| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 45 - Page 137 of 251 Index | Zoom | |
worldwide. In His wisdom God purposely keeps some aspects of His purpose hidden, so
that the great enemy Satan shall not have the advantage. In the realm of human affairs,
during periods of war and times of stress a similar thing happens. Knowledge that would
be valuable to the enemy is kept secret.
There is another reason too, namely that there is a right time or season for the
revelation of a particular phase of truth. Before this time or after it, would be wrong or
out of keeping with such truth, and we may be sure that God makes no mistakes in His
time-table. Satan must have thought that he had rendered a deadly blow to the purpose
of God, when, through his hardening and blinding power, Israel became unusable at
Acts 28: But God then saw fit to reveal His brightest jewel, related to part of His
age-long plan that He had kept hidden in Himself up to this point, namely, the calling out
of a heavenly people that were to form an everlasting habitation for Himself. This secret
He first imparted to the Apostle Paul and then commissioned Him to make it known from
his prison, and it is these prison letters that disclose this previously hidden truth which
completes the Word of God and fills out the gap between the laying aside of Israel in
unbelief at Acts 28: and their being taken up by God at the end of the age at Christ's
Second Coming (Rom. 11: 25-29).
We note that Paul in Eph. 3: 3 writes about "the secret" without any qualification.
Previously he had dealt with other Divine secrets, such as the secret (mystery) of iniquity
(II Thess. 2: 7), the secret of Israel's blindness (Rom. 11: 25), the secret of the
instantaneous change of the living believer at the Lord's Coming (I Cor. 15: 51, 52). But
here in Ephesians it is THE SECRET par excellence which contains the greatest and most
profound truth that God seeks to make known to saved sinners (Col. 1: 26, 27).
When the Apostle states "as I wrote afore in few words", he is not looking back to his
epistles written during the Acts, and we shall search these in vain for such teaching, but
the reader is being referred back to what has already been stated in the Ephesian letter.
"Whereby, when ye read, ye can perceive my understanding in the secret (mystery) of
Christ" (3: 4). Some have assumed that the mystery of Christ of verse 4 is the same as
the mystery of verse 3, but this cannot be because the latter was known in some degree in
past ages, but not to the extent that was being divulged through this prison letter (5),
whereas the mystery or secret itself "hath been hid in God from the beginning of the
world (lit. from all ages)" and was therefore not known by anybody (9). In other words,
we have two secrets here, one concerning Christ the Head, and another concerning the
church, His Body, and once this is seen, there is no contradiction and one statement
supplements the other.
The secret concerning Christ starts in Eden with the promise of the Seed that would
bruise the serpent's head (Gen. 3: 15) and gradually through the unfolding of type and
shadow, and the ministry of prophet, priest and king, the revelation of the Lord Jesus
Christ, as the centre and circumference of the divine plan of the ages touching earth and
heaven, grew like a great river and came to its climax in the captivity epistles of Paul
which portray Him as seated far above all heavens, as Head over all things to the church,