by A.E. Knoch

When there is no perception, apostatizing are the people, yet keeping the law makes it happy.
(Proverbs 29:18 C.V.)

OUR FAITH, in this secret administration, should be based on the teachings of Paul, and not on the "Sermon on the Mount." Paul was an inspired apostle, and his words carry more weight than all mere human philosophies. Our Lord commissioned him to reveal truths which He was unable to communicate to His disciples, as they were not then able to bear them.

     Apart from Paul's epistles we should have very little knowledge of the celestial glories of Christ. The spirit of truth, operating through Paul, revealed these glories as our Lord said it would: "That will be glorifying Me, seeing that it will be getting of Mine and informing you."

     Paul's writings complete (fill, plerosai) the Word of God (Col. l:25). They clear up all the enigmas and dificulties which present themselves to the mind--in fact they bring us to maturity. No one can become mature who neglects, or misunderstands Paul's writings. They were written that you may stand mature and complete in all the will of God.

     Let us then try to formulate our creed from Paul's writings.


     "That out of Him and through Him and for Him is all; to Him be the glory for the eons! Amen!"(Rom. 11:36).


     "Who is the Image of the invisible God, Firstborn of every creature, for in Him is all created, that in the heavens and that on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones, or lordships, or sovereignties, or authorities, all is created through Him, and for Him, and He is before all, and all has its cohesion in Him." (Col. 1:15).


     "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Who blesses us with every spiritual blessing amonjg the celestials, in Christ, according as He chooses us in Him before the disruption of the world, we to be holy and flawless in His sight, in love designating us beforehand for the place of a son for Him through Christ Jesus." (Eph. 1:3-5).


     The believer, being justified by faith during the eons, may be having peace with God now (Rom.  5:1). The unbeliever must wait until the consummation.

     "Consequently then, as it was through one offence for all mankind for condemnation, thus also, it is through one just award for all mankind for life's justifying. For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One tghe many were constituted just."(Rom. 5:18-19).


     "And He is the Head of the body, the ecclesia, Who is Sovereign, Firstborn from among the dead, that in all He may be becoming First, for in Him the entire complement delights to dwell, and through Him to reconcile all to Him (making peace through the blood of His cross) through Him, whether those on the earth or those in the heavens." (Col. 1:18-20).


     "Yet now Christ has been roused from among the dead, the Firstfruit of those who are reposing. For since, in fact, through a man came death, through a Man also, comes the resurrection of the dead. For even as in Adam, all are dying, thus, also, in Christ, shall all be vivified. Yet each in his own class; the Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ's in His presence, thereafter comes the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all authority and power. For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy being abolished is death." (1 Cor. 15:20-26).


     "Now whenever He may be saying that all is subject, it is outside of Him Who subjects all to Him. Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subject to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all." (1 Cor. 15:27-28).

     "For I, [Paul] want you to perceive what the struggle amounts to which I am having for your sakes and for those in Laodicea and whoever have not seen my face in flesh, that their hearts may be consoled, being united in love, and to all the riches of the assurance of understanding, unto a realization of the secret of the God and Father of Christ, in Whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are concealed." (Col. 2:1-3).


ON THE NEGATIVE SIDE, Paul omits to mention eternal torment, annihilation, free will, salvation by good works. Remembering that Paul is an inspired apostle, these omissions are very significant. Paul's writings contradict all these misconceptions, and so prove them to be delusions which must be discarded in our quest for truth.

     Paul calls marked attention to the subtleties and craftiness of the Adversary, whom he describes as the god of this eon, "who blinds the apprehensions of the unbelieving so that the illumination of the evangel of the glory of Christ, Who is the Image of the Invisible God, does not irradiate them." (2 Cor. 4:4).

     The apostle John, writing especially to Israelites in the last days of this present wicked eon, tells them that the Adversary will eventually succeed in deceiving the whole inhabited earth (Rev. 12:9).

     Paul "completes the Word of God" and solves the problem of evil. He reveals that God is using the Adversary as an instrument for displaying His almighty power, multitudenous wisdom, and unfailing grace and love.

     Satan is an official title which God gave this mighty spirit being in the beginning. At the consummation, when he has accomplished the task God intended him to do, he will discard the title, lay aside all enmity, and become an adoring worshiper. He will be among those who "in the Name of Jesus every knee should be bowing, celestial, and terrestrial and subterranean, and every tongue should be acclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father." (Phil. 2:10-11).

     It is not surprising that Paul was able to anticipate the consummation and praise God with adoring wonder. "O! the depth of the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How inscrutable are His judgments and untraceable His ways! or, who knew the mind of the Lord? or, who became His advisor? or, who gives to Him first, and will be repaid by Him? seeing that out of Him and through Him and for Him is all; to Him be the glory for the eons! Amen!" (Rom. 11:36).

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