By Oscar M. Baker
The first person to ever hear and know of this Mystery, was the Apostle Paul. Now he wasn’t an apostle of any kind when we first hear of him. He was a member of the Sanhedrin, the great ruling group of the Jews, 70 of them. They were the most intelligent men in the Land – or suppose to be.
Israel hadn’t a king for over 500 years, and now here is Christ as the Head of the Church, and Paul is the first to hear this good news. In Eph. 3, coming sometime later than his conversion on the Damascus Road, Paul writes: “For this cause, I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given to me to you-ward; HOW THAT BY REVELATION HE MADE KNOWN UNTO ME THE MYSTERY;” And so far as we can find in the Scriptures, Paul is the only one that God has made any revelation to concerning the Mystery. Any others who learned it, any other apostles that rose up and worked with him, pastors and teachers, all of them had to get that message from Paul – he was the only source. During the Acts period we have the twelve Apostles who were the only source for a few years. And then Paul came on the scene as a special Apostle to preach to those who were outside the Land (the dispersion) the kingdom of heaven gospel, but here in the mystery gospel there’s only one to whom it was revealed. Now didn’t God take a chance? Or did He? Paul was a very earnest man, and he did the very best that he knew how! He was very zealous in his religion – persecuting the Christians, and when he found out he was wrong he turned immediately.
I like to read that story of his conversion in Acts 9 when he met the Lord. “And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, ‘Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?’ And he said, ‘Who art Thou Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus Whom thou persecutest: is it hard for thee to kick against the pricks’?” (Saul haven’t you been hurting yourself enough in persecuting these Christians?) And immediately after the Lord said, “I am Jesus Whom thou persecutest…,” Paul says, “Lord what wilt Thou have me to do?” Called Him Lord immediately! He knew there was a purpose for this vision – he knew instantly that he’d been wrong, and that there might be something for him to do. Well, God can use a man like that!
[Excerpts from T.F.T. tape 6-26-84, “The Mystery Gospel” and T.F.T. tape 6-28-86, Acts Series #3. That last tape was made 6 months prior to the close of Mr. Baker’s tape ministry at age 88. Faithful to the end!]