Friday, July 28, 2017

All Spiritual Blessings. This is the first item we meet in the post-Acts epistles of Paul. 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. And it cannot be found among other writers. It is peculiar to the dispensation that is after Israel is set aside and the Salvation of God sent to the Gentiles. These blessings are for The Body of Christ.

In Heavenly Places. Such a realm had been known even in O.T. 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 that 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. All purpose connected with the kingdom on the earth and the dispensation of promise has been spoken of as since the overthrow 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. So as far as the purpose of the ages is concerned, this term is peculiar to the dispensation of the mystery.

Seated Together. 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 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 Ac 10. That a dispensation in which the two were made one just never entered the mind of man till revealed 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 thru the seed of Abram that the earth was to be blest. So all these centuries the Gentile was a foreigner, outside the dispensation of promise.

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 is in Revelation 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.

Ephesians 3:9 Unto me...is this grace given...to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery...-

From the day that the salvation of God was sent to the Gentiles (Acts 28:28), this was the theme of Paul's preaching. This is the distinct message of Ephesians, as well as the rest of the prison epistles. We must remember that this message is given to us from one who could claim that he was an ambassador of Christ. This in itself shows that this message was very important, and still is today.

But this ambassador of the risen and ascended Lord had other themes in Ephesians, too, and they are very weighty. The mystery does not stand alone. It is the culmination of the plan and purpose of the ages. So it does have a foundation of truth.

As we read the prison epistles, and especially Ephesians, we discover other mighty themes that are not to be neglected. Let us just name a few themes that would pay us well to dig into, and note their relation to the mystery. Look up these references and study each one as a subject. Look up parallel references. You will be richly rewarded.

1. The riches of His grace.

2. The exceeding riches of His grace.

3. The dispensation of the fulness of seasons.

4. The church that is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.

5. All the fulness of God.

6. The exceeding greatness of His power.

7. The love that passeth knowledge.

8. The Father's will.

9. The choice before the overthrow.

10. The secret of His will.

11. Seated at the right hand of God.

12. The habitation of God, the temple.

13. Before the overthrow.

14. The ages to come.

15. Principalities, powers, might, and dominions.

16. The family of God, heaven's household.

17. All spiritual blessings.

18. Redemption through his blood.

19. The adoption.

20. Accepted in the Beloved.

21. Once the children of wrath.

We will stop there for now. This is just a sample of the themes we might choose to study in this mighty epistle.

Have you ever felt that you had reached the pinnacle of truth in Ephesians? Have you felt that you need something new? If so, then keep this list for a starter, and develop these themes sometime. Feed on the Word.

And remember this, Ephesians was written to saints and faithful, those who had already heard the gospel of the dispensation of the mystery and believed it {1:13,15). The epistle sums up and puts in order the things they had believed, with added emphasis and details.

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