"...having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth--in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory." (Ephesians 1:9-12, NKJV).

Paul goes on to tell the Church at Ephesus:

Pile of Books
"...if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel." (Ephesians 3:2-6, NKJV).

So we see here that God had planned all along to make ALL men the "chosen people" of God, not only Jews, but Gentiles as well. Paul continues:

"For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church." (Ephesians 5:30-32, NKJV).

So the greatest part of this mystery is that God has made provision for all men who receive Christ by faith into His own body. We are His flesh and bones! In Colossians Paul wrote that Christ is in us:

"...the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:26-27, NKJV).

It appears that your name isn't written down in "glory land," but that the Glory of Christ is now in us! I don't believe that the scriptures ever refer to heaven as "glory." We are the glorious Church in Christ and our names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory. (1 Timothy 3:16, NKJV).

The Church is also referred to as a mystery in the book of the Revelation.

"The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lamp stands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp stands which you saw are the seven churches. (Revelation 1:20, NKJV).

From these verses it should be clear that the mystery of God from all ages, which the prophets desired to understand, was that the Gentiles as well as the Jews would become God's chosen people, the Bride of Christ. Paul wrote in Galatians about one of the hints that God dropped regarding this mystery in the Old Testament:

"...just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, 'In you all the nations shall be blessed.' So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. (Galatians 3:6-9, NKJV).

We have found the first mystery spoken of in the book of the Revelation and we are it!

Now wouldn't you know that Satan, the great counterfeiter, would have a copy of God's mystery, the Bride of Christ. As soon as the mystery was revealed to the early Church, he set out to make his own perverted version of the Church, a counterfeit bride, the bride of Satan.

John was shown who this counterfeit "bride" was in Revelation 17:

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters.

Waters here represent people. This false bride holds down the people that are under her control (See Rev. 17:15).

"with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication."

She is a seductress. She makes men drunk with her power. The apostate Church has been in bed with the kings of the earth. For centuries since the time of the Emperor Constantine, the kings of the world have been in league with this seductress in an unholy alliance that has caused the true Church great damage. Out of this alliance has come most of the persecution since sense 300 AD.

So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

She is in league with those who blaspheme the name of Jesus. Satan has his counterfeit woman. Instead of having seven lamp stands that are before the throne of God, she has seven heads. Where the body of Christ has one head, even Jesus, the whore in league with the worlds form of governments has many heads. This signifies that she is divided in leadership. This is the denominational Church in action. The ten horns are the world powers. Just as you have ten fingers and ten toes in your natural body, this is the power of carnal man and his government to make war and govern without God (See Rev. 17:18).

The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. (Revelation 17:1-6, NKJV).

It is a marvel to me that she is drunk on the blood of the martyrs, yet her golden cup is filled with abominations and her filthiness. How many saints has she seduced and how many has she killed?

Who is this mystery woman? The mother of harlots who is drunken with the blood of the saints. Revelations 18:3 John says, "The merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies." (her excessive luxuries NIV). Have you ever contemplated just how much to the economy of the world is driven by the harlotries of the apostate Church? Where would the economy be if there was no celebration of Christmas, St. Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween ( All Hallowed Eve, the night before All Saints Day), and even Thanksgiving?

Or how much wealth so called "Christian" believers are hoarding? Is this the church of the Apostles of Jesus who said, "Silver and gold have I none..," or "I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel." Or "I have coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, `It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" (the apostle Paul in Acts 20:33-35, NKJV). Has the Church traded its first love for a wedge of gold, two hundred shekels of silver and a Babylonish garment?

Where would the economy be if the Church met in small groups in their own humble homes and there were no excessive and garish Church buildings? How far would have the evangelization of the world gone by now if out of every ten incomes there was enough to support a full time minister doing the work of the gospel instead of the money being used to support all this wealth of the world's merchandisers. Yes, I know that the New Testament says that all we have belongs to God, but even if we believed that only 10% did and it went where it was supposed to we would be eons ahead in the evangelization of the world. Don't you just love a mystery?

Revelation 18 goes on to shed more light on this mystery woman:

"Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, "Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore. The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore. The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth." (Revelation 18:21-24, NKJV).

Revelation 2:4,5 says about the Church of Ephesus:

"Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place--unless you repent." (Revelation 2:4-5, NKJV).

Is it possible that this great whore had once been a bride who left her first love for the riches of the world and power of the world system? Is this why the light of the candle no longer shines in her? Is this why the voice of The Bridegroom and the voice of the Bride are no longer heard in her?

Notice that her merchants were the great men of the earth and by their sorceries the nations have been deceived. I believe that these sorceries are cleverly woven lies, doctrines of demons, that hold men captive in her grasp. This is how she drains the life blood out of the saints of God. Jesus said that He is the door to the sheepfold and that by Him the sheep come in and go out and find pasture. The sheep are free to come and go. When I see her merchants at work, I see CONTROL and not freedom.

Revelation 18:4 and 5 says:

"And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. (Revelation 18:4-5, NKJV).

Did this heavenly voice say, "Come out of her my people"? I believe that the voice of the Lord Jesus is calling out today to His bride to come out of this life draining harlot before it is too late. I believe that this is the impetus behind the house church emphasis today.

Judgment is coming to the house of God. You can be sure that this prostituted faith will receive the same mercy that Achan and his family got in the Valley of Achor. And the merchants of the world will wail over their lost business. Boy howdy! Is the stock market going to crash when all these "Christian" holidays are no longer fueling the economy! No more Christmas and Santa Claus. No more Saint Valentines Day. No more Easter bunny! No more Halloween witches and goblins. No more Thanks Giving turkeys and hams. How did we ever get so blind? How do you boil a live frog? It has taken almost 2000 years to bring this pot to a boil.

Satan has been busy, from the onset of the Church, turning up the heat a little at a time until the frog is all but cooked! Jesus warned that a little leavening will permeate the whole lump of dough. Jesus said to the church at Sardis, And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, "These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: 'I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.'" (Revelation 3:1-2, NKJV).

A study of church history starting with the book of Acts, Paul's letters, early church fathers, and other compilations chronicling secular and church government will reveal how the church has been steadily eroded away from its Biblical roots, until it more resembles the woman if Revelation 17 and 18, than the Bride that is pure and without spot and wrinkle.

Consider these comparisons:

Biblical Christianity:Today's Church:
They owned no church buildings.Billions of dollars in real-estate.
Multiple eldership in each church in mutual submission.A preeminent leader controlling each church, often without elders.
They sold what extra they had and cared for those in need.A majority of our resources go to pay for buildings and ministry to ourselves.
Those who ministered either supported themselves or lived on gifts.Most ministers are salaried and rely on legalistic tithing.
Sacrificial living.Lives of ease.
Changed the world.Resembles the world.
Relied on spiritual weapons to combat the enemy.Relies on social and political action.
Loved one another.Often indifferent to each other.
Encouraged one another daily.Little contact of any depth.
A functioning family in Jesus.Live as a dysfunctional family.
Persecuted by the world.Ignored by the world.
Relationship based.Program based.

I was raised in the Catholic Church. I'm afraid that Protestantism more resembles the Catholic church in these ways than it does Biblical Christianity. Face it folks, we are the Church of Laodicea incarnate. We are lukewarm, rich by comparison, but spiritually bankrupt, blind to our miserable state of wretchedness, and are parading around naked in our "king's new clothes."

Our only hope is to zealously repent. Jesus stands at the door knocking. It is the door of the Laodicean Church! Open to Him and quit making His commands void and of no effect by clinging to the traditions of a man centered church. Seek out the lover of your soul and be restored to Him in His kingdom, then all these worldly needs will be given to you as they are needed.

I hope the mystery has been revealed to you, brothers and sisters. Don't trade your birthright for the soup of worldly desires. It's a bad bargain to trade a life of convenience here for an eternity of being in His holy presence.

Jesus said, "... Anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matthew 10:38,39). May we be found walking in His life when He returns and not at the receiving end of His wrath and plagues.

Amen. Come Lord Jesus...in us.

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