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The Mystery of God Bible Study

Posted by adventbiblestudy on November 11, 2008


There has been something about the kingdom of God that has been a mystery since the New Testament was written. The word mystery is not found within the Old Testament. Why is that? Could it be that there was a greater understanding throughout the times of the Old Testament? It stands to reason, if you understand a subject it is not a mystery. The only other explanation could be; the people during the time of the Old Testament had no knowledge of this mystery. If one has no knowledge of a subject it cannot be a mystery. By definition a mystery is something that cannot be fully explained or understood. 

Some people find it difficult to identify the mystery of the kingdom of God. How do we identify this mystery? God has given us a list of clues to follow. First, this is a subject made known, or explained within the New Testament. The second clue is the fact this will be something not fully explained or understood. Other clues are given to us throughout scripture.

 

KJV Mark 4:11-13

11. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12. That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. 13. And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

 

Jesus says His followers know the mystery of the kingdom of God. This statement could not be clearer. Jesus goes on to explain the purpose of parables which are constructed in such a manner some people find them easy to understand, while others are unable to comprehend the comcepts. The key thought here is, people who understand parables are converted, and their sins are forgiven. Those with no understanding will not obtain this blessing. Mark chapter 4 shows us the mystery of God is the forgiveness of sin through Christ.

 

KJV Romans 11:25-27

25. 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. 26. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27. For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

 

Paul confirms Mark chapter 4. The Deliverer is Christ who takes away the sins of the world. Paul validates another important matter stated in Mark chapter 4. This mystery is known by Christ’s followers.

 

KJV Romans 16:25-27

25. 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, 26. But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: 27. To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

 

In the same book of Romans, Paul explains exactly how to obtain this knowledge, through use of the scriptures. Paul actually refers to a revelation of the mystery which means to reveal or make known, and also points out the fact this mystery will be made known to everyone through obedience of faith. What does this mean? One cannot begin to understand the mystery of the gift Christ offers unless they first enter into a lifestyle of obedience to Christ. Paul also points out another interesting detail, this mystery was kept secret from the beginning of the world. This explains the truth why this mystery is not mentioned in the Old Testament. This is nothing short of an exemplary example of God’s existence and origination of the Bible. How could anyone have written this collection of books completely omitting the mystery of God before the revelation of this mystery through Christ?

 

KJV 1 Corinthians 2:7-10

7. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8. Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

 

Even though this mystery was kept secret from the beginning of the world, it was planned before the world was created. Which stands to reason, how could something be kept a secret if it did not exist. Jesus said that this mystery would be spoken in parables. Paul confirms the leaders of Israel did not understand the mystery of Christ, and forgiveness of sins. Paul also points out the Spirit will reveal this mystery.

 

KJV 1 Corinthians 15:50-53

50. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

 

Paul shows us a mystery. Is this a new mystery? “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” This text is referring to the resurrection of the saints. Paul is explaining another detail concerning the same mystery of Christ and the forgiveness of sin. The saints must first have their sins forgiven before they can take part in the first resurrection. The saints have knowledge of forgiveness. They also have knowledge of the resurrection. How the saints will be changed and how they will “put on incorruption” and “immortality” are elements that remain a mystery.

 

KJV Ephesians 3:2-5

2. If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3. How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4. Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5. Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

 

KJV Ephesians 3:9-10

9. 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: 10. To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

 

KJV Ephesians 5:30-33

30. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

 

KJV Ephesians 6:19-20

19. 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, 20. For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

 

The book of Ephesians confirms what we have been shown concerning the subject of the mystery. This mystery is explained by the scriptures through the Holy Spirit. It is very important for all of Christ’s followers to understand this subject. The relationship between Christ and His church is compared to a marriage relationship in an attempt to shed additional knowledge on the subject. Paul pleads with the church in an attempt to emphasize the importance of the subject. “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” KJV Ephesians 5:15-17

 

KJV Colossians 1:26-27

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:

 

KJV Colossians 2:2

2. 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 of the Father, and of Christ;

 

KJV Colossians 4:3

3. 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:

 

A study of the book of Colossians clearly shows Christ is the center of this mystery. Forgiveness of sin is the main concept of the Christian religion but this subject is not fully understood. Ellen White writes, “O, that every soul understood the mercy, the goodness, the love, of the character of God! His willingness to forgive sin and transgression is a subject that may be dwelt upon through time and eternity.” {YI, December 30, 1897 par. 3}

 

KJV Revelation 10:7

7. But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

 

Revelation shows there will come a time when this mystery will be completed or finished. This is when the work of Christ in Heaven is finished and He returns to call His saints. “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” KJV Revelation 11:15

 

There is another mystery written in the Bible that has accumulated more comments and attention than the subject of the mystery of God. It is the mystery of iniquity. Why do so many people find it easier to write and comment on the subject of Satan? This in itself is a mystery. This study would not be complete without looking into texts explaining the mystery surrounding Satan and his followers.

 

KJV 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8

7. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

 

Paul writes about a mystery of iniquity hard at work at the time this letter was being written. If the mystery of God is the forgiveness of sin provided by Christ, it stands to reason the mystery of iniquity is an imitation of Christ’s sacrifice. This puts a name on the many substitutes Satan has been offering over the past two thousand years.

 

KJV Revelation 17:5

5. And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

 

This text points to a number of attributes the woman in Revelation 17 will possess. The mystery indicates a substitute she will offer for Christ’s sacrifice. Babylon comes from the word Babel meaning confusion. The mother of harlots represents a relationship with many forms of false worship. All of these point to one conclusion, leading people away from the truth. Forgiveness of sin comes only from the sacrifice of Christ.

 

KJV Revelation 17:7-8

7. And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. 8. The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

 

As we read further in Revelation 17 we are clearly shown the people who are lost will follow after the woman of Revelation 17 and the beast all the way to perdition, or hell, the final death. This verse also shows us these people will wonder, which means they will not understand. This is the mystery of the woman, Babylon, confusion centered in a false sacrifice.

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