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17 March 2019

God’s Mysteries Revealed in Jesus

The good shepherd
Many voices today declare that God’s “mysteries” can only be understood in light of the Old Testament; the latter interprets what God did in Jesus.  Others claim His “mysteries” are encoded in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament and presumably can be “decoded” if one possesses the correct keys.
Others find hidden wisdom and even prophetic clues in the observances of the Hebrew calendar, such as sabbatical cycles, feast days and the monthly phases of the moon. For such the real key to unlocking God’s “mysteries” is the Torah that was given to Israel at Mount Sinai.
The Bible does refer to God’s “mysteries.”  His ways are “past finding out” and differ from human thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). Jesus taught that not everyone is able to understand the “mysteries of the kingdom” (Mark 4:11). It is God who reveals hidden things (Daniel 2:22-27).
The New Testament declares that God did not disclose a complete understanding of His redemptive plan until the appropriate time (Romans 16:25).  He certainly revealed truth under the Levitical system “in the prophets,” but the earlier word was partial and incomplete (Hebrews 1:1 - “in many parts and many ways”). The prophets foretold the coming salvation to be revealed in the Messiah but did not possess or understand it (1 Peter 1:10-20).
The “mystery” previously concealed has now been revealed in Jesus Christ, especially in his death and resurrection.  Nowhere does the Bible teach that God’s “mysteries” can be apprehended by decoding letters, calendrical practices or the numerical values of Hebrew words.  The Torah was part of God’s partial revelation in which said “mysteries” were hidden but are now disclosed fully in Jesus.
With the coming of Jesus, the dietary and calendrical practices of the Mosaic legislation became mere “shadows and types” of the substance now found in Christ. To turn back to outmoded practices is regression to bondage under the “elemental beings” of this age, “powers, principalities, archons, angels, world-rulers” (Galatians 4:8-11Ephesians 6:8-12Colossians 2:16-17Hebrews 8:510:1).
Neither is there any need to resort to mystical practices, astronomical signs or decoding supposedly hidden Hebrew or Greek letter “codes.” God’s mysteries have in these “last days” been revealed in Jesus; they are open and available to anyone who hears the Son’s word.  The partial word is fully unveiled in Jesus (Hebrews 1:2).
The hidden “mystery” that prophets and angels desired to understand is unveiled to all men and women regardless of gender or ethnicity in Jesus Christ.  What is required is not secret knowledge or decoded Hebrew letters but the “obedience of faith” (Romans 16:25-27). Secret knowledge and mystical rituals are not required to comprehend God’s redemption, which is available to all on faith in Jesus.
The mystery “not made known in other generations, has now been revealed.” What was “hidden in God” is now made known “through the church”; Gentile believers have been made “joint heirs” with Israel of the promises of God. (Ephesians 2:9-22; 3:3-11). The “mystery” previously concealed is “manifested to his saints…this mystery among the Gentiles, Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:25-272:2).
Moses gave the Law, but “grace and truth came to be in Jesus.” In him the “Word became flesh” and ever since knowledge of the Father is revealed only in Christ who is the true Tabernacle in which the Divine glory dwells (John 1:14-1714:6-9).
Anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of God’s ways in the alleged secret knowledge of Hebrew letters, numbers, Sabbatical years, feast days or cosmic signs is looking in the wrong place. Turn instead to the substance and complete revelation provided by God in the words, death and the resurrection of Jesus.
What many peddle today is regression, not revelation.

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