The Fellowship that was Hidden in God! (part 1)

Posted Nov 10, 2014 by John Boskovic in The Son of God Hits: 8,061

Introduction

Dear Reader,

There are many voices, and many gospels that are being taught, such that it is not easy for one to come to any certainty of truth. So many opinions, So many beliefs, so many influences; what is one to make of them? Some use Christ to save them from God, others use him as an indulgence; some see him as a politician, others as a good man. Many Christs have arisen, if not in different men, then in different concepts of the one Messiah of two thousand years ago. Very few see the true Messiah: the Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. Yet, nevertheless the truth is still recorded for us, and will be recognized by all who have received the love of truth.

What truly is the gospel of the kingdom of Heaven?

Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, even the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, as well as through the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. Rom 16:25-27

The Gospel is the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began. This revelation was manifested and witnessed to in the life of Christ, according to God’s ordained purpose, to bring us to the obedience of faith.

So what was that mystery that was revealed?

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things through 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: Eph 3:8-11

That mystery that has been revealed is the fellowship that was hidden in God. The fellowship between the Father and the Son was revealed to us in the Messiah. In this fellowship we see the relationship that is between the Father and the Son which brings about the oneness in that heavenly home. This fellowship is the basis in which the household of God is administered. Thus it is the gospel of the kingdom of heaven. The Father ordained that it should be made known, so that the purpose which he purposed in his Son could be accomplished in those who receive the Son and respond to his call. He is calling us to that same fellowship and oneness with himself.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was unto the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard we declare unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 1Jn 1:1-3 

May God bless you as you read, and may his word be precious to your soul.

God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 1Co 1:9 

 

The Fellowship hidden

Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice. Joh 18:37 

To this end was I born and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.

The Messiah himself tells us the purpose and the cause why he was born into this world. This purpose and cause of Christ’s coming to this world is not heard of, nor thought about. As king he bears witness to the truth of his Father’s kingdom. That there is a need to bear witness unto truth is in itself evidence that error and lie is prevailing, so much so, that it was necessary for the Son of God to come to reveal the truth. Yet today, the truth is not known, and Christ’s testimony is not heard.

What truth is Christ speaking of? Jesus said: I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me. (Joh 14:6)  The truth is bound up in Christ himself, who he is, his life, and the way of his life which leads us to the Father. This is so important that the Son of God left the heavenly courts to come to this world to reveal it. He said: And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (Joh 17:3)  To know the Son and the Father in this revealed truth is life eternal.

Often times we are asked to explain the nature of the Son of God, and to make it simple. That it is simple is a glorious truth; that the truth of God is foolishness to the carnal mind is a sobering reality. As simple as the truth of the nature of the Son of God is, so it is profound; it was hidden in so that it was a mystery, as it were a secret, throughout the ages until Christ came to reveal it and bear witness to this truth.

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things through 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: Eph 3:8-11

The revelation of the fellowship that is between the Son and the Father is at the centre of the Gospel. Why was the fellowship a secret, even to the heavenly host? Why is it still a secret today?

It is not that the truth of the nature of the Son of God is so complex, or that God purposed to hide it, but that the serpent is so subtle, and having rebelled himself, has introduced falsities that blind the eye to the truth; especially to the nature of the Son of God, misrepresenting it.

Why? Because in the nature of the Son of God is revealed the fellowship; the nature of the kingdom of God. Thus in the testimony and life of Christ we see the great truth of the nature of the Son of God and of the kingdom of God revealed, as well as the veil removed laying bare the workings of Satan. We need to perceive the nature of these two kingdoms.

Satan’s kingdom is based upon “substance”. It is based upon the substance or the material aspect, that is to say one’s being as in the body. He promotes life according to substance; that is: desires of the flesh, desires of the eyes, and pride of life. He promotes that there is nothing evil in the substance (body) and that to freely live by it is god-like-ness. He promotes self-existence; that one should believe in himself, look to himself, feel good about himself, have peace with himself, forgive himself, love himself, speak his own mind, and fulfill himself. He promotes that unbridled enjoyment of the proclivities (the abilities and powers) of the being and imagination of the heart fulfills the spirit. In this kingdom everyone is a god unto himself, being led about by the imagination of their desires; the god of their own making.

God’s kingdom is founded upon the covenant faith of the Son of God, for without faith it is impossible to please God, and other foundation can no one lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  The faith of the Son of God (Son’s faith) establishes obedience to the Father, and he delights to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Father, delighting to do his will. He is living by the spirit of God; governing his being (the substance) according to the will of God; fulfilling the purposes and intents of God. By means of this faith oneness is established with the Father. In this kingdom, there is one God, the Father of whom all things are; and one Lord, Jesus Christ through whom all things are. To this faith of the Son of God all are called. The faith of the Son of God seems simple enough!

To destroy this faith of the Son of God, Satan has formulated a doctrine of an image of God to suit his kingdom. In order to facilitate this, Satan altered the nature of the Son of God in accordance to his own principles, and added his own spirit, subverting the Father. The doctrine of the trinity is that doctrine.

The doctrine of the trinity defines God based upon the nature of the substance or material aspect of the being, making the relation of its members a role or function while the true relationship-fellowship of its members is a mystery. It presumes upon the thinking that divinity and holiness; godhood and sinlessness; life and deathless-ness; in short: divine nature, is originated in that unique substance. [1]

Then there are those that hold that God is spirit and that there is no material aspect to God, and they may speak of the essence of God. However, they do not mean that the essence is spirit because, in that doctrine, the spirit of God is made into a third person. To be clear, while they speak of it as immaterial essence, they still think of it as something that is the being[2] of God. Thus substance or essence, really carry the same concept of being, matter (stuff), or lack of it.

While there is significant variation in the various professions of the trinity doctrine in regards to the three “persons”, how they relate and what they entail,[3]  the key point which is constant is that of the one unique substance or essence. Thus in the doctrine of the trinity, this unique substance/essence is the one God which is in three “persons”, and is that which makes the three to be one. Lastly it always concludes that it is a mystery which cannot be known.

Indeed, the thinking that divinity and holiness; godhood and sinlessness; life and deathless-ness; that is: divine nature is originated in a unique substance or essence and that the oneness of the three persons proceeds from it, must consign the relationship-fellowship to be the difference of the persons and a mystery. This fulfills Satan’s purpose to destroy the faith of the Son of God, and to establish his own kingdom which is on the basis of the nature of the being or substance.

The vast majority of those who subscribe to the trinity understand very little of the doctrine itself and hold it largely because it is professed by those teaching it that it is orthodox. The fact that they do not understand it they ascribe to the mystery. Now, those who teach it profess to be somehow knowledgeable in the substance or essence of God, and that such is what makes the oneness of God, while they hold the relationship-fellowship as a mystery, a role, or the difference of relation and function.

In reality, the truth is that no one has any clue about the substance or essence of God, but what they should know is what that relationship-fellowship is, because in Christ that relationship-fellowship is revealed. He came to bear witness unto the truth of that fellowship. His coming revealed that the oneness is in spirit and that through faith, regardless of the nature of the substance or essence of being.

In coming to the understanding of the identity of the Son of God, many or most are still predicated on the thinking of that unique divine substance, and are in their doctrine continuing to define the relation via the nature of the substance. That is to say, that the Son of God is begotten (brought forth) from the Father’s own substance, and hence, being of the same substance, he is divine; he is the Son of God (based on substance).

While this establishes an identity reference between the Father and the Son, it seeks to maintain the difference between the God-beings (divine nature substance) and the rest of creation, which is understood to be created of different more inferior matter. The qualification for worship is defined by the superiority of the God-substance beings over the created beings. The created beings, having no choice in the matter, must worship the divine-substance beings. While some may contend that this is an oversimplification and that there is much more involved in worship, they nevertheless hold that requirement for worship.

Thus while the identity and relation is referenced by the origin and nature of the substance, it still harbours the thinking that divine nature is originated in that unique substance or essence. It must also be noted that such a designation of identity and relation is purely origin of substance based, and while it may define relation, it does nothing to define the relationship or fellowship. The relationship-fellowship is not recognized as vital to that divine nature of the Son of God, but rather somehow subsistent or anecdotal to being of that substance.

Relationship or fellowship is much more than the relation of substance or being. It is not only based on origin of substance, but also in the attitude of the heart and mind of one towards another. Thus the relationship or fellowship is that of spirit and not of substance. The fact that one is a physically begotten son (same substance or essence nature) does not mean that such is relating to the Father as a son, much less as a dear son.

While the Son of God was in heaven in the form of God, it was not evident and apparent that the fellowship and oneness; his begotten-ness is through faith. The Adversary promoted that the Son is faithful because he was endowed with such a substance. Satan’s stance is echoed in Job where we can see that he put his hands upon all the substance of Job, in order to prove his point:

Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, does Job fear God for nought?  Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. (Job 1:9-11)

To reveal that the relationship or one-ness, that is between the Father and the Son, is not based on unique substance, but that of faith, is part of the reason why the Son of God laid aside his heavenly form of God and took upon himself the substance (physical nature) of the creation, namely that of sinful man. (If his identity and sonship was based on that substance then he would have ceased to be the Son of God when his substance was made the created substance of sinful man). However, that the Son is begotten of the Father’s spirit through faith, establishes the relation, the identity, and the relationship-fellowship, which is not based upon the substance but upon begotten-ness of spirit through faith, and is not altered by the change in the nature of the substance (body). Thus the relationship-fellowship is revealed to be vital to the divine nature of the Son of God; and the basis of the kingdom of God.

To help understand this better, here is a plainer example: When God created the woman from Adam’s rib, he created a woman and not a wife. Though it was God’s plan and purpose that she should become Adam’s wife, God could not create a wife; he could only create a woman. For Eve to be Adam’s wife, she would need to choose of her own free will to trust and love Adam; to respect him and accept him as her head. She would be able to do that only if she trusted God and accepted God’s plan and purpose for her. Thus, when God created the woman, he gave her all the abilities that she needed so she could be a wife, but he could not create a wife. Now one can see that although the woman is related to man because she is made out of his body; the relationship in question for which she was created is something she would need to accept of her own free will; to place her faith in Adam, to trust him, to love him, respect him and receive him as her head. The significant point is that God is not able to create a wife, and that such relationship-covenant would be of the genuine faith and love as God purposes it to be; she was only a woman by creation.

Likewise is the issue of the relationship-fellowship of Adam to God. Adam is son of God by creation, but whether Adam will choose of his own free will to place his faith in God, to trust him, to love him, respect him and receive him as his head; in so as to be begotten of the Father’s spirit, would determine whether Adam would become a begotten son of God. God could not create Adam a begotten son, and that it be the genuine relationship of faith and love which he purposed to have with those begotten of his spirit. Neither would God bringing forth a son from his own substance or essence do anything to establish that relationship-fellowship of faith and love of a free will which he purposes; a son begotten of the Father’s spirit through faith; living, delighting to do his Father’s will.  

Now, we seem to be able to appreciate the need for faith and love in these relationship examples, yet do we really realize what that faith or that love is? We seem to be able to appreciate the fact that these cannot be programmed in creation, or into any substance or being, but must be the result of a free will choice. Do we really appreciate then the reality that without faith it is impossible to please God!? Do we understand the relationship-fellowship; the meaning of Sonship to which we are called?

Likewise all creation in the universe, created with a free will, is called to that same relationship; to be begotten sons, begotten of the Father’s spirit through faith. Do we understand then why whatever is not of faith is sin? Do we understand why sin (seeking our own will, living by the substance) misses the mark of God’s purpose for us? God sent his Son, to reveal to us the truth of what it means to be the Son of God; the truth of God’s kingdom; he came to bear witness unto the truth.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unblemished before him in love: Predestinating us into sonship through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, into the commendation of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath favoured us in the beloved. (Eph 1:3-6) 

To this end, the Son of God; the Messiah was made of a substance lower than the angels, and in this inferior substance he is still revealed to be the begotten Son of God; begotten of the Father’s spirit through faith. Any idea that he was initially begotten of the Father’s substance is immaterial and inconsequential to the begotten-ness revealed in the Messiah, as such would no longer be existent. Any basing of his begotten-ness on substance would endanger his incarnation, and make holiness and sinlessness a matter of substance and not of spirit. We need to remember that the fellowship-relationship between the Son and the Father was not altered when the Son of God came into this world; rather he came to reveal what it is and was from the beginning, yet had not been perceived either in heaven or on earth.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. Joh 1:14

The Word was made flesh; the substance of his being was changed, but his identity was not. This further shows that his identity is likewise not determined by the substance. Whatever substance he was of in the heavenly courts, he was no longer. He was no longer in the form of God, but in that of sinful flesh. Yet we beheld the glory as of the only begotten of the Father. Yes, in that nature of sinful flesh, we beheld the glory of what it means to be the only begotten Son of God. This makes it very clear that his begotten-ness and identity is not based on a unique divine substance.

What is it based on?

The apostle says: Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God in power according to the spirit of holiness… Rom 1:3,4  So we see that his being the Son of God is according to the spirit, and not according to substance. According to the flesh (substance) he was Son of Man. To this end also the angel witnessed when Gabriel was sent to Mary and Joseph, saying:

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the holy spirit…But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the holy spirit. Mat 1:18, 20

And the Word was made flesh… (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father). Joh 1:14 Yes, in that nature of sinful flesh, we beheld the glory of what it means to be the only begotten Son of God.

Go to: The fellowship that was hidden - part 2

Go to: The fellowship that was hidden - part 3

Go to: The fellowship that was hidden - part 4

 


[1] The Mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of Catholic Faith. Upon it are based all the other teaching of the church. (Handbook for Today’s Catholic p12)

…The guiding principle has been the creedal declaration that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of the New Testament are consubstantial (i.e. the same in substance or essence, Greek: homoousios). Because this shared substance or essence is a divine one, this is understood to imply that all three named individuals are divine, and equally so. Yet the three in some sense “are” the one God of the Bible.  (The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/trinity/index.html#OneSel

The Vatican Council further defined that the Christian Faith contains mysteries strictly so called (can. 4). All theologians admit that the doctrine of the Trinity is of the number of these. Indeed, of all…this is the most impenetrable to reason. Hence, to declare this to be no mystery would be a virtual denial of the canon in question. … St. Jerome says, in a well-known phrase: "The true profession of the mystery of the Trinity is to own that we do not comprehend it" (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15047a.htm)

 

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity (from Latin trinitas "triad", from trinus "threefold") defines God as three consubstantial persons, expressions, or hypostases: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit; "one God in three persons". The three persons are distinct, yet are one "substance, essence or nature”. In this context, a "nature" is what one is, while a "person" is who one is. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity)

 

There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. He is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation. p16

Within the Godhead an economy of function exists. God does not unnecessarily duplicate work. Order is the first law of heaven. And God works in orderly ways. This orderliness issues from and preserves the union of the Godhead. The Father seems to act as source, The Son as mediator, and the Holy Spirit as actualizer or applier. p24

The first advent of Christ gives us a much clearer insight into the triune God…a unity of three co-eternal persons having a unique and mysterious relationship. p23 (Seventh Day Adventists Believe…A Biblical Exposition of 27 Fundamental Doctrines.)

 

[2] Essence. What does essence mean? As I said earlier, it means the same thing as being. God’s essence is His being. To be even more precise, essence is what you are. At the risk of sounding too physical, essence can be understood as the “stuff” that you “consist of.” Of course we are speaking by analogy here, for we cannot understand this in a physical way about God. “God is spirit” (John 4:24). Further, we clearly should not think of God as “consisting of” anything other than divinity. The “substance” of God is God, not a bunch of “ingredients” that taken together yield deity. (By John Piper. ©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org)

 

[3] Because the existence of three persons in one God is something beyond our understanding, Christian theology has come to use the word person to speak of these differences in relationship, not because we fully understand what is meant by the word person when referring to the Trinity, but rather so that we might say something instead of saying nothing at all. The Trinity by Wayne Grudem; Chapter 18 from Systematic Theology. An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Zondervan, 1994) https://www.biblicaltraining.org/library/trinity-wayne-grudem

 

Eastern Orthodox Christians believe in the Trinity. The Holy Trinity is three, distinct, divine persons (hypostases), without overlap or modality among them, who share one divine essence (ousia Greek ουσία)— uncreated, immaterial and eternal. These three persons are typically distinguished by their relation to each other. The Father is eternal and not begotten and does not proceed from any, the Son is eternal and begotten of the Father, and the Holy Spirit is eternal and proceeds from the Father. Orthodox doctrine regarding the Holy Trinity is summarized in the Nicene Creed (Symbol of Faith).

In understanding the Holy Trinity as "one God in three persons", "three persons" is not to be emphasized more than "one God", and vice versa. While the three persons are distinct, they are united in one divine essence, and their oneness is expressed in community and action so completely that they cannot be considered separately. …Their "communion of essence" is "indivisible". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodox_Church

 

 

Bolding and underlining in all footnote quotations has been added for emphasis.