MYSTERY in the New Testament denotes, “not the mysterious (as with the English word}, but that which, being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God, and to those who are illuminated by His Spirit”. “In the ordinary sense a “mystery” implies knowledge withheld”; its Scriptural significance is truth revealed.” [Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words].
The copy of the painting in the blog was done by my wife several years ago during a Sunday Morning Worship and Praise time. The church we were attending, rotated people on Sundays who loved to paint. Their easels were set up to the far side of the platform during worship, not distracting people’s personal worship time. They would paint, in response to the leading of the Holy Spirit. At the end of the morning’s message, the attending assembly would file by the paintings and ask questions of the painters regarding their inspiration. Dianne’s responded to the questions about her painting to one individual, “I have no idea what the picture means. I guess it will have to be a “mystery”.
“For God’s Ways” or Mysteries “Are Higher”:
Isaiah 55:8-11 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth, it shall not return to Me void — without producing any effect, useless — but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
God’s WORD is the GATEWAY:
1. To healing.
2. To prosperity.
3. To deliverance.
God’s Word or “Gateway” reveals the mysteries you haven’t understood before. There is also a difference between the “logos” word; “the expression of thought” in the letter ‘of’ God and the “rhema” word; “that which is spoken, what is uttered in speech or writing” in the letter FROM God. You can’t hear directly from God if your life is “cluttered” with unbelief, fear, stress and you name it. What is it then that you must do in “Understanding God’s Mysteries” ?
Wisdom and Understanding:
Proverbs 4:5-8 “Get [or acquire] skillful and godly Wisdom, get understanding–discernment, comprehension and interpretation; do not forget, and do not turn back from the words of my mouth. Forsake not [Wisdom] and she will keep, defend and protect you; love her and she will guard you. The beginning of Wisdom is, get Wisdom–skillful and godly Wisdom! For skillful and godly Wisdom is a principal thing. And with all you have gotten get understanding…” The Wisdom of God is the Word of God.
James 1:5-6 “If any of you is deficient in wisdom; let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to every one liberally and ungrudging, without reproaching or fault-finding, and it will be given him.”
This Sunday morning after the message, the Pastor set up an easel and white board at the front of the sanctuary. He laid a blue marking pen on chairs located each side of the front row. He told us all, if the Spirit was leading, go forward and write “one word” on the board that God was working on us to accomplish in our lives. He was going to put the board up on a wall in his office so he could pray this week for the church in meeting those promptings by the Spirit. As I stood in line, waiting to put down what Holy Spirit had prompting me to write on the white board as it began to fill up with words. As I stood in line, I noticed someone writing the word “WISDOM”. The answer for that person who put WISDOM on the board is already given to them and others writing the same word. “Let him ask of the giving God to every one liberally…”! BUT, don’t stop there. You have to read the next verse:
Verse 6, “BUT it has to be in faith that he asks, with no wavering–no hesitating, no doubting…”
If you ask God for wisdom and understanding of His mysteries and you ask in doubt… Verse 7 says what you can expect. NOTHING!
Verse 7, “For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord.”
Although I use the Amplified Version of the Bible, the King James Version uses the word “BUT” at the beginning of verse 6. “But” means, “zero it out” what was said before. Ask for wisdom and understanding in FAITH.
The Differences in Wisdom:
I Corinthians 2:1-2 “AS FOR myself, brethren, when I came to you [I] did not come proclaiming to you the testimony and evidence or MYSTERY or SECRET of God [concerning what He has done through Christ for the salvation of men] in lofty words of eloquence or human philosophy and wisdom; For I resolve to know nothing–to be acquainted with [nothing], to make a display of knowledge of [nothing], and to be conscious of [nothing]–among you accept Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and Him crucified.”
Man’s Wisdom Vs God’s Wisdom:
Verses 1 and 2, demonstrates how to approach godly Wisdom and Understanding: be acquainted with… NOTHING; know nothing, be conscious of nothing; clear all your thinking about what man has told you before about human wisdom and understanding. Preconceived understanding; wrong words from well-meaning others will lead you in making wrong decisions and choices.
I Corinthians 2:8 “None of the rulers of this age or world perceived and recognized and understood this; for if they had, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory.”
At times, we speak to the mysteries:
I Corinthians 14:2 “For one who speaks in an [unknown] tongue speaks not to men but to God, for no one understands or catches his meaning, because in the (Holy) Spirit he utters secret truths and hidden things [“mysteries” in the King James Version, the New American Standard and the New International Version].”
It doesn’t make a difference here whether you believe speaking in the Spirit is valid or not in churches today. What matters… it is a gift of the Holy Spirit and it says so in God’s Word. We speak the mysteries in our “gifting”:
1. Not in our own understanding.
2. The hidden truths.
3. The hidden secrets.
When I am prompted to speak in tongues, I do so for my own benefit. My prayer is, that Holy Spirit reveals to me what I have spoken with my mouth. It’s a mystery to me most of the time, but that doesn’t prevent from doing so; being prompted by the Holy Spirit.
“POWER is the ABILITY To Get Results” :
Speaking in tongues is not just an “identification” of being spiritually religious. Speaking in tongues is to get results. The Word of God, the Rhema Word makes you spiritual not speaking in an unknown language.
I Corinthians 14 better explains pursuing or seeking the “understanding of God’s mysteries”.
Verse 1-2 says, “EAGERLY PURSUE and seek to acquire [this] love [make your aim, your great quest]; and earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual endowments (gifts), especially that you may prophesy (interpret the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching—G. Abbott-Smith, Manual Greek Lexicon). For one who speaks in an [unknown] tongue speaks not to men but to God, for no one understands or catches his meaning, because in the [Holy} Spirit he utters secret truths and hidden things [Mysteries not obvious to the understanding].”
So what is accomplished by “eagerly pursuing” mysteries unknown to me and to others? That’s a good question and should have an understanding answer!
Verse 12, “So it is with yourselves; since you are so eager and ambitious to possess spiritual endowments and manifestations of the [Holy] Spirit, [concentrate on] striving to excel and to abound [in them] in ways that will build up the church.”
“Wait a minute. Are you saying that people who pray in an unknown tongue build up the church?” No, I didn’t say that, God’s Word says so. It really doesn’t make a difference whether you believe in speaking in tongues or not. It’s a Holy Spirit gifting. So if I am gifted at times, to speak in unknown “mysteries”, what will others think?
Verse 15, “Then what am I to do? I will pray with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit within me], BUT I will also pray [intelligently] with my mind and understanding; I will sing with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me], BUT I will sing [intelligently] with my mind and understanding also.”
The points brought up in this two-part series on being “A Mystery Seeker; Understanding God’s Mysteries” was to inspire you to “EAGERLY PURSUE” God’s Word; the Logos and the Rhema. You cannot say, “It is written” if you have never read what was written.
I Corinthians 14:20 “Brethren, do not be children [immature] in your thinking; continue to be babes in [matters of] evil, but in your minds be mature [men and women].”
Immature thinking might make you want to explore the mystery but maturity in your thinking will lead you to the TRUTH that’s been there all the time. You just haven’t found what’s real yet.