THE GREAT MYSTERY
                                                                             PART 5

      OTHER PASSAGES RELATING TO THE GREAT MYSTERY


(1) EPHESIANS 1:9-11

Ephesians 1:7 In Him (Christ) we have redemption through His blood,
the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (kind
mercy)
8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,
9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His
good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself,
10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather
together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven (the
heavens) and which are on (upon the) earth––in Him.
11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined
according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the
counsel of His will,
12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His
glory.

NKJ Ephesians 1:22 And He (the Father) put all [things] under His
(Yahshua’s) feet, and gave Him (Yahshua, Mashiach) [to be] head over
all [things] to the Church,

EMTV Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus,
the Christ (Adonay, Yahshua, Mashiach), who has blessed us with every
spiritual blessing in the heavenlies (heavenly [things]) in Christ,

[NOTE: JRR: “heavenlies” = those “matters” that are important from
the perspective of heaven – that which has to do with righteousness.  
The KJV and NKJ use an ellipsis of “places”.  However, the saints to
whom Paul was speaking did not reside in heavenly places.  The
heavenly experience of the saints is from the perspective of righteous
living: Made possible by the indwelling of the holy spirit sent from
heaven.  Translators render this ellipsis in different ways]:

No Ellipsis:

EMTV Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the
heavenlies in Christ,

Ellipsis: “places”:

NKJ Ephesians 1:3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly
[places] in Christ,

Ellipsis: “things”:

TRC Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which hath blessed us with all manner of spiritual blessings in heavenly
[things] by Christ,

Paraphrase:

GWV Ephesians 1:3 Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ!  Through Christ, God has blessed us with every spiritual
blessing that heaven has to offer.

In Ephesians 1:7-12, we observe the word (mystery) only once, in verse
9 – “the mystery of His will”.  This is only incidental to the Great
Mystery.  Once God established the Church, the Mystery no longer
existed – for those of the Church.  Even today, God makes known to us
the mystery of His will because each new generation has to learn the
truth of God’s Word and Purpose for itself.  However, once God allowed
the destruction of Temple worship in Jerusalem, the need to understand
the Great Mystery was less demanding on the Jews, who were probably
the more needed recipients of this understanding than the Gentiles
were.  The Jews needed the information to break with Temple worship.  
The Revelation of the Great Mystery was an encouragement to the
Gentiles to comprehend how they could be part of the Church as equals
rather than as a subhuman group, as were the Jewish proselytes of the
Old Covenant.  

Today, the outlook is much more devious.  The ostensible Christian
Church is anything but the Church of God; and it needs to see the
Great Mystery from the perspective of forsaking its organized
“Christianity” that has a hold on it just as much as Judaism had on
some of the Jews in the New Testament Church.  In other words, Satan
has devised a way to dupe those who would be part of the Body of
Christ: They now believe they are members of Christ’s Body; they
believe they are blessed of God; they believe they are destined for
glory; however, they have missed the mark because they are living a
false religion just as much as the Pharisees, Sadducees, or pagans of
the New Testament Era.  In other words, they are part of Babylon the
Great.  Therefore, the Great Mystery continues to escape the
consciousness of the vast majority even of those who call themselves
“Christians” to this day.  To put it another way, the Great Mystery
continues but within the mystery, false Christianity has replaced
Judaism while the paganism side of the equation remains much the
same except with a great deal more glitter and sophistication.  In other
words, the message of today’s organized religion is just as hollow and
ineffectual as Judaism was to the pagans of the New Testament era.  
Moreover, to become part of the great religions is to become subhuman
just as much as was the Gentile proselyte to Judaism: A few at the top
determine God’s mind for the people who check in their minds during
their hour of prayer and return to enjoy the pagan way of life for the
rest of the week.

The attraction of the New Testament Church of God was that it opened
to the world the perspective of something new, something of value, and
something worthy of a great deal of effort.  It involved danger, but a
way out of the wilderness of ignorance that had settled on the world.  
Today, ignorance has settled on man’s religious views and those
involved in paganism have determined that pleasure is the only thing
left of value:

Isaiah 22:13 But instead, joy and gladness, Slaying oxen and killing
sheep, Eating meat and drinking wine: "Let us eat and drink, for
tomorrow we die!"

NKJ Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying,
"Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you
receive of her plagues.

The implication is that those who know the truth will make no new effort
to preach the current perspective of the Great Mystery to the world.  
Soon the end will begin to devour us and the message of the gospel will
come from the hand of God.

NKJ Revelation 14:6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of
heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on
the earth––to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people––


(2) EPHESIANS 6:19

NKJ Ephesians 6:19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that
I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,

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 (unrevealed)
since the world began

[NOTE: JRR: It was the revelation that had been kept secret; and the
message of the revelation was the gospel of the Kingdom of God – the
message that Christ taught* - the same gospel that the Church was to
preach in all the world, as a witness to all the nations**.

*Matthew 4:23 And Jesus (Yahshua) went about all Galilee, teaching in
their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all
kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.

**Matthew 24:14 "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all
the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

NKJ Galatians 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify
the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand,
[saying], "In you all the nations shall be blessed."

NKJ 2Corinthians 4:4 whose minds the god of this age (Satan) has
blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of
Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

Here, Paul speaks of the preaching of the Great Mystery.  He does not
tell us what the mystery is; we learned that earlier; however, God had
kept the mystery secret (from the perspective of its revelation) from pre-
creation to Paul’s day.  The Great Mystery was that God would gather a
people from all the nations of the world who would comprehend that
their citizenship is in heaven – a people who would wait for the coming
of Christ to set up His Kingdom here upon the earth.  This new people
would have no allegiance to any established nation or religion.  Here
Paul ties the revelation of the Great Mystery to the Gospel of the
Kingdom of God going into the entire world – letting people know that
they could be in on the ground-floor level (the Bride of Christ level) from
a new perspective that had not before been available.  They could enter
into the Most Holy Place daily whereas the High Priest of Israel could
enter only once each year.  The Jew was free from Temple Worship and
the Gentile was not subservient to another nation or its pagan past:
They both could worship God on the same level – in the beauty of
holiness!  Moreover, the end was eternal glory as the Bride of Christ,
reigning with Him on the earth, as Kings and Priests, along with all of
the saints from the creation of humanity.

NKJ Psalms 96:9 Oh, worship the LORD [Ha Adon/Yahweh] in the
beauty of holiness!  Tremble before Him, all the earth.


(3) COLOSSIANS 2:2

NKJ Colossians 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit
together in love, and [attaining] to all riches of the full assurance of
understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the
Father and of Christ,

Here, Paul expands the knowledge of the Mystery to include the Father
as well as Christ and His Body.  In the Old Testament, we primarily see
Yahweh – the one who became Yahshua, the Christ.  We have to study
in detail, with the knowledge of the New Testament, to find references
to the Father in the Old Testament.  Much of the difficulty in seeing the
Father in the Old Testament has resulted because of the corruption of
the Masoretic Text.  The Masoretes believed that God existed as only
one being.  The Old Testament had fallen into a corrupt state with many
different manuscripts and the Masoretes created, from the many, one
official Hebrew text.  However, in doing so, they corrupted the
scriptures to dovetail with this erroneous doctrine that God was only
one being: They put Yahweh where the original had a title and they put
a title where the original had Yahweh causing the Protestants to come
up with the false doctrine that Yahweh was the Name of both the Father
and the Son, which the bible proves is incorrect.  Alas, they burned all
of the old manuscripts leaving no ancient documents to aid in the
reconstruction of their mistakes: Therefore, we have no concrete way
of knowing how often they changed the text.  However, the
contradictions of this perspective of the Masoretic Text become
obvious from a detailed study of the context with the knowledge of the
New Testament.

Christ came to reveal the Father and that is part of the revelation of the
Mystery that only the Body of Christ understands.  Even to this day, the
Jews do not understand the two beings of the Old Testament in
statements such as “Let us make man in our image”.  Most, of
Christendom, still do not understand the plural title Elohiym.  Most, of
the Christian World, still does not understand why they are here – the
purpose of life!  In other words, most “Christians” do not understand
the Mystery of the Father and of Christ.  

We know that the first plan was to bring the entire world into glory
through Israel.  Later, the plan for blessing the nations of the world
devolved upon the Jews.  However, when the Jews refused to accept
Christ and preach His gospel to the world, God brought out of His
treasures the revelation of the prophecy that had become The Great
Mystery, for the Teachers of the Law.  

It is unlikely that the plan is more than 6000 years old, for it has to do
with humanity.  In other words, God may have fixed the Great Mystery
as an alternate plan – just in case the first and second plans went awry
– at or just before creating man.  However, remember that Abraham
came along almost 2000 years after God created Adam and Eve; and it
was with Abraham that Yahweh established the prophecy, which had
become the Great Mystery in Paul’s day: Although, Yahweh had made a
veiled hint concerning the Great Mystery soon after the fall of Adam in
the Garden of Eden*.  In other words, “the seed of the woman” includes
all the nations.

*Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And
between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you
shall bruise His heel."

From one perspective, when God created the plan that became the
Great Mystery, is not important for us to know.  What is of significance
is that God always finds a way to bring about his goals.  The Jews were
selfish in wanting to keep God isolated in the Temple.  God allowed the
destruction of the Temple to teach His people that He does not live in a
man-made structure*.

NKJ John 4:19 The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a
prophet.
20 "Our fathers worshiped on this mountain (Mount Gerizim), and you
Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship."
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 in spirit and
truth."
25 The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is
called Christ [the Messiah]).  "When He comes, He will tell us all things."
26 Jesus (Yahshua) said to her, "I who speak to you am He."

*NKJ Acts 17:24 "God, who made the world and everything in it, since
He is Lord [HaAdon] of heaven and earth, does not dwell in Temples
made with hands.

The Great Mystery was God’s device to circumvent the Temple worship
in Jerusalem, which had become non-responsive to God’s design for
opening His salvation to the entire world.  It was the means to move
beyond the stalemate of what had become Traditional Judaism.

(4) 1TIMOTHY 3:9

NKJ 1Timothy 3:9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure
conscience.

1Timothy 3:9 tells us that the saints were not to mix the Gospel of
Christ – the Gospel of the Kingdom of God – with other modes of
worship or allegiance.  The Body of Christ is unique.  The Great
Mystery had now become a reality and its members were to keep the
Body of Christ uncontaminated with any worldly religions, just as the
Saints of the Old Testament had done.  The Jews were to forget their
allegiance to Judaism and the Gentiles were to forget their allegiance to
paganism in order to fulfill – to be the revelation of – God’s prophecy,
which had become known as The Great Mystery to the Jewish Doctors
of the Law.  Today, this has taken on a completely new meaning
because the deceiver has tainted the truth by adopting the name and
person of “Jesus” with its pagan roots in the very organizations that
call themselves Christian!


(5) 1CORINTHIANS 2 AND 3

NKJ 1Corinthians 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come
with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony
of God.
2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus,
Christ (Yahshua, Mashiach) and Him crucified.
3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.

“Christ and Him crucified” is no minor truth!  The Revelation of the
Great Mystery is an embellishment of the basics – only one of the gifts
from God’s Treasure Chest of Wisdom.  The fact that the preaching of
the Great Mystery became lost knowledge, after the first century, is an
indication that the knowledge of the Great Mystery was less than
imperative, from the perspective of salvation.  The Great Mystery was
of superior importance in the first century because of the division
between the Jews and the Gentiles.  The Jews had created a strong wall
of separation between themselves and the Gentiles.  It was impossible
for them to let God bless the Gentiles through them, with their Old
Covenant mind-set.  Paul found the Gentiles steeped in their pagan
ways, yet, he reached out to those who probably never had the first
thought about becoming a proselyte to Judaism.  Therefore, the matter
of first importance was to expose them to the need to become justified
of their past sins.  After they began interacting with the Jews, it became
necessary to expose both sides to the Revelation of the Great Mystery
so that each would understand the need to forget their past allegiance
and embrace the new reality that they were brothers and sisters in
Christ.  

Now, lest some misunderstand, the foregoing paragraph is from the
perspective of the subject as “The Great Mystery”.  On the other hand,
from the perspective of the subject as the fulfillment of the prophecy
concerning the blessing of the Gentiles we have a more direct biblical
connection.  Moreover, from this perspective, it is of great importance
because it has to do with the New Covenant and the means of
justification by faith rather than the works of the law, which was the
justification system of the Old Covenant of the typical marriage between
Yahweh and Israel.  Furthermore, that is only half of the perspective.  
The other half being the Church of God, which is preparing itself to
become the Bride of Christ.

NKJ 1Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching were not with
persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the spirit
and of power,
5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of
God.
6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the
wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to
nothing.
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom
(revelation) that God ordained before the ages for our glory,
8 which none of the rulers of this age knew, for had they known, they
would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have
entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for
those who love Him."
10 But God has revealed them to us through His spirit.  For the spirit
searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

Here, Paul gives us a hint at when God may have designed the Great
Mystery and its revelation: “The hidden wisdom that God ordained
before the ages for our glory”.  The ages of man began almost 6000
years ago when God created Adam.  The implication is that God had the
Great Mystery in His design for man before or soon after He created
Adam and Eve.

NKJ 1Corinthians 2:11 For what man knows the things of a man except
[by means of] the spirit of the man which is in him?  Even so, no one
knows the things of God except [by means of] the spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit,
which is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely
given to us by God.
13 These things we also speak, not in words, which man’s wisdom
teaches but which the holy spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things
with spiritual.  [“which the holy spirit teaches” is an idiomatic phrase
(personification) – the literal phrase would be, “which God teaches us
by means of His holy spirit”.]
14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the spirit of God,
for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they
are spiritually discerned.

The phrase “the natural man” is figurative language for, “The carnal
man”.  The phrase “a man of the soul” is misleading because the soul is
subject to both carnal and spiritual input.  The bible gives two
perspectives of the soul: 1) The soul is the man – “The soul who sins
shall die” (the eternal death)*.  2) Man’s unique spirit is his soul – “Do
not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul – fear Him who
is able to destroy both soul and body in hell”**.  The spirit in man gives
each person his uniqueness – it is the hard drive that records his life
whether good or evil.  If man lives his life according to his carnal nature,
his unique spirit (his soul) records evil; if he lives his life by the spirit of
God, his unique spirit (his soul) records his good deeds.  The unique
spirit in a righteous person is in a constant state of change: recording
(man’s evil and righteous living), and deleting the chaff (after God’s
forgiveness of sins).  At death, we cease to write on our unique spirit
and it goes back to God who keeps it until our resurrection.  Moreover,
the “soul” or “unique spirit” continues forever – unless God destroys it
in Gehenna because one has committed the unpardonable sin.

*NKJ Ezekiel 18:20  "The soul who sins shall die.  The son shall not bear
the guilt of the father, nor [shall] the father bear the guilt of the son.  
The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the
wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

**Matthew 10:28 "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill
the soul.  But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body
in hell (Gehenna).

Continuing with 1Corinthians 2 and 3:

NKJ 1Corinthians 2:15 But he who is spiritual judges (examines) all
things, yet he himself is rightly judged (examined) by no one.
16 For "who has known the mind of the LORD (Ha Adon – Yahshua) that
he may instruct Him?"  But we have the mind of Christ.

NKJ 1Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to
spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.
2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now, you were not
able to receive it, and even now, you are still not able;
3 for you are still carnal (carnally minded).  For where there are envy,
strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like
mere men?
4 For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are
you not carnal?

NKJ 1Corinthians 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but
ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord (Ha Adon) gave to
each one [of us]?
6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but
God who gives the increase.
8 Now, he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will
receive his own reward according to his own labor.
9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s
building.
10 According to the grace (honor) of God, which was given to me, as a
wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it.  
But let each one take heed how he builds on it.
11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which
is Jesus, the Christ (Yahshua, Mashiach).
12 Now, if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious
stones, wood, hay, straw,
13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day* will declare it,
because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work,
of what sort it is.
14 If anyone’s work, which he has built on it endures, he will receive a
reward.
15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be
saved, yet so as through fire.
16 Do you not know that you are the Temple of God and that the spirit
of God dwells in you?
17 If anyone defiles the Temple of God, God will destroy him.  For the
Temple of God is holy, which Temple you are.
18 Let no one deceive himself.  If anyone among you seems to be wise
in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.
19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.  For it is
written, "He catches the wise in their own craftiness";
20 and again, "The LORD (HaAdon) knows the thoughts of the wise,
that they are futile."
21 Therefore let no one boast in men.  For all things are yours:
22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or
things present or things to come––all are yours.
23 And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.  [NOTE: JRR: We belong
to Christ and Christ belongs to God the Father.]

*The Day will reveal whether one’s work is of value.  Here, Paul refers to
the resurrection of the saints, as he makes clear in 1Corinthians 4:5*
just a few verses after this passage, and concerning the same topic.  
Considering that the works are those of the saints: “If anyone’s work is
burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as
through fire,” we must keep it in that context.  Therefore, this does not
refer to the Day of Judgment because that comes 2000 years after the
resurrection of the saints and concerns the end of incorrigible sinners.  
It does not refer to the Day of the Lord because that begins to occur at
the last trump – just as the saints escape the bounds of earth, in the
resurrection.  During the year that follows – as God executes the Day of
the Lord on the earth – Christ counsels the saints concerning their
past, present, and future, which would be necessary before marrying
His Bride.  Moreover, the marriage occurs in heaven during the year of
the Day of the Lord episode that concurrently occurs on the earth; and
the marriage occurs before the end of the year – probably on the Day of
Pentecost: The time of the typical marriage of Yahweh and Israel, in the
wilderness.  To put it another way, Paul is saying, “Don’t compare
yourselves among yourselves”.  Christ will reveal the value or the lack
thereof, when He returns for the saints.  Comparison among the saints
is unwise**.

*1Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the
Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness
and reveal the counsels of the hearts.  Then each one’s praise will come
from God.

**2Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not class ourselves or compare
ourselves with those who commend themselves.  But they, measuring
themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among
themselves, are not wise.

In this section, we learned that Paul kept back the Mystery of the Body
of Christ, the second perspective of the Revelation of The Great
Mystery, in his preaching to the Corinthians because they were slow to
comprehend the basics of salvation – the first perspective of the
Revelation of The Great Mystery.  This indicates the natural learning
process: One begins with the primary – the most important basics and
then progresses to the more complex things building upon the
foundation.  

Paul does not reveal anything new in these verses about the Mystery.  
The Mystery was wonderful information to know for both the Jew and
the Gentile because they came from nations hostile to each other.  
Mainstream Judaism had become obnoxious to the peoples of the world
in the respect of putting up barriers so high that the Gentiles had little
incentive or interest to become a proselyte to the one and only source
of truth.  Moreover, the rulers of the nation of Judah had evolved into a
hypocritical, elite, and exclusive cadre of religious teachers
unresponsive to the will of God; they were hardly an example to any
would-be proselyte.  God had held back the Revelation of the Great
Mystery concerning the Body of Christ until the time was right to
reconcile the Jew and Gentile into one people under the New Covenant.  
Paul had the wisdom to wait until the Corinthians had established the
foundation, before he embellished it with the knowledge of the
prophecy, from the perspective of the Church – the second part of the
Revelation of the Great Mystery.

Continue...