by Joseph L. Watkins
We find the expression otherwise-minded in Paul’s letter to the saints at Philippi. In Philippians 3:15,16 we read as we find it in the Greek text: “Then as many as would be perfect, this let us think, and if any thing other you think, even this the God to you will reveal. However, unto that place which we have attained, by the same walk be ruled, and of the same mind-set, be.”
As I have expressed many times, I believe that Philippians was Paul’s first letter after he had received the message of the musterion truth of the body of Christ.
As Paul was in his own hired house in Acts 28:30-31, perhaps the first night of the last day of Israel being the one nation under God, the Spirit of truth came to him revealing this great musterion truth to him. As I see it, this truth has been hid up in the heart of our God for a long time, and He desires that it be known. Yes, the number one “but now” time has come. Paul is given this message, the most blessed message in all the world. Paul is also charged with the awesome task of enlightening all saints of God in Christ Jesus concerning this message.
Now we need to understand that Paul had been very busy for the past 17 years, working to bring many Gentiles into the hope, or calling, of the Kingdom of God. However, that hope is Israel’s hope and as that nation of people are being cut off from being His chosen people, that hope has become off limits and closed to any new saints.
As Paul was given this new apostleship to the nations of the whole world, those saints that were waiting and hoping for the Kingdom of God to come did not lose that hope and calling, and one day they are to realize and live in that kingdom, but no one can be saved unto that hope after it was cut off at Acts 28:28. However, many still living immediately after those days or years were to continue in the hope of that calling until their death came upon them. We find evidence of this fact as Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy, and his letter to Titus. This is why we find some “churchy” things in these books, for Paul is not concerned with local churches in regard to his new message. Today the Lord has but One church, or we should say, one Out-Calling, which is His body, of which He is its One Head.
After Paul received this message and before he had done any writing concerning this message he had sent Epaphroditus to Philippi to make known this message (see Phil. 4:18). Epaphras returns to Paul with a disappointing report; most do not – cannot – cast their lot in with this message. We see that perhaps the part concerning men having been given a place in heaven would have been seen as ridiculous, perhaps even blasphemous, forthese folks knew the Old Testament, where they read in Psalms 115:16: “The heaven, even the heaven (above heaven), are the Lord’s: but the earth hath He given to the children of men.”
Yes, this is the first and the only message of God that speaks of men having been given a place in God’s heaven, And yes, even a position in His Heaven Above Heaven.
In the day of resurrection, men are to be at home in the new earth, not heaven. Only His Body, the Out-Called, are made to be seated with Him in glory, His own Heaven (see Eph. 2:6).
We must understand the mind-set of most folks of that day. Paul was viewed with some suspicion. His Acts-time message of the Gospel of the Grace of God always generated much misgivings and apprehension, and now this strange, almost unbelievable message received but little encouragement. However, we can detect no discouragement in the words of the Apostle of Christ Jesus. Always he is upbeat – always and in all things. In Phil. 1:3,4 we read: “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.”
Yes, Paul is very careful to always keep in view “all” of these saints, both those who did accept in faith this new message, and also the “otherwise-minded” – those saints that had decided to continue with the old hope of the Kingdom of God. The Apostle of Christ Jesus is saying that this is alright, and goes on to add these words, “Even this, the one God, to you will make it known.”
We need to note each time Paul says “you-all”: Phil. 1:4; 1:7; 1:8; 1:25; 2:17 and 2:26. And always Paul is joying and rejoicing: Phil. 1:4; 1:25; 2:2; 2:17; 2:18; 2:28 and 2:29, where we have our word gladness, which has come from Strong’s word #5479, from which we have our word joy four times. See also Phil. 3:1, 4:4 and 4:10. In all, Paul uses these Greek words 16 times.
We feel sure that one of the first cities Paul went to upon being free of his bonds was Philippi, to see these “otherwise-minded” saints. In Phil. 1:26 Paul says: “That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Christ Jesus, for me by my coming to you again.”
And over in Phil. 2:19, Paul is desirous to send Timothy to these folks “shortly.” However, Paul’s first choice, as he says in Phil. 2:24: “But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.”
Yes, this new message concerning this new out-calling unto His body, is now first in the mind and heart of this man of God.
by Joseph L. Watkins