PREFACE: Again, what I wrote on a Wednesday got confirmed within hours! (Previous)
After drafting this yesterday afternoon, I was ‘God-smacked’ and undone upon hearing a young man of 22 years expressing similar sentiments about the Church as I had at that age and earlier. And upon my reading out my references to scripture, he stunned me by saying the Lord’s been drawing his attention to the verses that strongly affected me! Having graduated from Bible college, he’s about to plant a new church in London and apply that scripture; whereas over 50 years ago I got led astray through a personal perception. Today’s young apostolic church-planter is the son of the leader whom I’d already mentioned in the opening sentence below!! Praise You Lord for such God-incidence – awesome!
Entitled ‘The importance of holy mysteries to Christian discipleship and prophecy,’ I didn’t anticipate this draft’s prophetic nature and later realised it’s better published in two parts under a fresh title.
Earlier this year a prophetic leader of new church had a picture for me during a ‘refresh’ coffee morning. Seeing a megaphone turn into a laser, he said it’s time for my blogging to move from ‘broad-brush’ coverage to a narrower, more incisive focus. Hence, the fewer re-blogs of others’ prophecies unless they’re related to what I already know or can sense (thus confirmations or validations as ‘jigsaw pieces’ and ‘God-incidences’), or else are of especial significance.
Therefore as done recently, my personally-related introductions to re-blogs of others’ prophetic material. The next, by Thomas Harry, is directly relevant to my journey and necessitates this full introductory blog to prepare our understanding of what Jesus is telling today’s Church. As in #1, this comes with Thomas’ blessing for my action.
THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM
First and foremost, we need to consider what ‘mystery’ means in the Word of God:
His disciples came to Jesus and said, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” and He replied, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him (and her) more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore, I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand…” (Matthew 13:10-13 NKJV)
The New Spirit-Filled Study Bible provides this definition:
‘Mystery’, Greek ‘musterion’ (moos-tay-ree-on; Strongs #3466). From mueo, “to initiate into the mysteries”, hence a secret known only to the initiated, something hidden requiring special revelation. In the NT the word denotes something that people could never know by their own understanding and that demands a revelation from God. The secret thoughts, plans and dispensations of God remain hidden from unregenerate mankind, but are revealed to all believers. In non-biblical Greek musterion is knowledge withheld, concealed or silenced. In biblical Greek it is truth revealed (Col 1:26). NT musterion focuses upon Christ’s sinless life, atoning death, powerful resurrection and dynamic ascension.’
Jesus’ meaning of ‘mysteries’ is implicit in Apostle Paul’s writing to the church in Corinth on the western side of the isthmus between mainland Greece and the Peloponnese peninsular:
‘Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God‘ (1Cor 4:1)…‘And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing’ (1Cor 13.2)…’For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.’ (1 Cor 14.2)
References to ‘mystery’ appear nearly two dozen times, again mainly by Paul plus a few in The Apocalypse. BUT note there are no references to either variant of the word in the Old Testament – so it appears this reference and related teaching were reserved only for new revelations that Jesus brought from our heavenly Father and God.
Moreover, that differential between Testaments emphasises a divine origin of especially reserved knowledge and revelation compared to that claimed for the supposed mystery schools of pagan religions, like those of ancient Egypt.
In my humble opinion, the meaning of ‘holy mystery’ is little understood and appreciated – perhaps even by those well-grounded in scripture – but is slowly improving as a result of the increasing interest in the prophetic.
As Biblical and anointed modern prophecy are dovetailing in these End-times, that state of awareness needs to change up a gear or two. Thus, all earnest followers of Jesus need to dive deeper into His living waters to be immersed in His mysteries.
Yet we do need to be wise and careful, and learning of the error in my own searching for those mysteries before I was blessed to be born-again may be a warning and help.
A PRE-CHRISTIAN JOURNEY
Readers of the two recent postings on the ‘God-incidental’ 21st anniversary of the solar eclipse of 1999 and ‘GPS #50’ on Luke 21 and the ‘Bridge over The Pond’ may recall the reference to my mother’s Catholic Sunday Missal.
When I was a youngster she’d take me to Sunday mass, yet I wasn’t sent to a Catholic school. The Latin liturgy was rather a bore but I began to pay attention to the readings in English and how they related to the Sunday’s picture in the Missal.
[NB: Next 2 paragraphs were read aloud to the young church-planter – Preface refers]
I recall thinking it must have been awesome to have been around Jesus and seen all He said and did. Also, two especially significant verses heard or read in mother’s book got embedded into my brain and, although buried in the unconscious, never got overwritten.
One was of Jesus telling his disciples they’d do greater works than He was doing! The other was by one of His closest followers and who surmised at the close of his Gospel account: ‘If everything He’d done was written down there wouldn’t be enough room in the world to contain the books!’ (John 14:12 and 21:25)
In view of that eye-witness account and modern churches’ failure in the greater works, plus misrepresentation of their founder, I became convinced a lot of what Jesus taught had been lost, or even suppressed, by the early church. The truth must be out there somewhere, and so I decided to investigate and search it out for myself.
Next, having learned about the Western esoteric tradition, I was attracted at 21 years of age to a society that published books on the ‘mystical life’ and ‘secret doctrines’ of Jesus, thus claiming He was one of many perfected ‘masters’! Their claims were based upon Jesus introducing His disciples to the ‘mysteries’ – including reincarnation (Elijah coming as John the Baptist). Supposedly, these secret teachings continued down through the centuries in the practice of Gnosticism, the early Church’s great opponent that attracted false teachers and prophets. Gnostics claimed their initiation into the ‘mysteries’ brought them special revelations and wisdom, thereby setting them above ordinary followers of Jesus, as well as engendering all sorts of heretical theologies.
So, as a young man I got enticed and ensnared in the devil’s domain but only through the grace of Jesus Christ’s personal intervention was I brought into His Kingdom. He put me in a church that gave me a good grounding in scripture and pointing me in the right for receiving deliverance from the evil one. That’s another story, as outlined in Jesus Freed Me!
Having been immersed in that non-Christian, esoteric knowledge, I can attest that the difference between that deceptive discipline and holy revelations from the Lord is like the contrast between His Light and the devil’s darkness.
Born-again Christians have a personal, direct relationship with Jesus and so we can hear His voice ourselves, and receive and operate in gifts from the Holy Spirit. Even so, all we perceive from Father, Son and Holy Spirit is to be weighed and tested against the plumb-line of the scriptures.
In the next post (scheduled for tomorrow) Revd Thomas Harry, senior leader of Falkirk Full Gospel Church, brings anointed teaching on “several scriptures that will turn our thinking upside down, simply by rightly dividing the Word of truth, by interpreting scripture by using scripture…to give believers a sample of where God is taking this generation….”