by Oscar M. Baker
There are special blessings in connection with the dispensation of the MYSTERY. These blessings are different from those in any other dispensation. They differ from them in three respects; PLACE, TIME, and CHARACTER. Let us take a look at each of these three aspects.
1.PLACE: In Eph. 1:3 the place is given as HEAVENLY PLACES. The Greek for this expression is EN TOIS EPOURANIOIS. This is in the dative plural and denotes the location. Also this whole expression occurs only five times and all these are in Ephesians. Let us put these in a structural outline;
A/1:3 Spiritual Blessings.
B/1:20 Christ: above principalities and powers.
C/2:6 Christ: His church raised and seated.
B/3:10 Church: witness to principalities and powers.
A/6:12 Spiritual Wickedness
It is true that the word epouranios occurs in 15 more places, but in each case it denotes the character of the thing described and not the place. So the place, the sphere, in which we will enjoy our blessings is in HEAVENLY PLACES. It might be a little more accurate to translate the phrase “in the above heavens,” or “in the super-heavenlies.”
In looking at the above outline we find that this is the place where Christ is. It is above all principalities and powers. It is the place of the throne of God. It is where the church which is His Body will be seated with Him. It is the place where the church will be on display to show to all the principalities and powers the manifold wisdom of God. It is also a place of spiritual wickedness and the realm of our warfare in the Spirit.
This is not the earth which was the inheritance of Abraham and the meek. It is not the New Jerusalem which is the place of THE CHURCH OF God. It was never known that a group of people would enjoy blessings in that place until it was told here in Ephesians. It is also interesting to note that this is the very place where Satan aspired to establish his throne before his fall.
2.TIME: In Eph. 1:4 we discover that the church of the One Body was chosen before the foundation of the world. This isanearlier choosing than of any other dispensation in all the word of God. The phrase occurs only three times, twice in referenceto the Lord and once in reference to His Church of which He is the Head. The references are these;
(1)”…Thou lovedst me BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.” John 17:24
(2)”Christ, as a lamb…foreordained BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.” 1Peter 1:19-20.
(3)”According as He hath chosen us in Him BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.” Ephesians. 1:4.
This is the same time referred to in 2 Tim. 1:9 where it is, ”BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN.”
This cannot refer to the CHURCH OF GOD or the KINGDOM, for in speaking of it in Matt. 25:35 the time is given as FROM (or since) THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.
So as far as the time element is concerned we are the first chosen.
3.CHARACTER: In Eph. 1:3 we are immediately reminded that our blessings are ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS. These are not earthly material blessings as were promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. These are not blessings in the flesh such as the gifts of THE CHURCH OF GOD in Acts. They are Spiritual and they are in the super-heavens. Not only that, but they are ALL. There is nothing withheld. Our Lord is heir of all things and we are heirs and joint-heirs with Him, so we inherit the all-things.
Just as all spiritual things have their shadow here in the earthly things, so do these spiritual blessings have their shadow in our material lives. Originally published Feb. 1949
by Oscar M. Baker