By Alan Naas
The Mystery [Greek Musterion] of “the Body of Christ”
Why is the present “dispensation” still a mystery [hidden] to most believers?
Are man’s churches (religious organizations based) on the wrong gospel?
The word “mystery” in the Bible comes from the Greek form musterion from the root muo which means “shut the mouth”. In the Bible it is used by God to withhold some plan or truth from Satan in the sense of spiritually revealing something to whom and when it serves God’s purpose.
Musterion in the NT denotes not the mysterious, but that which, being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by divine revelation, and is made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God, and only by His Holy Spirit. Hidden truth in the Bible is not revealed to just anyone. (Mark 4:9-12, 1 Cor 2:9-11, 13-15)
A mystery which has been revealed is no longer a mystery to whom it has been revealed. It then becomes a ‘truth.’ It is a mystery only to whom it has not been revealed. To them it is still hidden truth: a mystery.
Satan’s method of veiling God’s truth is called “religion” or “tradition”. These are the binding agents to his lies which create all the confusion and divisions in man’s churches.
The mystery of the body of Christ is of God’s choice. The called-out, which is “His body,” is found in Paul’s post-Acts (prison) epistles: primarily in Ephesians (1:1-23) and Colossians (1:21-29, 2:11-15, 3:1-4). This company is of a heavenly calling and a different hope apart from Israel’s earthly kingdom gospel and (apart from) Israel’s calling and hope of a restored kingdom on earth in the inter-Acts writings.
The ‘dispensation of ‘the mystery’ is found nowhere in the Old Testament, the Gospels, the Acts, the epistles of James, Jude, John or Peter, Paul’s Acts epistles, or Revelation!
During this present ~2,000-year age Israel is set aside (LO-Ammi) while the “salvation of God is sent to the Gentiles, and that they will hear it” (Acts 28:28). John’s Gospel contains the message of eternal life to “whosoever”; but this does not mean that all saved believers have been chosen for this (musterion) separate calling and hope.
During this age God is calling out his chosen body (ekklesia) by revealing to whom he chose “the mystery [musterion]” through the Holy Spirt in the “word of truth.”
The ekklesia, which is His body, is a spiritual body, (Eph 2:22) invisible to the world, and based on Scriptural truth. The truth sets us free (John 8:32, 36; free as the wind, and from bondage to man’s religion (re-ligo = bind anew).
This company is the called-out of God’s choosing (Eph 1:4) who are given the spirit of wisdom and revelation to acknowledge Him and whose eyes of understanding are enlightened to know what is the hope of His calling (Ephesians 1:17-18) This secret hidden from Satan has been unveiled by God for us to see and understand.
- He has blessed us with every blessing that is spiritual (Eph 1:3)
- He has chosen us in Him before the overthrow of the world (Eph 1:4)
- That we should be holy and without blame before Him (Eph 1:4)
- He predestinated us unto the adoption as sons (Eph 1:5)
- He made us accepted in the beloved (Eph 1:6)
- He redeemed us through His blood, the forgiveness of sins (Eph 1:7)
- He abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence (Eph 1:8)
- He made known to us the mystery of His will (Eph 1:9)
- He obtained us as an inheritance (Eph 1:11)
- He sealed us with the Holy Spirit of promise (Eph 1:13)
- He quickened us together with Christ (Eph 2:5)
- He raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus where Christ sits on the right hand of God (Eph 2:6, Col 3:1)
- We died and our life is hid with Christ in God (Col 3:3)
- When Christ who is our life shall appear (epiphaneia), then shall we also appear with Him in glory (Col 3:4)
- The post-Acts called-out, “which is His body,” are looking for Christ’s “appearing” (epiphaneia) (Col 3:4) and for the “out resurrection” out from among the dead. (Phil 3:11)
- The inter-Acts Judeo-Christian ekklesia was looking for Christ’s return or presence (parousia) (1 Thes 4:17) and a so-called “rapture” into the millennial kingdom of Israel.
These above are two are separate events.
I believe God’s next move is the manifestation of Christ in the heavens complete with this His body; the fulness of Him that filleth all in all. Christ cannot be manifest in Heaven until His body is filled full, After Which He will come, which is Israel’s hope.
Adapted from By Alan Naas with emphasis added.