There is a strong prophetic element in the Old Testament but the word mystery is not mentioned for righteousness was fulfilled by obeying the law through the seed of Abraham. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world and although salvation is open to everyone, it can be rightfully called a mystery religion in that the only initiation into the congregation of God is through spiritual means. That is completely different from mystery religions among closed societies.

Jesus begins the idea of mystery in the New Testament by telling His disciples that "Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand." When He speaks of "they," He is referring to those who have not submitted to His spiritual kingdom through faith.

The apostle Paul spoke much of hidden mysteries. A mystery is an undisclosed truth, the truth is there, but hidden. There is of course more to God than just the mysteries but along with the mysterious and the enigmatic and the terrible awesome power that we cannot possibly comprehend is a twilight zone of revelation knowledge that He gives to those that hear His voice. We can learn the mysteries of life and we are given to understand what has been hidden even from the wise men and sages of the remote past.

Parables and mysteries lose their meaning if they are not loved for the sake of the truth that lies behind them. What makes these riddles divine to us is precisely that we want a personal relationship to God, not merely to know the mystery. Nay but we may not be allowed into the revelation unless we search God for His sake. The mystery revealed is God and the Lord's kingdom.

Saint Paul tells us that we are the ministers of Christ and the stewards of the mysteries of God. Many of these mysteries are to be hidden until the last days. He mentions the hardness in part of the nation of Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles come in. Paul asked for boldness to make known the mysteries of the gospel, the resurrection is a mystery, marriage is a mystery relating to Christ and the church, faith and godliness are mysteries, the apocalyptic prophecies are mysteries.

Romans 16:25  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, 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:

1 Corinthians 2:7  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Ephesians 3:3  How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ). 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:

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

God's will is a mystery revealed in that we know that Jesus is in us, our hope of glory. How, then, do we grow in the faith that does justice and proves love? We need an authentic encounter with Jesus.

Revelation 10:7  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.

For the truly spiritual person, prophecy is the most desired gift. The prophet has an inner voice from God that reveals the mysteries through subjective experience and vision. While these mysteries can be taught second hand and received through the intellect and heart felt belief, only the prophet has the necessary receptors to in turn transmit them effectively. The voice of God with all His mysteries and revelations speak through his prophets today just as He did in the writers of scripture. That still small voice is given to those that are able to listen to God. How is it effectively used to the glory of God? Ask for the gift, receive it and exercise it in the name of Jesus with the humility to know that as you decrease, He will increase. The gifts are given as He wills but He will never refuse any of His children who ask in faith.

[Luke 8:10, Romans 11, 16, 1 Corinthians 2:7, Ephesians 1:9, 4:1, 6:19, 15:51, 138]

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