The word perfect of verse 10 of 1 Corinthians 13 refers to nothing other than the completed mystery of God. The word mystery is a concept not a thing. Mystery was a military word of the first century which meant overall strategy or battle plan devised by the general in charge of the conflict by which he intended to win the conflict. It was given to his officers by himself in pieces, each would pass this along to his troops under his command who were charged to fulfill their role exactly as detailed, no field improvisation was allowed!! After the battle was over, the general would call his junior officers together to explain their part in the victory so they could understand his battle plan and learn thereby. This combination of pieces put together was called “mystery”, not the mystery, not “a” mystery, but it was a thing. Musterion is our New Testament.
In Psalms 24 we see Jesus going back to the Ancient of Days, where in Daniel 7:13-14 we see Him brought near before Him. When Jesus went back, He went back to marshall an Army, return to this world and launch an attack!! The Psalmist speaks of it this way: ”Lift up your heads oh ye gates, be ye lifted up ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in.” The cry comes as a refrain, “Who is this King of glory? The answer is responded; “The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.” Described as “mighty in battle” the Hebrew means to describe a King who has gathered a force and is set to attack with valor. Christ went back to Heaven to marshall His forces and attack. We know the battle plan for we have the book of Acts to relate it to us. On the day of Pentecost, AD 33 at 9:00am, the Trumpet sounded. A trumpet was always to announce an attack!! The apostles were waiting in Jerusalem as told them by Jesus. The commander-in-chief of the ground forces that day was the Holy Spirit and He had twelve generals, apostles who had been baptized by Christ to be the bearers of that mystery. The operation was completed before the forces of the Evil One knew they had been attacked. A multitude of Jews heard the cry that came from Heaven, “repent and be baptized for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” That first attack saw 3,000 pass through the waters of baptism, and on that first day of the attack there were ground soldiers added to the Church of Christ who were determined to carry this message to all the world, and have NEVER EVER heard the sound to retreat, since!!!
At the moment of attack, some perceived this to be another sect of Judaism, but soon, they learned this was intended of God to REPLACE the Jew as the “chosen” of God and the message to “whosoever will” became a reality because as many Gentiles became members of this elite fighting force as there were Jews. The apostles spoke “as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance”; soon there number was 5,000, then we are told their number was beyond counting!! “Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? Saith the Lord: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut to womb?” Isaiah 66:8-12
The role of God’s fighting forces,His church, was made known by one of the generals that was not present that day. Its role was “to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery which was hidden from the Jews. The “beginning of the world” was not the beginning of time, it was the beginning of the promise by Christ to Abraham for a special race, age of the promises, Colossians 1:26, not cosmos, but the world to which it applied!