| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 45 - Page 103 of 251 Index | Zoom | |
Knowing something of the activity and devices of the evil One, who, as the god of this
age, blinds the minds of those who do not believe, lest the light of the good news of the
glory of Christ should shine unto them (II Cor. 4: 4), we are not surprised at what
followed after such a clear-cut testimony to the riches of this heavenly Secret. He came
in as the divider of the brethren, split the movement, and thereby prevented any united
testimony to the highest and most favoured of all callings of the redeemed.
We are sometimes asked the question "If what you teach is truth, why is it not
generally known amongst Christians?". We hope our short survey of the early centuries
and afterwards has made this quite clear. The answer is perfectly simple; it was largely
lost before the one channel through whom it was made known, died, namely the Apostle
Paul, and it has never been recovered in anything like its fullness till comparatively
recently, though doubtless individuals responded to it from time to time, but of this we
have no record. Even now we do not profess to have the last word on it, but enough of its
glories and spiritual riches are seen to make us feel humbled and utterly thankful, and at
the same time to feel the responsibility to make it known to others. The great Apostle's
aim was to "enlighten all" as to what is this dispensation of the Secret (Mystery R.V.
Eph. 3: 9), and Col. 1: 27 informs us in addition that God wishes to make it known, with
its riches of glory relating to Christ among us Gentiles, who once were outcasts, aliens
from Israel's commonwealth and strangers from the covenants of promise, now so
exalted in Christ Jesus, that God sees us as seated together in Him in the heavenly places
where He is enthroned in the glory. Who feels that this is a challenge and wants to
explore and apprehend something of this spiritual wealth? A hundred years ago, C.H.M.
lamented that only few responded to such teaching, and those who held to it faithfully
and sought to make it known would be despised and deserted. He was to a great extent
right in his forecast. What amazes us is that so many of God's people are content with
so little, when all these riches are waiting in His Word of Truth to be explored and
appropriated by faith. History informs us that generally speaking, it has always been so.
In O.T. days only two out of the thousands of God's earthly people, namely Caleb and
Joshua, were ready to believe all that God had revealed of the riches of Canaan and were
willing to go up, explore, and possess the promised land. The rest not only refused to
believe their testimony, but were prepared to stone and murder them.
What of us who profess to have had the necessary enlightenment of the Holy Spirit
regarding this heavenly and holy calling? We need to be delivered from any
complacency and any tendency to be secret disciples, which is largely due to the fear of
man that bringeth a snare. We need to manifest the same missionary spirit to testify to
this truth as the Apostle Paul did in his day. We need believers, specially the young, who
have been given a glimpse of this heavenly `promised land', and who are prepared to
fully dedicate themselves to the Lord, the gospel and to this `good deposit' of truth. They
must be ready to take time and effort to get grounded in it; to be alert to every
opportunity for witness; to have wisdom and patience in presenting it to others and to
back it up behind the scenes with persistent labouring in prayer and intercession for all,
such as Epaphras did (Col. 1: 24-29; 4: 12). Only in this way can we discharge our
responsibilities to the Lord Who has showered upon us such riches of grace and glory.