alone for the edification of this present day Church.
THE SECRET OF THE BODY OF CHRIST
We further proclaim that Paul alone was given the “mystery” of the body of Christ by the risen Lord, when He taught Paul that that each member of the Church is equal, whether Jew or Gentile. The Body of Christ is One Body of which we are all a part of. We are all equal, but have different roles to play, just as an eye, or an ear, or a hand and foot each have different roles to play in the human body and each are necessary and vital to the health and well being of that human body, such are each of the Body of Christ.
“For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ” (1 Corinthians 12.12).
This concept was not preached by any of the Twelve Apostles, as it was given to Paul alone.
13 “But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ
14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,
15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,
16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.
17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near;
18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.
19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,
20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,
21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord,
22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:14-22)
13 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
Becoming a member of the body of Christ, the Church, is through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is not a sensory experience. It occurs when one believes the gospel and accepts Jesus as Lord of their life .
3“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
Paul emphasizes that we are one body after the receiving of the Gospel further in earlier verses:
12 “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12.12-13).
We learn from Paul alone that Christ is the Head of the Body, which is the Living Church of God (Ephesians 1.22; 4.15;5.23; Colossians 1.18; 2.19).
In the age of grace Christ is nowhere called the “king” of the Church. That is His title for Israel. A king has subjects. But we have Christ as our Head, not our King. We are integral to Him. We are joint-heirs with Him:
15“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:15-17).
A joint-heir enjoys a different kind of relationship than a subject to a king. A joint-heir is one who shares everything belonging to the heir. This is grace! We know this from Paul alone for it, again, was a secret Paul received from the risen Lord.
Notice the relationship in the above verses? Yes, Jesus is the King of kings, and Lord of lords (Revelation 19) but to the born again believer, He is the head of the Body of all believers. We are heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, as we will share, as part of His Body, all the riches and glory He is right now, we will be. To me, just to imagine, which I can’t fully, the ramifications of what this passage in Romans means, makes my head spin and my imaginations cannot fully comprehend.
“Eye hath not seen or ear heard, or entered into the heart of man, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1st Corinthians 2:9)
THE SECRET OF OUR HEAVENLY CITIZENSHIP
From Paul alone we learn that the believer in the body of Christ has a heavenly position and heavenly citizenship. Peter and the Twelve looked forward to an earthly position, not a heavenly one. The Jew knew nothing of heavenly blessing. He looked forward to the kingdom on earth.
In the coming reign of our Lord Jesus Christ, here on earth, Jesus will sit on the Throne of His earthly ancestor, of the lineage of King David and rule from Jerusalem. The Prophet Zechariah declared:
9 “And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only One.
10 All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin’s Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses.
11 People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security” (Zechariah 14.9-11 cf. Zechariah 8.2-3; Daniel 7.14, 27).
Consider, When the disciples asked the Lord how they should pray, he answered them:
9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen’” (Matthew 6.9-13).
Is anything heavenly here? Jesus told his disciples to pray for God’s kingdom to come to earth and for His will to be done on earth. Jesus knew His Old Testament. He knew He would reign as David’s greater Son (Luke 1.32). Jesus Christ will usher in His Kingdom on earth and will rule it with a rod of iron. This will most likely be the population restored during the Millennium of those of Jewish ancestry, with few Gentiles.
But the Glorified Church, the body of Christ, has different promises than Israel. God’s promises to the Church are heavenly not earthly. Thus, Paul wrote the Ephesians:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” (Ephesians 1:3) and further in chapter two of Ephesians :
4 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2.4-6)
Unlike Israel who has been promised an earthly kingdom ruled by Jesus Christ from Jerusalem, we have a different promise that is given solely to the body of Christ…the saints of the Church. We have a heavenly citizenship:
20 “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself” (Philippians 3.20-21).
We will be resurrected or changed in the twinkling of an eye at the HARPAZO or rapture at the coming of the Lord Jesus for His Church and receive a glorious body, the same as the Body the Lord Jesus possesses right now. Speaking of our resurrection body, which is located in heaven, Paul wrote the Corinthians:
1 “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God (our new spiritual bodies), a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven,
3 inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked.” (2nd Corinthians 5:1-3)
And the apostle John echoed that same Truth when he wrote the following:
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” (1st John 3:1-3)
Are you ready for your change, your citizenship found in heaven as the heir and joint-heir with Jesus Christ, our Lord?
THE SECRET OF GOD’S WILL
The secret of his will is God’s plan to gather together in one all things in Christ. Only Paul revealed this truth. Paul wrote this to the Ephesians:
9 “He made known to us the mystery [secret] of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him,
10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth”. (Ephesians 1:9-10)
A parallel passage of this truth is from Paul’s letter to the Colossians:
19 “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, (JESUS CHRIST)
20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say,whether things on earth or things in heaven” (Colossians 1.19-20).
Are you in the will of God? Have you found my Jesus?
THE SECRET OF THE GRACE OF GOD
Paul revealed through revelation from Jesus Christ, that the Christian operates under grace, not under the Law. Paul began every epistle with the salutations that spoke of the grace of God. This was a totally newly revealed relationship that was revealed by Paul, through Jesus Christ who taught him.
No word more clearly identifies Paul’s ministry that the word “grace. ” It is the Greek word χάρις and means “favour.” God gives us what we do not merit or deserve. When someone receives God’s grace by believing the gospel, then God begins this transformation when a person seeks after God’s righteousness and enables us to love God, as He first loved us. The ultimate goal is that we become transformed, conformed to the image of Christ :
29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 ‘Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8.29)
And expressed similar thought in the letter to the Philippians:
6’ Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”(Philippians 1.6).
Paul was the epitome of God’s grace when as Saul, he terrorized the followers of Jesus Christ. God did not destroy Saul, He saved him by revealing Himself to Saul. From the point on, Saul became Paul the Apostle, a most zealous follower of His risen Lord and Saviour.
In the Pauline epistles, Paul uses the word “Grace” χάρις (in Greek) appears 156 times in 147 verses in the New Testament. Paul’s usage accounts for 103 verses (70%). Paul was alone when he revealed to the fledging Church that we are saved by grace, and not under the Law. He revealed that man was justified by grace through faith, and not of any works that we could do. This was not revealed to Peter or any of the other apostles, but was learned from Paul. Peter helped Paul when addressing the Jerusalem Council on these questions of following the Law of Moses as a requirement for salvation. He revealed Christ is the end or goal (τέλος) of the Mosaic Law.
4 “ For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”. (Romans 10:4-9).
No other writer of Scripture revealed these things. They are all part of the “secret” the ascended Lord revealed to the great apostle. Have you embraced that free gift of grace and mercy found in Jesus?
THE SECRET OF THE IDENTIFICATION WITH CHRIST.
All who believe the gospel have been identified with Christ.
3 “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,
6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;
7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him” (Romans 6.3-9).
When a person believes the message that the Apostle Paul preached according to the revelation given to him by Jesus Christ, then he is baptized into the body of Christ. Paul spoke of being “buried” with Christ, which is what baptism symbolizes. We become a new creature in Christ Jesus, Behold all things have become new. We are not, (or should not) be the same person we were. We seek after God, searching and living His righteousness, found in the life lived by our example, Jesus Christ. It is a lifelong endeavor in the School of God’s Holy Spirit which the Bible calls “sanctification”.
As we have been united to Christ in his death we have also been united with him in his resurrection. As Christ will never die again, we will never die. In terms of living the Christian life, this has immediate practical benefit. Paul wrote the Romans,
10 “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,
13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6.10-14 cf. 8.1-39).
Since we have been buried with Christ in Baptism, we are dead to sin, and the Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome our tendency to sin. It won’t come all at once, as we will continue to slip up, and when we do, we ask for forgiveness in repentance of our sinful nature that reared it’s ugly head and He forgives us, as a faithful Father and author of our salvation can only do.
Writing to the Galatians, Paul expressed identification with Christ like this:
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2.20)
Paul wrote the Colossians about this identification and spoke of the mysteries “secret of God”
“2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.” (Colossians 2:2-4)
and further down…….
10 “and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;
11 in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;
12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,
14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:10-14).
This was the work of our Lord Jesus, to take away the penalty of transgressing the law, as no one can keep the law perfectly, save our Lord Jesus. But through His death, He nailed that death sentence to His cross, as His blood washes us clean of all of our sins, past, present and future.
THE SECRET OF LAWLESSNESS
Paul revealed the “secret of lawlessness” to the Thessalonians:
3 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2.3-12).
This messages reveals the “secrets” the mysteries of the love of God toward us, but this last subject deals with what we are experiencing right now in this lawlessness that has so filled our land, our courts, our halls of justice, and invading every home that does not profess Jesus Christ as Saviour. The personification of this “secret” is the “lawless one”, (ἄνομος) the one who will be empowered by Satan, the Antichrist. John wrote about this individual in Revelation as did Daniel yet much is unknown about how he will come to power and operate. Therefore, a secret. What Paul revealed was what restrains (κατέχω) or holds back this individual.
In verse 7 of the above passage, Paul reveals that there is a power that prevents the full onslaught of lawlessness and the revealing of the Anti-Christ. This power is believed by many, including myself, that this is the work of God’s Holy Spirit that is residing in every born again believer’s heart and will not be revealed (the Anti-Christ) until the Holy Spirit is removed back to pre-Pentecostal times of the fullness received. Since God said that He would never leave or forsake us and would be with us, till the end of the age, then we who have God’s Holy Spirit within our spirits as a deposit of a future glorification, then when God’s Holy Spirit is drawn back, so will the Church of every born again believer.
The Holy Spirit will still be at work, as the scriptures surely show, but the restraint will be removed and Satan and his minions working through mankind in rebellion led by this Son of Destruction, the Anti-Christ will have full power to overcome all who remain on this earth and cause those who live to take a mark of loyalty and a sign of worship into their forehead and their right hand or be subject to martyrdom.
Remember in Part 1 of this message, I emphasized that the monster called the Anti-Christ will not be revealed until the church “is caught up” to heaven. As I mentioned, one of Paul’s purposes for writing the Thessalonians was to correct a claim from a purported letter from him that they were experiencing the Day of the Lord since they were being persecuted. Paul wrote to assure them this was not the case. He declared that before that can occur the body of Christ must be removed. When that occurs God’s retraining power will be removed and Satan will be free to bring his man to power. MANY WILL DIE, OR TAKE A MARK THAT WILL DAMN THEM TO A DEVIL’S HELL.
WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH THE SECRETS SPOKEN OF?
When we started looking at these “secrets” given to Paul, we spoke that these revelations were given to Paul when translated into the third heaven and heard with his ear and saw with his own eyes, what God had prepared for those who love Him. These truths were given to Paul to be given to the churches in Asia and to us, the end time Church, to which the scriptures were written primarily for.
Paul referred to these revelations as “secrets” for God had revealed none of these things to the prophets. Jesus had not revealed these truths in His earthly ministry or to the Twelve Apostles. From Paul alone do we learn the truths of Christianity: about Christ’s work of our salvation, our sanctification, our rescue from a Christ-rejecting world, and our destiny.
My reader, I have witnessed to you the Mysteries or “secrets” of God in two parts that were revealed by revelation through God Almighty, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to Paul the Apostle who started the Church of the Gentiles….of which you and I belong to in some fashion, or maybe you don’t embrace anything of a religion, as men have given religion a bad name. There I have to agree with you. Our God is not about man’s attempt at Religion, but wants a relationship with those who are His. Religion is man’s attempt to get to God, and Jesus is God’s attempt to reach mankind.
As men have perverted the Gospel, the perfect Word of God for their own power and glory. In the end, to them it’s all about money. But all human beings that have a computer, or social media know about the most famous person who ever lived, Jesus Christ. Even YOU!
But make no mistake about one thing, even though men have perverted the Gospel and you have bought into their lawlessness and careless handling of the things of God, when it comes down to everything being revealed, the only thing that will stand undefiled and forever Holy, is God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The road to hell is paved with people, men and women who look to other fallible men and women as their example, and when they fail, as they always do, then they reject Christianity because of these “religious” teachers. There is only One clear example that anyone should follow. Jesus is our example and it is Jesus who died for your sins, no one else.
When you were born, you were born for one reason and one reason only: “What will you do or not do when it comes to the Man/God known as Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God??” There stands Jesus with His arms outstretched beckoning for you to come to Him. He knocks at each of our heart’s door asking to be given entrance into your life. What will your answer be?
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him, might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:16-21)
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
I proclaim to you without shame of the Gospel that Jesus Christ is Lord, and Savior of a man or woman’s soul. I preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified, that lived, died, and rose again on the third day and lives forevermore…and is coming again…SOON. Today is the day of salvation, for you are not promised tomorrow. Do not neglect so great a salvation, as when Jesus does finally come back and you have not made that decision for Christ, then be in fear, my friend. Be in great fear.
“25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven.
26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” (my emphasis)
27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;
29 for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:25-29)
Are you waiting for God’s redemption of your soul, or are you blinded and waiting for His righteous wrath? Don’t let this opportunity pass you by ..Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be save…BEHOLD, I have told you secrets from the apostle Paul and God’s Holy Spirit. Believe these secrets for the salvation of your soul.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying for you to accept the only payment for sin and your salvation, Jesus Christ, our Lord. If you need help, counselling, prayer, or just a friendly, listening ear, drop me a line to [email protected], or visit me online for more biblical lessons from the Word of God ….God bless you all.
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET