Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A mystery to "Jesus"

Did Jesus know about the Pauline Grace message and the dispensation of grace before his death?  Obviously God the Father did, but when was all of this revealed to the Son?

I get this question from people who learn right division and start growing in the knowledge of the revelation of the mystery.   Surprisingly, this has been a point of contention between brethren, but it shouldn’t be.  People try to defend the Lord’s deity.  The Lord Jesus Christ is God; he’s God the Son.  But before he became ‘Jesus,’ he was known as “The Word.”  That was his name. 

John 1:1-2
In the beginning was the Word [capital W, denoting a name], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.

Revelation 19:13
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

“Jesus” is his human name.  The angel Gabriel tells Mary…

Luke 1:31
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus .

And the angel of the Lord tells Joseph…

Matthew 1:21
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Jesus means "Jehovah Saviour."

John 4:42
And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

Luke 3:6
And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

He is Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One.

Matthew 1:16
And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Daniel 9:25
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Psalm 2:2
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,

So did the Lord Jesus Christ, before his incarnation – before he became a man, know the mystery?

Colossians 1:26
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

The Godhead knew:  God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; they all knew of the Mystery before Jesus Christ became a man.

Titus 1:1
Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

Paul was called to be an apostle according to or in line with the "faith" or doctrine of grace. And that faith* (body of teaching, doctrine) belongs to God's elect--the body of Christ.

Ephesians 2:13
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

When Paul wrote this epistle to Titus, the body of Christ had been around about 30 years since Paul’s conversion.  His elect in time past was the nation of Israel.

Hebrews 1:1
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers [Israel] by the prophets,

His elect after the dispensation of grace ends will be Israel again.

Titus 1:1-2

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness [Paul’s doctrine];  In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

So before the world began; before God created heaven and earth, God (the Godhead beginning with God the Father, through the Son and in the Spirit) came up with this plan called 'the mystery' given to Paul.

Ephesians 3:9
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Ephesians 3:2
If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Titus 1:3
But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

Jesus Christ, as “The Word,” knew the mystery; he was one of the original planners.  The Godhead made a promise about this information before the world began.  Notice that verse 3 says “But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me [Paul].”  So, the Lord Jesus Christ (as “the Word,” the glorified Son of God in eternity past) knew the mystery and the timing of it.

Romans 16:25
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

Notice it says that it was first revealed unto Paul.  That gives us some understanding about the Lord’s earthly ministry.  Did ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ know about Paul’s dispensation of grace ministry?  Of course the answer is ‘no.’  To me it is clear that Jesus Christ in his earthly ministry did not know about the mystery.  But you would be surprised how many people, even those who call themselves dispensationlists, balk at that because ‘Jesus is God so he must have known everything.’

Jesus is God; he never stopped being God in his humanity.  God can’t stop being God.  But he also became a man.  He did do something that no one had ever seen before; he took on humanity.

Philippians 2:6-7
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

He was (and is) 100% God and 100% man.  He wasn’t 50/50.  But as ‘a man’ (as Jesus of Nazareth during his earthly ministry), he limited the independent (key word independent) use of his deity by allowing the Father to show him what to do.  Everything he did was according to the will of God the Father through the scriptures and the Spirit.  Let’s look at a couple of verses. 

The book of John shows Jesus Christ as Jehovah God.  But even as Jehovah God he operated as the Son of man:

John 5:19
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son [of God] can do nothing of himself, …[This is the Lord, even though he is God, he is saying: I can’t do anything of myself as ‘Jesus of Nazareth’]…but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

It is the Father who is telling him what to do during his earthly ministry.  He submitted himself to his father’s word, as found written in the scriptures of the old testament!

John 8:28
Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

Notice he does nothing of himself.  God the Father did not teach Jesus anything about the mystery.  The biggest reason is that if God had revealed it during the Lord’s earthly ministry, Satan, his angels and the holy angels would have all known…

1 Peter 1:12
Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

…but they didn’t know; otherwise Satan would have withstood him.

1 Corinthians 2:7-8
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:  Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Satan is the god of this world and he has his princes.  Three times in the book of John the Lord Jesus calls Satan the prince of this world.

John 12:31

Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

John 14:30
Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

John 16:11
Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged

If Satan had known about the mystery—that because of Christ’s shed blood, God could and would form the church, the body of Christ, filling it with both Jew and gentiles, destined to rule and reign with Christ in the heavenly places—he would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  Satan and his angels would have allowed Jesus Christ to be King over all the earth; but he (Satan) would have kept the heavens.  So obviously God didn’t let anyone know before Paul. 

The Lord (as Jesus of Nazareth) said that there were things that even he (as the Son of man) did not know.

Mark 13:32
But of that day and that hour [the time of his return] knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven [they don’t even know and they’re up there with God], neither the Son [of man], but the Father.

He’s saying, ‘I don’t even know when I am going to return.  Only the Father knows.’ So anyone who can’t see that Jesus limited the independent use of his deity while he was on earth obviously doesn’t want to see it.


When was the complete Mystery revealed to the Son?  It’s not stated exactly when, but I will give you what I see.  Evidently it was when he ascended into the heavens.  Here is the caveat.

Psalm 110:1
The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Jesus Christ ascended and sat at the Father’s right hand.  We see in Luke 13 that there would be one year between Christ’s ascension (Acts 1) and the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7).

Luke 13:7-8
Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?  And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:

God gave Israel a renewed opportunity to receive the Kingdom through the work of the Holy Spirit through the twelve apostles.  It was a legitimate offer.  But at the stoning of Stephen we see the Lord standing.

Acts 7:55
But he [Stephen], being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

According to the prophets…

Psalm 110:1
The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

…when Stephen sees the Lord standing he is about to come down and make war in order to make his enemies his footstool.  I believe it was at that time that God revealed to the Lord Jesus Christ that the legitimate offer of the Kingdom to Israel had expired after that one-year extension. 

I’m not going to be dogmatic about it; people can believe what they want, but according to Daniel the Son of man went to heaven to receive a kingdom.

Daniel 7:13-14
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds [the holy angels, cf. Acts 1:9]  of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

The Lord even says this in a parable while he was still operating under the prophetic program.  He went up to heaven to receive a kingdom and return.  So the Lord did not know the Mystery until he stood up and was about to pour out his wrath at the stoning of Stephen.  That is when the Father revealed the Mystery to him.  Instead of pouring out his wrath, we see in Acts 8 Saul of Tarsus continuing to persecute the Little Flock of believers; and in Acts 9 the Lord returns; but not to pour out his wrath.  He saves the Apostle Paul and tells him to go into the city to be told what he must do.

Acts 9:6
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord [evidence that Saul believes that Jesus is Lord], what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

The prophecy program for Israel is interrupted and the dispensation of grace for all men, both Jew and Gentile, begins.

1 Timothy 1:16
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy [saved by grace and faith alone after committing the ‘unpardonable sin’ – blaspheming the Holy Spirit, Mark 3:29; Luke 12:10], that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

Hopefully this helps...Maranatha! 

A helpful thing to keep in mind when you come across the word “faith” in Romans thru Philemon…

When Paul mentions the word "faith" it sometimes means "faithfulness."

Romans 3:3
For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? 

It sometimes means "to trust/believe in."

Romans 5:1
Therefore being justified by faith...

And it sometimes means "the doctrine or words that are to be believed" like the doctrine found in his epistles is called "the faith."

Romans 1:5
By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

Ephesians 4:13
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

It is this last one (from Romans 1:5 and Ephesians 4:13) that Paul is referring to in Titus 1:1.

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