By Stewart Topping …
All of us should understand the mystery that the scriptures talk about and to know why it is important to us as believers in Jesus Christ. Don’t believe people or any Religion when they tell you no one knows the Mystery. Look at what the apostle Paul said in Romans;
Romans 11:25 (KJV) For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.
He is telling us that we should not be ignorant of the Mystery. Some Churches today will tell you that no one can know the Mysteries of God. I am sure they never looked for it or studied the Bible. It is clear as a window pane. If you study and ask for God to help you understand; He will answer you!
It’s kind of funny what Paul is saying in this scripture; you should not be ignorant of the mystery; why because we may be wise in our own conceits. Is it possible that conceit means we know it all? Tough words for us to swallow, we need to read and take heed; because it will change our lives if we understand the Mystery. What we need to do is study and study; remember this verse;
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) 15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
The words rightly dividing mean to separate not understanding. So he is telling us to separate the word of truth. God has different missions during history that he has planned in order to reach the people he created; these are called dispensations. We live in the “Dispensation of Grace”.
The Jewish Nation had been trained for approx. 1500 years to expect the messiah. Then when He comes on the scene what do they do, they put Him on the cross to die. Why would you bring the message of the Law as the gospel when the Law was already fulfilled in Jesus? You would bring the massage of the cross, the death, burial and resurrection. We must understand the revelation that Jesus gave Paul for us. Listen to what Paul said;
Ephesians 3:1-6 (KJV) 1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
The nation of Israel lived in the Dispensation of the Law. That required them to followl the Law that was given to Moses and then taught to the Children of Israel for them to follow. What was the bases of the Law; the coming Messiah. So when the Messiah then the the age of the Law ended. We are not living in the same period. Here are the 7 Dispensations or the Age; they are listed on the column on the right or for more detail go here >>.
Another important part of Romans 11:25 is the section that says that blindness has come upon Israel. Why would God blind Israel? This was spoken by the Prophet Esaias (Isaiah). This is considered the reason that started the change in dispensations from the Jews to the Gentiles.
After the rapture God’s plan is to go back to the Jewish Nation with the final dispensation The age of Christ, which includes the 7 years of Tribulation and then the 1000 years of the Millennium where Jesus Christ, the King of the Jews will reign.
Acts 28:25-29 (KJV) 25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spoke the Holy Ghost by Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet unto our fathers, 26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: 27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. 29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.
You can see that Israel was waxed gross and dull of hearing and their eyes closed. Maybe they had already blinded themselves by their own conceit. They read the scripture every day and in Chapter 53 of Isaiah which was the most read; but they still did not hear or see. Rightly dividing means to rightly divide the way God would talk to us today; not through the Law but by His Spirit. Now here Paul is telling us that he was given the dispensation of Grace for us. We are in the Dispensation of Grace now. Let’s look more into what Paul said:
Ephesians 3:2 (NKJV) 2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you,
Since Paul is our teacher and because Jesus gave Paul the new program after Jesus rose from the grave. His message is for us today, for the Body of Christ. The Dispensation of the Law was given by God for the Jewish Nation only.
Abraham was chosen to start a new nation dedicated to God because the human race had turned from God and no one was listening. Act 28: 25-29}
Now let’s look at how we can join the “Body of Christ”, during the Dispensation of Grace. The following verse says by one spirit; the Holy Spirit. We are many members but one body. We are baptized into the Body of Christ not by water baptism but baptism by the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:12-14 (KJV) 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many.
We must realize that we become part of the Body of Christ when we are filled with the Holy Spirit and from that time forward we are not called Jews or Gentiles anymore. Why, because God has started a new dispensation, the dispensation of grace. In the next few weeks we will look at what makes up the new dispensation, “The Body of Christ”, and why Paul was given the Mystery.