THE GREAT MYSTERY
                                                 PART 4

                  
THE BODY OF CHRIST


The New Testament mentions the Great Mystery twice using the
adjective, “Great”.  Ephesians 5:32 mentions both parts of the great
mystery: 1) The Christ, and 2) The Church.  1Timothy 3:16 focuses on
The Christ aspect of the Great Mystery.

NKJ Ephesians 5:32 This is a (the) great mystery, but I speak concerning
Christ and the Church.

NKJ 1Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of
godliness (our devotion): God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in
the spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in
the world, Received up in glory.

NOTE Bullinger referred to the Great Mystery as the great sacred secret.  
He used an English pagan translation for the Greek word translated in the
KJV and NKJ New Testament, as mystery (singular & plural), in 27 verses,
6 forms, and 27 hits.  The term “sacred” relates to “sacer,” “sacerdotal,”
or “sacerdotalism”.  Sacerdotalism has to do with secrets, known only by
the priests of the Babylonian Mysteries, in its various forms: The system,
which devolved upon the Roman Church, for its protection and
continuance.  The more appropriate term for God’s Prophecy is
“mystery”.  It is not some secret held from the people, by the priest, to
use it for some advantage of the inside elite in order to keep the masses
ignorant of and loyal to its religious hierarchy.  

Moreover, the Church of God is not a secret organization that expresses
a desire to keep others out who are uninitiated.  Those outside the Body
of Christ exist because they have no desire to enter into communication
with the True God.  In other words, they have excluded themselves from
God’s presence.  Those of the Body may know the “Mysteries” of God;
no Mystery of God is of private knowledge only to the “priests”.  Paul
called it a mystery because he referred to that perspective of the
mystery, which “was unknown before” – in other words, the Revelation of
the Prophecy.  The Great Mystery was not a secret known by the priests,
scribes, or Doctors of the Law at anytime.  God made the Revelation of
the Great Mystery available to the Church through the Apostle Paul.  It
was a prophecy, from one perspective, which God began to fulfill with the
death and resurrection of Christ and continued to fulfill, from the
perspective of the Church, at the Pentecost of 30AD.  In other words,
Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection made possible the beginning of the
Church of God.  The Church continued growing until God inspired Paul
with the understanding of what had and was happening before their eyes
concerning how God was fulfilling His prophecy of blessing the Gentiles
through the Seed (Christ) of Abraham and through the preaching of the
Gospel by the Apostles and Ministers of the Church of God.

Another Mystery:

In 1Corinthians 15:51, the Church already had the knowledge that God
would raise the dead in Christ at the resurrection.  To complete that
knowledge, they needed to understand what would happen, at the
resurrection, to those still alive.  Therefore, Paul explained the mystery of
God’s process for the living when the resurrection occurs.  The time had
come for the Church to understand the perspective that although it is
appointed for all men to die once – some would not die but be changed in
a moment to meet Christ in the air.  God revealed the unknown
information to Paul, and he revealed it to the Church – the Body.  
Observe that this is not directly about the Great Mystery, which concerns
the coming together of a people from Israel and from the Gentiles to form
the New Covenant Church of God – of which the Old Testament never
mentioned, from the perspective of how God would create such a
structure in order to bring the prophecy to pass.  Although, it does
explain how the Church will transition from physical (dead or alive) into
eternal life.

1Corinthians 15:51 is a similar situation to that of the daughters of
Zelophehad during the time of Moses concerning what to do about
possession of the land when a man had only daughters*.  It was a
mystery until God gave the answer to Moses and he passed it on for all
future generations of the Israelites.  A secret is something one keeps
from someone.  A mystery is something that requires explanation
because of a lack of understanding: Prophecy falls in the category of a
mystery.  In fact, the Great Mystery was a well-known prophecy of the
Old Testament; yet, God did not open the revelation of the prophecy or
mystery to the understanding of the Doctors of the Law.  Rather, God
gave the Revelation of the prophecy to the Apostle Paul and he to the
Church – a prophecy already fulfilled to a considerable degree, by the
time of its revelation.

However, in 1Corinthians 15:51, we observe the revelation of another
mystery:

NKJ 1Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I tell you (reveal) a mystery: We shall not
all sleep (die), but we shall all be changed––
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the
trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall
be changed.

NKJ Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after
this the judgment,

*NKJ Numbers 27:7  "The daughters of Zelophehad speak what is right;
you shall surely give them a possession of inheritance among their father’
s brothers, and cause the inheritance of their father to pass to them.

NKJ Numbers 36:6  "This is what the LORD (YAHWEH) commands
concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, ‘Let them marry whom
they think best, but they may marry only within the family of their father’s
tribe.’


                            THE FOUNDATION OF THE BODY

                                               THE CHURCH
                                                         &
                         The nine spiritual gifts that God gave to it

1Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want
you to be ignorant:
2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols;
however, you were led.
3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the spirit of
God calls Yahshua accursed, and no one can say that Yahshua is [the]
Lord (HaAdon) except by the holy spirit.
4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit.
5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord (Adon).
6 Moreover, there are diversities of activities, but the same God works
overall.
7 However, the manifestation (evidence) of the spirit, [God – See previous
verse] gives to each one for the profit of all:
8 for to one He (God – See Verse 6) gives the word of wisdom through
the spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same spirit,
9 to another faith by the same spirit, to another gifts of healings by the
same spirit,
10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another
discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the
interpretation of tongues.
11 However, the same spirit works all these things, distributing to each
one individually as He (God – See Verse 6) wills.

                                     THE UNITY OF THE BODY

1Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all
the members of that one body, being 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 have all been made to drink into one
spirit.
14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.
15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the
body," is it therefore not of the body?
16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the
body," is it therefore not of the body?
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing?  If the
whole [body] were hearing, where would be the smelling?


                                 THE MEMBERS OF THE BODY

1Corinthians 12:18 But now God has set the members, each one of them,
in the body just as He pleased.
19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?
20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.
21 And the eye cannot say (would never say) to the hand, "I have no need
of you"; nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker
are necessary.
23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable,
on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have
greater modesty,
24 but our presentable parts have no need [of modesty].  But God
composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks
it,
25 that there should be no schism (division, discord) in the body, but that
the members should have the same care for one another.
26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one
member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now, you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

In verse 21, Paul says, “The head (cannot say) to the feet, I have no need
of you”.  The essence of the term translated “cannot say” is more at
“would never say”.  Paul’s intent is not to say that Christ, the Head of the
Church, cannot say to the lowest member of the body, “I have no need of
you”.  If one commits the unpardonable sin, Christ has already obligated
Himself to say – “I have no need of you”; however, in such instance,
Christ will replace the jettisoned member with another selection;
therefore, the body will remain whole.  In other words, Christ does not
obligate Himself to keep someone in the body against that person’s will.

Here, Paul uses the physical body to express that the spiritual body is a
cohesive whole – not individual entities that operate apart from the rest
of the body.  However, we must understand that the “Body” is an
organism – not an organization.  Christ is the Head and He places each of
us into the body as it pleases Him – He gives each of us gifts by the
power of His holy spirit to fulfill His mission of getting the Gospel out to
the world and He mobilizes the whole Church to accomplish His aims.  In
other words, Christ is in charge and He does His work through the
members of His body.  

However, to return to the phrase “I have no need of you,” Christ would
never express this sentiment because the Father would not call anyone
into the body unless He wanted him there for a purpose.  On the other
hand, if one does not wish to remain in the body, he can leave the body –
by committing the unpardonable sin – however, he cannot return once he
has made that choice.


                                          THE ASSEMBLY
                                                      &
                        The Nine Spiritual Roles of Its Members

1Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members
individually.
28 And God has appointed these in the Church: first apostles, second
prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps,
administrations, varieties of tongues.
29 Are all apostles?  Are all prophets?  Are all teachers?  Are all workers
of miracles?
30 Do all have gifts of healings?  Do all speak with tongues?  Do all
interpret?
31 But earnestly desire the best gifts.  And yet, I show you a more
excellent way.

NKJ 1Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members,
but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also
[is the Body of] Christ.
13 For by (in) one spirit we were all baptized into one body––whether
Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free––and have all been made to drink
into one spirit.

The physical body is only a type of the Body of Christ for purposes of
illustration and analysis.  In other words, “The Body of Christ” is a figure
of speech, an Epitheton (E-pith´-e-ton) or an Epithet – A Naming of a
Thing by Describing it.  The Epithet presents us with another way to refer
to – and think about – the Assembly or Church of God.  Moreover, as
God adds new members to the Body, other members die the physical
death; and, other members lose faith dropping out altogether: The Body
must continue to accomplish God’s purpose; therefore, God adds
members to the Church to achieve His will.  Furthermore, in the scripture
that says, “who have reckoned themselves as having died when He died”:
Death pictured by baptism is “dead indeed to sin”.  The perspective is
not death in reality, but death in type – the old man of sin (without the
spirit of God) died or should have died – in baptism; and the new man
came alive because God, in Christ wiped away our past sins – what we
were before baptism – and gave us the holy spirit.  Therefore, we began
our new life from a different perspective: Living the way of
righteousness, with the help of the holy spirit of God.  

Observe that Paul does not teach eternal salvation in this scripture.  
Scriptures teaching about the unpardonable sin* rule out the doctrine of
eternal salvation, as taught by the Protestants.  Some few members will
lose their place in the body and God will replace them with other – more
faithful – members.  We cannot amputate a member, but God can and will
remove one from the body who has lost faith in Him by having quenched
the holy spirit that God has given him.  We observe the same proposition
in David’s prayer of Psalms 51.  David would not have asked God for His
favor in this regard, if his future were already an impossible foregone
conclusion.  David had the holy spirit and knew that if he committed the
unpardonable sin he would lose his salvation!

NKJ Psalms 51:11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not
take Your holy spirit from me.

[NOTE: JRR: The two phrases of Psalm 51:11 express the same thing in
two different ways; or the second phrase explains in more detail the
meaning of the first phrase.  God casts one away from His presence by
taking His holy spirit from him – that which connects man to God, as a
begotten Son of God.  In other words, we have here the figure,
Hermeneia: Repetition, which interprets what has been said already.  
Therefore, while the word “and” is in the Greek, the essence would
require the following English translation: Do not cast me away from Your
presence – Do not take Your holy spirit from me.”  In other words, we do
not have here two different things; rather, the second phrase explains the
first phrase.]

*Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened,
and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the holy
spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age
to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since
they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open
shame.

Observe the Hermeneia (Her-mee´-neia): Those once enlightened, Those
who have tasted of the heavenly gift – Those who have become partakers
of the holy spirit – Those who have tasted the good word of God, Those
who have tasted the powers of the age to come.  The holy spirit is central
to the two initial and two latter phrases.  The holy spirit enlightens us;
and the holy spirit is the heavenly gift.  Then Paul speaks plainly: Those
who have become partakers of the holy spirit.  One tastes the good word
of God by means of the understanding that God gives to him by the
indwelling of the holy spirit; and we are experiencing the powers of the
age to come when God energizes us to righteousness by His holy spirit
dwelling in us.  From this scripture, we understand that one must first
receive the holy spirit before He can commit the unpardonable sin;
otherwise, he could not quench the holy spirit and he would not have
enough inside knowledge to be accountable for his actions.  The doctrine
of eternal salvation contradicts this scripture.

It is important to make a mystery clear rather than increase the
murkiness that surrounds it.  The second situation occurs when one
believes that the mysteries of God are sacred secrets and that the
Church is the mystery rather than part of the revelation of the mystery.  
Observe the context of Romans 6:11: “reckon yourselves to be dead”:
The Hermeneia that follows explains Paul’s intent.  The part that
Protestants tend to ignore explains how we should reckon ourselves
dead – “dead indeed to sin”.  In other words, live a righteous life
because, with the indwelling of the holy spirit, sin no longer has a hold
over you.  To paraphrase Paul’s statement in Romans 6:11: Turn off the
carnal mind and turn on the God-mind dwelling in you through Yahshua,
Mashiach, Adonay.

NKJ Romans 6:11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead
indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ, Jesus (Yahshua) our Lord
(Adonay).

NKJ Colossians 3:1 If then you were raised (in baptism) with Christ, seek
those things, which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of
God.

[NOTE: JRR: “Things, which are above = Things that are heavenly rather
than of the earth – things that are righteous” – the spirituality of God
rather than the carnality of man, that which is below.]

NKJ 1Corinthians 12:18 But now God has set the members, each one of
them, in the body just as He pleased.

NKJ 1Corinthians 12:26 And if one member suffers*, all the members
suffer with [it (him)]; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice
with [it (him)].

NKJ 2Timothy 2:11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We
shall also live with Him.
12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him.  If we deny Him, He also will
deny us**.

NKJ 1Corinthians 12:21 And the eye cannot say (would never say) to the
hand, "I have no need of you"; nor again the head [would never say] to
the feet, "I have no need of you."

*Concerning tribulation: Tribulation is not something we visit on
ourselves because of our error of thinking.  Tribulation comes from
without – from those who hate us.  Paul tells us that no temptation has
overtaken us except such as is common to man.  Lust for power within a
given group, which may or may not be a part of the Body is not
tribulation.  It is doubtful that any one political religious group is purely a
part of the Body of Christ.  If we take the seven Churches of God in
Revelation as an indicator, they all had those within the political assembly
who were not a part of the Body of Christ – perhaps Philadelphia, as a
type, came closest to being an exception.  The Church did suffer
tribulations at the hands of the Church of Rome during its theocratic rule
of Europe – especially from 554AD, under the designation “The Holy
Roman Empire” and during the Reformation when the Roman Church was
trying to hold on to power.  Moreover, the Laodicean portion of the Body
will suffer the Great Tribulation in the seventh revival of the Holy Roman
Empire.  However, today the Body suffers temptations – common to man
in most situations – rather than tribulations*.

*NKJ 1Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as
is common to man; but God [is] faithful, who will not allow you to be
tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make
the way of escape, that you may be able to bear [it].

KJV James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his
own lust, and enticed.


**Concerning Eternal Salvation: When God gives one the holy spirit, He
locks that person into Eternal Life.  However, God does not want another
Satan in the Family of God!  Therefore, God has provided a way to purge
one from the Book of Life, if he turns his back on God, which is
committing the unpardonable sin.  Esau and King Saul are types of those
who have committed the unpardonable sin.  The birthright blessing
belonged to Esau, but he scorned it; therefore, he lost it forever, to his
brother Jacob.  Once one receives the holy spirit, he has right to the tree
of life – eternal life – providing he does not commit the unpardonable sin.  
In such case, Christ – the Head – does not say, “I have no need of you”;
rather, the person says by his lifestyle, “I do not want to be a member of
the Body of Christ”.  In such case, God has a way to remove one from
the Book of Life.  

Revelation 3:5 "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments,
and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess
his name before My Father and before His angels.  

Exodus 32:32  "Yet now, if You will, forgive their sin––but if not, I pray,
blot me out of Your book which You have written."
33 And the LORD (Yahweh) said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against
Me, I will blot him out of My book.

The bible does not hit upon the theme of the unpardonable sin in a heavy-
handed way.  God keeps the way to salvation positive.  However, it is
advantageous for the believer to realize that he should not take his
salvation for granted to the point of living his life in a way that grieves the
holy spirit: Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the holy spirit of God, by
whom (which) you were sealed for the day of redemption.  As David
prayed to God, “do not take Your holy spirit from me”.

Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened,
and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the holy
spirit,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to
come,
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing
they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open
shame.

Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge
of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

To sin willfully – to commit the unpardonable sin – means that we no
longer want to be a part of the Body of Christ.  To sin willfully does not
refer to an incident of sin, but to a sinning way of life preferred over the
righteous way of life.  Moreover, the unpardonable sin is the only way
one can lose the promise of eternal salvation.


                                THE GROWTH OF THE BODY


NKJ Ephesians 1:22 And He (God the Father) put all [things] under His
(Christ’s) feet*, and gave Him (Christ) [to be] head over all [things] to the
Church,
23 which is His (Christ’s) body**, the fullness of Him (Christ) who fills all
[of the members of His body] in (with) all [of His spiritual gifts and roles].

By not supplying the ellipsis in Ephesians 1:23, the NKJ translates as “all
[in] all”.  However, the Greek preposition en has more than the one
nuance of “in”.  Friberg: (3) of cause: (a) denoting means or instrument
by, or with.

As an example: Hebrews 9:22 the translation for “en” is “with”.

Hebrews 9:22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with
(en) blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.  

The implied ellipsis in Ephesians 1:23 also requires “with”.  In other
words, Christ supplies the Church with the Gifts of the holy spirit and
establishes the roles of 1Corinthians 12:27-31 to aid the Church in
reaching its goal of becoming His wife.

*NKJ Hebrews 2:8 You have put all things in subjection under His feet."  
For in that He put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing [that is] not
put under Him.  But, now we do not yet see all things put under Him.  
[Note: JRR: Christ’s Kingdom is yet future.]

NKJ 1Corinthians 15:27 For "He has put all things under His feet."  But
when He says "all things are put under [Him," it is] evident that He [the
Father] who put all things under Him (Christ) is excepted.  [In other
words, the Father did not put Himself under Christ.]

From the Gifts Passage:

**1Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members
individually.

NKJ 1Corinthians 12:6 And there are diversities of activities [gifts and
roles], but it is the same God who works all in all.  [“It is the same God
who makes all of these activities available to all the Church, as He wills,
by means of His spirit”: 1Corinthians 12:11 But one and the same spirit
works (accomplishes) all these things, distributing to each one
individually as He (God) wills.]

[NOTE: JRR: Ephesians 1:23: The Church is the fullness of Christ and
Christ permeates the universe* upholding (maintaining) all His creation by
speaking to it when necessary, as He did to the sea in Mark 4:39**.  
Moreover, Christ’s spirit permeates the universe***.]

*Hebrews 1:3 who (Christ) being the brightness of [His – the Father’s]
glory and the express image of His (the Father’s) person, and upholding
all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our
sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

**Mark 4:39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea,
"Peace, be still!”  And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

***Jeremiah 23:24 Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not
see him?" says the LORD (Yahweh).  "Do I not fill heaven and earth?"
says the LORD (Yahweh).

David said:

Psalms 139:7 Where can I go from Your spirit?  Or where can I flee from
Your presence?

Perhaps the most important abstract proposition in Ephesians 1:22-23 is
in the phrase, “the Church, which is His (Christ’s) body, the fullness of
Him (Christ)”.  We lose sight of the importance of this phrase because
the translators have broken it up into two different verses and because of
the pronoun usage in the Greek.  Beyond that, the translators did not
comprehend the weight of the phrase.  Therefore, let us put it in a
Paraphrase: Christ is the head of all things to the Church, which is Christ’
s body, and Christ’s fullness.  In other words, just as a man is incomplete
without a wife, so Christ is incomplete without the Church – His affianced
bride.  God created Adam to need a wife to be complete**.  Just as Eve
was of Adam’s body – bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh*** even so,
the Church is of Christ’s body, of His flesh, and of His bones****.

**Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God (Yahweh, Elohiym) said, "[It is] not
good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to
him."

***Genesis 2:23 And Adam said: "This [is] now bone of my bones And
flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out
of Man."

Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be
joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.


****Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of
His bones.
31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined
to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."
32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.

However, to paraphrase 1Corinthians 11:9, God did not create Christ for
the Church, but the Church for Christ*.  After all, the Church is to become
the wife of Christ!  The fact that the spiritual dispensation from creation
to the resurrection is the make-up of the Body of Christ should impress
upon us that The first six thousand years of man’s existence has been
for acquiring a wife for Christ!  Now, the history of these six thousand
years, and the bible from Genesis to Revelation, which has to do with
these six thousand years must surely reveal to us the importance of a
wife for Christ.  

*1Corinthians 11:9 Nor was (the) man created for the woman, but (the)
woman for the man.

The entire creation waits in eager anticipation for the marriage of Christ
to His wife – that is the essence of Paul’s intent in these verses when we
couple Ephesians 1:22-23 with Romans 8:19: For, the Sons of God and
the Wife of Christ are one and the same, from the perspective of these
scriptures.

Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for
the revealing of the sons of God.

In other words, the future of mankind is uncertain – to those unconverted
– until the Divine Marriage has transpired!  Moreover, Christ is incomplete
until that marriage occurs, for, as Paul informs us, the Church is the
fullness (completion) of Christ.  That is the reason that Christ does not
become King over the earth until after His marriage to the Church.  God
has designed His plan in such a way that the majority of humanity must
wait for its salvation, until Christ has a wife to help Him rule on the earth.

Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus, Christ (Yahshua, Mashiach), the faithful
witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the
earth.  To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own
blood,
6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him [be]
glory and dominion forever and ever.  Amen.

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to
take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have
redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and
people and nation,
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on
the earth."

Now, let us read Romans 8:18-22 in the light of the foregoing.  No wonder
that Paul said that the sufferings of the present are incomparable to our
future glory.  The creation eagerly waits for the Sons of God to become
the wife of God for humanity’s existence is futile until Christ’s marriage
takes place.  After the marriage, the creation, as a whole, will seek and
find deliverance from the bondage of the corruption it currently labors
under: All because Christ and His Wife will rule the earth making possible
humanity’s salvation.  The hope of humanity at large is “the glorious
liberty as Children of God”: For, by the time they become part of the
Family of God, the position of Wife will be filled already.  

The transformation of the vast majority of humanity takes 2000 years for
completion, most of which occurs in the second 1000 years of The Great
White Throne Judgment.  Observe that the obtaining of a wife for Christ
takes 6000 years; however, after Christ is complete, with His wife, the
rest of humanity becomes the Children of God after only 2000 years.  In
other words, God is patiently selecting the Bride of Christ because of the
importance of the wife’s position in the Family of God.  Moreover, as Paul
finalizes in Ephesians 1:23, Christ supplies the Church with all of His
spiritual gifts and with the roles it needs to accomplish the goal of
becoming His wife*.

Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are
not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the
revealing of the sons of God.
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of
Him who subjected it in hope;
21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of
corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth
pangs together until now.

*Revelation 19:7 "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the
marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."


                                       EPHESIANS 4:11-16

NKJ Ephesians 4:11 And He Himself  (Christ) gave some [to be] apostles,
some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of (the) ministry, for the
edifying of the Body of Christ,
13 until we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the
Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the
fullness of Christ;
14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried
about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning
craftiness of deceitful plotting,
15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who
is the head––Christ––
16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every
joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part
does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

In the above Passage, Paul expounds on the figure of “The Body of
Christ,” which he uses in reference to the Church of God.  In other
words, the roles: The apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and
teachers that Christ gave to unify the Church – to lead it away from the
influence of the carnal mind and inspire it to embrace the mind of the
spirit – all finds itself in the figure “the Body of Christ”.  To put it another
way, the Body of Christ does not focus on the carnal mind, for Christ
used only His spirit mind while in the flesh: He never sinned.  If the
Church would not sin, it must follow Christ in His example while in the
flesh, of living only in the spirit mind.  In this way, the Church makes itself
ready to become the Bride of Christ.

God has supplied the Church with a variety of teachers and with His holy
spirit.  Moreover, when the Church uses the holy spirit in conjunction
with its assembly of unique spirits God will “cause growth of the body”;
and the Church will manifest itself as the Body of Christ.  One can have
an organization called the Church of God; however, to be The Body of
Christ, it must respond to the edification of those whom God sends –
receiving correction from the carnal mind to the spirit mind by means of
the indwelling of the holy spirit.  When each member of the Body
responds in this way, the power of the holy spirit can flow freely among
the constituents and produce miraculous results.  However, if a group is
competing for power – living according to the carnal mind – it will never
reach its greatest potential as part of The Body of Christ.  

Therefore, we must understand the Body of Christ as an organism
because no organization of man can refrain from the power struggles of
the carnal mind.  Moreover, the Body of Christ encompasses all of the
spirit-led members of all of the Church of God organizations around the
world; and these groups do not come under any one umbrella in a
political organization.  One reason for this is that Satan sees to it that his
followers attach themselves to any organization in order to disrupt the
flow of the spirit; moreover, man cannot prohibit this phenomenon
because an organization is political by nature.  On the other hand, Satan
cannot infiltrate the Body of Christ as an organism because God will not
include Satan’s followers in the Body of Christ.  Furthermore, if one in the
organism commits the unpardonable sin, God removes him keeping the
organism centered as the Body of Christ.  In other words, Christ is in
charge of the body and directs it as He sees fit.  On the other hand, this
is not to say that the organism is exclusive of the organizations.  Many in
the organism are part of various Sabbath Keeping Organizations.  
However, one note of caution: It is improper for an organization to refer
to itself specifically as the Body of Christ.  To speak thus excludes the
rest of the world where Christ is currently working.  One may properly
refer to an organization as having members who are a part of the Body of
Christ.  However, only God knows for sure who is part of His Body.  
Moreover, an organization that does not keep the Commandments of God
cannot correctly refer to itself as being even a part of the Body of Christ.


                                      COLOSSIANS 2:19

NKJ Colossians 2:18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight
in [false] humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things
which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind:
19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished
and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase [that
is] from God.

It seems to escape the Protestants that being “dead in Christ” is a figure
of speech for “living one’s life as the new man – without sin”.  In other
words, the old man of sin died in baptism and the new man lives, as
guided by the holy spirit, and the New Man cannot sin.  This does not
mean that the body of this person is without sin because even though the
Old Man is dead, the Adamic Nature still resides in the body as long as it
is human (See:
The Two Natures).  Therefore, we sin, but the New Man
cannot sin because the holy spirit is the mind of God and God does not
sin.  The important thing for the baptized person – as a physical human
being – is to live from the perspective of “being dead in Christ” – having
an inclination toward the mind of the spirit rather than toward the mind of
the flesh.  In other words, it is possible for one to revert to living
according to the mind of the flesh – to grieve the holy spirit, as his
primary thrust, and there is the danger of the unpardonable sin.

NKJ Romans 6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also
live with Him,

NKJ Romans 6:11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead
indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ, Jesus (Mashiach, Yahshua) our
Lord (Adonay).


                              THE GOAL OF THE CHURCH


NKJ Colossians 3:1 If then you were raised [in baptism] with Christ, seek
those things, which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of
God.
2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For you died [to sin], and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him
in glory.

NKJ 1Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all
sleep, but we shall all be changed––

The Mystery of 1Corinthians 15:51, as we saw earlier, is not a direct
reference to the Great Mystery, which finds its revelation in the Body of
Christ – the structure of Israelites and Gentiles, who no longer relate to
their religious historical roots.  However, the mystery of 1Corinthians 15:
51 does tell us of our goal from the perspective of escaping the bonds of
the flesh and becoming a part of the Family of God, as the Bride of
Christ.  In 1Corinthians 15:51, we have A Mystery explaining the workings
of the first resurrection.  See Another Mystery in Part 4.  The mystery of
1Corinthians 15:51 also explains the juncture from the physical to the
spiritual, for the saints – Old and New Testaments.  At this point, the
Church becomes spirit and ceases to be physical.  From this point, the
Body of Christ is complete when the marriage takes place in heaven
sometime during the year that follows the resurrection.  At the
resurrection, eternity begins for the saints.  In other words, the goal of
the Church is Eternal Glory, which goal Christ will accomplish in the
saints, beginning with the resurrection.  Moreover, the marriage of the
Church to Christ – occurring soon after the resurrection – increases the
glory of the Saints, for Christ and the Church then become “one body,
one bone, and one flesh” in the Divine Marriage.  [Observe here that “one
body, one bone, and one flesh” is a figure of speech indicating a whole,
as bone and flesh is peculiar to the physical body.]

NKJ Romans 8:1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to those who
are in Christ, Jesus (Mashiach, Yahshua), who do not walk according to
the flesh, but according to the spirit.

Paul does not say that “all” will die in Hebrews 9:27.  We all have an
“appointment” with death, but the revealed mystery in 1Corinthians 15:51
is that the righteous still alive at the resurrection will not meet that
appointment!  It is true that none of the Body will die the eternal death;
however, in 1Corinthians 15:51, Paul uses the Greek word
[Transliteration: koimao Pronunciation: koy-MAH-o] which means “to
sleep” or “to fall asleep” – in other words, the temporary stopover
between the physical life and the resurrection to eternal life.  Paul’s
subject is not “eternal death” but how eternal life will come to those who
have died and those still living when the resurrection occurs.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the
judgment,

To understand where the Protestants fell into error concerning Eternal
Salvation, one would need to make a study of justification versus
salvation in Paul’s writings.  Justification has to do with the past and
salvation has to do with the future.  One must study the context in order
to know which is the proper translation, in any given instance – as the
Greek word may translate either way – because justification is salvation
of sins that are past.  On the other hand, Eternal Salvation is the point
when “our change comes” from the physical to the spiritual, at the
resurrection.


                                    MORE ON THE MYSTERY
                                        Of 1Corinthians 15:51

Observe that Paul says in 1Corinthians 15:51, “we shall all be changed”.  
However, the change comes in two different ways.  Paul says that God
will raise the dead but that He will change those who are alive.  This is
part of the revealing of the mystery of 1Corinthians 15:51 – some will not
die, but God will change their physical body to a spirit body at the
resurrection.  God will raise the dead to spirit life, but He will change the
composition of those living, from flesh to spirit.  Now, the dead bodies in
most cases will have completely decomposed and be non-existent;
therefore, God does not change their bodies – He brings them back to
life, as spirit bodies: Their DNA resides in heaven in their unique spirits
and Christ brings their unique spirits with Him when He returns for the
saints:

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the
spirit will return to God who gave it.  [Note: JRR: God gives each human
a spirit, which we can liken to the hard drive of a computer.  This spirit is
the same spirit for all humans – the human spirit; however, each human
records on his spirit differently; therefore, when – at death – these spirits
return to God they are all distinct.  The DNA of each individual alone
would make each one different – no two human beings have the same
DNA.  However, the experiences of each human are also vastly different;
therefore, the completed spirit recording is unique.  We may therefore,
refer to the spirit of man as the unique spirit of man, for beginning with
conception it is distinct for each individual because of the DNA.  Christ
will bring the unique spirits of the righteous with Him when He returns for
the Saints.]

NKJ 1Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus (Yahshua) died and
rose again, even so God [Christ] will bring with Him those who sleep
(have died) in Jesus (Yahshua).  

God adds His holy spirit to the unique spirit of the dead and gives them a
spirit body at the resurrection.  God, in the person of Christ, will bring
with Him those who have died in Him – in other words, Christ will bring
the unique spirits of the dead saints with Him when He comes FOR the
saints, at the first resurrection.  The resurrection of the dead saints
consists of the uniting of their unique spirits with the holy spirit and spirit
bodies.  Therefore, the phrase, “raise the dead” or “raise them back to
life,” – even the term “resurrection” is figurative language (Idiomatic) for
the restoration of those who have died the physical death to spirit beings
with eternal life.

NKJ 1Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep
(die), but we shall all be changed––

On the other hand, God will change those alive, from a body of flesh to a
spirit body; they already retain their unique spirit and the holy spirit – all
they need to make them whole is the elimination of the physical body and
the “putting on” of a spirit body.  Therefore, the proposition of the
revealed mystery of 1Corinthians 15:51 unfolds in two perspectives: The
end for those dead and the end for those alive is the same, but the
process is different.  The reason for the “resurrection” is so that those
alive will not “go before” those asleep; neither will those asleep “go
before” those alive.  In other words, all the members of the Body will rise
to meet Christ in the air at the same time.  God could make alive those
unique spirits in heaven and bring those alive on the earth to join with
them in heaven; however, this would disjoint the Body.  In other words, if
those in heaven did not go through the “resurrection” process, they
would not experience rising together with the rest of the Body to meet
Christ in the air.  Therefore, God returns the unique spirits of the dead
saints to the earth and the “resurrection” occurs – perhaps with each
person rising from where he previously lay – however, with a spirit body
(raised incorruptible) instead of a physical body.  In this way, the Body
rises in the air, joins with the Head, and thus becomes complete.  In other
words, the “resurrection” is God’s way of bringing about an orderly
coming together of the Body of Christ simultaneously.  God – who has all
wisdom – has set up the coming together of the Body of Christ in this
manner.  Furthermore, the Marriage of Christ to the Church, soon after
the resurrection, accomplishes the fullness of Christ: In other words,
Christ will then be complete – having accomplished the goal that God set
for Him to achieve.

NKJ 1Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I tell you (reveal to you) a mystery: We
shall not all sleep (die), but we shall all be changed––
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the
trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we
[those alive] shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put
on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has
put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is
written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."
55 "O Death, where is your sting?  O Hades [unseen place - grave], where
is your victory?"
56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord,
Jesus, the Christ (Adonay, Yahshua, Mashiach).

“God will bring with Him those who sleep in Yahshua”*: In other words,
Christ will bring the unique spirits of the righteous dead, when He returns
for the living saints.  Observe they are still dead; however, God does not
bring their dead bodies, which have decomposed on the earth, but He
brings their unique spirits – that which returned to God when they died –
so idiomatically, they experience the “resurrection” from death.  In this
way, the dead can rise to meet Christ in the air with those who are alive
and remaining on the earth, both parts of the Body joining the Head, at
the same time – at the same event.

*NKJ 1Thessalonians 4:13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren,
concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who
have no hope.
14 For, if we believe that Jesus (Yahshua) died and rose again, even so
God [Christ] will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus (Yahshua).
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord (HaAdon), that we who
are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means
precede those who are asleep.
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the
voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in
Christ will rise first.
17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with
them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  Thus, we shall always be
with the Lord.
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

NKJ 1Thessalonians 1:10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He
raised from the dead, [even] Jesus (Yahshua) who delivers us from the
wrath to come.

NKJ 1Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall
be made alive.

NKJ 2Corinthians 4:14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus
(HaAdon, Yahshua) will also raise us up with Jesus (Yahshua), and will
present [us] with you.

Therefore, the first resurrection is the goal of the Saints: At that point,
God will lock the Saints into eternal life.  However, the marriage of the
Body to the Head takes place sometime during the year that follows the
first resurrection, another goal for the Saints.  Beyond that, another goal
for the saints is to reign with Christ on the earth for a thousand years.  
Therefore, we must understand each mystery from its individual
perspective.


                                         1TIMOTHY 3:16

NKJ 1Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of
godliness (our devotion): God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in
the spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in
the world, Received up in glory.

Matthew 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and
they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."

Bullinger often found exceptions in the bible based on the ancient
manuscripts.  However, just because a manuscript is ancient does not
mean that it is accurate.  The better course is to accept the Majority Text
– the BYZ text, which uses “God” in the phrase, “God was manifested in
the flesh” – rather than “He who was manifested in the flesh” according
to Bullinger’s study of the ancient manuscripts.  We must believe that
God has preserved His Word so that we do not have to spend our lives
trying to decide what part of the bible is authentic.  Therefore, we will
endeavor to understand the text of this passage based on the Majority
Text.  If one moves the landmark, then it confuses the record of truth;
moreover, if one moves one landmark, he can move another landmark.  
Furthermore, one can invent any number of ways to change the text so it
agrees with one’s personal belief.  The correct exegesis is to come to the
truth without changing the text.  We have never found a contradiction in
the BYZ Greek Text except in the case of the trinity [for more information
read
“The Trinity Revisited”.  In the current verse under discussion, the
Majority Text: The BYZ Greek text translates as, “God was manifested in
the flesh”.  We know that Christ came in the flesh and we know that
Christ was the Word.  We know that the Word was with God and that He
was God.  Consequently, from the context one can recognize that the
term “God” refers to Christ, in the phrase “God was manifested in the
flesh”.  Therefore, we must conclude that the passage is not speaking
figuratively of Christ and the Church, but of Christ personal.



1. “GOD MANIFESTED IN THE FLESH.”

NKJ 1Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of
godliness (our devotion): God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in
the spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in
the world, Received up in glory.

NKJ Romans 1:3 concerning His Son Jesus, the Christ (Yahshua,
Mashiach) our Lord (Adonay), who was born of the seed of David
according to the flesh,

Nothing in this passage indicates the thought that “manifested in flesh”
refers to the Church.  It is true that the members are flesh; however, God
did not manifest them into the flesh from spirit, as was the case with
Christ: The members began in the flesh.  The whole verse has to do with
our devotion to God – why we should worship God.  Paul mentions the
Great Mystery here – the making of two peoples into one people through
Christ – because Christ is the first and major part of the Revelation of the
Mystery.  Paul explains that we – a product of the revelation of the Great
Mystery – should worship God; and he gives a series of revelations
concerning Christ that demonstrate the rationale of our devotion.  The
first revealed mystery is that God came to the earth as a human being
and dwelt among men: “God manifested in the flesh”.  Therefore, we
have here Christ personal rather than the Church of God, which did not
begin as God.

Christ was the God of the Old Testament with eternal life; however, He
became a human being.  In other words, Yahweh left the God Kingdom
and became a member of the Human Kingdom as the first step to make
possible our salvation and to begin the Revelation of The Great Mystery.  
Those who deny that Christ became a human being subject to death are
outside the household of faith.

1John 4:2 By this you know the spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses
that Jesus, Christ (Yahshua, Mashiach) has come in the flesh is of God,
3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus, Christ (Yahshua,
Mashiach) has come in the flesh is not of God.  And this is the spirit of
the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in
the world.

2John 1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not
confess Jesus, Christ (Yahshua, Mashiach) as coming in the flesh.  This
is a deceiver and an antichrist.



2. RIGHTEOUS IN SPIRIT.”

NKJ 1Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of
godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the spirit, Seen
by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.

ROTHERHAM 1Timothy 3:16 And, confessedly great, is the sacred secret
(mystery) of godliness, ––Who was made manifest in flesh, was declared
righteous in spirit, was made visible unto messengers, was proclaimed
among nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

The second revealed mystery is that God was “Justified in the spirit”.  In
other words, God in the person of Christ became flesh and lived His life
without sin: Made possible by the indwelling of the holy spirit:

Romans 1:4 who was declared [the] Son of God with power according to
the spirit of holiness by the resurrection of (from) the dead, Jesus, Christ
our Lord (Yahshua, Mashiach, Adonay)...  

The proposition of this phrase is that if Christ had sinned, God would not
have raised Him from the dead.  The fact that Christ rose from the dead
signified that He had lived a perfect life without sin.  Therefore, Christ
lived His life while human with His spirit mind: His unique spirit and the
indwelling of the holy spirit from the Father.  Christ never used the mind
of the flesh; for the carnal mind is enmity against God – it is not subject
to the law of God, nor indeed can be**.  Christ lived a perfect life, without
sin***; therefore, He always used His spirit mind.  Christ had the holy
spirit without measure: The holy spirit with the unique spirit of man forms
the spirit mind.  While Christ had a human mind, as do all humans, He
never used that mind, as the use of the human mind results in sin.

[Note: JRR: Christ’s unique spirit was the same spirit He had from the
beginning and continually as Yahweh of the Old Testament.  This is the
reason He could astound the Doctors of the Law when He was only 12
years old.  Luke 2:42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to
Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast.

Luke 2:46 Now so it was [that] after three days they found Him in the
temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and
asking them questions.

Luke 2:47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding
and answers.]

**Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God, for it is
not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

***Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize
with our weaknesses, but was in all [points] tempted as [we are, yet]
without sin.


3. “SEEN BY ANGELS (MESSENGERS).”

NKJ 1Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of
godliness (our devotion): God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in
the spirit, Seen by angels (messengers), Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

The third revealed mystery is “God manifested in the flesh” was
“witnessed by angels (messengers)”:

Luke 2:9 And behold, an angel of the Lord (HaAdon) stood before them,
and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly
afraid.
Luke 2:10 Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I
bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
Luke 2:11 "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord (Mashiach, HaAdon).
Luke 2:12 "And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped
in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger (tabernacle booth)."
Luke 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the
heavenly host praising God and saying:

In other words, Christ was not an ordinary human being!  Moreover, the
word for “angels” also has the meaning of “messengers,” which includes
human and spirit witnesses.  Therefore, this aspect of Christ is two-fold:
Spirit and human messengers witnessed the validity of Christ.  Angels
announced His birth, resurrection, and ascension.  The apostles and
disciples witnessed His life, death, resurrection and ascension to the first
generations of those called into the Church.  Moreover, by their writings,
they continue to witness of Christ – in these perspectives – to the entire
world today.  



4. “PROCLAIMED AMONG NATIONS,”
(Preached Among the Gentiles)

NKJ 1Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of
godliness (our devotion): God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in
the spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in
the world, Received up in glory.

NKJ Romans 16:26 but now made manifest, and by the prophetic
Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of
the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith––

EMTV Colossians 1:27 To whom God willed to make known what are the
riches of the glory of this mystery among the nations, which is Christ in
you, the hope of glory;

ROTHERHAM Ephesians 3:8 Unto me––the less than least of all saints,
was given this favor (honor), unto the nations, to announce the glad–
message of the untraceable riches of the Christ,

The fourth revealed mystery is that the Gospel of Christ had gone into
the nations: “Preached Among the Nations”: The Revelation of the Great
Mystery.  Before the beginning of the New Testament Church of God, the
messages from God had stayed in the small nation of Judea.  The Jews
were suppose to have gotten the message out to the world, but remained
exclusive.  The fact that the message had now gone to several nations
was a revelation of the Great Mystery – another reason for our devotion
to the Christ who has the power to bring about what He has foretold.

The bringing in of the Gentiles into the household of faith is a major part
of the second half of the Revelation of The Great Mystery.  We will study
the Church perspective of The Great Mystery later: Paul explains this
second part of the mystery in Romans Chapter Eleven, Ephesians 2:11-22
and Ephesians 3:1-11.  Moreover, Paul’s ministry was a large active part
of the Revelation of The Great Mystery.  Of course, we should not forget
that Christ also preached to the Samaritans (Gentiles): A forerunner of
what was to come in the Revelation of The Great Mystery.  

The Doctors of the Law puzzled over the Revelation of The Great
Mystery.  However, they had themselves created the mystery because
they would not have any communication with those outside Judaism.  
How can one bring others into the faith, if he remains exclusive to his
own small network of believers?  The Pharisees berated Christ for eating
with sinners*.  However, observe Christ’s response to the Pharisees**.  In
other words, the Doctor must attend to the sick – he cannot remain
exclusive to a privileged healthy few.  Moreover, note that these were
sinners of the Jewish race; therefore, we can imagine what their hostility
to sinners of other races would have been.  Consequently, the Jews had
created an environment that eliminated the possibility of the Revelation of
The Great Mystery.  Now, we begin to appreciate why God blinded the
Jews to the understanding of the truth of Christ; and why He allowed the
destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem: God would bring His Prophecy
concerning the blessing of all nations to pass regardless of the
exclusiveness of the Jews.

*Matthew 9:10 Now it happened, as Jesus (Yahshua) sat at the table in
the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat
down with Him and His disciples.
11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, "Why does
your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"

**Matthew 9:12 When Jesus (Yahshua) heard [that], He said to them,
"Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.


5.  “BELIEVED ON IN THE WORLD.”

NKJ 1Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of
godliness (our devotion): God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in
the spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in
the world, Received up in glory.

NKJ Romans 16:25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to
my gospel and the preaching of Jesus, Christ (Yahshua, Mashiach),
according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world
began 26but now made manifest (has been revealed), and by the
prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the
commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith––

The fifth revealed mystery was that the message had not only gone to the
world, but had produced many Gentile converts: “Believed on in the
World”.  This too was another reason for the Saints’ devotion to the
Christ who had fulfilled His prophecy concerning the Gospel going to the
Gentiles: The Revelation of the Great Mystery.

In other words, many of the Gentiles had already come into the
household of faith by the time Paul wrote the first epistle to Timothy.  In
Colossians 1:5-6, Paul says that the truth of the gospel had gone into all
the world and that it was bringing forth fruit – converts to the Church of
God – an initial fulfilling of The Great Mystery of Christ and the Church.

Colossians 1:5 because of the hope, which is laid up for you in heaven, of
which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel,
6 which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing
forth fruit, as it is (has) also among you since the day you heard and
knew the grace (mercy) of God in truth;



6. “TAKEN UP IN GLORY.”

NKJ 1Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of
godliness (our devotion): God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in
the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in
the world, Received up in glory.

God the Father received Christ in glory: Hebrews 1:3 who being the
brightness of [His] glory and the express image of His person, and
upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself
purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.  
Moreover, the saints also have the promise of glory:

NKJ Romans 8:17 and if children, then heirs––heirs of God and joint heirs
with Christ, if indeed we suffer with [Him], that we may also be glorified
together.

Romans 8:30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called;
whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He
also glorified (shall glorify)*.  

*[NOTE: JRR: In Romans 8:30, the verb “glorified” is in the Aorist Tense,
which means that the Greek verb gives no indication concerning time.  
The literal would be “these He also shall glorify”.  In other words, in
Romans 8:30, the past tense “glorified” is a figurative translation.  
Observe that Romans 8:17 presents the literal – “that we may also be
glorified”.  Therefore, were the English translations indicate the
glorification of the saints as passed, we should understand it as the
promise of glorification, which is yet future when we become spirit
beings.]

Romans 8:17 and 8:30 speak of the Church, which “shall be glorified”.  
However, the sixth revealed mystery of 1Timothy 3:16 literally has to do
with Christ’s return to the third heaven where He sat down at the right
hand of God, His Father: “Received up in Glory”: Christ’s glorification is
a done deed; the glory of the Saints is yet future, at the resurrection.

Angels, Apostles, and disciples witnessed Christ as He returned in Glory
to His Father.  Moreover, Stephen saw Christ standing at the right hand
of God when the Jews were stoning him to death.

Acts 1:9 Now when He (Christ) had spoken these things, while they
watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  
10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up,
behold, two [men – not in the Greek, therefore an ellipsis.  A better
ellipsis would be “angels”] stood by them in white apparel,
11 who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into
heaven?  This same Jesus (Yahshua), who was taken up from you into
heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."

Acts 7:55 But he (Stephen), being full of the holy spirit, gazed into heaven
and saw the glory of God, and Jesus (Yahshua) standing at the right
hand of God,
56 and said, "Look!  I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man
standing at the right hand of God!"

Here was another miraculous reason to worship the Christ – another
perspective of our devotion to God.  In other words, Christ was no
common being – He was the begotten Son of God worthy of worship:
This is the message that Paul speaks of in 1Timothy 3:16.

While it is true that the Church will be “taken up in glory,” different
religious groups have fallen into error as to the perspective of our going
to heaven, as spirit beings.  Some groups do not believe that the saints
will go to heaven at all; while, other groups believe that the saints go to
heaven when they die and live a life of ecstasy for eternity roaming
around heaven.  Neither theory is correct.  Christ returns for the saints at
the first resurrection and they dwell in heaven for one year* – The Day of
the Lord occurs on the earth during that one-year period.  After the
marriage supper of the lamb and as the Day of the Lord is coming to a
close, Christ returns with His Bride to the earth and they fight the armies
of the world at Armageddon ending the “Day of the Lord – God’s
Judgment on the nations of the earth” and beginning Christ’s rule on the
earth for a thousand years.

*NKJ Isaiah 34:8 For [it is] the day of the LORD’S vengeance, The year of
recompense for the cause of Zion.

               The Second Part of the Revelation
                            Of the Great Mystery
                             The Church of God

The New Covenant Church of God is the second part of the Revelation of
the Great Mystery, but only from the perspective of the Church after the
Pentecost of 30AD.  Once we recognize the New Testament part of the
Body of Christ as a phenomenon made up of Jews and Gentiles, who
rejected their past allegiance to their respective religions, the
understanding of the Great Mystery has less impact, from the more direct
passages of the bible that have to do with the Body of Christ.  The
convert had come to accept that he was a part of the Revelation of the
Great Mystery; now he saw the workings of the Church from the inside
rather than from the outside.  Paul explained the Great Mystery twice, in
detail.  The rest of Paul’s writings have to do with the internal workings of
the Church in preparation for eternal glory.  Although we see the Great
Mystery perspectives in other scriptures, Paul explains the Great Mystery
in detail, beginning in Ephesians 2:11-22 and continuing in Ephesians 3:1-
11.  We present Ephesians 2:11-22 passage here so that the reader can
begin to absorb an overview of the Revelation of the Great Mystery, from
the perspective of the Church.  We will do a detailed study of this
segment later.

Ephesians 2:11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh––
who are called Uncircumcision by what is (those who are) called the
Circumcision made in the flesh by hands [the Jews outside the Church]––

[NOTE: JRR: Paul used an interesting phrase in verse 11, “The
Circumcision made in the flesh by hands”.  By this phrase, Paul refers to
those Jews who were not part of the Church of God.  In other words, Paul
does not refer to circumcision of the mind – the state of the New
Covenant Saint.  The phrase could include all of the Jews in a particular
context.  However, the essence here is that the condescension (scorn)
came from those outside the Church.  In other words, the Jews used the
term “uncircumcision” referring to the Gentiles as a sarcastic putdown.  
Those in the Church would have put away such cynicism.]

12 that at that time you (Gentiles) were without Christ, being aliens from
the Commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of
promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
13 But now in Christ, Jesus (Mashiach, Yahshua) you (Gentiles) who
once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For He (Yahshua) Himself is our peace, who has made both (Jew and
Gentile) one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,
15 having abolished in His flesh (death) the enmity, that is, the law of
commandments contained in ordinances (Temple Sacrifices), so as to
create in Himself one new man (the New Covenant Body of Christ) from
the two (Jew and Gentile), thus making peace,
16 and that He might reconcile them both (Jew & Gentile) to God in one
body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity (between
Jew and Gentile).
17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off (the
Gentiles) and to those who were near (the Jews).
18 For through Him we both (Jew & Gentile) have access by one spirit to
the Father.
19 Now, therefore, you (Gentiles) are no longer strangers and foreigners,
but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
Jesus, the Christ (Yahshua, Mashiach) Himself being the chief
cornerstone,
21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy
Temple in the Lord (Ha Adon),
22 in whom you (Jew & Gentile) also are being built together for a
dwelling place of God in the spirit.

Therefore, the entire New Testament has to do with the Great Mystery,
from one perspective: The Church of God was now those who
worshipped God in spirit and in truth, not a national church, and not a
corporate entity of men.  It was to become a worldwide organism of
people from all nationalities whom the Father calls to forsake their past
citizenship of the world and their past religions for a new citizenship in
the future Kingdom of God, as the Bride of Christ.  

John 4:21 Jesus (Yahshua) said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is
coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship
the Father.
22 "You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for
salvation is of the Jews.
23 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will
worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to
worship Him.
24 "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship [Him] in spirit
and truth."

Therefore, the literal understanding of 1Timothy 3:16 is about the person
of Christ.  The verse as concerning Christ is now complete; and its literal
perspective is Christ Personal.


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