First the Question: The RISEN LORD Jesus Christ had revealed to the Apostle Paul a distinct message for and concerning Gentile salvation, a message quite different from the Gentile salvation foretold in the Scriptures of Israel. True or False?
Take a moment to respond at the LLM Question of the Day
And now the answer to the LLM Question of 2-25-2012
Question: In the Bible, Christians are instructed to establish denominations and sectarian churches. True or False?
Answer: Absolutely FALSE! Every member of the Body of Christ should see, and then help others, to see what is the Dispensation of the Mystery and endeavor to keep the unity mentioned in Ephesians 4:1-7. Christians are NOT instructed to establish that unity or to establish any sectarian church, to COMPETE with the Church of the LORD in this Dispensation of Grace, the Body of Christ! Now, out of the 763 responses we received to this question, 93.5% of you got it right! Terrific! Therefore, NOW, let us take a look at,
WHAT IS THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL, part 3 of 3
THE CHURCH OF THE MYSTERY NOT PROPHESIED
There are many, many, prophecies in the Old Testament Scriptures, which will surely be fulfilled. We do have “a more sure Word of Prophecy.” Wonderful things are to take place on this earth after the King comes. The nation Israel is to undergo a great change, according to Ezekiel 36:20 to Ezekiel 37:30, Hebrews 8:7-11, Isaiah 62:1-5 and many other Scriptures. HOWEVER, these “Scripture” prophecies are NOT to be fulfilled during THIS parenthetical period, not until AFTER “the Church of the Mystery” has been completed and has come to that unity and perfection mentioned in Ephesians 4:13.
There will be many signs to indicate the coming of the Son of man to the earth. Luke 21:27-32. But the “Mystery” coming of Christ for His Body (1 Corinthians 15:51) is different and does not depend upon the doings of blood thirsty tyrants in Europe, Asia, or even Washington, D.C.. Members of the Body of Christ, during this Age of Grace, walk not by sight but by Faith. Yet, it seems next to impossible to teach Christians the difference between the “searchable” riches of Christ (Acts 17:11) and the “unsearchable” riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8).
When the nation Israel is redeemed after the close of the times of the Gentiles, spiritually, (Romans 11:25-28), that redeemed company will be saved under the guaranty of the NEW Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31-35. They certainly will then be God’s “called-out.” The Greek word, translated, “Church” more than one hundred times in the New Testament Scriptures is the Greek word meaning “called-out.” The word “Church” is a form of the Greek word “Kurios,” meaning, “the Lord.” The Church is “of the Lord,” but the word “Church” (Ekklesia) means “called-out.” Three times in the closing verses of the nineteenth chapter of Acts this word is translated “assembly” and refers to some ungodly Ephesians gathered as an unlawful mob. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament Scriptures the word “ekklesia” is used, and is translated, “congregation.” Then we read of the “ekklesia in the wilderness.” (Acts 7:38). This has no reference to “the Church of the Mystery.” Then note Hebrews 2:12, “in the midst of the ‘ekklesia.’” This is quoted from Psalm 22:22, “in the midst of the congregation,” (Israelitish.) This Church then was a PROPHESIED Church and not the UN-PROPHESIED “Church of the Mystery”.
As we learn these facts we see how absurd it is to try to prove that “the Church of the Mystery” began before the Apostle Paul was converted, in Acts 9, because he said, “I persecuted the Church of God.” (Galatians 1:13, Philippians 3:6, and 1 Corinthians 15:9.) Paul persecuted a Jewish Church, NOT the Joint-Body of Ephesians 3:6. And, of course, certainly God had a Church BEFORE Pentecost. Matthew 18:17.
Thus we should know that the Body of Christ is the Church of God, but that the Church of God is not necessarily the Body of Christ. The Church of the Mystery is “The Body of Christ.” Note in Acts 2:16-21, Acts 2:27-32, and in Acts 3:21-26, that the Apostle Peter and the Eleven were presenting to Israel a Kingdom program, including the Kingdom communism (Acts 2:42-46), all prophesied by Joel, David, Moses, Samuel and others. Therefore, they were not members of the Church of the Mystery, the Joint-Body of Ephesians 3:6 and they were not making any one to see “the Dispensation of the Mystery.” Ephesians 3:9. They did not claim that the Dispensation of the Grace of God for Gentiles was committed unto them. They had the keys of the Kingdom of heaven quite different. There will yet, one day soon, be a wonderful New Testament Israelitish Church on this earth. But THAT Church will be different from the present “Church of the Mystery”
Every member of the Body of Christ should see, and then help others, to see what is “the Dispensation of the Mystery” and endeavor to keep the unity mentioned in Ephesians 4:1-7. Christians are not instructed to establish that unity or to establish any sectarian church, to compete with the Lord’s Church, the Body of Christ. You will remember the record in Genesis, that God created them male and female and called THEIR name “Adam.” Genesis 5:1-4. Then read the most interesting statement in 1 Corinthians 12:12, “So also is Christ.” Adam was a figure of Christ. Romans 5:14. The Body is to be the filling up of Christ. Ephesians 1:22-23. They two shall be one flesh. Ephesians 5:31-32. God is making of the twain one new man. Ephesians 2:15. The filling-up of Christ will be the perfect man, the stature of the fulness of Christ. Ephesians 4:13. So the Church of the Mystery is “Christ,” Body and Head, the perfect man.
To obey Ephesians 4:1-7 is to recognize that during this present economy of Grace, God has on this earth ONE and only ONE Church, which is NOT an organization, but an organism. God’s saints should gather with others of like precious faith in some regular meeting-place, but the phrase...“joining the Church” is not a Scriptural expression. The very moment the believing sinner is saved by the Grace of God, by the Faith in the perfect, finished, work of the perfect Christ, he, then and there becomes a member of the Body of Christ. The baptism in this operation of Faith is a Divine baptism, (not a water baptism). As Christ’s riches are the believer’s riches, so the baptism of Christ on Calvary (Luke 12:50) is the believer’s baptism and NO OTHER BAPTISM IS REQUIRED, as God’s Word plainly tells us “there is ONE baptism.” Ephesians 4:5. That is Christ’s death baptism.
Surely it would not be true to say that there is only one true Bible Church mentioned in the Scriptures; but it is true that there is only one true Bible Church in connection with “the Dispensation of the Grace of God.” Even so it would not be Scripturally correct to say that there is only one baptism in the Bible, for there are five or six in the Four Gospels and, the Book of Acts; but since the close of the Acts period, when signs and religion CEASED there has been one baptism. Members of Christ’s ONE Body cannot practice twelve different forms of water baptism and then contend for the Faith or keep the unity of the Spirit. We repeat that there is not one single Bible teacher who sees, or is making others to see, “the Dispensation of the Mystery” (Ephesians 3:9), if he teaches and practices water baptism. In Acts 15 it was turning from Christ and Calvary back to Moses and Sinai that caused the offense of the cross to cease. Today it is adding a tank of water to the finished work of Christ, with a number of explanations as to the why of the water ceremony.
Think of all that Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, suffered for us, that we might have this glorious truth. How very few appreciate it! If you obey Ephesians 3:9, you too will learn what religious persecution really is and you will experience such satanic pressure and opposition as you have not known. Are you willing? Read Ephesians 3:9, and obey it!
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)