2 Cor. 5:18-21; This Is the Commission (official duty) to the church, the body of Christ. “We are ambassadors (authorized representatives, ministers) for Christ.” And we have a two-fold ambassadorship (ministry). (1) The first aspect of our ambassadorship (ministry) is compelling men to be reconciled to God. Jew and Gentile are “one”now, in view of the great dispensational change God has made in bringing in the dispensation of Gentile grace.
A. God has made Jew and Gentile ONE, putting them both on a level playing field. There is no difference, one new man, the church, body of Christ (C.B.O.C.), under grace. B. God was in Christ, reconciling (changing the status) of the world (of men), unto himself, by the cross (CF. Eph. 2:11-19). C. The secret of the cross was revealed in Paul’s “due time” (appropriate time) testimony (1 Tim. 2:1-7). (Christ) “who gave himself a ransom (payment) for ALL (not “many”) to be testified in due time.” God is now, in the dispensation of Gentile grace, saving ALL men (2 Cor. 5:14-15). This is the due time message that we preach: The message of reconciliation. God has now changed the status of the world and men (1 Tim. 2:4). D. God is not imputing (charging) man’s sins against him today. God is holding back His Day of Wrath in the dispensation of grace (1 Thess. 5:9-11). “Now then we are ambassadors’ for Christ…”
(2) Now, for the second aspect of our ambassadorship.
A. The privilege God gave to us as members of the church, the body of Christ, is to make an IMPACT (influence, impression) in the heavenly places. B. We are designed to make an impact (influence, impression) “right now” Into the principalities and powers in heavenly places. We, members of the church, the body of Christ are designed to teach angels the manifold (multifaceted) wisdom, or eternal purpose of God (Eph. 3:10-11). C. In Ephesians 6:19-20: Paul speaks of being an ambassador in bonds in connection with the mystery of the gospel. In connection with Eph. 6:12: we are “wrestling against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high (heavenly) places.” D. The way we make this impact (influence, impression) in the heavenly places in the face of the principalities and powers, is to talk about, and revel in, the mystery of Christ, and the wonderful message about what God is doing in this dispensation of grace. Talking about reconciling (changing the status) of the heavenly places back to God, thereby reconciling, repossessing “the positions” of principalities, powers, and might, back unto himself.
God will reconcile, (or change the status) of the principalities, and powers from under Satan’s control, back under God’s control. Therefore, the heavenly places will be occupied by God’s own creatures, the one new man, church, body of Christ.
(3) Making an impact to God’s glory, in the heavenly places (Eph. 3:9-12)
Vs. 9 “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery…..” this is the starting point of our ministry. Teaching ALL men (mankind) to know (knowledge), the mystery of Christ is indeed in effect today .
A. But it is more than that. What is the fellowship of the mystery all about? Why did God bring in the fellowship of the mystery? These are the questions that we need to answer. B. God brought in the dispensation of grace so that the secret purpose He has in His Son, from the beginning of the world, might be made known. This secret (mystery) purpose was hidden in God who created all things by Jesus Christ. C. What is God’s purpose? This is the purpose of this passage. Paul says along with bringing in the dispensation of grace, there is also an IMPACT (influence, impression) to be made in the heavenly places. So, God’s purpose is that our fellowship make an impact in heavenly places.
Vs. 10, 11: “To the intent (purpose, goal) … Paul wants us to know that God’s intentions, purpose, goal, goes beyond just men seeing the fellowship of the mystery.
A. A privilege can be defined as: “a right granted:” We have been given a privilege, the right has been granted, by God, to: # 1. make ALL MEN SEE, & # 2. make THE ANGELIC REALM SEE, the secret purpose and the fellowship of the mystery of Christ. B. As we have already stated, this aspect of our ambassadorship goes beyond men and into heavenly places. We are designed to make an impact (impression, influence) upon the angelic beings who occupy governmental positions of authority, in the heavenly places. Better known as, the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. C. In this second aspect of our ambassadorship, the impact (influence) God is targeting is, those angelic beings that occupied those positions. They are positions of glory and grandeur of God’s manifold wisdom, and Eternal Purpose.
(4) In order to appreciate this doctrine, we need to first get a good understanding:
A. You must understand the dispensation of Gentile grace yourself. B . You must understand what is the fellowship of the mystery yourself. C. You must understand WHY God brought in the dispensation of grace. D. You need to understand that the dispensation of grace is really God’s masterstroke of genius. Keeping the mystery, a mystery was a masterstroke of God’s genius when dealing with the satanic plan of evil. And the usurped dominion that Satan has taken in connection with the heavenly governmental authorities, as well as the earthly governmental authorities. E. You need to understand the mystery of Christ is really the revelation of the hidden wisdom of God.
(5) We must understand that there is something fantastic going on other than members of the body of Christ making an impact upon men today. Understanding this impact (influence, impression) that we make goes beyond just body members fellowshipping with each other, growing, maturing, and rejoicing in the right division of God’s word.
A. What Paul is telling us in this passage of scripture goes beyond us. When body members of like precious faith, not only function as ambassadors of reconciliation, studying, rejoicing, and celebrating the wisdom and purpose of God, and sharing what the fellowship of the mystery is all about, we are sending an impact (influence, impression) into the heavenly places. B. God has designed our study and our fellowship to send an impact (influence, impression) unto the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, that they may know by the church (you & I, teaching angels) the manifold wisdom of God (His eternal purpose). C. This impact (influence, impression) is made in the heavenly places so that the principalities and powers might constantly be confronted with the genius of what God has done. And taking them in their own craftiness, God made a show of them openly, triumphing over them, in the cross. The cross of Christ provided for the reconciliation, & repossession of that realm back to God. For Satan and his cohorts, their doom was sealed. That is what Paul is writing about in these versus (Col. 2:15). D. This is why we need to understand and appreciate our Commission, and our ambassadorship, in the dispensation of grace. We have the privilege of making this impact (influence, impression) as the ambassadors for Christ. God wants and expects members of the body of Christ to make this impact. And He has given us the privilege of participating in it.
In view of the vocation (occupation) that we have as members of the church, body of Christ, we have a designed impact to make in the heavenly places. God designed the nation of Israel to have an impact (influence, impression) on the principalities and powers, on this earth!
Deut. 4:5-8: Moses is speaking to Israel about who they are in God’s plan and purpose.
A. God designed a vocation (occupation) along with an impact (influence, impression) for Israel to make on this earth among the governing authorities of the nations of this world. B. In “time past” (T.P.) Moses sets forth the covenant (agreement) that God made with Israel. Israel willingly signed the law contract and said, they (Israel) would make themselves “great” without God’s Jehovah-ness and grace. And they by their own human efforts, would have the Lord God dwell in their midst, and have God’s Kingdom established in their hearts, on this earth. They were sadly mistaken. (Eph. 2:7; Ex. 19:8). C. God’s purpose for Israel was for Him to dwell in their midst and for Him to establish His Kingdom in their hearts on this earth by His Jehovah-ness and grace. God expected Israel to function as a mediator between God and the nations. And to provide for the reconciliation of the governing nations back to God. That’s the purpose God had for the nation of Israel on this earth. D Satan deceived Eve and tempted Adam to disobey a direct order from God, thereby sinning against God. Satan then usurped the domination of this earth and became the “prince of the world.” The nations of this world were given over to him (Satan). God created the nation of Israel to establish His Kingdom in the earth and reconcile the world back unto Himself. And the repossession of the governmental authorities on this earth, back unto God. Why? So, God’s Kingdom would rule on this earth. It is through the agency of a kingdom, vested (guaranteed) in the nation of Israel, that God provided for the reconciling of the earth back to Himself, and the repossession of it.
7. Moses and Israel understood God’s plan and purpose for Israel. In Deut. 4:5-8; Moses taught Israel about the impact (influence, impression) God expected them to make upon the nations of the earth, in view of their vocation (occupation). Israel’s vocation is to be God’s “great nation” on this earth, from whom God’s law would flow. And, the nations would walk in God’s ways and paths, and His Kingdom and will, would be administered on this earth. Israel’s vocation was designed to have an impact upon those Gentile nations.
Vs, 6,7; Moses said, “this is your wisdom and your understanding (the statues and the judgments of the Lord).” This was Israel’s impact in the sight of all these nations. And they (the nations) will say: “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”
8. There is a parallel between the church, body of Christ, and Israel’s program. In the dispensation of grace, God has suspended His dealings with Israel. He has put Jew and Gentile together. The middle wall of partition has been torn down, & both Jew and Gentile are ONE now. God is forming in the dispensation of grace, a new creation, called the “one new man,” the church the body of Christ (CBOC). A. God is forming the “one new man” for the purpose of the reconciliation of the heavenly places back unto God. B. Satan in his rebellion not only took possession of the governmental authorities of the earth and became “prince of the world,” he also took possession of the governmental authorities in the heavenly places and became the “prince of the power of the air.” C. God kept a secret that through the Lord Jesus Christ, He is going to reconcile (REPOSSESS) the heavenly places back to Himself. God is going to make in the Lord Jesus Christ, a new creation who will be able to function in the heavenly places.
D. But why did God keep it a secret? Answer: To make Satan go on with his plan of evil uninterrupted, and kill the prince of life, on the cross. This would seal the doom of Satan’s plan of evil. By keeping the mystery, a mystery, God took Satan and his principalities and powers in their own craftiness causing Satan to lose his earthly dominion, as well as his heavenly dominion.
9. What is the mystery of Christ all about? The mystery has to do with God’s plan in reconciling the heavenly principalities and powers, through the agency of the church, the body of Christ (CBOC), back unto Himself. As well as reconciling the earth back unto Himself through a Kingdom vested in the nation of Israel. Israel is God’s agency, with the vocation (occupation), of reconciling (repossessing) the earth back unto himself. The church, body of Christ (CBOC) is God’s agency, with the vocation (occupation) of reconciling (repossessing) the heavenly places back unto himself. (Ephesians 1:9-10). (The Fullness of Times).
10. In accordance with our vocation, we (CBOC) Have been designed by God to make an impact (influence, impression) upon the heavenly places. We are the product of the manifold wisdom, the eternal purpose of God. And of God taking Satan and his cohorts in their own craftiness, and it is all because of the cross. A. We will be the very ones that God will put into those positions of principalities and powers, when God expels Satan and his cohorts out of the heavenly places, in His Day. That is how God designed us to make the impact to His honor and glory regarding the manifold wisdom in the heavenly places, in the face of those principalities and powers. B. We make this impact, when we make all men see what the fellowship of the mystery (secret) of Christ is. In other words, to make it clear to everyone the plan of Gods mystery/secret. What is the secret plan of the mystery? It is the uniting (fellowshipping) of believing Jews and Gentiles into one body, “the one new man,” the CBOC, which until now, was kept hidden in the mind of God. From the foundation, the beginning of the world, the dispensation of Gentile grace was kept hidden in God, until revealed to Apostle Paul. C. We make this impact, impression, influence when we study it out, grow, and mature to the glory and honor of God. We do not see it, or hear about it, but Paul tells us “Because of the angels,” principalities and powers, they are watching us, they see us. (Acts 9th Chapter).
1 Corinthians 2:6-8; The Prince of Glory: Wisdom Beyond Personal Salvation.
A. Paul is speaking about wisdom that has to do with the prince of this world, Satan, and his own cohorts. Wisdom that has to do with God taking them in their own craftiness. Paul is teaching that the revelation of the mystery owes nothing to human wisdom. B. Our impact has a grievous, disturbing effect upon the principalities and powers in heavenly places.
Vs. 6 “Howbeit (yet we do speak) wisdom among those that are perfect (the spiritually mature believers, with teachable hearts), yet not wisdom of this world (of men), nor of princes of this world (present time) that come to nought (nothing).” A. What Paul is referring to is a category a being (“princes”) that are not men. These “princes” occupy positions in the heavenly places and have an influence upon this world. But they are angelic beings. They occupy principalities, powers, might, and dominions in heavenly places. They are “the rulers of the darkness of this world” (Eph. 6:12). B. They are who Paul has in view when he calls them “the princes of this world.’ The wisdom Paul is referring to, is the “wisdom of God” in bringing the “princes of thisworld”
(principalities and powers) to nought (nothing). Demolishing, destroying the evil satanic system that they are part of. C. The wisdom that Paul is referring to, is in verse 7: “But I (we) speak “the wisdom of God in a mystery (the wisdom once hidden from man that God kept a secret, but now revealed to us by God through Paul). D. What Paul is referring to, is the new information about this new dispensation (program) of Gentile grace the mystery of Christ. God in keeping the mystery a mystery was all a part of his wisdom. And it has to do with God taking the principalities and powers and their leader, Satan captive in their own craftiness. Satan was caught in his own trap/snare. Thus, opposing God, Satan opposes himself.
Vs 8; “None of the princes, (the rulers of darkness of this world, recognized or understood this brand of wisdom). For if they had known it, (the secret purpose of the cross, that God was in Christ reconciling, changing the status of the world, and of Jew and Gentile unto himself), they would not have crucified the Lord of glory (Col. 2:15). A. God kept it a mystery, so that they would crucify the Lord of glory. Thereby putting them to an open shame, triumphing over them in the cross. What Satan didn’t know was that God used the crucifixion of his Son to seal the doom of Satan, both on the earth and in heaven. B. Now God is making a new creation in the Lord Jesus Christ to repossess and occupy the positions of principality and powers in heavenly places, through the agency of the “one new man,” CBOC. of Satan and his cohorts and to the honor and glory of God.
Ephesians 1:19-22 The Reality of Our Vocation (Occupation) Our impact has a grievous, disturbing effect upon the principalities and powers.
Vs 19; God wants us to know our vocation (occupation). We have been given exceeding great power because we believe, according to the working of his mighty power. “ Vs 20; Jesus is in the position of his Father’s own right hand in the heavenly places. Vs 21; He is far above all principalities, and powers, and might, and dominions. A. The Lord Jesus Christ battled Satan on the cross, and He came forth victorious. There was a war with Satan as the prince of this world, and he is also the prince of the power of the air, and the Lord Jesus Christ won the battle with Satan on the cross. And when Jesus came out of the grave, He won the right, and the title deed, of both heaven and earth. Amen. B. Satan was dethroned as the prince of this world. And dethroned as the prince of the power of the air. So, Paul wants you and I to know, that when God the Father, raised Jesus the Son, from the dead, God set His Son, at His own right hand in a position of acknowledgement, that He has all governmental powers under His authority, “put under his feet.” He (Jesus) will subdue all governmental authority under his feet, on the earth, and in heaven as well.
Vs 22-23; Paul said, God gave to the Lord Jesus Christ all things under his feet (authority), and gave him to be head over all things (authority) to the church. Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.
A. God gave Christ all these things (authority) for the benefit of the church, body of Christ. We are going to be utilized as members of his body to function in connection with his authority over those positions of great authority. B. We are the Lords Fullness as far as the positions of authority. We will fill those positions of governmental authorities when He subdues them. We will fill those heavenly positions. The nation of Israel will fill the earthly positions. C. This is why Paul said in Philippians 3:20-21; “For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. D. Paul is saying, we are going to get a heavenly body. A body fit to exist and function in the heavenly places. The reason we will receive those heavenly bodies, is because we’re going to be put in charge of those heavenly positions of governmental principalities and powers. E. God is going to reconcile (change the status) of those positions back unto himself. And place the members of the church, body of Christ in them. The new creation, the one new man, a new species of humanity. Yes, that’s our vocation (occupation). And it is all because of the masterstroke of God’s genius of the cross, that God has provided for the reconciliation (repossession) of the heavenly places.
Notice: When we fellowship around “what is the fellowship of the mystery?” What it is all about, what it is for. When we revel and glory, and study, and teach, and preach, and open our mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel of Christ, and the manifold wisdom of God, and what He is doing in the dispensation of grace, and how He has taken Satan and his cohorts in their own craftiness, it’s when we do this that the impact (influence, impression) is made to God’s honor and glory. (Eph. 6:19-21).
When we rejoice and rally around the mystery of Christ, we celebrate the fact that Satan has lost his dominion over the heavenly places as well as the earth. The mystery of Christ has to do with God not only reconciling (repossessing) the earth, but reconciling (repossessing) the heavenly places. Satan and his cohorts are constantly reminded of the embarrassment and shame Christ made of them openly, making a mockery of them before the world. Satan’s plan of evil was to be like the most high God, when he crucified the Lord. But God spoiled his plan and took him in his own craftiness. When Satan killed the Lord Jesus Christ, he became the ultimate fool. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22).
EPHESIANS 6:9-11 “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world have been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God. According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” OUR AMBASSADORSHIP!