The Threefold Purpose of God Part III
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, Ephesians 3:10. What did that verse just say? I mentioned in Part I of this three part blog post that we would learn to read a verse written differently than how we speak today. The first question that we should ask is, to what intent? What is it that was done, and what was intended by doing it?
We need to look at the preceding verse; 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 by Jesus Christ, Ephesians 3:9. We learn from this verse that God is revealing a mystery, and we learn that God created all things by Jesus Christ. In verse 10 we learned God's intention for those things. We learned why God made all things by Jesus Christ (new versions delete that salient little fact), and we learned that there is a fellowship of which God invites men to partake. It is a fellowship based on a mystery. In the Bible, a mystery is something that is alluded to and partially revealed in the Old Testament but made crystal clear in the New Testament.
To the intent that now.. When does God want this known? Now. To whom is he revealing it, and how is he revealing it, and what is he revealing? The word "unto" gives it away. "Unto" points us to the principalities and powers in heavenly places. What is meant by principalities and powers in heavenly places? As a kingdom is a place governed by a king, a principality is a place governed by a prince. Ephesians 2:2 described one of those for us; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia, Daniel 10:13. Here we see an angel of the Lord in a glorious vision explain that he had been held up from answering Daniel by a prince. This is no ordinary prince. This is a prince that required Michael a chief prince of the angels to help get by him. As Daniel fasted for 21 days, a battle took place in the heavens with the Angel of the Lord united with Michael against spiritual wickedness in high places. Remember how in post #1 we saw how that the Lord often likens a heavenly foe to an earthly king or prince (as in this case).
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high place, Ephesians 6:12. We learn from Ephesians 3:10 that God wants to reveal something to these wicked foes. We also learn that God makes those principalities and powers know his manifold wisdom by the church. To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, Ephesians 3:1. The instrument that God uses to make the rebellious angels know his wisdom is the church.
Every time a local church gathers to sing the songs of Zion, to preach the words of truth, to worship the most high God and exalt the cross of Jesus Christ, the principalities and powers of darkness witness the manifold wisdom of God that they themselves rejected eons ago. Every time that they see a formerly drunken sot lifting up holy hands without wrath or doubting; every time they witness a little old Grandmother that had relied on her own righteousness and now has submitted herself to the righteousness of God through faith; every time they witness a child who had been born into a family with no hope, but is now redeemed through the blood of Jesus Christ, these rebels against God are reminded of the wisdom that they rejected.
Every time a man of God raises the old King James Bible in a Baptist assembly and proclaims the truth to an obedient congregation exercising the ordinances of God as delivered by the Apostles, the principalities and powers of wickedness are reminded anew of their inescapable destruction. Every time a home Baptist Church in China defies the might and power of their government and counts not their own lives dear to themselves by meeting illegally, the principalities and powers are grieved at seeing God's wisdom manifest.
God chose the church to manifest his wisdom, not just to this world, but unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places. 2000 years of hellish persecution to stamp out the Baptist Faith have proven insufficient. The wisdom of God has seen to it. Now we know the third part of the trifold purpose of God. According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord, Ephesians 3:11. God declared his purpose three times and each time it is in his war with the devil.
Purpose #1 was the purpose of the earth, to destroy the Assyrian (the antichrist) in God's land. Purpose #2 was the purpose of Jesus Christ being manifest in the flesh, to destroy the works of the devil. Purpose #3 is the purpose for the church, to manifest the manifold wisdom of God to the devil. A wise sage from South Carolina (Amos Pressley), once said this: "Everything that the devil rebelled against God to receive, I have been given for free in Jesus Christ".
Through the blood of Jesus Christ I will sit upon the sides of the north. I will have throne above the stars of God. Through the blood of Jesus Christ I will be like the most high God, I am made holy, I will be sinless, I am made to be eternal. Every time my church meets and every time the principalities and powers in heavenly places look down to see us assemble, they are reminded of what they lost in rebellion, and the futility of hating God.
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 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, Ephesians 3:8-11.