The Now and The Mystery

Posted by peter - January 27th, 2011

The most important search a believer can give himself to is finding out what God’s ultimate intention is and how he fits into it. This should be a lifetime search. It is an ever-expanding search, finding its way into every part of life’s incidents, and always coming to the same knowledge that God’s intention is indeed working, and working for our good and His glory. Sometimes a believer lives most of his life before coming to this conclusion, but in time, God’s grace is sufficient to his coming to know this great truth. It is wonderful to see that we are not just struggling to find the answers to life, God in His divine providence, is arranging “converging powers” to bring this great understanding to us. It is an act of God’s love-one which will not suffer us to be ignorant of His plan and intention. The great hindrance to this is religion. Religion continually intervenes, subjecting the believer to a lesser understanding based on man’s evaluations rather on God’s Word. This is a subtle work of Satan, for his greatest desire is to keep us from seeing what God is doing in the world and for His children. But, in all this love will triumph. His love for the believer is than any force, even our misled , religious knowledge. It is most comforting to know in these troubled; days, that He is ever moving toward His ultimate intention. That intention is simply to have children who He has redeemed filling His house. Praise God, this is happening with a startling acceleration every day.
Satan and the Believer’s Growth. This great “happening” seems to hinge on the believer coming to know who he is now in Christ. Satan uses religion to keep believers ever pressing to be something for God. This is the most general trap set by Satan. If he can keep a believer doing something to please the Father rather than being what the Father says ,he is to be, then the believer is defeated. This is the greatest trap. It is a common trick Satan plays. on believers as well as the entire Church. This trick is most prominent in modern religious circles where leaders keep saying that what the believer does will bring blessing, such as heal and prosperity. While the Word does admonish us to do certain things, this must never be the reason for God doing these things. He does them on the finished work of Calvary, and we do things to please Him because we love Him and because He lives within us. In fact, it is Christ expressed through us that pleases the Father-simply Christ in us as us. This greater truth does away with our doing anything within ourselves to please the Father. It does away with the idea that our praying, giving, fasting or any works of our own makes us more acceptable to God. The son who knows who he is doesn’t do these things to get something; he does out of the love of Him who is within us. It is this idea that Satan and religion have kept from the hungry believer. The truth of all truths is not centered in what the believer does, but in what God has done in the believer.
God’s Intention From the very beginning of God’s redeeming of sons for His house, we see that His intention was to put another person-Himself in the form of His Son, Jesus in every creature He chose to be His (Eph 4:1).In fact, Paul said it plainly, “… the believer is chosen in Christ.” This simply means that God’s only intention was to have sons in Christ. Thus, throughout the Scriptures, the term “in Christ” is the most often used term in all the Word. This shows that the whole intention of the Father is that this troth be known above all else. Yet, without a move of the Spirit, meaning a God-directed emphasis, there would not be any consciousness that the believer is in Christ in the Church today. Perhaps the great problem in the Church today is centered in the idea of the believer’s spiritual growth. If the believer is always growing, then he never comes to a certain “utopia” of understanding. Thus, Satan intervenes to help teach and spur that growth, evading the central fact of God’s initial gift of Christ, thus making the believer dependent on doing rather than being. Spiritual growth is necessary “On the believer’s part, but none of his efforts add to the Father’s purpose of choosing him in Christ. Obviously, God put Christ in the believer as a definite act of grace because He knew that He could never depend upon the believer reaching any stage of spiritual growth that, would please Him. It was not God’s intention that Christ grow up in the believer,but rather that the believer grow up in Christ. Christ is whole in the believer. Jesus does not come in parts or pieces, nor do we get a little of Him here and there. He is a person-a total, complete person who comes into the believer when he is born again, and at that very moment, that believer stands perfect, by Christ, to the Father. It is the Father’s doing. Nothing man or Satan can do adds to this or takes away from it.

Complete in Him We are to grow up into Him. While He is complete in us, we are being made complete in Him. His place in us satisfies the Father to making us sons. But our taking on the Christ personality and manifesting it through ourselves is the growth aspect of the believer. Now. here is where the Devil tricks the believer . A confusion develops within the believer over his resting in God’s finished work of Christ in him and the unfinished task of the believer learning this and living it. The believer must come to see the “now” aspect of the gospel.

The “Now” Gospel There is not a more thrilling search In the Word than seeing of the “now.”This Word emphasizes the all-importance of what the Father did in the believer at regeneration. He fixed the believer perfect in Christ, and aimed the believer, in his walk, to coming into that knowledge. It was now hat the Father felt the son must be. It was not later on, not someday,and not somehow. It was definite–NOW! The Father had already seen that having a son in he house and having him here indefinitely was not good enough. He had already gone through that with Lucifer. It was necessary,on His part, to do what was needed to get sons with out any help from man. The Word is most definite at this point. We see right off, in Rom 8:1 , that “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. ” There are two powerful emphases in this verse. One is the in-Christ emphasis. Even though this term is mentioned over 200 times in the New Testament, making it the most often-stated truth in the New Testament Church, most believers have not come to its simple understanding. It is so simple, in fact, that most have felt it unimportant. Far from being unimportant, it is the most important truth in all time. Secondly, this verse says that this unbelievable act of God, putting another person in the believer,was an immediate act upon one’s believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. God, in His great wisdom, knew that men would try to save themselves and go into self effort if He did not do all that was necessary to get His sons. He knew that He must do it all because mankind was bound by guilt, and it is natural for man to want to punish his own guilt. Thus, His plan to have sons likened unto His own son, Jesus, would get lost in man’s religion. So, it was a now act on His part, and the now not only took care of Jesus instantly becoming the believer’s everything to the Father, but the now also took care of the condemnation that was bound to man’s guilt. Salvation was intended to place man in Christ, fully-redeemed, on God’s part at the instant of believing.

The End of Religion With this fixed in the believer’s mind, he is ready to grow up into this Christ in him. Sad to say, religion which has denied Christ His rightful place as being our all-in-all-hides this marvelous truth, perhaps to perpetuate itself. This day is coming to an end to multitudes of believers as they enter this great move of the Spirit. They are seeing that they have been denied the knowledge of the Christ within them, and with joy, they are accepting the revelation of Christ as their life. Another cornerstone Scripture showing to us the now of God is Rom 16:25. It simply says that while this revelation of Christ as our life was hidden in times past, it is now revealed and should be preached even to the pagans. It is interesting to see that even though the great revelation of Christ in the believer was made available on the Day of Pentecost (John 14:20), it was not until the Lord led Paul to a crisis experience in Damascus (Gal 1:17) that the revelation was actually made available to the Church. Then it was to prompt the propagation of the gospel to the ends of the Earth. World evangelization was in the scheme of the Spirit in giving the revelation in the first place. This truth surely speaks to the Church today. Just as there was a delay for several years prior to Paul’s revelation, so has there been a delay on the part of the Spirit to reveal the Son in every believer thus far in the Reformation. Not that there have not been individuals who have known this glorious truth, even for hundreds of years, but now the Body of Christ, as a whole, has begun to receive this great truth. How wonderful that the Father releases this revelation in our day,when the hungry really want to see the gospel of Jesus reach the heathen, for that is the greatest work of God to be done before the sons can get on to the Father’s house.

Not to Know Jesus of Nazareth Again Paul says, in 2 Cor 5:16, that if we did once know Christ in the flesh, now, that is not how we should know Him. What a beautiful transition Paul presents here. Jesus of Nazareth was so prominent in the early Church that those who had seen and talked with Jesus were very prominent believers. This was wonderful, just to hear first-hand about the Savior; but this Jesus, the Jesus who lived in the body given to Him by Mary of Nazareth, was not the Lord who was to be the life of every man born again. The Holy Spirit had formed a new and greater body at Pentecost, and Christ was to be and is the life of that body, sharing that incorruptible life with every member. This is why Paul taught that we are no longer to know Jesus in the flesh, meaning Jesus of Nazareth. But let us pay special attention to the “now” here. This now is the essence of what the Father is doing today. Now, right now, the Spirit is revealing the Son in the believers as never before. The “now generation” is alive and well. Jesus is alive in believers who are seeing Christ as their only life. What a glorious move of the Spirit this is! Perhaps the most popular now is to be found in a Gal 2:20. Paul says that the life he then lived was Christ. It was a life that he lived in the flesh, his flesh, and he lived it by the faith of the Son of God. Oh, the glories found in this now!While so many misled believers are attempting to perfect their flesh, now, that is not how we should know Him.

What a beautiful transition Paul presents here. Jesus of Nazareth was so prominent in the early Church that those who had seen and talked with Jesus were very prominent believers. This was wonderful, just to hear first-hand about the Savior; but this Jesus, the Jesus who lived in the body given to Him by Mary of Nazareth, was not the Lord who was to be the life of every man born again. The Holy Spirit had formed a new and greater body at Pentecost, and Christ was to be and is the life of that body, sharing that incorruptible life with every member. This is why Paul taught that we are no longer to know Jesus in the flesh, meaning Jesus of Nazareth. But let us pay special attention to the “now” here. This now is the essence of what the Father is doing today. Now, right now, the Spirit is revealing the Son in the believers as never before. The “now generation” is alive and well. Jesus is alive in believers who are seeing Christ as their only life. What a glorious move of the Spirit this is! Perhaps the most popular now is to be found in Gal 2:20 . Paul says that the life he then lived was Christ. It was a life that he lived in the flesh, his flesh, and he lived it by the faith of the Son of God. Oh, the glories found in this now! While so many misled believers are attempting to perfect their flesh by their own self-effort, Paul says that Jesus, God’s gift of life to the believer, has elected to live in the believer’s flesh (body) now-no waiting, no self-effort to perfect the body, but now! This idea does not fit with religion. Religion would actually deny the believer this now Christ, awaiting some sort of probationary process to fit its own creeds. Religion would say that if the believer had Christ in him as simply as this, the believer could not possibly live the life. But Paul goes on to say that this life is not lived by his faith,but by the faith of that indwelling Christ. This little line could be the salvation of all the weary believers wrapped up in the hyper faith movement.
They are becoming so weary of exercising their own faith and keeping it alive that sooner or later they will welcome a revelation of Christ as their life and begin to use and glory in His faith. This is indeed the rest for the  weary-His rest.

The Now of the Mystery Another vibrant now is found in Eph 3:5 It simply says that this mystery has now been revealed through the Spirit. The mystery is Christ in us, the hope of glory Col 1:27.
It is a common thing for every believer to feel he has received a revelation of Christ. It certainly is not my mission or the mission of anyone else to judge a believer’s revelation. My only mission is to confirm that the Spirit  as revealed Christ by the preaching of the Word. Yet, a believer who has received a revelation that Christ is his life has entered into a now walk which controls his entire being. This believer will join Paul in being determined to know nothing other than Christ and Him crucified
(1 Cor 2:2). This will be the true evidence. To effect this, all other interests-whether interests developed by past leading of the Spirit or current victories wrought by one’s own faith or future plans will all be swallowed up by seeing Jesus only. As with Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration, a cloud will come down and cover all human abilities; and when it lifts, gone will be the human efforts of building and doing honor to earthly beings. Only Jesus will be left. American believers will never be free to see the real Jesus as their life until they are delivered of the human efforts of men, which are incessantly promoted for religious purposes. The ever-promoted ideas that “bigger is better, ” or success is spirituality, or health is wealth must be swallowed up by the cloud of the Spirit. When this happens, the believer enters into the now. This now is a thing of the Spirit, supplying every need. Wonderful is the good news. The Spirit is revealing the mystery worldwide.

A Branch Can Never Be the Vine Last of all, we have another now to look at in Eph 5:8 . Here Paul says you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Once we walked in darkness, ignorant, misled by vain words, but now we walk in light. The walk of the believer is gravely important. It is not enough to just know that Christ is in you and revel in this knowledge; it is equally important to take on His nature. The next verse in this context, vers 9, speaks of the fruit of the Spirit. While the believer (the container) can  never become the contents (Christ), he can be changed by the bearing of Christ fruit. A branch can never be the vine, yet the branch, simply by bearing the fruit, is becoming more like the vine. Even as a wife (Rom.7) cannot become her husband, she does grow in his spirit and takes up his ways of love; so does the believer. Now are you light, and everything He is, you are. His “I am’s” are our “I am’s.” We are growing up into Him as He is being formed in us. The believer now is showing signs of His nature. As knowledge grows, His mind takes hold; the believer not only bears His fruit, but expresses His Spirit. Let us not be deceived; Christ in us, as us, is constantly being manifested by the Holy Spirit. This flow of Christ in the believer is changing him from glory to glory. While the Father has made Christ in the believer the only acceptable righteousness, this very appearance of righteousness is overwhelming to the believer, bringing every thought and action under Christ’s control, and spurring the believer to Christ-likeness. Even though the believer is not now, nor is ever to be, perfect in the flesh, his flesh is controlled by the mystery, now.

The Essence of the Mystery It seems that the whole idea of the now is centered in the great mystery. In fact, I see the now generation as a people who are constantly seeing the revelation of the I mystery. This makes imperative finding out exactly what the mystery is. Rom 16:25 says several things we have yet to consider concerning the mystery. We must say that the mystery is simply that the Father has elected,by sovereign grace, to place, within the believer, another person, Christ, who will be the only life of the believer. This verse in Romans lends great mystique to the mystery. First, God hid the mystery from the believers in the Old Testament; in fact, it was kept secret since the world began. Second, the revelation of this mystery to the believer was an important factor in the establishing of the believer. This fact offers a suggestion as to why so many believers never mature or
grow, even a little, in the Lord. The mystery must be known and talked about if the believer is to be established. Sad to say, many people immediately draw back at the very word mystery. This is, perhaps, because so many cults and false religions make so much of their particular mystery. But as it is switch all biblical truth and words, the erroneous and false seem to grab truth first and run with it, making those who are fundamental draw back from using it. We must not do this any longer. Truth is a person, Christ, and He is our life. All words and biblical ideas that belong to Him are ours-only ours. We must not draw back at the word mystery. This is what the Father calls the very heart of His plan. He calls it a mystery because He did not want every creature to know what He was doing. He hid the great mystery from Satan, probably until Isaiah’s day. He hid it from humans until the Day of Pentecost. Even then, when He made it known, He restricted the knowing of it to come only through the Holy Spirit, and with that, it was not until Paul received the revelation of the Christ in us that it was known by the Church.It could be proposed that these extreme precautions the Father took are twofold in purpose. First, He was able to keep it hidden from Satan. He had planned that the new creation was to take the place of  Lucifer, who was dethroned. Hiding this truth-keeping it a mystery-fooled Satan. Second was the news that the sons He chose were to be His and His alone; they were not created and chosen to be independents. They were to be His sons.

The Father Is Always In Control Beautifully, John says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God”
(1 John 3:2). Most carefully, the Father unwraps this great mystery and makes it known. Since it has to do with His having eternal sons, He stays in complete control. While Satan may tempt us, trick us, and ever harm us, we are the chosen and the mystery; Christ in us is working today as never before. A fuller explanation of the mystery is seen in 1 Cor 2:27. Here we see that the “hidden wisdom”which was ordained before the world unto our glory is the mystery. How beautiful that God had this mystery in His mind before the world was created. This thought drives deep into the mind of God. He is sharing His very thoughts-the thoughts that He had when He was working out His plan for the ages to get His sons. It was His intention to do something He had never done before. He was going to put another person, the only person who pleases Him and bears His total likeness, in His new creation. This very idea was a break in all of His proposed creation. Everything He had planned was perfect-so perfect that when He created each day, He could say, “It is good.” But this placing of another in the human being was different. It, in fact,was so differment that  He called it a mystery-the mystery of God. It was His thing; He alone conceived it; He alone could work it out; and He alone would explain it. It was His intention that the mystery and the sons who took hold of the mystery would form a fellowship of the mystery (Eph 3:9). Dynamically, Paul says his mission is to make all men see that there is a fellowship of those who know Christ as their only life. Thus far, the fellowships made by men fall far short of God’s intention. These fellowships are held together by the external screeds, doctrines, buildings, works and even miracles. All of these are earthly and temporal. The fellowship of the mystery is heavenly and eternal. Men try to hold the earthly fellowships together and always fail. No one has to hold the fellowship of the mystery together. It has the substance of grace working, and every possessor knows that he is eternal-now.

The Body Already Is One in Christ Already,we are discovering the tremendous force there is in the fellowship of the mystery. There is a bond between these believers which goes beyond human explanation. Since we no longer see another believer after the flesh,we develop a bond of love which humans have always sought but never found. Just knowing that Christ is in the other believer brings a vibrant understanding of all that Jesus taught concerning our relationship of one to another. Only in the fellowship of the mystery can we finally see the fulfillment of all the New Testament demands such as the Body being one, or the Church without spot or wrinkle, or an adorned Bride, or there being one Body,one Church, inveteracy. I always thought there was true fellowship in the past moves of the Spirit which would never be surpassed. Truly, as these moves progressed, like the healing campaigns, the Pentecostal move, or the Charismatic Renewal, the fellowship was wonderful, but in time they failed, as they were not based on the eternal. This great move of the Spirit is different; it is a fellowship of Jesus people-people who know who they are in Christ, and live Him. Next, we are able to see that the mystery has to do with the bringing about of oneness in the Body of Christ. In Eph 5:32, Paul uses the lessons of marriage to show the believer’s relationship with Christ. He plainly says that just as a husband and wife are to be one, so is Christ one with the members of His Body,the Church. It is interesting to see, in Paul’s teaching, that he never mentions the husband and wife relationship without making the point that the purpose of that relationship is to show the believer’s ultimate relationship to Christ. We further assume that the main purpose of marriage, aside from procreation, is to show mankind that the greater relationship to be had on Earth is between Christ and the believer. In all marriage teaching in the Scriptures, we see that each mate is to love his/he. mate’s body as his/her own (Eph 5:28).

Christ’s Body Is Perfect He goes on to say that Christ loves us as His own body, and that we are intricately woven into His body as flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone. This literally means that when WE were born-again, we became members of His Body He has an earthly Body and each of us was set into that Body when regeneration took place. It is in that Body that we live and move and have our very being . All emphasis is taken off our natural bodies, for our deliverance is not in our bodies becoming perfect ,here and now, but in us seeing that being in Him gives us a perfect body. This, Paul says, is the “great mystery” concerning Christ and His Church. All through the years of the Latter Rain Movement, Satan has tricked believers into believing their own bodies were where the Father was doing a great work. I remember a brother from the northwest, several years ago, who wrote many good books about the dual aspects of God’s plan, but he eventually came to error by thinking faith comes to perfect operation in the believer’s body. He literally taught that if the believer had enough faith, he could live without sickness and not die. This was a trick of Satan, for he was seeing that the perfect body of Christ, which the revelation believer lives in by the Spirit, had become his own flesh body. Regardless of what we believe about our own faith, there is no perfection for the human body; the Father never intended this. This is the error that the Church at Thessalonica got into. They believed that if they had enough faith they would never die. It was a good promotional doctrine until a believer died. This is the point that many “faith believers” have come to today. It’s a good promotion, but it just does not work. The reason is that the Father has placed every believer in a body-Christ s Body-and there we will never die.

As the Body Ages, It Weakens Constantly, people send me material dealing with perfection in the flesh. This dear brother I mentioned above, who for so long advocated perfect faith, finally died with disease. For the past forty years, I have known most of the great healers and faith teachers in our world. Many of them have passed on to their rewards. Not a one made the “perfect body” teaching work. Almost all died with disease, even though they were in hyper faith; others maintained that God just took them. I knew another man who was greatly used of God. He got off-center in Christ and began to say that a day was coming, upon Earth, when our earthly bodies would become imperishable, and the believer will conquer sin and sickness in his own body. Once again, I strongly stress that this is a trick of Satan. Our bodies were created as containers to hold an eternal Spirit; that Spirit is Christ. What Satan wants is to blind us from the Christ-life in us by distracting us with the fleshly body. At best, these earthly bodies are but clay pots. It is not the pot that is important, but the treasure in it. Satan’s desire is to minimize the mystery and do away with the true Body we are in-Christ’s Body.
It is here, at this point, that the great weakness of the Church is seen. Very often, students in our Christ-life studies ask the question, “Why is it that Bible believers do not see the plainly written truths of the mystery of Godliness given in the Word?”One of the problems, it seems, is that our knowledge relating to the “ages” theme as given in the Scriptures is ignored. An examination of New Testament passages which make reference to the program of the ages will show us that Christ is the very center of that program. In Heb 1:2, He is said to be the one on whose account the ages are ordered. In 1 Tim 1:17, Christ is related to the program of the ages,where He is called the “King of the ages.” In Heb 9:26 and 1 Cor 10:11 the ages are seen to center in His Calvary work for the sins of the world. The very work was planned before the ages began (1 Cor 2:7;1 Tim 2:9;
Titus 1:2), and that which had not been known in past ages was now revealed (Romans 16:25). Thus, the ages are time periods, wherein God is revealing His divine purpose and program as it centers in Christ. The word age as it is used in the New Testament, frequently translated as “world,” is essentially a time word defined as “a span of time, a life, a generation, or eternity.” Also, a secondary definition would be “the sum of the periods of time (such as dispensations), including all that is manifested in them.”

What Is God’s Divine Purpose In The Present Age? The Old Testament age–in which God’s purpose for Israel is stated in covenants-closes with those purposes unrealized. After the death of Christ, God instituted a new divine program, not to replace the program for Israel, but to interrupt that divinely covenanted program. This new program is anticipated by the Lord in His upper room discourse in John 13 through 16 and becomes effective after the advent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:14) announced that “God at first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name.”This people constitutes the Church, the Body of which He is the head (Eph 1:22-23), the Bride of which He is the Bridegroom (Eph 5:23-27, 32), the branch of which He is the supporting vine (John 15:1),the flock of which He is the shepherd (John 10:7-27), the temple of which He is the cornerstone (Eph 2:19-22,27, 1 Peter 2:5), the ministering priests of which He is the High Priest (1 Peter 2:5-9), the New Creation of which He is the Head and the first fruits (1 Cor 15:45). The reason for this calling out is stated in Eph 2:7 : “That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Jesus Christ.” The divine purpose in the out calling of the Church is to display the ultimate intention of the Father on this Earth. They had seen His glory,His majesty,His wisdom and His power,but no man or angel had ever seen His grace. Other attributes might be subject to a variety of demonstrations, but the manifestation of grace is restricted to what God may do for those among men who, in spite of the fact that they deserve His judgments, are objects of His grace. It would seem then that God, in this present age, is pursuing a program through which His infinite grace shall be perfectly displayed throughout all eternity. That grace is “Christ in us, as us,” which is the essence of the mystery.

The Character of The Mystery  Modern usage of the word mystery relates it to that which is mysterious or unknown. Scripture, however, uses the word to denote that divine purpose or program of God,known only by Him from eternity, but which could not and would not have been known unless it was revealed by God-unknown in other ages, but now known by revelation, The mystery-Christ in us-is a sacred, liberating secret hitherto unknown but now made known to all hungry believers,those hungry to know God in His fullness. This knowing comes only by what Paul called “the revelation of Jesus Christ.” In the twenty-seven New Testament usages of the word mystery, it will be observed that the body of truth referred to as a mystery is particular truth related to this present age.
Eph 3:5 gives us the best definition of a New Testament mystery. It says a mystery is a truth hither to withheld, or “hid in God” (vers 9), but now revealed. This simply means that the Father has made the mystery of the New Testament the sum total of the gospel for the present age, and none of these truths were revealed in the Old Testament. On the other hand, we must be careful to distinguish the New Testament mystery from the cults of Babylon and Rome, whose secrets were sealed and held on the penalty of death. The New Testament mystery, when it is revealed, is to be declared to the ends of the Earth (verse 9), and is restricted only to the limitation of the natural man (1 Cor 2:14). In the Old Testament, the believer was saved only by his obedience to whatever it was that God required of him. While God always wants a believer to be obedient to Him, the Old Testament way caused men to have to work for their salvation. In the New Testament, it is not the believer’s effort that saves him, but Christ’s atonement; it alone saves. To accomplish this, the Father placed Christ within the believer, and by so doing, was able to look only to Christ for the believer’s salvation. This is the heart of what the mystery of godliness is.

All of the New Testament Program Is A Mystery Starting on the Day of  Pentecost, the Father placed Christ in the believe-er and the believer in Christ. This was the mystery in operation for the first time since the world began (Eph 1:4). From that point on, all God did for the New Testament Church was a part of this liberating mystery. The very fact that the Father was to interrupt His established program with Israel was a mystery (Matt 13:11 ). That Israel was to be blinded so that the Gentiles might be brought into a relationship with God was a mystery (Rom 11:25). The formulation of the Church, made up of Jews and Gentiles to form a Christ-body, was a mystery
(Eph 3:3-9; Col 1:26 ; Eph 1:9). This entire program of God’s, showing that the believer’s life is in Christ and results in salvation, was called a mystery (1 Cor 2:7). The relation of Christ to men was called a mystery (Col 2:2 4:3 ). The incarnation itself is called a mystery (1 Tim 3:16 ). The development of evil unto its culmination into the man of sin (2 Thess 2:7) and the development of the great apostate religious system (Rev 17:5,7) both constitute that which is called a mystery. That there should be a new way by which God received men into His presence, apart from death, was called a mystery (1 Cor 15:51). These mysteries reveal that which is God’s program for this present age but has not been revealed in other ages (the Old Testament period). It is now revealed only by the Holy Spirit. This means that the entire program for this present age of grace hinges on the revelation of Christ as the believer’s life. It is a new program, and in no way is there even a part of it revealed in the Old Testament. It is a new program bringing about the kind of believer the Father wants in His house.

Erroneous Applications Hinder Growth This brings us to a solemn point. One reason that so many modern-day believers have not entered into the rest the Father has prepared for us is the constant Bible preaching which ignores the New Testament mystery. Far too many preach the Old Testament as if there were no change between the two. Applications made for Christian living from the Old Testament which are not provoked by the institution of the mystery as the final truth can only lead to confusion and frustration. God set Israel aside (Act 28:25-28) to perfect, for Himself, a perfect Body called Christ-persons (Christians). They are a new creation. Nothing like them has ever existed before, and the Old Testament has no doctrine for the message of the new creation. Of course, Christ is plainly seen, by us today, in all the Scriptures of  the Old Testament, but those who lived then did not see this, even as Israel today does not see this. Old Testament saints were saved by doing; New Testament saints are saved by being the Christ in them (Rom 5:10). A warning should be made to all who would handle the Word sincerely and faithfully-that when preaching anywhere from the Old Testament, present-day believers can only be helped by plainly stating that God deals entirely differently today than He did then. Without the preaching and making known of the mystery of today, there is no Bible salvation. This means that even in what might be called a simple application of some truth, without the mystery included, the simple truth may be error. Abraham was a great man. God dealt with him severely. Yet, in all of God’s dealing with Abraham, there is no help for us unless we see Jesus in the dealings. There is no life in Abraham; the life is in the Son-only in the Son. Moses was a great leader, but there is no life for us in Moses. The same goes for David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, or any character that was used of God before the Day of Pentecost when the Christ Body was formed and the Christ-life began for mankind. Remember, the Lord rebuked the Jews in John 5, that even though they were searching the Scriptures, there was no life in their search, for they did not see Jesus.

The Mystery Form of The Kingdom Another area that is often confused by teachers is the subject of the kingdom of God on this Earth. Because the revelation of Christ has not as yet happened to many believers, a self-effort program of man continues to try to set up an earthly kingdom. Some are saying the kingdom has already come; others say it is here now; and many say it is coming. That God is going to establish a kingdom on Earth is no mystery. Since Lucifer first sinned in the Father’s house, when God’s sovereignty was challenged, it was God’s purpose to manifest His sovereignty by establishing a kingdom over which He would rule. However, He saw from the beginning that that kingdom would have to be Christ in us (Eph 1:4). Through the periods of time we call dispensations, we see the Father proving His point of how to get His kind of kingdom by showing that all men at all times could never, within themselves, do what was necessary to please Him. When Adam was created, God gave him dominion (Gen 1:26); Adam’s sin proved that man, by himself, cannot manifest any characteristics of God. The reign of conscience was intended to bear evidence to the individual as to his responsibility to the sovereignty of God, but man failed under this test. Human government was ordained that men might recognize that government as a manifestation of God’s sovereignty. But man failed even here. God appointed judges so that these might manifest God’s authority, but man rejected this display of sovereignty. God instituted theocracy, in which God was recognized as sovereign, but the nation chosen to manifest this display of sovereignty rebelled (1 Sam 8:7). God then chose to reveal His purpose of sovereignty through David’s seed, who would reign (2 Sam 7:16 ). When Christ came, even this manifestation of God’s sovereignty was rejected. Sinful man has consistently rejected each manifestation of the authority of God. Within this program, the unrevealed secret was not the fact that God was going to establish a kingdom. The great mystery was the fact that the one who was to establish God’s kingdom of authority and sovereignty was to be Israel’s rejected Messiah, and further, to make the kingdom work perfectly, He would place Christ in every believing creature and depend on Christ to honor His authority and sovereignty. Thus is the spiritual kingdom established. How sad it is to see believers working to establish another kingdom or their own kingdoms. Praise God, the King has come, and He rules supreme; He lives in us, as us.

“Ye Must Be Born Again” To get what He wanted, the Father saw that we could never manifest His authority and sovereignty on our own, for time had proven that no man could ever overcome Satan’s nature within himself. Thus, the main point of the mystery was established. To get what He wanted, He would have to “birth” the sons Himself. He would, indeed, be the Father of the sons. He would plant His incorruptible seed, Jesus, within them (1 Peter 1:23), and by this, they would have His own nature. Then He would be able to depend on Christ, who never failed and never sinned, to be the righteousness needed to fulfill His purpose. Christ in us is the hope of glory, the hope of the Father’s purpose and the establishing of His kingdom of His Son in this period of grace. As we go from place to place we see men once again, by their own efforts, attempting to set up the Father’s kingdom. This is done by a trick of Satan, who does not want to acknowledge God’s authority. It is the same old rebellion. Men want to see the kingdom, as did Nicodemus in John 3. Men want to take credit for building the kingdom. Men want to prove their way is best, but the Lord has already completed His work (Heb 4:3), and there is nothing man can do but believe. All the gifts and graces of God are meant to bring the believer to this understanding. Our faiths, our baptisms, our works, our miracles, our prayers, our praises, our all is but to bring forth the kingdom which is already within us. The Father has done His part in placing the Son in us. Our part is to become one, in union with Him, so that the life we live is Christ. Only the revelation of the mystery will bring about this great truth. Paul said no man can teach you this Christ-not by the Church, not by works, not by human effort-only by the revelation of the mystery by the Holy Spirit can a man learn Christ. When it happens, the believer knows. It is not an intellectual thing. It is not something that can be carnally understood. It will not come by just reading the Bible. It takes a work of the Spirit, plus the Scriptures (2 Cor:9-10). Reading Paul’s epistles is a good place to start. Prayerfully say to the Father that you want Him to reveal His Son in you. It is only by getting alone, waiting prayerfully on the Father, and holding His Word in hand that the Spirit will reveal Christ as your life and bring forth Christ’s kingdom in you. Jesus said, “The kingdom is at hand” for Israel. They rejected the kingdom, and God set it aside until later. But His spiritual kingdom came and is totally fulfilled by Christ in us.

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By Warren Litzman


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One Response to “The Now and The Mystery”

  1. peter

    Who existed before all things IN whom all things are held together . He Himself who is the Head of His body who is the Beginning the Firstborn among the dead so that He Himself in every respect might occupy the chief place and stand first and Preeminent . For it has pleased the Father (who thru He Himself is my Father too) that ALL the DIVINE Perfection Power (Christ He Himself is the Power and Wisdom of God our Father) and Attributes, dwell Permanently IN HIM .

    Although, I , Elizabeth having known Him for so many years has not known the Message of Him IN me . He Himself has granted me to have the eyes of my heart flooded so that I am in the process of Understanding the Hope to which He Himself has called me which is Christ IN me the Hope of Glory . And now He Himself, by His Faith, has grounded ,settled, causes me to be steaadfast , not shifting from the Hope of the Message of He Himself IN me by the precious Holy Spirit I am daily taught I IN HIM , by Conforming me in my Soul (where the knowledge of Christ IN Me AS ME is worked out) .How glorious, how absolute beyond everything I have ever known in my life of 69 years is it to NOW know the Mystery which was hidden for ages and generations before I ever was born . That by He, Himself the Living Word, The Seed of My Father, this Revelation is revealed to me .

    In great Adoration I can only say Thank You My Father for having had me in mind even BEFORE the foundation of the world to be a sharer of this amazing plan of Yours .

    It is by Grace that He Himself has accepted me x Today I am a minister in accordance with the divine Stewardship with which He Himself has trusted me to make known His Message the Mystery now revealed .

    HE HIMSELF did it
    By Elizabeth

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