When God purposed that the gospel “mystery” would be reserved for the Holy Spirit to reveal, it was not for the sake of the Holy Spirit that He did that. It was for the sake of the Son, who would by then be the One issuing commandments through the Holy Spirit.
Like a lot of other people, I used to think that there were three different ages, three different dispensations, of the Godhead, with each of the three deities having His turn to take the lead in directing matters between heaven and earth. In that view, the Father’s dispensation is recorded in the “Old Testament” that is Genesis through Malachi. The Son’s dispensation would be the four “Gospel” accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And the dispensation of the Holy Spirit would be Acts and the Epistles that follow. Now I believe that there were but two dispensations: the Father’s and the Son’s. Yes, the Spirit has a time (in Acts, i.e., from Pentecost to the end of the apostles’ lifetimes) when He seems to be the primary deity at work. But what He is doing during that time is the same thing He has always done, from Genesis on. He is relaying the will of the actively ruling deity, whether that deity is the Father (as before Pentecost) or the Son (as after Pentecost). Nothing really changes about the Spirit’s role at Pentecost. And in saying that a “mystery” was withheld and then divulged, all that Heaven is saying is that the scepter has been handed from Father to Son—not from the Father to the Spirit, nor from the Son to the Spirit. No power or authority was passed to the Spirit. All that happened was that “all power and authority” was passed from the Father to the Son. And when that happened, the Spirit began to heed the will of the Son, and to do the works of the Son. The Father has, right up to this point, honored the Son by not decreeing any law that was the Son’s to decree. That’s the only reason we have for maintaining a mystery. The mystery was the revealing of the saving gospel, and this decree was the Son’s to issue, not the Father’s nor the Spirit’s. Indeed, it is not revealed until Pentecost. The Father held back—maintained the mystery—that the Son might have true authority.
Yes, it’s true that scripture says that the Spirit revealed the Mystery. In Ephesians 3:3-6, we read: “…how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, (4) by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, (5) which in other ages was not made know to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets: (6) that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel…”
But all that this passage tells us is that Christ directed the Spirit to make this mystery known. Jesus said in John 16:13-14: “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak: and He will tell you things to come. (14) He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”
That describes precisely what is happening in Ephesians 3. The Spirit is merely serving as intermediary, as messenger, as mouthpiece, as He always has. There is no dispensation of the Spirit.
It must be understood that the Father continued to exercise His authority all the way through the earthly ministry of His prophet/Messiah Jesus, because during that phase the moment had not arrived for the Son to be given “all power and authority in heaven and on earth,” but once He was resurrected, that time was at hand.
This insight never would have been understood in any previous age because until this generation it has always been believed that Jesus was proclaiming law from the beginning of His earthly, public ministry. He was not. For more on this, see my notes here: https://jessemullins.com/?p=64
Jesse Mullins. Jan. 23, 2012
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