In Col. 1:24-29, it is written,

24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. NIV, 2011

ΚΔʹ Νῦν χαίρω ἐν τοῖς παθήμασιν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν καὶ ἀνταναπληρῶ τὰ ὑστερήματα τῶν θλίψεων τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐν τῇ σαρκί μου ὑπὲρ τοῦ σώματος αὐτοῦ, ὅ ἐστιν ἡ ἐκκλησία, ΚΕʹ ἧς ἐγενόμην ἐγὼ διάκονος κατὰ τὴν οἰκονομίαν τοῦ θεοῦ τὴν δοθεῖσάν μοι εἰς ὑμᾶς πληρῶσαι τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ, ΚϚʹ τὸ μυστήριον τὸ ἀποκεκρυμμένον ἀπὸ τῶν αἰώνων καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν γενεῶν– νῦν δὲ ἐφανερώθη τοῖς ἁγίοις αὐτοῦ, KZʹ οἷς ἠθέλησεν ὁ θεὸς γνωρίσαι τί τὸ πλοῦτος τῆς δόξης τοῦ μυστηρίου τούτου ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, ὅ ἐστιν Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν, ἡ ἐλπὶς τῆς δόξης· ΚΗʹ ὃν ἡμεῖς καταγγέλλομεν νουθετοῦντες πάντα ἄνθρωπον καὶ διδάσκοντες πάντα ἄνθρωπον ἐν πάσῃ σοφίᾳ, ἵνα παραστήσωμεν πάντα ἄνθρωπον τέλειον ἐν Χριστῷ· ΚΘʹ εἰς ὃ καὶ κοπιῶ ἀγωνιζόμενος κατὰ τὴν ἐνέργειαν αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐνεργουμένην ἐν ἐμοὶ ἐν δυνάμει. NA28

Question: What is the meaning of the phrase “this mystery, which is Chist in you, the hope of Glory” (τοῦ μυστηρίου τούτου...ὅ ἐστιν Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν, ἡ ἐλπὶς τῆς δόξης)?

7 Answers 7


The Idea in Brief

The mystery was that believers were participating not only in the New Covenant, but were also in actual ontological union with the body of Jesus Christ. That is, in the Hebrew Bible the prophets indicated that the New Covenant was exclusive to Israelites (that is, to faithful Jews). However the Apostle Paul later received exclusive revelation that Jews or Gentiles together could participate in the New Covenant together, because faith brought them into actual ontological union with the body of Christ. In this regard, there was no distinction between Jew or Gentile (Gal 3:28).

In other words, after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, direct intervention by faithful Jews had been necessary for one to participate in the New Covenant. When Gentiles received the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-45) there was no direct intervention (such as the laying of hands) by faithful Jews; that is, Gentiles participated in the New Covenant and received the Holy Spirit without direct intervention or intercession by faithful Jews (such as the laying of hands).

In the Book of Revelation, the direct intervention of faithful Jews again appears. That is, the Book of Revelation appears to indicate a period when the mystery will have ended, and Gentiles throughout the earth will require the direct intervention of faithful Jews in order to participate in the New Covenant. At that time, believers will be in the New Covenant, but not through actual ontological union with the body of Christ. Instead, their participation will come through their direct contact with faithful Jews, who at that time will remain the exclusive recipients of the New Covenant as was prophesied in the Hebrew Bible.

Thus the mystery was an intercalation, which was not revealed in the Hebrew Bible.


First, the New Covenant was not promised to Gentiles, but to Israelites, who were faithful Jews. In this regard, the Christian New Testament makes clear by quoting from the Hebrew Bible that the New Covenant was intended for faithful Jews.

Hebrews 8:8-9 (NASB)
8 For finding fault with them, He says,
“Behold, days are coming, says the Lord,
When I will effect a new covenant
With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
9 Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers
On the day when I took them by the hand
To lead them out of the land of Egypt;
For they did not continue in My covenant,
And I did not care for them, says the Lord.

Second, the establishment of the New Covenant appeared to coincide with the end times as described in the Book of Daniel. That is, the apparent timeline was that seven years would elapse from the time “Messiah will be cut off and have nothing” until his glorious reign would begin.

Daniel 9:24-26 (NASB)
24 “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. 25 So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26 Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.

Before Jesus was crucified, he inaugurated the New Covenant (Luke 22:20). Thus the crucifixion of Jesus and the New Covenant occurred at the same time. For this reason, when the disciples met Jesus Christ after his resurrection, they had implied (through their questioning) their explicit expectation of the reestablishment of theocratic rule in Israel.

Acts 1:6-7 (NASB)
6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;

Jesus did not answer their question with a direct answer and therefore left ambiguity in the minds of readers of the Book of Acts at this point. When Pentecost occurred, the faithful Jews at that time who trusted in Jesus Christ received the Holy Spirit. The date of Pentecost therefore coincided with the same date that Israel had received the Mosaic Covenant on Mount Sinai (thus, Pentecost = Shavuot). In other words, the public revelation of the New Covenant to Israel had occurred on the very same date that Israel had received the Old Covenant at Sinai.

Third, throughout the beginning of the Book of Acts, individuals such as the Apostle Paul had received entrée into the New Covenant through the direct and personal intercession of faithful Jews, which was consistent with the revelation of the New Covenant in the Hebrew Bible. That is, Jews were not “saved” until some faithful Jew (one of the Twelve or some other apostle) had made direct intercession for them and/or laid hands on them at which time they received the Holy Spirit. The first time when this did not occur was in Acts 10:44-45, when non-Jews received the Holy Spirit and became partakers of the New Covenant without the direct intervention and/or laying of hands by faithful Jews (the Twelve and/or some other apostle). At this time in the Book of Acts is when the controversy occurred as to what was the relationship between Jews and Gentiles.

Fourth, within fourteen years, the Apostle Paul later had indicated that he received special divine revelation to the effect that Jews and Gentiles were in special ontological union with the body of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:1-2 (NASB)
1 Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. 2 It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.

What the Apostle Paul was sharing was his special direct divine revelation. In other words, the direct intercession and/or direct involvement of faithful Jews was not necessary for anyone to enter the New Covenant. In fact, ontological union with the Body of Jesus Christ also occurred, which was not an aspect of the New Covenant ever revealed in the Hebrew Bible. That is, entrée into the New Covenant does not come through Israelites, but is instead direct through faith by hearing the Word of God, which results in ontological union into the Body of Jesus Christ.


In the Hebrew Bible, the New Covenant was not intended for the direct participation of Gentiles, but was instead to be the principal covenant between Yahweh and Israel, through which Gentiles would then be secondary participants because of the direct intermediary work of faithful Israelites. After Pentecost, the surprise mystery (for which only the Apostle Paul received special revelation) was that Jews as well as Gentiles could now participate into the New Covenant through direct faith on the Person of Jesus Christ. The baptism of the Spirit therefore would not have to occur through intermediary human agents, but was instead immediate.

Finally, at such a time when the mystery period ends (through the rapture), the intermediate role of faithful Jews will now come into effect as was apparent in the early part of the Book of Acts. That is, in order for anyone to participate in the New Covenant, the intercession and/or direct intervention (such as laying of hands) will be necessary for someone to be “saved.” However, those believers will not have their entrée into the New Covenant through direct ontological union with the Body of Jesus Christ, but instead will receive access to the New Covenant through their direct and personal relationship with those particular faithful Jews in Israel (that is, the 144,000). In this respect, the prophecies concerning the New Covenant in the Hebrew Bible now come into effect through Israelites (faithful Jews).

  • Not a word of this post is accurate!
    – Ruminator
    Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 15:09
  • @WoundedEgo - ouch, my ego is wounded. Can you propose to us your version of events for this passage?
    – Joseph
    Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 15:11
  • obvious I was using hyperbole (my ego is wounded but still pretty operational!), but the bottom line is that the new covenant was specifically to deal with the sins of the Jews under the Sinai covenant: YLT Heb 9:15: "And because of this, of a new covenant he is mediator, that, death having come, for redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, those called may receive the promise of the age-during inheritance..." That's why it is in "To the Hebrews". The covenant meal is part of the seder, also specifically Jewish. "To them belong the covenants".
    – Ruminator
    Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 15:37
  • @WoundedEgo - God is the God of both Jews and Gentiles (Rom 3:29), and so the sins under the first covenant included Gentiles. For example, consider Caleb, Ruth, Tamar, and Uriah the Hittite among others who were Gentiles in the Old Testament. In fact, Abraham was uncircumcised when he received the covenant to bless the world, for which the New Covenant is the fulfillment.
    – Joseph
    Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 15:59
  • this is why it is more proper to point to the fact that the covenant was made with "the houses of Israel and Judah" than with "Jews". But you and I were never part of either house and were in fact "strangers". But now are brought near to God in his Anointed. By the way, your post has merit but it is the bottom line with which I strongly disagree.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 16:04

Paul speaks more plainly of the mystery in his letter to the Ephesians (NKJV, starting in chapter 2) (emphasis mine):

11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.


19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

{Chapter 3} [addition mine—taken from the NIV]

1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles— 2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 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 known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6 [this mystery is] that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.

Jesus also speaks of bringing other sheep not of the Israelite fold into one flock with one shepherd:

And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

The mystery of which Paul speaks is of the Gentiles being united into the same body (or same fold) of believers in Christ. While the Gentiles being saved had been alluded to briefly in times past, it was still a mystery that was not fully revealed until the time of the apostles.

  • the gentiles were not brought into Israel but into Christ, as are believing Jews. The mystery is that all things are to be "recapitulated" under the Christ: NIV Eph 1:9 "...he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—**to bring unity to all things (ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι) in heaven and on earth under Christ**."
    – Ruminator
    Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 16:00
  • @WoundedEgo - I'm sorry, but I think you might have misread my answer. My last paragraph basically says the same thing as your comment: "The mystery of which Paul speaks is of the Gentiles being united into the same body (or same fold) of believers in Christ."
    – user6503
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 16:11
  • It appears I did. I didn't see the line about "not of the Israelite fold". Thanks for correcting me. Abraham is "the father of many gentiles".
    – Ruminator
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 16:18
  • @WoundedEgo - No worries.
    – user6503
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 16:28

The mystery Paul referred to must be the Gospel of The Kingdom of God, that the Kingdom of God is coming to this world. It was indeed kept hidden for generations (even Israel only received bits of hints via the prophets). Moreover, the saints (i.e. chosen race/people, verse 26) was supposed to be exclusive to the Jew, at that time. Hence, the concept of Messiah coming to the world to redeem all things (or more well known interpretation, set all things right) was foreign to the non-Jewish community.

The hope of glory, or glorification, is the final removal of the sins of the saints (whoever believes in Christ) by GOD in the eternal state (Rom 8:18; 2 Cor 4:17), which only happens after the second coming of Christ.

The 2 conditions above are strictly for the saints, as Christ can only abide in someone who abides in Him (John 14, this is affirm the mid statement which is Christ in you as well). Paul elaborated more on this on Galatians 2:20, saying "...It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me..."(ESV, emphasize mine) in relation to justification of Christian faith (died to law, live to God).



In this passage, The author of Colossians appears to be drawing a parallel between the sacrifice of Christ and the ordinance of communion, and secular ordinances that constituted a θεῖον μυστήριον ("divine secret" or "divine mystery") in Greco-Roman thought. The θεῖον μυστήριον was a very important part of Greco-Roman mystery religions and cultic practices.


The BDAG1 lists μυστήριον as

μυστήριον, ου, τό
‘secret, secret rite, secret teaching, mystery’ a Religious technical term (predominately plural) applied in the Greco-Roman world mostly to the mysteries with their secret teachings, religous and political in nature, concealed within many strange customs and ceremonies. The principal rites remain unknown because of a reluctance in antiquity to divulge them

And give the following references and citations for it's usage as a religious technical term:

(Trag.+; Hdt. 2, 51, 2; Diod S 1, 29, 3; 3, 63, 2; Socrat., Ep. 27, 3; Cornutus 28 p. 56, 22; 57, 4; Alciphron 3, 26, 1; OGI 331, 54; 528, 13; 721, 2, SIG s. index; Sb 7567, 9 [III a.d.]; PGM 1, 131; 4, 719ff; 2477 τὰ ἱερὰ μ. ἀνθρώποις εἰς γνῶσιν; 5, 110; 12, 331; 13, 128 τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ θεοῦ. Only the perfected gnostic is τῶν μυστηρίων ἀκροατής Hippol., Ref. 5, 8, 29.—OKern, D. griech. Mysterien d. klass. Zeit 1927; WOtto, D. Sinn der eleusin. Myst. ’40; MNilsson, The Dionysiac Mysteries of the Hell. and Rom. Age, ’57; Kl. Pauly III 1533–42; WBurkert, Antike Mysterien

The θεῖον μυστήριον (divine secret) may be rooted in the idea of a secret or divine name which allowed one to have power or sway over the gods. This coincidence is especially salient since the cult followers of Isis were one of the more notable mystery cults and I frequently cite the legend of Ra and Isis as an illustration of the divine secret. In Romany mysteries, the power seems to be harnessed through secret rituals instead of the invocation of secret names. Furthermore, there is evidence that Isis may have been one of the gods worshipped in Colossae.2

According to Wikipedia,

Mystery religions, sacred mysteries or simply mysteries, were religious schools of the Greco-Roman world for which participation was reserved to initiates (mystai) The main characterization of this religion is the secrecy associated with the particulars of the initiation and the ritual practice, which may not be revealed to outsiders. The most famous mysteries of Greco-Roman antiquity were the Eleusinian Mysteries, which were of considerable antiquity...


The term "Mystery" derives from Latin mysterium, from Greek mysterion (usually as the plural mysteria μυστήρια), in this context meaning "secret rite or doctrine". An individual who followed such a "Mystery" was a mystes, "one who has been initiated", from myein "to close, shut", a reference to secrecy (closure of "the eyes and mouth") or that only initiates were allowed to observe and participate in rituals. The Mysteries were thus schools in which all religious functions were closed to the uninitiated and for which the inner workings of the school were kept secret from the general public.

Some of these cults included The Arcadian cult of Despoina, Cult of Attis, Cult of Cybele, the Mysteries of Isis, Cult of Trophonius, the Dionysian Mysteries, Eleusinian Mysteries, Mithraic Mysteries, Orphic mysteries, Samothracean mysteries, the cult of Sabazios, cult of Serapis, the Pythagorean brotherhood, the cult of Sol Invictus, the Essenes, and many others.

Of particular note is the cult of Sol Invictus for its connection to the sun-god Colossus from which Colossae (presumably) derives its name. Emperors Constantine and Diocletian even built an arch

in alignment with the Colossus of Sol ...[and] added a solar crown and re-dedicated it to the Sun god. This made the visage of Sol dominate one's view while approaching the arch. The use of this solar crown was popular with many emperors because it associated with them the very powerful and feared Sol Invictus.

Collosae at the intersection of it all

In his book The Colossian Syncretism: The Interface Between Christianity and Folk Belief at Colossae, Dr. Clinton E. Arnold, Dean of the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University states,

Our knowledge of the pagan cults at Colossae is somewhat limited by the paucity of references to Colossae in literature and by the fact that the site of the ancient city has never been excavated. Numismatic evidence, however, has given us at least a partial picture of some of the deities worshiped in the city. Our knowledge of the local cults is also enhanced by a comparatively better understanding of the cults that were active in nearby Laodicea and Hierapolis. The coins point to the presence of the worship of the following deities at Colossae: the Ephesian Artemis, the Laodiciean Zeus, Artemis (the huntress), Asclepios and Hygieia, Leto, Demeter, Helios, Selene, Men, Dionysus, Athena, Nike, Tyche, Zeus, Boule, Isis, Sarapis, and the flood god of the Lycus. Undoubtedly, many other deities were worshiped there, probably including the Magna Mater (Cybele) and Attis. We have no idea how many of these deities had temples in the city. Our knowledge of the religious of Colossae would be greatly assisted by the excavation of the site. Most of the same deities were worshiped in nearby Laodicea and Hierapolis, and indeed, throughout Asia Minor.


...the likelihood [is that] there were many Gentile converts in the Colossian church who, prior to conversion (or prior to their attachment to the synagogue), had been participants in these cults.

Earlier in the book, Dr. Arnold points out that this clarifies the curious and cryptic remark by the Author of Colossians in 2:18:

Let no one who delights in false humility and the worship of angels pass judgment on you. That person goes on at great lengths about what he has supposedly seen, but he is puffed up with empty notions by his fleshly mind.

Dr. Arnold notes,

The phrase a ἑόρακεν ἐμβατεύων in Colossians 2:18 has proven to be the single most perplexing exegetical problem of th eletter. The difficulty of interpreting the phrase can be traced very early in a few texual variants that record attempts at clarifying the meaning. Shortly after the turn of the century, Theodore Macridy, working on behalf of the Turkish Imperial Museum at Notion (Roman Colophon), published a series of inscriptions from the then recently discovered Apollo temple at Claros, 30 km north of Ephesus. A short time later, Sir William Ramsay and Martin Dibelius, although working independantly, both came to realize the relevance of the inscriptions for the interpretation of Col. 2:18. They noted that the term ἐμβατεύων occurred three times in a technical sense, signifying the second stage of the initiation into the mystery of the local Apollo cult. They concluded that, in a pattern of ritual similar to that at Elusis, there was a lower and higher stage in the mystery initiation at Claros. The lower stage was the initiation proper (uvnois) and the higher stage was called "entering" (ἐμβατεύω; termed the "Epoptika" at Elusis). They concurred tat the Colossian "philosophy could now be described as having some connection with a local pagan mystery cult. They argued that the term would have been readily intelligible to the readers of the epistle as a technical term for mystery initiation in one of the local cults--"what he had seen when he reached the climax of his initiation." It thus appeared tat an influential member of the Christian community at Colossae, still swayed by his past experience in mystery initiation, was introducing these ideas into the curch. This interpretation of ἐμβατεύων has attraced a sizeable following of scholars.

In 2005, Hasan Malay3, critiquing the translation of the inscription that Arnold bases his book on noted that Sheppard likely misread a phi Π as a gamma Γ, and the inscription should read ΦΙΛΑΝΠΙΛΟΙ, “Friends-of-the-vine” or “Vine-lovers”. Malay also found a second inscription, dated 161 CE, in nearby Katakekaumene in Cappadocia which also references the vine. If these inscriptions do reference the vine, they are most likely dedicated to or located at temples of Dionysus, the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine.

Nonetheless, Angel worship was not unheard of in Roman cultic practice. Hypsistarian for example, worshipped Yahweh, but believed the greco-roman gods to be Angels.

Dr. F.F. Bruce also notes that Antiochus the Great resettled 2000 Jewish families near Colossae which may very well have included many Essenes who had mystic rites of their own and ties to Kabbalism.

A quick recap

μυστήριον is typically a technical term which referred to secret rites and teachings in Roman cultic practice and there were several cults in Colossae. It appears that the author of the epistles used μυστήριον intentionally to encourage the reader to contrast the μυστήριον of Roman mysticism with the μυστήριον of Christianity by playing on this word association. The most likely mystery cults in Colossae that he appears to be encouraging his readers to compare against are:

  • Dionysus due to the coinage and inscriptions found nearby
  • Invictis Sol which worshipped the sun-god Colossus for which Colossae was named
  • The Essenes due their connections with Judaism
  • Hypsistos which believed the gods to be angels

Tie-in to Communion

In general, and particularly to those in Colossae who were apparently Syncretizing Mystery Cult beliefs (eg, Angel Worship) with Christian Practices, they would have undoubtedly seen the parallels between the ordinance of communion and the secretive and mysterious rituals of the Cult of Dionysus in which worshipers would drink wine and eat raw flesh in worship to their god and as part of the induction ceremony into their cult.

This bears striking similarities to the ordinance of communion as outlined in Matthew 26:26-28 when Jesus addresses his disciples at the last supper:

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after giving thanks he broke it, gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat, this is my body [flesh].” And after taking the cup [of wine] and giving thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, that is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Not infrequently does the author of the epistles make these comparisons. For example, in 1 Timothy 3:8-9 Paul is clearly taking aim at candidates for deaconship who converted from the Cult of Dionysus, stating:

Deacons likewise must be dignified, not two-faced, not given to excessive drinking, not greedy for gain, holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.

Similarly, in 1 Corinthians 15:50 Paul proclaims the superiority of Jesus' μυστήριον over Dionysian μυστήριους stating,

I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

This makes much more sense as a comparison to Dionysian μυστήριους as Paul is well aware that we do inherit the kingdom of God through Christ's flesh and blood. What he is saying is that we cannot inherit the kingdom through the perishable flesh and blood of Dionysus.

It appears therefore that the author may also be priming his readers to think about Communion through additional associations in the preceeding verses. For example, Shortly before bringing up θεῖον μυστήριον (in 1:27) and ἐμβατεύω (in 2:18), in Colossians 1:24, the author evokes the imagery of communion writing,

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I fill up in my physical body—for the sake of his body, the church—what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ.

Joseph's excellent answer already details at length the ways in which this passage deals with the New Covenant. In Luke 22:20, Communion is described as Christ's New Covenant.

And in the same way he took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

So Communion (which in Greek (κοινωνία) means "fellowship" [of the body of Christ, the church]) is a symbol both of the broken body of and spilled blood of Jesus and of the New Covenant. In as much as Paul's audience associates fellowship and the New Covenant with being representative of communion, he appears to be priming his audience to think of communion prior reminding them of the local Dionysian practices.

It is also possible that a church member (or perhaps convert or more probably multiple members and converts of various cults) of the church in Colossae were teaching that Communion was a type of θεῖον μυστήριον similar to the θεῖον μυστήριον initiation rite of whatever cult they came from. Even if they weren't familiar with the practices of the Cult of Dionysus specifically, (Though I suspect excavations in Colossae will unearth a temple to Dionysus should the site ever be Excavated and perhaps other temples too), it seems that this passage in Colossians may have been addressing a belief held or teaching by some in Colossae about Communion (a view put forth by Dr. Arnold.)


In short, the "mystery" the author of Colossians is referencing the cultic rites and rituals practiced among gentiles in Colossae. The author is drawing a distinction between cultic mysteries and

the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints (Col 1:26)

the "mystery" of Christ's death and resurrection and the New Covenant Christ made with believers.

1 Arndt, William ; Danker, Frederick W. ; Bauer, Walter: A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. 3rd ed. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2000, S. 661

2 The Colossian Syncretism: The Interface Between Christianity and Folk Belief at Colossae by Dr. Clinton E. Arnold

3 Hasan Malay, “ΦΙΛΑΝΠΙΛΟΙ in Phrygia and Lydia,” Epigraphica Anatolica 38 (2005) 42–44.

  • there is no "ordinance of communion". All Jesus did was to commandeer the seder so that it would act as a memorial to his death to ratify the new testament/covenant between God and the Jews. As Jewish believers celebrated their national deliverance from bondage they were to remember that Jesus died to ratify the new testament with Israel. (It celebrates his ratifying death, not the resurrection).
    – Ruminator
    Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 15:52

The word translated "mystery" is better translated as "secret". It is probably translated as "mystery" because the Koine word is "mysterion" which in Koine isn't about "unsolvable things" because nothing is unsolvable to God but rather about things that are or were kept hidden.

Paul claims that he was given specific pieces of specific information that he refers to as "secrets". If I do a search for "mystery OR mysteries" in the Pauline letters in the KJV I get twenty occurrences in 20 verses, several of which have to do with the blinding of Israel and the inclusion of the gentiles:

[Romans 11:25 KJV] For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

[Romans 16:25 KJV] Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

[1 Corinthians 2:7 KJV] But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

[1 Corinthians 4:1 KJV] Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

[1 Corinthians 13:2 KJV] And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

[1 Corinthians 14:2 KJV] For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

[1 Corinthians 15:51 KJV] Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

[Ephesians 1:9 KJV] Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

[Ephesians 3:3 KJV] How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

[Ephesians 3:4 KJV] Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

[Ephesians 3:9 KJV] 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 5:32 KJV] This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

[Ephesians 6:19 KJV] And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

[Colossians 1:26 KJV] Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

[Colossians 1:27 KJV] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

[Colossians 2:2 KJV] That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and [IE: "That is,"] of the Father, and of Christ;

[Colossians 4:3 KJV] Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

[2 Thessalonians 2:7 KJV] For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

[1 Timothy 3:9 KJV] Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

[1 Timothy 3:16 KJV] And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Paul's point in Colossians 1:27 is that God has extended his welcome to everlasting life to the gentiles and gives to them an inheritance in his everlasting domain:

[Colossians 1:27 KJV] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

"glorious riches" refers to their inheritance as discussed elsewhere in his letter, which he relates to their union with Christ, which is their hope, soon to be realized.

When I do a search in the writings of Paul for "inheritance" in the KJV I get:

[Galatians 3:18 KJV] For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. [Ephesians 1:11 KJV] In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: [Ephesians 1:14 KJV] Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. [Ephesians 1:18 KJV] The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, [Ephesians 5:5 KJV] For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. [Colossians 1:12 KJV] Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: [Colossians 3:24 KJV] Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.


Peace to you.

This is a “hard saying”….one that will be hard to believe by many as I believe that we have been hearing the wrong message in all of our churches for so long.

The nations of this world shall see what it truly means to do His will as the eternal life of Jesus is set to appear/manifest in our outer mortal flesh through the doing of His will.

The life of Christ is in us…. but His life is not only just interior but shall also appear outwardly so that others shall see the tangible benefit of truly doing God’s will.

When the world shall see that outward appearing of His life in our mortal flesh, they shall praise God above. Christ in us, the hope of His appearing glory outwardly so that the unbelieving world shall see Him (His appearing life) through us and glorify God above.

Colossians 1:25-27 KJV (25) Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; (26) Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: (27) To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

We are to be changed….transformed….transfigured…into His image from “glory to glory” as the indwelling glory within us that is hidden from this world also transforms our outer mortal flesh into His glorious body in due time which will be manifest to this dark world for all to see. It will be made manifest as a light in the darkness of this world.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 KJV (17) Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (18) But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Again, the Lord shall change….transform….our humiliated-by-sin mortal bodies so that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body according to the “working” whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself.

Philippians 3:20-21 KJV (20) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: (21) Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

The “working” within our lives is the power of the cross.

We are to always keep in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus (the “daily” sacrifice of our Lord who loved us and died for us) so that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body….in our outer mortal flesh.

His life within is eventually revealed/manifested outwardly for all to see and they will glorify God.

The "working" = keeping the daily dying of our Lord in this mortal body so that His power is able to give our mortal bodies His immortal life in this earth.

2 Corinthians 4:10-11 KJV (10) Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. (11) For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

Without this “working” in our lives….dying to the sin/sins, the life of Jesus will never appear outwardly.

To live His eternal life in this earth, we must deaden/kill the deeds of the body ( the works of the flesh: the envy, the strife, the contentions, the hatred, etc) through the Spirit so that the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead also quicken (make alive) our mortal bodies (that are already dead because of sin).

If Christ be in you, the mortal body is dead because of sin but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. We must live according to the Spirit (the “working”) so that His life is brought outwardly (manifested) to our mortal bodies.

It is His appearing life outwardly and not our own for ours is dead already because of sin….our mortal bodies are dead because of our sin.

If we continue to live after the flesh, we shall die but if through the Spirit we die to sin, then our mortal bodies are given HIS resurrected Life in the here-and-now.

Romans 8:10-14 KJV (10) And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (11) But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (12) Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. (13) For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

We must have patience though in this so that we might receive the promise….the promise of His appearing glorious life in this mortal body.

When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then we shall also appear with Him in glory as this unbelieving world shall only believe by seeing His life appear through our mortal flesh which gives us His eternal life in this earth.

This is not about “dying and going to Heaven” but instead about continuing to live in this earth with the appearing life of Jesus in our mortal flesh (which shall become His immortal life at His appearing). It is His life that appears and not our own.

His life is hid within us. It is currently hid from this world.

But through the “working” of the power of the cross within our lives, His eternal life is able to manifest itself outwardly and we appear with Him in glory outwardly and the world shall have something tangible to see. We are to be His many “infallible proofs” that Jesus is indeed alive as we are also alive in this world through Him.

Colossians 3:3-4 KJV (3) For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (4) When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

We shall appear as lights in this dark and dying world as we hold forth the Word of life to them. We show the world what it truly means to DO the will of God as it gives the eternal life of Jesus to our mortal bodies that are already dead from sin. Death has no more dominion over us as it does not Him.

Philippians 2:13-16 KJV (13) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (14) Do all things without murmurings and disputings: (15) That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; (16) Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

We are TRANFORMED by the renewing of our mind (if we hear and receive what the Spirit says and bring forth fruits of righteousness) so that we may prove to this world what it really means to DO the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:1-2 KJV (1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Happy are those who believe this without seeing Him….yet. They are the first to trust in Christ after they have heard the Word of Truth, the glorious good news of our salvation.

John 20:28-29 KJV (28) And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. (29) Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

We who first trust in Christ after we have heard the Word of Truth from above (as opposed to the earthly word of men that we have all heard being preached for so long) are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise….the promise of His appearing glory as His life is set to be made manifest in our outer mortal flesh giving us His heavenly, eternal life in this earth for others to see who will believe and glorify God. We are to be to the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 1:12-14 KJV (12) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

The deposit of the Holy Spirit of promise (the promise of eternal life) is the “earnest of our inheritance” until the redemption of the purchased possession (our mortal body) unto the praise of His glory (as the world will only believe and praise God when they see His life appearing through us). Through the Spirit we deaden sin out of our lives so that our mortal body is given His immortal life.

(14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

The purchased possession is our earthly mortal bodies….the “earthen vessel”…in which is sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

The evidence which is “open” is the outward manifestation of the life of Jesus in this earthen vessel so that we may “continue many days”….eternal life.

Both are put in an “earthen vessel”….our mortal body in this earth...and we continue many days...having eternal life.

Jeremiah 32:13-17 KJV (13) And I charged Baruch before them, saying, (14) Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days. (15) For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.

The evidences of the purchase was delivered unto “Baruch” which means “blessed/praise” as God shall be blessed/praised in this world by those who will see the “open evidence” of the life of Jesus in our earthen vessel and shall praise Him above.

Baruch was the son of “Neriah” meaning the “Lord is my lamp” or “light of Lord”. There is nothing too hard for the Lord God of all flesh. (Jeremiah 32:27).

(16) Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed unto the LORD, saying, (17) Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

The outside nations of this world shall see His light appearing in/through us as they shall see His salvation burn as a lamp in the darkness of this world that passes away. Our salvation will become tangibly visible for all to literally see and they will praise God. It will be as a light in complete darkness and others shall readily see that light.

Isaiah 62:1-3 KJV (1) For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. (2) And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. (3) Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.

There is something tangible to be seen in this life.

If all that we have is just hope in Christ in this life, then we are people most miserable.

But NOW Christ is risen from the dead. If Christ is truly alive now, we are to be alive now in this earth as He already mortally died for us. Our “death” now is to sin so that we might live His eternal life as His life is set to appear in us.

1 Corinthians 15:19-24 KJV (19) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

We are the “first fruits”… those who first trust in Christ without seeing Him (His life being manifested in the mortal flesh) yet but having hope for His glory to be revealed in our mortal flesh in due time for the outside world to see and glorify God. We are to be to the praise of His glory who believe without seeing. It is great happiness to be in this first group of believers.

(20) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. (21) For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Every man in his own order is made alive.

We are Christ the first fruits…those who hear the Word of Truth and first believe without seeing His appearing life yet….and then those who are Christ’s at His coming will see His life appear in those who first believed without seeing Him yet.

Like Thomas (who proclaimed "My Lord and My God"), the outside world will praise God when they see the life of Jesus appearing. For the outside world, seeing is believing but for the first fruits, we believe without seeing His appearing life in which we hope for.

Christ in us, the hope of glory as His life is expected to appear in our outer mortal flesh in due season. We are to have faith in this. We are to be patient also.

(23) But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. (24) Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

We must not hear and be ashamed of His words about this. Let us not be ashamed of His testimony for our Savior Jesus Christ has abolished death (rendered it idle through the cross) and has brought life and immortality to light through the good news that we hear.

2 Timothy 1:8-11 KJV (8) Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; (9) Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: (11) Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

We need to have patience in this. After we have done the will of God, we shall receive the promise of His appearing immortal life in our mortal flesh. This mortal must put on the immortal life of Jesus for all to see. In the meantime, the unbelievers of the churches (who will continue to believe the preaching of the word of men) will persecute those who will believe in the Word of Truth that they hear from the Spirit from Heaven.

Hebrews 10:35-38 KJV (35) Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. (36) For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

For yet a little while, He that IS COMING (in our mortal flesh) shall come/arrive and will not tarry. This coming is in the continuous present as we are to be transformed fully into His image.

(37) For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

The Just One (the life of Jesus) shall live by our faith. His life is set to appear in our mortal flesh in due season but we must have hope, faith, patience in this. Faith is active…the “working” of our faith by dying to sin (the power of the cross). Faith without works is dead as the body without the Spirit is dead. Without the "working", His life shall not appear but instead shrink away.

(38) Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

It is yet for an appointed time but at the end it shall speak. We shall not have just the ink and paper of the Scriptures to tell us these things but He shall come and speak “face to face” with us as His life appears in our mortal flesh which shall give us the fullness of joy of which no man can then take away. Yet, the unbelievers will act proudly against what they hear.

Habakkuk 2:2-4 KJV (2) And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. (3) For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (4) Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

There are many deceivers who are entered into the world who do not confess in their preaching that Jesus Christ IS COMING in the flesh….our mortal flesh.

This is a deceiver and an “antichrist”…the instead-of-Christ….one who is not anointed with the Spirit and not preaching in the Spirit of Truth from Heaven.

The "deceivers" say they come in the authority of the Lord (many will come in My Name....Matthew 24:5) and say that they are the "Christ"....which means "anointed one". They are falsely claiming that they are sent by Jesus and are anointed with the Spirit...preaching via the Spirit. Christ = "anointed". But they do not come with this acknowledgement in their preaching: that Jesus IS COMING in our mortal flesh where His life is to be made manifest for all to see.

They will not show brotherly love towards those who come teaching that Jesus Christ IS COMING in the flesh.

2 John 1:7-13 KJV (7) For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (8) Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. (9) Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

They do not bring this teaching (that Jesus IS COMING in our flesh) to our ears and we must not receive them into our house. We must not keep company with those who preach another Jesus.

Their Jesus is not coming in our mortal flesh but coming some nebulous day in the future. They are not looking for Him to come and transform our mortal flesh into His glorious body as the good news is hid from the eyes of their understanding.

(10) If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: (11) For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (12) Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. (13) The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.

Of course , there will be “scoffers” in this who will say “Where is the promise of His coming?” Where is this manifestation of His eternal life for all have “fell asleep”….died…..since the beginning of the creation.

2 Peter 3:3-4 KJV (3) Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, (4) And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

The good news….the GLORIOUS good news of Christ… is hid to those who are perishing from this earth as they serve their own belly only by handling the Word of God deceitfully for their own unjust gain.

They are deceiving MANY and leading them away from the narrow Way that leads to the eternal life of Jesus and down the broad way to the destruction of their mortal flesh from off this earth. The life of Jesus is being prevented from ever appearing as they lead many, many astray as they preach their covenant with death and their agreement with the grave when Jesus already died for us and death has no more dominion over Him as He cannot die.

2 Corinthians 4:1-6 KJV (1) Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; (2) But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. (3) But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (4) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. (6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

The Son of man (the appearing life of Jesus in our outer mortal flesh) "goes"...that is, withdraws as if sinking out of sight...as it is written of Him. The ministers of Satan having been blocking the appearing life of Jesus from this earth by their deceptive handling of the Word of God for money's sake.

Matthew 26:24 KJV (24) The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

Who shall declare His generation for He (His life) is being cut off out of the land of the living. His manifested resurrected life in this earth is being cut off by the wicked who are leading many down the broad way to their destruction without the life of Jesus being made manifest. The appearing life of Jesus is being actively cut off from this earth by those who are leading many astray. BECAUSE of transgression is He being stricken.

Isaiah 53:8-9 KJV (8) He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

The appearing life of Jesus is being destroyed out of the lives of many. He made His grave with the wicked and with the rich in His DEATHS...plural in Hebrew... as MANY are being deceived by those who are falsely claiming to sent by Jesus and falsely claiming to be anointed with the Spirit...supposedly preaching via the Spirit. Yet, Jesus did no violence neither was there any deceit found in His mouth...so these wicked men are not sent by Him.

(9) And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth



This answer to this question would have included much from the other answers. But, rather than repeat, and detract from those, we’ll add what we think are some missing pieces.

First, a Mystery (in the Biblical sense) is anything that was not ‘seen’ in the Old Testament. Usually, as in the case of your question, because it couldn’t have, and add to that, it would have been impossible for them to have understood. RE: your question, it first required the life and death of Jesus.

In your question, the mystery was Christ in You. Let’s look a little closer. This mystery involved how ‘man’ received, or was ‘seen’ as righteousness. This went through a transition in the Old Testament.

It started with having to cover unrighteousness, as we see in the book of Job. (Sacrifice). Then, via a nations God, so Abraham’s righteousness came via belief, that is, by faith. Next, after the wilderness experience, with the implementation of the Mosaic covenant, righteousness came via the Law.

But, in this new covenant, as the Apostle Paul introduced, righteousness comes via rebirth, that is, Christ ‘in’ you. And, that was the mystery Paul was referring to - the Apostle Paul, the one with the gospel to the gentiles.

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