THE CHURCH - A HIDDEN MYSTERY
The word "Messiah" in Hebrew (or "Christ" in Greek) means "the anointed of God", and was recognised as the promised "Seed of the woman who would bruise the serpents (Satan's) head" (Genesis 3:15) and the Seed of Abraham "through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed" (Genesis 22:18).
Now "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with Power and He went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him" (Acts 10:38).
So when we think of the Messiah we naturally (and correctly) think of Jesus.
BUT"If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's Seed and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:29), "for those who are the children by the flesh (that is the Israelites), these are not the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as the Seed" (Romans 9:28), "for we, as Isaac was, are children of promise" (Galatians 4:28), "for the Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God,... and joint heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:16-17).
To be a joint heir of anything we must be brothers and sisters of the person in question. This implies that God looks upon us as His own Children.
"Behold now we are the children of God and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be like, but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him" (1 John 3:2), "for whom God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first born among many brethren" (Romans 8:29) "for we have been given exceedingly great and precious promises, that we may be partakers of the Divine Nature" (2 Peter 1:4).
We have been called to share the nature of God. We shall become as He is. I.e. we are to become spiritual beings of the divine nature, far superior to even angels. "Do you not know that we shall judge angels" (1 Corinthians 6:3).
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation" (2 Corinthians 5:17), no longer quite human, and not yet divine, having both natures at work at the same time. To be a Christian is a great struggle. There is a war going on within us as both the human nature and the Divine nature attempt to control our being. The outcome of this battle will determine if we shall indeed come into our inheritance as God's children or not.
"This is the mystery that has been hidden from ages and generations, but is now revealed to His Saints ... Christ in you" (Collossians 1:27-28) "for you have an anointing from the Holy One" (1 John 2:20). "So just as the (physical) body is one, yet has many members .... so also is the Christ (or Messiah), for we have all been baptised by one Spirit into one Body" (1 Corinthians 12:12-14).
Put in another way, Jesus said "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you shall find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden light" (Matthew 11:29 - 30). A yoke is a device used to couple animals together so that their combined strengths can be used to do work. It is important to only yoke two animals together which have the same strength and character, for "you shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together" (Deuteronomy 22:10). Therefore to be yoked together with Jesus implies that we have to be the same as him. It is reasonable to assume that this yoke which Jesus spoke of was the Holy Spirit.
So the Scriptures are very clear that the Messiah (the anointed one) is not one person, but many, all anointed with the Holy Spirit, all "Born again", all of the "Divine Nature" and all of "one Body".
Divinely exalted to the ultimate pinnacle of perfection, the Lord Jesus is presently calling, anointing and preparing a special people to share His glory and to reign with Him through out the ages to come. "Don't you know that the Saints shall judge the world ... don't you know that we shall judge angels" (1 Corinthians 6:2-3).
This concept of the Church being Divinely exalted is in accord with Jesus' own teaching for He says, "Assuredly I say to you, among those who are born of women there has not arisen one greater than John the Baptist, but he who is least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he" (Matthew 11:11). John having died before the beginning of the Gospel Age was not included in those who would constitute the Church. He will take his place as a part of the restored nation of Israel.
That creation will benefit from the calling out and preparation of the Church there is also no doubt, for we are told that "the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God ... for creation itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption (Entropy) into the glorious liberty of the children of God (Perfection)" (Romans 8:19-21).
In His wisdom, Jesus has "diffused" His "anointing" throughout His Church so that instead of there being only one "Christ" in the world, there is a multitude of "little Christs" all doing the work of the original (John 14:12). Jesus is no longer "limited" by His earthly body but is available to many through His "Spiritual Body" the Church. This is the "manifold wisdom of God which is being made known to principalities and powers by the Church" (Ephesians 3:10).
Created: 23 - Jan - 1997.