The Surpassing Secret

Posted May 18, 2021 by SandreS
Categories: Ecclesia

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The Acts of the Apostles is the inspired record of the re-offer of the King and kingdom to Israel (Acts 3:19-21). It hinged upon a national repentance. Israel failed, they did not repent; and the outcome of the conference called by Paul (Acts 28:17) brought on another crisis in God’s dealing with this nation. In this dark hour, the all-knowing and all-wise God lifts the veil and makes known a Secret. He makes known to His chosen vessel, the Apostle Paul, the great mystery or secret of a heavenly Body, the Church. This Secret surpasses anything yet revealed that had previously been hidden from the enemy, from Israelites, and from Gentiles. This Secret has to do with the heavenly triumph of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is revealed in the Prison Epistles of Ephesians and Colossians.

William B. Hallman (1902-1985)
Biblical Hermeneutics, page 147
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Ephesians and Colossians

Posted May 12, 2021 by SandreS
Categories: Ecclesia

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In Ephesians and Colossians we learn that the Holy Spirit speaks of the mystery in connection with the Body of Christ. The word “mystery” means “secret.” It is apparent, then, that up to the time that Paul wrote Ephesians and Colossians, God had kept the truth concerning the Body of Christ a secret. It was God’s secret.

J.C. O’Hair (1876-1958)
“Some Simple Thoughts Concerning Body Truth”
Bible Study for Bereans (November 1935)
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Spiritual Position

Posted May 8, 2021 by SandreS
Categories: Ecclesia

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Our position is said to be in the heavenlies in Christ, and that is not just a mental spiritual realm in which we live, but we see that it represents our being utterly separated from, in spirit, the whole of this world system.

In work of the Lord, for instance, there must be no desire for some earthly thing as such, to see established on this Earth some great movement, institution or organization, something which man can take account of and recognize and call a success, something that we would like to see here on the Earth, prospering according to natural standards of prosperity, and feeling that the thing was really a success. And we must remember that a thing is effective today, from God’s standpoint, only in the measure in which it is spiritual.

T. Austin-Sparks (1888-1971)
In the Heavenlies
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No Longer Jews and Gentiles

Posted May 6, 2021 by SandreS
Categories: Uncategorized

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The present-day church, which is the Body of Christ, is not made up of Jews and proselytes, as in Acts 2:10, but it is the “New man” in which there is “neither Greek nor Jew” (Colossians 3:10-11). Neither is the church of this dispensation made up of Jews and Gentiles, as in Acts 21:20, 25, but in it they are “both one” and the “middle wall of partition” has been broken down (Ephesians 2:14-18). The saved Jew and the saved Gentile of this dispensation are no longer recognized as Jews and Gentiles.

Ike SidebottomIke T. Sidebottom (1899-1970)
Through the Bible Dispensationally
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The Realization of a Son of God

Posted December 6, 2020 by SandreS
Categories: Ecclesia

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“The realization of a son of God” (Ephesians 4:13) – how few have it! The majority are taken up with the figure of the “new birth” and know nothing of the higher, nobler blessing of sonship by adoption, through love. And here it is necessary to emphasize for heart understanding that sonship does not figure mere relationship, but those honors granted to the heir only when he comes of age, investing him with the highest dignities and wealth his father can bestow. It means far more to be a son of God than a child. This is the appointed work for those divinely graced with spiritual endowments: pressing this glorious truth until all saints have a realization of a son of God.

A.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 25 (1934)
(edited)
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Vastly More to be a Son than a Child

Posted November 30, 2020 by SandreS
Categories: Ecclesia

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Sonship is a much higher thought than that conveyed by the figure of the “new birth.” Indeed, Paul leaves that illustration to the Kingdom proclamation. He makes us a new creation, rather than a regeneration. Sonship is not necessarily based on birth. It may be obtained by adoption. It does not figure mere relationship, but the honors granted only to the heir when he comes of age, and is invested with the highest dignities which his father can bestow. It is vastly more to be a son of God than a child. A teacher in this economy should press this point, so that the saints may realize their sonship (Ephesians 4:13).

A.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 23 (1932)
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The Fullness

Posted November 26, 2020 by SandreS
Categories: Ecclesia

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Well nigh lost is the dominating doctrine of the pleroma or fullness. The reconciliation of the universe rests upon this transcendent truth. Apart from the Fullness of the Son, God could not be conciliated nor could His enemies be reconciled to Him. In Him is found all that God needs and all that His creatures need. Nothing apart from Him is of any avail: anything apart from Him is an affront to His Father.

God’s approach to His creatures is clear and open through the death of His Son. Likewise, our entrance into His presence is unobstructed and unhindered through the death of God’s Son. But before that death and its proclamation God had carefully hedged Himself with a barrier of Jewish forms and ceremonies, dwelling alone behind an unrent veil in awful and unapproachable majesty. But now that veil is rent, the cleansing flood flows as a river, the victim has bled, the barriers all are down, and, lest we are yet too timid to approach, God comes forth and takes up His abode within the spirits of His people. He beseeches the sinner to be reconciled, He implores the saint to enjoy it, and we respond – all upon the ground of the Fullness which His Son is for us.

A.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 4 (1913)
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Readjusting the Saints

Posted November 24, 2020 by SandreS
Categories: Ecclesia

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The majority of the saints today doctrinally stand on Circumcision ground. Their teaching and experience has been drawn from the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the Acts of the Apostles. Assuming that “the church began on the day of Pentecost,” they attempt to creedalize and practice the varying presentations and examples which follow. Now and then some of the teachings of the earlier epistles of Paul are included, notwithstanding the incongruous differences which are continually calling for modifying explanations that never explain!

It is the duty of … the teacher to readjust the saints from this standing into the transcendent truth and grace of the Pauline revelation ordained for the present Secret Administration. This calls for mature wisdom and spiritual understanding.

A.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 25 (1934)
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Which “Church”?

Posted November 22, 2020 by SandreS
Categories: Ecclesia

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The Greek word translated “church” in the King James Version is “ecclesia” and means “called out ones.” There are various “called out ones” in the Scriptures, but only one at the present time. These are believers, constituting the Body of Christ with Christ as the Head, crucified, buried, risen, ascended and seated with Him in the heavenlies, and revealed only in Ephesians and Colossians.

The “church” during the book of Acts was a corporate body of believers that belonged to Christ. In I Corinthians 12 a parallel is drawn between a physical body and the body (group) of believers. They were members one of another, just as the members of a physical body are. The head (:21) represented a member (not Christ) and is no more important that the foot or any other member. Christ was not the Head of that “church.” Nowhere does it mention that Christ was the Head of the “church” during the book of Acts.

The “Church” which is Christ’s Body is distinct from every other church in the Scriptures. It is not the “church” in the wilderness (Acts 7:38); neither is it the “church” (“congregation”) spoken of in Psalm 22:22 and Hebrews 2:12. This “called out” Body, with Christ as the Head, cannot be found in prophecy or traced in any previous writings prior to Ephesians and Colossians. It was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) and is the only group of “called out ones” whose destiny is in the heavenlies. We will be manifested with Him in glory in the heavenlies, a witness to principalities and powers during the coming ages (Colossians 3:3; Ephesians 3:10).

Rex B. Grant (1941-2013)
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The Ecclesia Today Is Not the “Bride” or “Sheep”

Posted November 16, 2020 by SandreS
Categories: Ecclesia

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The frequent picturing of Israel as “sheep” … features a point similar to the figure of the “bride …” Both figures are used freely in the Hebrew Scriptures and in the Greek Jewish portions of the apostolic writings. Neither figure is used as illustrative of the Ecclesia of the present dispensation in any epistle written by Paul.

More than that: the word “sheep” is not even used by Paul in any letter bearing his name, except in Romans 8:36, which quotes Isaiah in describing our Lord as a Sheep for the slaughter. The same is true of the word “shepherd.” It is used only once by Paul in his epistles, and then in the sense of “pastors” (Ephesians 4:11), but the usage of both words in the Gospels is very frequent.

F.H. Robison (1885-1932)
Are Bride and Body Identical? pp. 30-31
Bible Student’s Press
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