A Mystery Solved
Nothing is more satisfying than to pick up a mystery
and begin to read it, and think you know whodunit. Granted, you're probably
wrong more than 2/3 of the time, but most of the time, part way through, it
looks to you as though the butler hid the knife, tricked the maid into knocking
on the door, while the master of the house was sleeping, and well, you know...
he hid the knife in the gardener's shed. The gardener had a motive... he was
being discharged by the owner and had been heard threatening him the same day.
The butler, however, owed the master 700 shillings and was being pressured to
pay up, since that gambling debt the master owed, that nobody knew about, had
to be paid or else.
Essie, the nosy neighbor, left her fingerprints on the knife, because she had
been tricked into borrowing it to prune a tree. Anyway, you get the picture.
But you know, (even though no one else does), that it's really the master's
sister who did it, because she's still holding a grudge over how they handled
seems so obvious. Why doesn't the inspector wake up? He's barking up the wrong
tree. Doesn't he know that the butler couldn't have done it? You race to the
last chapter, skipping no less than a third of the book, seeking to prove that
your wisdom borders on that of Alfred Hitchcock and Earle Stanley Gardner
combined. But alas, the author of the book somehow missed the obvious. It
wasn't the sister at all. It was Melvin Mortenheimer, the delivery boy for the
florist who had been in love with the other daughter, and was bitter that he
was not allowed to marry her. What a silly conclusion. You almost wish you'd
never read it. Oh, well, at least the mystery has been solved.
exciting to solve a mystery. And that is why for generations a handful of
simple plots have been resurrected with slightly different characters and have
sold millions of books, been made into thousands of movies, and hundreds of
plays. Everybody loves a mystery. Because everybody loves to be the one to
seems to understand that. He loves mysteries, too. All throughout the New
Testament, the theme is the revelation of a great mystery. The Gospel is a
miraculous, marvelous mystery story. It is a secret that has been hidden for
generations. Everywhere there were hidden clues. Page after page promises that
the day was coming when the secret would be revealed. The answer to the
greatest whodunit of the ages would one day be unveiled. The Old Testament
prophets with their pipes and cloaks and magnifying glasses searched for the
answer. They thought they had an idea. But, the revelation is ours. We have
been made heirs to the last chapter. The answer is in our hands. It is no
wonder, then, that the word "mystery" played such a big part in the
New Testament. Paul wrote of it no less than twelve times. The mystery of
eternity had been solved at last. No small wonder, then, that the apostle, in
his first letter to young Timothy, went to such great lengths to explain it.
left Paul, he had been interviewing men for positions of leadership in the
local church. He had been giving them specific instructions about both the
characteristics and the character of the godly man. He spoke of two basic
positions that must be filled in the local fellowship: the role of elder, (those
who would act as spiritual shepherds) and the role of deacon (those who would
act as spiritual servants). The requirements were amazingly similar for both
Paul inserts a parenthesis, explaining the reason he was writing. It went like
These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you
But if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you
ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the
living God; the pillar and ground of truth.
suddenly inserts an explanation for the letter, which by now is about half
finished. It is Paul's goal, if it be God's will, to see Timothy face to face
before long. But Paul is not sure God will allow that. So he is writing this
letter to remind young Tim to teach the Ephesians, "to conduct themselves
in the house of God". Now Paul does something unusual. He literally breaks
into song. He begins to pour out an anthem of the revelation of God's great
mystery. Listen to what Paul says:
And without controversy, great is the mystery of
godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by
angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in
seems to be common knowledge among many biblical scholars that these words
became a hymn that was sung in the early church, and while there was a kind of
poetic lilt to the lyrics, the message was heavy.
particular revelation is the culmination of the entire gospel rolled into one
brief anthem of worship. It is the ultimate mystery revealed. But before we
look at what it says, let's take a walk through Scripture and look at the other
places that Greek word musterion is used.
It is a
most unusual journey. We will see that God has a number of special secrets he
has revealed only to "those who have eyes to see". There are those to
whom the secrets will remain secrets, and those to whom the answers are clear.
Our title and our outline:
Secret of the Secrets
Secrets of the Kingdom
Secret of the Israeli Veil
Secret of the Graveyard
Secret of the Newfound Door
Secret of the Angel Academy
Secret of the Marriage Vow
Secret of the Invisible One
The Secret of the Secrets
Bible is filled with secrets. And it is filled with secrets about the secrets.
Christianity is actually a "secret" society with open membership.
"Whosever will" may join, but once in, there are things those
"inside" come to know that those "outside" never can. And
no one can break the code. It is the Order of GOSYS. GOSYS stands
for "Grace Only Saved Your Soul", and once you recognize that and
receive God's gift, you are "in" Christ. You are "in" the
secret society of "Born Ones". Once in, you receive your "secret
decoder". His name is the Holy Spirit. He acts as an interpreter who takes
the secrets of the Kingdom and reveals them to those who are "in"
Christ. And the secrets about the secrets tell the story.
look at what the Scripture says first, then, about the secrets themselves:
Two in particular must be noted:
These secrets are hidden by God from all unbelievers, but revealed to every
believer... What that
means is that an unbeliever cannot understand or interpret spiritual
truth. Jesus said in Mark 4:11:
"To you it has been given to know the mystery
of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in
wrote in I Corinthians 2:14,
"the natural man (the unbeliever) does not receive
the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he
know them, because they are spiritually discerned." In verse 7, however,
he said this:
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden
wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the
rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the
Lord of glory...but as it is written; Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor
have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those
who love Him..
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit... Now
we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God,
that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God."
you're in the society or not. If you are, all the truth that exists is yours.
If you're not, all your good works, all your education, all your religiosity
won't help. The secrets of the kingdom are hidden from you. And they always
God's secrets are locked up in His Word, and when it was completed, everything
hidden was made known... but only to those who had eyes to see).
"but in the days of the sounding of the seventh
angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He
declared to His servants the prophets."
"For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the
prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the
plagues that are written in this book..."
secrets are all out. It's all in the handbook. God's not going to find some
prophet in Louisiana or Beirut or Scotland or Korea and whisper something new
in his ear that man has never heard before. He's not going to invent some new
secrets and give exclusive rights to a chosen few. Satan does that. God
doesn't. God's Word is finished.
"You shall not add to the word which I command you,
nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which
I command you."
secrets about the secrets are two-fold: 1) No unbeliever can understand them
and all believers can. 2) There are no new secrets. Everything that ever will
be revealed has been revealed in the manual of the society... The Word of God.
The Secrets of the Kingdom
the secrets themselves. The Bible is filled with them, but we will only look at
those that the Scripture specifically refers to with that one Greek word
(musterion). Imagine, if you will, that you are in your favorite bookstore, and
there in the section marked "mysteries" are all your favorite
authors. Suddenly your eye strikes another shelf. The sign says "Mysteries
of The Kingdom Series" Jehovah God, author. Imagine that, because it is
exactly what we are about to see. We will look at six of them, and though the
names we are giving them are fictional, the secrets contained therein are not.
The Secret of the Israeli Veil
first title to catch your attention is called "The Secret of the Israeli
Veil". The subtitle below adds "They see, but they do not
see". Sounds intriguing, doesn't it? Let's read the jacket on the book
and see just what it's about. Apparently it comes from Romans 11:25. There it
"I do not desire, brethren, that you should be
ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that
blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has
mystery! But you and I know the answer. The clues are written for all to see,
but they do not have eyes to see, so they see not. The mystery has been
revealed. It is this: Israel has a veil over its eyes, so that except for
isolated Jews who choose to believe, the nation cannot see who Jesus is! God,
you see, has allowed a veil to cover their spirits and they think Jesus was a
good man, or a hypocrite, or even a phony! But they do not know He was God. And
they won't know. They won't understand... until the last gentile has been
saved. Then the mystery will be revealed to them as well. So God is saying...
"I've got a secret. Would you like to know what it is? It is that the Jews
have been purposefully blinded until the time of the gentiles has passed."
don't try to share that secret with anyone who is not a Christian. Why? God
didn't intend for you to. It's one of the secrets of the society of the saints.
Sharing it with someone else is like speaking in a foreign tongue; they do not
The Secret of the Graveyard
number two has an equally intriguing title. You almost have to buy that
one and see the plot unfold. It's called "The Secret of the
Graveyard". It's found in I Corinthians 15:51. Listen:
"Behold, I tell you a mystery... We shall not
all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an
eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be
raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed... 'Oh death where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory'?"
saying... here's another secret the unbeliever cannot grasp. No wonder those
outside of Christ are so afraid of death. No wonder the world is trying so
desperately to prolong life even at the expense of adding pain and suffering
and additional grief. They cannot understand... death is the beginning!
Death is the door through which man enters into a world where there is no pain;
there is no suffering; there is no grief. Unbelieving man does not have that
hope and cannot understand that truth. But we do... and we can.
glorious day, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, in a split second of
time so fast it is immeasurable, a trumpet will blast; and those who have died
"in Christ" will be given brand new bodies. Their graves will be
emptied; they will receive bodies likened to Christ's glorious resurrection
body... and we shall be changed. Oh, Beloved, these pain-riddled, age assaulted
bodies of ours are going the way of the Dempsey Dumpster. We won't ever have to
mess with them again. Your arthritis will be cured. Your ailing heart will beat
like that of a child. Your eyesight will be restored. Your mind will function
with the quickness of a genius. Your body will be so free from encumbrances you
will be able to pass through space and through matter as though it were not
won't need a suburban to get from here to there. You won't need an airline
ticket to reach your destination. You won't have to run to avoid missing the
last bus or the next service or the beginning of school. You won't have to run
or rush at all. You will but decide and you will be where you decide to be. And
in a body that cannot hurt; cannot weaken; cannot die. It's a mystery! But you
know, and I know, the secret. The secret of the graveyard need never trouble us
The Secret of the Newfound Door
next novel on the shelf of God's mystery section is entitled "The Mystery
of the newfound door". The cover indicates it came from an original story
written by a man named Saul of Tarsus, though that apparently was his
pre-conversion pen name. In Ephesians, chapter 3:1, we read,
"I Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you
Gentiles-if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which
was given to me for you... how that by revelation, He made known to me the mystery
(as I have briefly written already) by which, when you read, you may understand
my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men,
as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets:
that the gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of
His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister
according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working
of His power."
saying, "Hey, guys, I've learned another secret! I know who dunit! God
did! God has opened the door of Heaven to the gentiles", Paul is saying
that he's been appointed to tell the world. This Gospel that once was reserved
only for His chosen Jews is now available to all. Read all about! The mystery's
been solved. God has opened a newfound door to Heaven. And you are
invited to come in.
The Secret of the Academy of Angels
number four takes us straight to heaven for a glimpse at choir practice, and a
word about the whispering taking place in the cloak room at the Eternal Church
of Heaven. Angela Angel is telling Cherry Abum what she just saw. "Cherry,
the young soprano, is saying, "I just looked down from heaven, and I saw a
man named Paul, and he was offering heaven to gentiles. Wow! How wise is our
God. He has taken the foolishness of men and turned it for His Glory. The Jews
rejected His only Son, so He used that rejection to turn the whole world free
from sin. Praise God.!"
I think not. Look at Ephesians 3:8-11: Listen to the Amplified New Testament:
"To me, though I am the very least of all the saints
was granted and graciously entrusted; to proclaim to the Gentiles the unending
(boundless, fathomless, incalculable and exhaustless) riches of Christ‑
wealth which no human being could have searched out.
Also to enlighten all men and make plain to them what is
the plan [regarding the Gentiles and providing for the salvation of all men,]
of the mystery kept hidden through the ages and concealed until now in [the
mind of] :God Who created all things by Christ Jesus.
[The purpose is] that through the church the complicated,
many-sided wisdom of God in all its infinite variety and innumerable aspects
might now be made known to the angelic rulers and authorities (principalities
and powers) in the heavenly sphere. This is in accordance with the terms of the
eternal and timeless purpose which He has realized and carried into effect, in
the person of Jesus Christ, our Lord."
mystery has been solved. Why did God choose the precise moment He did and the
exact way He did to reveal His plan to the Gentiles through Paul? Because there
is an academy for angels in Heaven, and you and I are their instructors. They
learn by watching us. And the moment God revealed His plan to the Gentiles, the
angelic host burst into song because they even more perfectly than before
understood the manifold wisdom of God.
The Secret of the Marriage Vow
number five is revealed every time two believers walk down the aisle and say
"I Do". It is the mystery of the marriage vow. Paul speaks of it in
Ephesians 5:31-32: It reads:
"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.
This is a great mystery... but I speak concerning Christ and the
mystery. Why did God design marriage the way He did? Why did God call Israel
His bride? Why does a man leave his parents and give himself solely to his
wife? Because our Savior left His Father in Heaven and came to take us as his
bride. He will cleave to us, and we shall be one with Him even as His very
Spirit indwells us and guarantees that He will never leave us no matter
what. It's a mystery! God just revealed the secret. It is that the husband
represents Christ, and the wife represents the church in God's scheme of
things. This is why marriage was designed to be permanent, because our
relationship with Him is permanent. It's a mystery. But Paul is saying, it need
no longer be a secret to the Christian. The unbeliever can't comprehend this
truth. But we can...and we must.
The Secret of the Invisible One
this next title. It sounds mysterious indeed, "The Secret of the
Invisible One". Sounds like the kind of stuff great stories are made of.
1:26,27 is where this mystery is solved. Listen to what it says:
"I, (Paul) am made a minister, according to the
dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; 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."
within... that's the mystery. How to live this Christian life? That's the
question. Christ in you, the hope of glory, that's the answer. That's
the secret revealed. It is a mystery the unbeliever cannot fathom. God live in
you? That makes no sense to the natural mind. But the mysteries of the
kingdom are not supposed to make sense to the natural mind. Ah, but to those who
have eyes to see, nothing else makes sense. The invisible God is
alive... in me! in you! The mystery of the one within... praise God He has
revealed it to us.
now to the mystery of mysteries. Back to I Timothy 3:16. "Great is the
mystery of godliness". What is the mystery of godliness? It is the whole
gamut of the mysteries unfolded. It is that God became a man so that man could
be inhabited by God. It is that God became a slave, so man could one day rule.
It is that God died so that man need never die. It is that those who
believe, even now, cannot only be spared the horrors of hell; not only
be assured the glories of heaven; but that any man, any woman, Jew or Gentile,
male or female, slave or free, could by receiving a simple gift in
child-like faith, actually have God Himself come to live in him; to live in
her, granting a taste of heaven on their way to heaven...the likeness of God in
the body of man. God inhabiting fallen man, "not by works of righteousness
which we have done, but according to His mercy..." That's the mystery of
mysteries....the mystery of godliness.
is one more time from the pen of Paul. Let's look at it:
he said: 'God was manifested in the flesh...''
living God, sinless, perfect, took on our humanity so we could one day share
His deity. Perfect God coming to rescue sinful man. Unless you believe that,
the mystery will never be solved for you. The secret of the ages, Christ in
you, will never become a reality. The whole counsel of God is that “though He
was God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, He made Himself
nothing... and became a man. And being found in fashion as a man, He chose
deliberately to humble Himself even unto the death of the Cross.”
is the mystery of godliness.
Secondly, Paul add: "He was vindicated by the Spirit." In the
flesh He died, in the Spirit He rose again triumphantly to reign forever. "He
was seen by angels". This angelic chorus who sits in the grandstands
observing the miracle of the grace they've never experienced actually
gathered around in Heaven and watched God die! They saw fallen man crucify
the Lord of glory, and they watched in awe as He who could have called ten
thousand angels, submitted to the death of a criminal to save the souls of
the likes of us. They must have been volunteering by the legion to rush to His
side. They must have wept such tears that the Heavens broke forth with a
torrential rain at the sight of the Master, the incarnate God, bleeding to
death on a Roman Cross
must have said to themselves... "This is a mystery". But, ah, Paul
goes on... "He was preached among the Gentiles." The God who
called the Jew out of nothing and gave them everything watched in anguish as
His own people crucified the King of Glory. And then the mystery began to unfold...
He called out a new people to Himself; a people who knew Him not. And you and I
became the heirs of God; the joint-heirs with Christ of all the riches of
was believed on in the world",
says Paul. This one who "came to His own and His own received Him
not" reached out to those who were not His own, and they began, one by one
to say "Yes". And "to as many as received Him, to them gave He
the power to become sons of God..." A mystery? Oh, dear God, what a
anthem concludes... "He was received up in glory". The
triumphant Christ, having broken forever the shackles of death, having
conquered sin and brought down the judge's gavel on the satanic host,
condemning them to an eventual eternal home where the worm never dies and the
fire is never quenched... this triumphant Christ ascended once again to assume
His rightful place at the right hand of the Father, where He, even now, ever
lives to make intercession for us.
a mystery! But the secret's out. The truth is known. Man who was destined to an
eternal hell has been given the keys to life... and we know who dunit... don't
we? Jesus did. God Himself gave Himself away... so you and I could enter into a
whole new realm of life; life as it was meant to be... reunited with the Creator
God; regenerated by His precious blood; returned to that state of holiness in
His sight that existed before the fall. Is that a mystery? To the unbeliever it
is indeed. It is the unsolved mystery of man.
those who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, the mystery has been
solved. The story has a wonderful ending. The enemy who caused it all will rot
in hell forever; redeemed man will be
caught up together one day soon in the Heavens with Him to forever be with The
Lord. Those who have died in Christ will have their resurrection bodies, in a
moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and we shall all be changed.
the end of the story. It is no longer a secret. It is a secret revealed. To
those who have ears to hear and eyes to see, the book is finished. The story is
complete. The end is in sight.
those who are, even right now, unsure of whether or not their names are written
in the Lamb's Book of Life, the secret remains a secret. The mystery has not
been solved. Man wants to write his own ending to the story, but no matter how
he writes it, it's not a happy ending.
have never received the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, what you
have just heard or read must seem to you like a mystery... and to you, it is.
Jesus Christ is beckoning to you even this moment. He wants to forgive you of
your sins; He wants to cleanse your heart. He wants to come into your life and
dwell there forever. His Father has personally prepared a mansion for you, and
He will take you one day into His very presence where there will be no sin, no
suffering, no sadness, no sorrow.
you have to do... is ask Him.
out and receive the gift of eternal life that He has purchased for you. Take Him,
and you have the gift. When you have Him, you have eternal life... and
the unsolved secrets of eternity will all be solved at last.
Christ will save your soul
mysteries of the ages...
mysteries no more!!