Great Mystery: The Ultimate Plan of God
by Daniel LeEarl Hall
The great mystery is the most exciting revelation in the Bible, for it
reveals the plan of God as embodied in and carried out through His Son. It tells
us why God did things the way that He did. If God knew exactly what Adam and Eve
were going to do, why did He go ahead and create them? He could have directly
created everyone Himself, but our wonderful God, in His great wisdom, decided to
accomplish populating the universe in another manner, "pro-creation"!
By creating man with the ability to "pro-create," you and I have received the
gift of parenthood, sharing in creation. Some complain about how God did things
and how He continues to do things. But, He does them exactly right and to our
greatest blessing. We have shared in the creation and we have received a
valuable learning experience that we will likely use in the Millennium.
A. CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY
Paul said, "For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but
by the will of Him who subjected it, in hope, because the creation itself will
be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the
children of God. " (Rom. 8:20,21) Verse 18 says, "I consider that the sufferings
of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be
revealed in us." We who receive Christ in this era of grace are the "children of
At Colossians 1: 26,27, Paul identified the great mystery, stating, .The mystery
hidden for ages and generations, but now made manifest to His saints. To them
God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory
of the mystery which is: Christ in you, the hope of glory "
The great mystery is Christ in us, the indwelling of our God and Lord by the
Holy Spirit. The actual Greek word is ev, meaning, IN. Hundreds of times the
Bible expresses the profound truth that Christ is in us and we are in Christ;
not "in union with," as the New World Translation inserts. Most Christians know
this verse, but not its monumental impact. They think of Christ as a man or in
heaven, but they do not see Christ in us! What does this mean? The Son of God
dwells in every believing Christian who has received Him. Not only does the Son
dwell in us, the Father and the Holy Spirit dwell in us.
We are IN the Father (1 Thess 1 :1) The Father is IN us (Eph. 4:6)
We are IN Christ (Rom. 8:1,10) Christ is IN us (Col. 1:27)
We are IN the Spirit (Rom. 8:9) The Spirit is IN us (1Cor. 2:12)
-You may ask, "How can this be and what takes place when Christ comes to dwell
in us?" The greatness of the mystery is that these are not symbolisms; they are
real. We cannot understand the totality of this mystery because we are finite.
However, God has revealed enough for us to realize the wonderfulness of this
great truth. Let me assure you that if you have received Jesus Christ as Lord
and Savior, God dwells in you. (John 1:11-13)
Notice also that the only aspect of the great mystery that involves "hope," is
glory. If we have something, we don't hope for it any longer. (Rom. 8:24) The
great mystery is complete in us, except for our glorification. We have Christ in
us and all that implies. We hope for our external glory to match our present
internal glory; the rest is already fulfilled in us. (Eph. 2:6)
When we understand God's great mystery, we come to know who and what we are in
Christ. We finally know the fullness we have in God the Father, the Son, and the
Holy Spirit, our real identity as children of God, holy and righteous in every
way before Him, ONE with God, and loved by our Father God and our Lord Jesus
beyond our comprehension.
B. GOD 1S CALLING AND CH00SING
Another remarkable truth about the great mystery is that we were chosen by God.
All who come to God during this era of grace are drawn by Him, and called,
chosen, and elect, as individuals. Note:
1 Peter 1: 1,2: "To the exiles...chosen and predestined by God..."
2. John 15:16: "You did not choose me, but I chose you."
3. Rom. 11: 5: "At the present...there is a remnant, chosen by grace.”
4. Romans 8:28-30: " For we know that all things work together for good for
those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He
foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order
that He might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom He
predestined He also called; and those whom He called He also justified; and
those whom He justified he also glorified."
5. John 3:18: "I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen.”
6. 2 Timothy 1: 9: "Who saved us and _ us with a holy calling, not according to
works but according to His own purpose and grace. "
7. Ephesians 1:4: "Just as He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the
world to be holy and blameless before Him in love. "
8. John 6:37,44: "Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and
anyone who comes to me I will never drive away... No one can come to me unless
drawn by the Father. "
Question: When did God choose the elect in Christ?
Answer: Before the founding of the world. (Eph. 1: 4)
Question: How did He choose?
Answer. By His foreknowledge He predestined or predetermined who was going to be
His elect, who was going to be the bride for His Son and reign with Him.
Question: What is meant by foreknowledge? Does this mean that
God looked into the future and saw who was going to accept Jesus?
Answer: Not likely. That would make God's will subservient to man's will. The
Greek word foreknowledge is "prognosis," to predetermine something or ordain it.
Question: So what method did God actually use to choose? Answer: None of us has
even a clue!
Question: For what purpose did God choose the elect?
Answer: As a gift for His Son and to be examples of His grace. Ephesians 2:7
says, "And now God can always point to us as examples of how very, very rich His
grace is, as shown in all He has done for us through Jesus Christ."
Those who are not chosen, must be judged. Choose God, which will prove that He
has already chosen you and that is why He is revealing His wonderful plan to
C. IS THE OLD MAN TRULY DEAD?
The apostle Paul stated over a dozen times that we who have received Christ,
"have died in Christ." (Rom. 6:2-10; Gal. 2:19,20; 2Cor. 5:14) We have truly
died in Christ, our spirit is no_ alive and we will never die again. (Eph. 2:1)
Our body will "die" and be transformed, but our spirit and soul will never die.
We had to die in Christ so that we could be wed to our new Master, Jesus Christ.
(Rom. 7:4) Therefore, we who are in Christ have already died once. If we could
die again, that would be a "second death." The second death is reserved for
those who oppose God. We are exempt from the second death. (Rev. 20:6)
We think that our body is going to die, and in a sense that is true. But, in
reality, our vile, corruptible bodies will be transformed, changed into our new
glorified bodies. (Phil. 3:21; 2Cor. 5: 1-5)
Once God makes our spirit alive, He becomes one with our spirit, so how could
God kill it? First Peter 1: 23 says that we are born again by an incorruptible
seed by the Word of God which "liveth and abideth forever. "
The spirit of Adam could die, and did. God's Spirit dwelt in Adam, but God did
not become one spirit with Adam, as He has with us. God's Spirit is now one
spirit with our spirit. (1Cor. 6:17)
If we could die, lose out on eternal life, then God's Spirit, which has now
become one with ours, would have to die, which is impossible. God would become
eternally separated from Himself.
Paul said, "For the love of Christ compels us, because we are convinced that one
has died for all, that those who live, might live no longer for themselves, but
for Him who for their sake died and was raised." (2Cor. 5:14,15) Then, in verse
17, Paul says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old
has passed away, behold, the new has come." The old man is dead! We now live no
longer for ourselves; we live for Christ, because once we receive Christ, the
old creation dies. The Adam-man died, and that was represented by the tree of
the knowledge of good and evil. Jesus Christ is the tree of life; He literally
Besides many other places in Paul's letters, six times in Romans Chapter 6, Paul
stated that we died in Christ, and that now we are alive in Christ:
1. Romans 6:3: "All who have been baptized into Christ were baptized into His
2. Romans 6:4: "Therefore we have been buried with Him by baptism into His
3. Romans 6:5: "We have been united with Him in a death like His."
4. . Romans 6:6: "Our old self was crucified with Him."
5. Romans 6:7: "We have died with Christ."
6. Romans 6: 11: "Consider yourselves dead."
The old man is dead! You might ask, "What do you mean he's dead? He sure acts
like he's alive!" This is a very important key point: What is death? Death is
separation from life. God is life, so death is simply separation from God. From
God's perspective the old man is dead, separated from Him.
The question is, "Are we going to try to resurrect the old man and live like he
did, or are we now going to live in accord with the new person, the new creation
we are in Christ?" We literally have a fork in the road, two paths for us to
take, "two lives" before us. Are we going to live in accord with the flesh or in
accord with the spirit? Each one must choose. If we choose to live in accord
with the flesh, and many do, we will miss out on the real Christ-life and this
great mystery will only benefit us in the future. But, if we choose to live the
Christ-life now, our blessings will be manifold.
Many attempt to fill their need for love and acceptance by flesh-works. If after
God effects salvation in our life, we still want to gratify the flesh, still
want to hold on to our will, it seems that God allows us to do this, to "spit
and sputter," struggle with the flesh, carry the whole load, and do whatever
stupid things we want to do in the flesh. (For which we will pay a very high
price in the flesh) This does provide a tremendous learning experience for us,
but, after God has accomplished all that He has for us, why would we want to
live in accord with the flesh, paying the price now for self-gratification and
losing rewards when we appear before our Lord? It makes no sense.
We not only died with Christ, verse 5 also says, "For if we have
been united with Him in a death like His, we will certainly be united with Him
in a resurrection like His." We have died in Christ, and just like Him, we will
never die again! The only change will be the transformation of our corruptible
bodies into our new glorified and incorruptible bodies, made in the heavens.
(Phil. 3:21; 2Cor. 5:1-5)
We now live the Christ-life. Paul said, "For you have died, and your life is hid
with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will
appear with Him in glory." (Col. 3:3,4) Christ is our life, and now our life is
part of the great mystery; our life is hidden with Christ and will be fully
revealed in glory. The "body" of Christ, His "bride," must be glorious, all for
the glory of God.
Because God did things as He did, we who have received Jesus Christ have a
relationship with God that He never had with any created angel or with Adam.
This is the great mystery and was God's plan and purpose from the beginning. God
knew exactly what He was doing, and it was all to our benefit and blessing and
to His glory!
D. BIRTHING OF THE NEW CREATION
Now that we are a new creation, in Christ, we are now a "temple"
of the living God. (1Cor 3:16; 2Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:22)
We have been reborn by the Holy Spirit. Our initial birth was into Adam, into
death. We were born spiritually dead! We had to be reborn spiritually alive,
into the family of God. Jesus said we must be "born again" to see the Kingdom of
God. (John 3:5)
What has taken place within us is the birthing of a new creation in Christ. Our
spirit, which was dead, God has made alive, and united with His Spirit to form
one spirit, making us one with God. (Eph. 2:1; John 17:22,23) Paul said, "He who
is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him." (1 Cor. 6:17)
Christ now dwells in us and we have become Christ-in people, "Christians." Jesus
Christ now lives through us. Jesus was in the form of the flesh-and-blood
nature, but "we no longer know Him according to the flesh." (2Cor. 5:16) So, He
comes to mankind and shares His love by living through His "body," the Bride of
Christ, the "church." Jesus accomplishes God's will through us, the "new
creation," which is a uniting of the Spirit of God with our spirit, combined
with our soul, which is being transformed to be fully conformed to our newly
alive spirit, reflecting the mind of Christ, but still encompassing our own
individual personalities, talents, and abilities. We experience and share in the
miraculous things of God, as though we were accomplishing them ourselves, when,
in fact, God is doing all the work. (Eph. 2:10)
God has given us His righteousness, His holiness, and has sanctified and
justified us so He can live in us and through us. You may wonder how God does
this. The best example I can give you is what God accomplished through the men
who wrote the Bible. We can identify each man by his style of writing, yet the
words are the words of God to us. In somewhat the same way, Christ lives through
us, as the new creation. God doesn't take away from our individuality; He
actually augments it; and because we are totally free in Christ, He allows us to
be who we really are, with all of our idiosyncrasies, because that is the real
you and me. God chose us just as we were.
Therefore, while the love of Christ is the same in us all, the expressions of
the Christ-life are as diversified and individual as we are. We are now living
the new life in Christ. God has literally birthed millions of sons and daughters
and adopted us into His family. Do not get confused here. Jesus is the Son of
God by NATURE. We, as real Christians, are Sons of God by ADOPTION! (John 1:
The Great Mystery, the ultimate plan of God, was hidden through all the
generations of man. (Co1.1: 26) The apostle Paul was the one chosen to reveal
this wonderful mystery to us, that men could now become one with the Creator of
the universe! (Col. 1: 27; John 17:23)
Why did God do such a thing? One possible reason is that we all like to have
close friends, especially friends with whom we can have a close relationship and
communicate with. The glory of God is so great that the created angels could
barely dwell near His presence.
The gap between Creator and created creature is infinite! How could anyone have
an intimate relationship with God, especially considering the fact that man was
initially separated by infinity, and then by sin, which resulted in another gap
between God and man, death. Death is truly separation from God, who is life. The
death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ took care of the gap"
of sin and death. (Rom. 8:2) But, what about the gap of infinity? Could anyone,
even God, bridge the gap of infinity? Because God now dwells in us, we can now
have a One-on-one relationship with God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
God revealed, "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but
because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will
be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty oflha
children of God." (Rom. 8:20,21) God literally bridged the gap of infinity!
Do you have any idea what kind of creature you are now? Although God's spirit
was in Adam, God never became one spirit with Adam or the angels.
Because God did things as He did, we who have received Christ have a
relationship with God that He never had with any created creature, until
Pentet05t. We are truly a "new creation in Christ." (2Cor. 5:17) When we receive
Jesus Christ, God dwells in us, we become one spirit with Him, and Christ lives
His life through us, the new creation! (1 Cor. 6:17; Gal. 2:20; 2Cor.5:17)
We now have an intimate relationship with God! So, Paul said, "Let us therefore
come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace in
time of need." (Heb.4:16)
E. THE NEW GIFT-LIFE IN CHRIST
Christians use phrases like "I gave my life to Christ," or "Since I accepted
Christ, He has changed my life." These are heartfelt expressions, but what has
taken place is even more remarkable. We were "dead in our trespasses" (Eph. 2:1)
and had no life to give to Christ, and He already bought us and paid the price,
so we could not give Him something He already owned. Additionally, real
Christianity involves more than just a changed life; it is a new gift-life.
Christ giving us a new life, His life, a wonderful gift of God!
By now, regardless of whether you are a Christian, were a Jehovah's Witness or
Mormon, or of any other religious persuasion, you should realize that salvation
is simply a matter of "believing in" and "receiving" Jesus Christ. If you have
not yet received Jesus Christ, I encourage you to do so. This is a very personal
matter. Simply go to God the Father and tell Him that you repent of your error
and your sin (which is unbelief) and your attempt to earn eternal life by works.
Tell Jesus you believe in Him and accept Him as the Son of God, that you are
submitting your will to His, you want a personal relationship with Jesus and the
Father, thank Him for His grace, and ask Him to come into your life. When you do
this, you are reborn by the Holy Spirit, you become a child of God, and your
name is written down in the book of life.
Many will still feel that they are inadequate in some way, that they are not
worthy. We are all inadequate and no one is worthy; except the Lamb! Again, as
with all our other gifts, His worthiness is imputed to us. Remember, it is
through the righteousness of ONE, we are declared righteous. (Rom. 5:18)
We must understand that we cannot live the Christ-life without Jesus Christ.
Only Christ, who lives in and through us, can live the Christ-life. This is not
a team effort of Christ and us. One of my greatest lessons was to realize that I
couldn't do it! Even as a Christian, I still can't do it! Until we realize this
vital truth, we will continue to struggle, continue trying to do what we cannot.
Jesus came and accomplished what He did, because we couldn't. If we could do it,
then Jesus suffered and died for nothing!
Romans 1: 17 says, "The righteous shall live by faith." We live this Christ-life
by faith. Faith too, is a free gift of God. (Rom. 12:3) He gives us the faith of
Christ and faith in Christ, 50 we can enjoy the Christ-life. Paul specifically
stated: "I have been crucified with Christ; it Is no longer I who live, but
Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in
the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. "(Gal. 2:20)
At this point, some might think of Ephesians 6:14 as something that we must do.
The Watchtower uses this verse, and we were told that we had to put on the armor
of God as follows:
1. Have our loins girded with TRUTH. (This was Watchtower doctrine)
2. Put on the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS. (Our holiness)
3. Have our feet shod with the gospel of PEACE. (Watchtower gospel)
4. 4. Put on the shield of FAITH. (This was faith in the Watchtower)
5. Put on the helmet of SALVATION. (Salvation by Watchtower works)
6. Take up the sword of the spirit, which is the WORD OF GOD. (This was
Watchtower doctrine and the New World Translation.)
BUT, LET ME ASK YOU:
1. Who is the TRUTH?
2. Who is our RIGHTEOUSNESS?
3. Who is our PEACE?
4. Who is our FAITH?
5. Who is our SALVATION?
6. Who is the WORD OF GOD? Answer: JESUS CHRIST!
It is all Jesus Christ. He is our everything. (Col. 3:11) Since Jesus dwells in
us and we are clothed in Christ, (Gal. 3:27) we have on the complete suit of
armor from God, and we are complete in Christ. Jesus is all we need. The idea
that we lack something is a misconception. "We are complete in Him." (Col. 2:10)
Once we receive Jesus Christ, we lack nothing.
Those in the Watchtower are so programmed to doing. The Watchtower Society keeps
demanding more until the flesh gives out, and then they discard the person. Many
Christians suffer bum-out as well, because they try to accomplish things in the
flesh, instead of letting Christ live his life through us. Man's religions keep
us working for what we already have, trying to become who we already are, by
doing what has already been done! God wants us to enter His rest (Heb. 4:6) so
He can live through us. We can't enter His rest until we give it all to Him and
let God direct our lives, trusting Him, submitting our will to His. So,
surrender. If God wants us to do something, we will know it. His works are done
through us. (Eph.2:10)
Most of us want to be told how to do everything. All right, I will tell you how
to surrender. There are four steps:
STEP #1: SURRENDER (your will to His) -
After you complete step #1, go to step #2.
STEP #2: SURRENDER COMPLETELY - You
likely didn't surrender completely in step #1. After you complete step #2, go to
STEP #3: RE-SURRENDER COMPLETELY - You likely took your problems back. So,
RE-SURRENDER COMPLETELY. After you complete step #3, go to step #4.
STEP #4: TOTALLY RE-SURRENDER COMPLETELY - Just give up and realize that only
God can and will get it all done. Let Him do it in His time and His way.
It is not our natural tendency to let go of the things we have been carrying so
long. Millions of dollars are being paid to storage companies each month because
people cannot let go of their things.
Surrender was hard for me to do, but I finally faced these facts:
1. God has the complete picture and does a better job of running things than I
do. All I did was interfere with His good plans for my life.
2. He has the ability to enforce His will over mine, anyway.
3. He loves me more than I love myself (He's God and He's Love).
4. He saved my life in two ways, physically and spiritually.
5. He gave His life for me, paid all my sins, bought and redeemed me. He owns
6. His yoke is kindly and His load is light. (Matt. 11 :29,30)
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the head of the body and accomplishes what He wishes
through it. We are human beings. not human doings. God does not need us to do
anything. Again, I must ask, “would you really want to worship a God who needed
We want to just abide in Jesus Christ, the vine. (John 15:16) He just wants us
to BE and to have a relationship with us. Just be, and rest in Him. An doing
will be done by God. (Eph. 2:10)
F. WHY HAS GOD DONE ALL THIS?
Besides having creatures with whom God now has a one-on-one relationship, God
has elevated us above all other creation.
1. Who are we? (Those whom the Spirit of God now indwells) We are children of
God, the Bride of Christ, and co-heirs of the universe.
2. What are we? We are .new creations," creatures that did not exist before
Pentecost, when 1st Century Christians became one spirit with God. (1Cor. 6:17)
We are complete in Christ, with all the fullness of God the Father, the Son, and
the Holy Spirit. (Co!. 2:10) We have all the fullness of His love, joy, peace,
kindness, mercy, and grace.
This has already been accomplished by God's grace. The only thing we have yet to
hope for is our external glorification. (Col 1 :27) The Bride of Christ will be
glorious for the glory of God.
Another reason that God has done all this is so we can rule with Christ during
the millennium and judge the world and angels. (Rev. 5:10; 1Cor. 6:2,3) This is
all done by God, so there is no room for pride or boasting.
3. Why are we? Besides being examples of God's grace for eternity, (Eph. 2:7)
Jesus said, "Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and
whoever wants to be first must be your slave-just as the Son of Man did not come
to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Matt.
God views all things the opposite of the way man does. Jesus ministered to His
disciples; He washed their feet! God has raised us up to this lofty position so
we can serve others. We will serve others when we rule with Christ and we are
here to serve others now. Just as there is more happiness in giving than there
is in receiving, there is more happiness in serving than being served! (Ads
So, "Enter into the joy of your Lord" by serving others. Matt. 25:21) I truly
hope that you have come to know who, what, and why you are in Christ. Knowing
this sets us free to live in God's pure grace.