Our God is infinite in all of His being so that everything He does is already known to Him completely as a finished event, before the event or work is even begun. He knows the end from the beginning. So how is it possible that He can share that which is unknown to us, with us? With all wisdom and prudence by which means He reveals His will to us, we come to understand as those who believe and trust in Him, the marvelous design of spiritual things. The “mystery of His will” is not a deliberate intention on God’s part to keep us in the dark about what He is doing or His future plans. But in our sinful condition we could not grasp anything of God because we were “dead in trespass and sins.” We were spiritually dead.
However, since God by His grace has saved us , we are able to start to see things through God’s eyes as the Holy Spirit reveals Christ to us as well as things to come. So with divine wisdom and understanding that is limitless in knowing what we can grasp as to His will, and understanding our limitations, he makes His will known. He knows our capacity for understanding better than we do. Believers in Ephesus were the same as we are today – there is only so much we can take in by faith. They were used to living by sight, so the image of Diana and all the activities of life were centered around what they could see and experience. Sensual living is the normal way of living for the “natural man.”
Those eternal things that are unseen become real to those who live by faith. Temporal things are still involved in our daily living, but now a whole new dimension of life has opened to us. We can, by faith, see beyond today and tomorrow to when the times in which we are living and the “ages” reach their fulfillment. All the prophetic teaching regarding Israel and its future, the church of God and what is in store will come to pass. Then everything in heaven and earth will be unified under the leadership and authority of our Lord Jesus Christ. We get a foreshadowing of that time when we understand God has made one body out of Jews and Gentiles who are all under Christ as the Head of the body. This actually happened in Ephesus and is called “one new man” and so peace is made between opposing parties. In a larger sense than Jews and Gentiles being made one, is the fact that all things in heaven where there is perfection, and on earth where there is sinfulness, there is in God’s plans, a unity under Christ and the coming peace will be permanent.
These things have already been “purposed in Himself” but the time has not yet come for their fulfillment. “Dispensation” means that what has already been arranged as a plan, will actually take place just as the arrangement has been made. At the times of this fulfillment everything will be summed up and gathered under one Person – Christ – and all will have one mind motivated by love for Him, and will gladly submit to His one universal authority.
“All things” include not only people, but everything that has been affected by man’s sin. Sin has created a polluted world where evidence of sin is see almost everywhere we look. Plant life, pollution of the air, even the animal creation has been adversely affected by the sin of mankind. But all that will change when the fullness of times is come and the universal and eternal blessings of God are a reality. All things will converge in Christ and every being will praise Him and worship Him in genuine love and adoration.
We get a foretaste of those times yet in the future when redeemed people who have already bowed in love and adoration as individuals, join together in praise and worship to our Lord Jesus Christ. He has made known to us through the church, and allowed us to experience, some of the coming blessings. When the local assembly gathers together with “Jesus in our midst,” we begin to understand a little bit of what blessings we will have. From different families, different walks of life, different races, different cultures, we gather together unto Him now in a small way, like we will in the future with all God’s people. We already experience in a measure the wonder of a great variety of persons brought together in Christ with the common ground of salvation by grace alone through faith. The Savior is our attraction. He occupies our thoughts and claims our devotion. In such gatherings we have a shadow of coming glory and the blessings that come when God’s people acknowledge “Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”