I have pointed out in previous lessons that the New
Testament dispensation was prophesied of by the Prophets of the Old Testament
period. This prophecy "came not in old time by the will of man: but
holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2Peter
2: 20) Six to eight hundred years before Christ came into the world the Prophet
Isaiah prophesied of the things God had prepared for us under the dispensation
of Christ. "For since the beginning of the world men have not heard,
nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what
he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him." (Isa. 64: 4) Now, get
your Bible (KJV) and turn to 1 Corinthians chapter two, because we are going to
study several verses in detail, in this chapter. In verses 7-10 Paul says of
the Apostles "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the
hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory."
And he backs up this statement by quoting the above statement of Isaiah,
saying. "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man, which God hath prepared for them
that love him." (Verse 9) I have heard preachers quote this verse at
funeral services, and apply it to Heaven; But this is a mis-application of the
statement. Paul is not talking about Heaven at all here, but rather of the
things God had, "ordained before the world" that had been a "
mystery" down through the ages, but which was revealed to the Apostles of
Christ in the Gospel age. Read the rest of the chapter and you will see that
this is true. Paul continues by saying, "But God hath revealed them
unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep
things of God." Therefore, these things which God had prepared
"before the world" remained a "mystery" until they were
revealed unto the Apostles in the beginning of the Gospel age. Thus the gospel
is no longer a "mystery" as some people would have us believe. For
ages it was a "mystery" but it was revealed to the Apostles by the
Holy Spirit sent down from heaven, and is now therefore a matter of REVELATION.
Paul says in verse 11, "For what man knoweth the things of man, save
the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man,
but the Spirit of God." That being the case, how did the Apostles know
these things of God? Paul answers that question in Verses 12 an d 13.
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit
which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth; but
which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual
(words). But the natural man received not the things of the Spirit of God:
for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are
spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he
himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he
may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."
I have heard it said that the "natural man"
in this passage is the unsaved man, or the sinner, and that the sinner cannot
know the things of God until and unless the Holy Spirit comes into his heart
and gives him an understanding of the word, or as some say,
"illuminates" the word for him. Such an idea is wholly contrary to
what these verses teach. The "natural" man here is the uninspired
man, and those who had "the mind of Christ" and who
"knew the things that were freely given to us of God" were the
inspired men--The Apostles. So, this passage is not speaking of the
"unsaved man" versus the "saved man" but the
"uninspired man" Versus the "inspired man". As previously
pointed out the signs and miracles confirmed these things preached by these
inspired men. Once the word was confirmed, there was no further need for signs
and miracles, and in our next lesson (Lesson Nine) we will discuss the exact
time when they came to an end.
Go to lessons Nine
Signs And Miracles Ceased (3)