By Oscar M. Baker
The mystery includes making something known not only to Gentiles, but a lot further than that, To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, Eph. 3:10. You never hear that theres anybody living there (heavenly places) until you get to Eph., outside of God Himself. So you have here something made known to the heavenly powers. Who are those heavenly powers? Theyre principalities, powers, mights, and dominions, and we can surmise that they are those that did not follow Satan, of the higher powers, not just ordinary angelic beings. Those who were faithful must have been transferred into the heavenly places, and those who were not faithful are following Satan. Search and see if you can find any better answer---youre welcome. Im not going to be too dogmatic about these things because we keep learning. In Eph. 3:9, Paul is trying now to make all these saints and faithful see what is the fellowship , or dispensation, of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God. So it is something that had been hid, until Paul had the revelation given to him. Eph.1:9,10,
that He might head up together all things in Christ
, a better translation. What are the all things in Christ both which are in heaven and which are on earth? These principalities, powers, mights, and dominions are in Him, and the church is on the earth, and its in Him. We havent been gathered together yet, but potentially all one, and all a part of the dispensation of the mystery. Eph.3:6, three aspects of the church there, and its the Gentiles because Israel is set aside. So if there was one that had been a Jew, hes now a Gentile.
When was it (the mystery) first planned? Eph.1:4, His first plan. God had in mind that some day He would have a group of people who would make up for the failure of Satan and the angels that followed him. We dont find a verse that just says it in that plain of words, but when we look at everything thats connected with it, we can begin to find, with the word fullness in Eph.1:23, that this church which is the body of Christ, made up of people called Gentiles, is a fullness to fill up something, someplace. And that would be the place Satan and his angels never attained unto. II Tim. 1:9 is taking us right back to the same time as in Eph. 1:4.
When was it first announced? Since it is made up of Gentiles, and Paul is an apostle to the Gentiles, we would say Acts 28:28.
When did this mystery start? I think we could say after the fulfillment of Isa. 6:10. It came into effect when this was said for the last time in Acts 28, the setting aside of Israel.
[To be contd. From tape 12/27/83.]