Sunday, September 18, 2016

BEHOLD, I SHOW YOU A MYSTERY, PART 2




by Pastor Mike Taylor



In my last message we dealt with how Paul, who was transformed from Saul the persecutor of those who followed Jesus Christ, in the Way, into Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles after being met on the road to Damascus by the risen Lord Jesus.

We touched briefly on “mysteries” (secrets) that were revealed to Paul alone and that make up a vast portion of the New Testament that touch the Church body of Paul's time, and ours today. Some make the statement in my last message that Abraham was the beginning of faith in God. True, Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness, but Paul showed that since Jesus death and resurrection, grace alone through faith is what is required for salvation. Let us recap what we have learned and take a moment and review each found on my website as we go further into the “secrets” that Paul learned from the risen Lord Jesus:
  1. The Secret of the Gospel of the Grace of God
  2. The Secret of the Blinding of Israel temporarily to their Messiah
  3. The Secret of the “catching away” of the Church
Let us go further in the revealed mysteries “secrets” that our Jesus Christ revealed to Paul and to him alone for the edification of this present day Church.

THE SECRET OF THE BODY OF CHRIST


We further proclaim that Paul alone was given the “mystery” of the body of Christ by the risen Lord, when He taught Paul that that each member of the Church is equal, whether Jew or Gentile. The Body of Christ is One Body of which we are all a part of. We are all equal, but have different roles to play, just as an eye, or an ear, or a hand and foot each have different roles to play in the human body and each are necessary and vital to the health and well being of that human body, such are each of the Body of Christ.

 “
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ” (1 Corinthians 12.12).

 This concept was not preached by any of the Twelve Apostles, as it was given to Paul alone.

  
“13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were  far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

 
14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,

 
15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,

 
16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.

 
17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near;

 
18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.

 
19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,

 
20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,

 
21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord,

 
22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:14-22)




Becoming a member of the body of Christ, the Church, is through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is not a sensory experience. It occurs when one believes the gospel (
1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how 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:”


Paul emphasizes that we are one body after the receiving of the Gospel further in earlier verses:
12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are 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 we were all made to drink of one Spirit (1 Corinthians 12.12-13). 

We learn from Paul alone that Christ is the Head of the Body, the Church (
Ephesians 1.224.15;5.23Colossians 1.182.19). 
In the age of grace Christ is nowhere called the “king” of the Church. That is His title for Israel. A king has subjects. But we have Christ as our Head, not our King. We are integral to Him. We are joint-heirs with Him (Romans 8.17). A joint-heir enjoys a different kind of relationship than a subject to a king. A joint-heir is one who shares everything belonging to the heir. This is grace! We know this from Paul alone for it, again, was a secret Paul received from the risen Lord. 

(Romans 8: 15) “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with 
Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”

  
Notice the relationship? Yes, Jesus is the King of kings, and Lord of lords (Revelation 19) but to the born again believer, He is the head of the Body of all believers. We are heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, as we will share, as part of His Body, all the riches and glory He is right now, we will be. To me, just to imagine, which I can't fully, the ramifications of what this passage in Romans means, makes my head swoon and my imaginations cannot fully comprehend.

 
“Eye hath not seen or ear heard, or entered into the heart of man, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1st Corinthians 2:9)

 

THE MYSTERY OF OUR HEAVENLY CITIZENSHIP 

From Paul alone we learn that the believer in the body of Christ has a heavenly position and heavenly citizenship. Peter and the Twelve looked forward to an 
earthly position, not a heavenly one. The Jew knew nothing of heavenly blessing. He looked forward to the kingdom on earth. 
In the coming reign of our Lord Jesus Christ, here on earth, Jesus will sit on the Throne of His earthly ancestor, of the lineage of King David and rule from Jerusalem. Zechariah declared:

 
9 “And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.  10 All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin’s Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses.  11 People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security”(Zechariah 14.9-11 cf. Zechariah 8.2-3Daniel 7.1427). 

Consider, When the disciples asked the Lord how they should pray, he answered them:
9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.  
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen’” (Matthew 6.9-13). 

Is anything heavenly here? Jesus told his disciples to pray for God’s kingdom to come on earth and for His will to be done on earth. Jesus knew His Old Testament. He knew He would reign as David’s greater Son (Luke 1.32).


But the Church, the body of Christ, has different promises than Israel. God’s promises to the Church are 
heavenly  not earthly. Thus, Paul wrote the Ephesians:

 “
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,” (Ephesians 1:3) and in Ephesians 2.4-6:

 
4 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” 

Unlike Israel who has been promised an earthly kingdom ruled by Jesus Christ from Jerusalem, we have a different promise that is given solely to the body of Christ...the saints of the Church. We have a heavenly citizenship: 

20 “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 
21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself” (Philippians 3.20-21). 


We will be resurrected or changed in the twinkling of an eye as the coming of the Lord Jesus for His Church and receive a glorious body, the same as the Body the Lord Jesus possesses right now. Speaking of our resurrection body, which is located in heaven, Paul wrote the Corinthians in 
2 Corinthians 5.1-3:

 
1 “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God (our new spiritual bodies), a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven,  3 inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked.”
Are you ready for your change, your citizenship found in heaven as the heir and joint-heir with Jesus Christ, our Lord? 

THE SECRET OF GOD'S WILL 

The secret of his will is God’s plan to gather together in one all things in Christ. Only Paul revealed this truth. Paul wrote the Ephesians in 
Ephesians 1:9-10:

 
9 “He made known to us the mystery [secret] of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him,  10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth”. 

A parallel passage of this truth is from Paul’s letter to the Colossians:

 
19 “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, (JESUS CHRIST) 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say,whether things on earth or things in heaven” (Colossians 1.19-20). 

Are you in the will of God? Have you found my Jesus? 

THE SECRET OF THE GRACE OF GOD 

Paul revealed through revelation from Jesus Christ, that the Christian operates under grace, not under the Law. Paul began every epistle with the salutations that spoke of the grace of God. This was a totally newly revealed relationship that was revealed by Paul, through Jesus Christ who taught him.
No word more clearly identifies Paul’s ministry that the word “grace. ” It is the Greek word 
χάρις and means “favor.” God gives us what we do not merit or deserve. When someone receives God’s grace by believing the gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). God begins this transformation when a person seeks after God's righteousness and enables us to love God, as He first loved us. The ultimate goal is that we become transformed, conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8.29Philippians 1.6).
Paul was the epitome of God's grace when as Saul, he terrorized the followers of Jesus Christ. God did not destroy Saul, He saved him by revealing Himself to Saul. From the point on, Saul became Paul the Apostle, a most zealous follower of His risen Lord and Savior. 

In the Apostle Pauls epistles, Paul uses the word “Grace”χάρις (in Greek) appears 156 times in 147 verses in the New Testament.  Paul’s usage accounts for 103 verses (70%).  Paul was alone when he revealed to the fledging Church that we are saved by grace, and not under the Law. He revealed that man was justified by grace through faith, and not of any works that we could do. This was not revealed to Peter or any of the other apostles, but was learned from Paul. Peter helped Paul when addressing the Jerusalem Council on these questions of following the Law of Moses as a requirement for salvation. He revealed Christ is the end or goal (τέλος) of the Mosaic Law (
Romans 10.4). No other writer of Scripture revealed these things. They are all part of the “secret” the ascended Lord revealed to the great apostle. 

Have you embraced that free gift of grace and mercy found in Jesus? 

THE SECRET OF THE IDENTIFICATION WITH CHRIST. 


All who believe the gospel (
1 Corinthians 15.1-4) have been identified with Christ.

 
3 “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 

 
4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 

 
5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 

 
6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 

 
7 for he who has died is freed from sin. 

 
8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,

 
9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him” (Romans 6.3-9).


When a person believes the message that the Apostle Paul preached according to the revelation given to him by Jesus Christ, then he is baptized into the body of Christ. Paul spoke of being “buried” with Christ, which is what baptism symbolizes. We become a new creature in Christ Jesus, Behold all things have become new. We are not, (or should not) be the same person we were. We seek after God, searching and living His righteousness, found in the life lived by our example, Jesus Christ.


As we have been united to Christ in his death we have also been united with him in his resurrection. As Christ will never die again, we will never die. In terms of living the Christian life, this has immediate practical benefit. Paul wrote the Romans,

 
10 “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.  
11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 
13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.  
14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6.10-14 cf. 8.1-39). 

Since we have been buried with Christ in Baptism, we are dead to sin, and the Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome our tendency to sin. It won't come all at once, as we will continue to slip up, and when we do, we ask for forgiveness in repentance of our sinful nature that reared it's ugly head and He forgives us, as a faithful Father and author of our salvation can only do.


Writing to the Galatians, Paul expressed identification with Christ like this:

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2.20)


Paul wrote the Colossians about this identification and spoke of the mysteries “secret of God”

 
Colossians 2.2): “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;”

 and further down.......

10 “and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 
11 in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;  
12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 
13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”(Colossians 2:10-14). 


THE SECRET OF LAWLESSNESS 


Paul revealed the “secret of lawlessness” to the Thessalonians:

 
3 “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,  
4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.  
5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed.  
7 For the mystery [secret] of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 
8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;  
that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,  
10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.  
11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,  
12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.” (2 Thessalonians 2.3-12). 

This messages reveals the “secrets” the mysteries of the love of God toward us, but this last subject deals with what we are experiencing right now in this lawlessness that has so filled our land, our courts, our halls of justice, and invading every home that does not profess Jesus Christ as Savior. The personification of this “secret” is the “lawless one”, (ἄνομος) the one who will be empowered by Satan, the Antichrist. John wrote about this individual in Revelation as did Daniel yet much is unknown about how he will come to power and operate. Therefore, a secret. What Paul revealed was what restrains (κατέχω) or holds back this individual. 


In verse 7 of the above passage, Paul reveals that there is a power that prevents the full onslaught of lawlessness and the revealing of the Anti-Christ. This power is believed by many, including myself, that this is the work of God's Holy Spirit that is residing in every born again believer's heart and will not be revealed until the Holy Spirit is removed back to pre-Pentecostal times of the fullness received. Since God said that He would never leave or forsake us and would be with us, till the end of the age, then we who have God's Holy Spirit within our spirits as a deposit of a future glorification, then when God's Holy Spirit is drawn back, so will the Church of every born again believer. The Holy Spirit will still be at work, as the scriptures surely show, but the restraint will be removed and Satan and his minions working through mankind in rebellion led by this Son of Destruction, the Anti-Christ will have full power to overcome all who remain on this earth and cause those who live to take a mark of loyalty and a sign of worship into their forehead and their right hand.


Remember in Part 1 of this message, I emphasized that the monster called the Anti-Christ will not be revealed until the church “is caught up” to heaven. As I mentioned, one of Paul’s purposes for writing the Thessalonians was to correct a claim from a purported letter from him that they were experiencing the Day of the Lord since they were being persecuted. Paul wrote to assure them this was not the case. He declared that before that can occur the body of Christ must be removed. When that occurs God’s retraining power will be removed and Satan will be free to bring his man to power. Many will die, or take a mark that will damn them to a devil's hell.

WHAT MUST YOU DO?

When we started looking at these “secrets” given to Paul, we spoke that these revelations were given to Paul when translated into the third heaven and heard with his ear and saw with his own eyes, what God had prepared for those who love Him. These truth were given to Paul to be given to the churches in Asia and to us, the end time Church, to which the scriptures were written primarily for.


Paul referred to these revelations as “secrets” for God had revealed none of these things to the prophets. Jesus had not revealed these truths in His earthly ministry or to the Twelve. From Paul alone do we learn the truths of Christianity: about Christ’s work of our salvation, our sanctification, our rescue from a Christ-rejecting world, and our destiny. 

 My reader, I have witnessed to you the Mysteries “secrets” of God that were revealed by revelation through God Almighty, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to Paul the Apostle who started the Church of the Gentiles....of which you and I belong to in some fashion, or maybe you don't embrace anything of a religion, as men have given religion a bad name. There I have to agree with you. Men have perverted the Gospel, the perfect Word of God for their own power and glory. In the end, to them it's all about money. But all human beings that have a computer, or social media know about the most famous person who ever lived, Jesus Christ. Even YOU!


But make no mistake about one thing, even though men have perverted the Gospel and you have bought into their lawlessness and careless handling of the things of God, when it comes down to everything being revealed, the only thing that will stand undefiled and forever Holy, is God through Jesus Christ our Lord. The road to hell is paved with people, men and women who look to other fallible men and women as their example, and when they fail, as they always do, then they reject Christianity because of these “religious” teachers. There is only One clear example that anyone should follow. Jesus is our example and it is Jesus who died for your sins, no one else.

 When you were born, you were born for one reason and one reason only: “What will you do or not do when it comes to the Man/God known as Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God?? There stands Jesus with His arms outstretched beckoning for you to come to Him. He knocks at each of our heart's door asking to be given entrance into your life. What will your answer be?


“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him, might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)

 “Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)


“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” ( Romans 3:23)

 I proclaim to you without shame of the Gospel that Jesus Christ is Lord, and Savior of a man or woman's soul. I preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified, that lived, died, and rose again on the third day and lives forevermore...and is coming again...SOON. Today is the day of salvation, for you are not promised tomorrow. Do not neglect so great a salvation, as when Jesus does finally come back and you have not made that decision for Christ, then fear, my friend. Be in great fear.

 “25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned 
them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven.

 
26And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YETONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.”

 
27This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

 
28Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;

 
29for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:25-29)

 Are you waiting for God's redemption of your soul, or are you blinded and waiting for His righteous wrath? Don't let this opportunity pass you by..Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be save...BEHOLD, I show you a mystery.
 This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying for you to accept the only payment for sin and your salvation, Jesus Christ, our Lord. If you need help, counseling, prayer, or just a friendly, listening ear, drop me a line to 
realteam1999@sbcglobal.net,






                  TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET


Comments

Pete
04/18/2016 10:09pm
Hi Pastor: like you I stand in awe of Gods Grace. I know and hold true that which scripture gives when Grace is defined. Yet, I cannot fully comprehend it all. Yet, now and for eternity I will ever be grateful to God for it.

Raise praise, glory and thankfulness to our Lord Jesus Christ that He has redeemed us to our Father in Heaven!
Reply
04/19/2016 5:30pm
Dear Pastor Mike,
I Praise God for the gift he has given you to expound His word. The words He gives you to declare His truths, secrets and mysteries make the living word dance. I literally am lifted up and anxious for His return.
Your sister in Christ, Charlon Williams
Reply
04/20/2016 9:09am
Brethren,
an email that I got from a fellow sister in Christ....I'l call her Wendy...
Her insight into following what Jesus actually said and taught...I believe she hit the nail on the head with this comment...thanks, Wendy
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Isn't it interesting in the game of Simon Says everyone expects to only do what Simon Says, but laughs it off when they goof and are told "Simon didn't say.. Do...". They need to try better next time, but keep making blunders when not paying careful attention. Why oh why do we not learn? Perhaps it's because we are not looking at possible problems (listening) or distractions that could be causing us these continued blunders.

On a more serious note, we should expect to do what Jesus Says if we have our listening ears on and are watchful of possible distractions that would set us off course. Why are the Dominionists so serious when they don't do as Jesus Says? Nowhere did God say He needed assistance to dominate the world. That is out of God's character. Let's be crystal clear: God's Kingdom is His; not ours for the creating. God IS the Creator; not us. Opening our ears, eyes, and hearts to God's Word; not our own should drive us to our knees. It should cause us to pay more attention to what does Jesus really say? We do this by studying God's Word and putting His Words in focus, rather than popular teachers, interpretations or philosophies. God is a light to our path; not ourselves or someone attempting to take His place.

"Jesus says..... If you love me, you will obey me."
Who is King? Him or us? Who is Jesus? LORD, lunatic or liar? If He is our LORD, how do we live like He is?

It behooves us to take a more indepth look at what His Words are that He spoke so we have fine tuned hearing and no distractions. Then... we will know what Jesus Says.

To God Be the Glory! Amen
Reply

No comments:

Post a Comment