The Dispensation of The Mystery
“All Spiritual Blessings”
This is the first item we meet in the post-Acts epistles of Paul.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:" Ephesians 1:3 (KJV)
Spiritual blessings have been mentioned before, but never with the qualifying word all. In his 7 epistles written during Acts Paul never uses the term. Also, it cannot be found among other writers. It is peculiar to the dispensation [of the grace of God] brought in after Israel is set aside [Rom. 11:25] and the Salvation of God sent to the Gentiles [Rom. 11:10-11]. These blessings should be owned now.
“In Heavenly Places”
Such a realm had been known even in Old Testament times. But that mankind should enjoy all spiritual blessings there had never been heard of. Solomon knew of a heaven of heavens. Daniel knew of realms far beyond. But that people should inhabit such places was not thought of.
- Man was made to inhabit and have dominion over the earth and the creatures on it.
- But in Ephesians dominion extends much farther and man has a part in it.
Before “the Overthrow” [“the *katabole”, noted in Gen 1:2].
- All purposes connected with the kingdom on the earth and the dispensation of promise have been spoken of as since the overthrow [the katabole of Gen, 1:2] of the world.
- But when we come to the dispensation of “the mystery,” we find an earlier purpose revealed. It has to do with a time before the overthrow [the katabole of Gen, 1:2]. So, as far as the purpose of the ages is concerned, this term is peculiar to the dispensation of “the mystery.”
- We are well aware of the fact that overcomers in the earth program were given a promise of being seated with Christ in His throne. But that throne is here on the earth and is in connection with the ruling of the nations of the earth.
- But the fact that a people should be seated with Christ in His Father’s throne in the heavenlies was unheard of till we come to [Paul’s] Ephesians. No one ever had this close association before.
The Both “Made One”
- This has reference to Jew and Gentile. In the dispensation of promise the Jew was first and the Gentile could only share his blessings, and that was not possible till Acts 10.
- That a dispensation [of the grace of God] in which the two were made one just never entered the mind of man till revealed [to and through Paul] in Ephesians. It is a part of “the mystery.”
No Longer Foreigners
From the time the promise was made to Abram in Genesis 12 till the end of Acts, the Jew was the center of God’s activities and it was through the seed of Abram [Jesus] that the earth was to be blest. So, all these centuries the Gentile was a foreigner, outside the dispensation of promise [to Israel].
A Habitation of God.
With all her privileges and rights, Israel never had the promise of being a habitation of God. The zenith of the dispensation of promise [unto Israel] is in Rev. 21:3, 22. There we find that God will tabernacle with men and that there will be no need of a temple, for God and the Lamb will be the temple of it.
The reader is invited to take the concordance and search and see if the above statements are true. If so, then there is only one place that we can call the dividing line between the dispensation of promise and that of “the mystery”; Acts 28:28.
By Oscar M. Baker (originally published in TFT Volume 19 No. 4),
- As adapted with [ ] for further clarity -
*Note: For further understanding of “the katabole of Gen, 1:2” you can go online to: http://www.artlicursi.com/articles/katabole-and-%E2%80%9C-generations-heavens-and-earth%E2%80%9D