God's Mysteries Revealed

By Ernie and Mary Kroeger

Mysteries intrigue us; they challenge our intellect!  The clues are not obvious, and we become absorbed in the search for the solution of the mystery.  Although many people enjoy reading mystery novels, very few are inspired to search for the solution to the mysteries contained in the scriptures.  Many Christians don't even realize that God wants to reveal these mysteries to them while they are still living on planet earth, so they are quite content to wait for the solution until they get to heaven. 

The natural mind looks for answers in the seen realm, and God's answers are in the unseen realm.  Therefore we need the Holy Spirit to reveal them to us.   In 1 Cor. 2:7-10a we read, "But we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age have understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written, `Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.   For to us God revealed them by His Spirit! "

The natural man thinks he can understand everything; anything that is beyond his understanding is foolishness to him.  Since he cannot understand spiritual realities, they are foolishness to him!  God's plan for humanity is far beyond his understanding and his wildest dreams!  For those who love God, He has prepared things that are way beyond natural man's ability to understand!  These wonderful things are not in the seen realm, but in the unseen realm, so they have to be revealed to us.  They are only revealed to those who love God and have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying.  Only those who have a living relationship with God in Christ will hear the Spirit's teaching! So let's look at some of the mysteries He has revealed.


In Ephesians 1:9-10 we read, "He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, a summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth." 

Our natural mind thinks it knows God's will for us.  It reasons that since God is good, He only wants good things to happen to us.  Although this is true, we forget that our definition of good has to match God's definition of good.  God includes as good everything that draws us closer to Him and helps to change us into His image.  Every experience and every fiery dart that helps us get rid of our wrong thoughts and our futile imaginations, is good.  According to our understanding, it was a dark and terrible tragedy when death entered this perfect world of peace and harmony.  Yet this did not upset God's plans. In order for us to be in the image of God, we need to hate unrighteousness as much as He does. In fact, the tragedy of sin entering this world is not a permanent arrangement; it is only a temporary one.  After it has accomplished its purpose, ALL things will be summed up in Christ! 

Did only good things happen to Jesus Christ?  Were His sufferings ordained of God?  He learned obedience through the things He suffered.  Did they feel good?  Definitely not!  Were they good?  Yes, they were, for they were ordained of God.  Christ's obedience in the midst of His terrible onslaught of suffering gave Him a name that is above every other name.  God gave Him the highest realm of authority!   

God has a purpose for evil, and when it has served its purpose it will be vanquished.  When all things are summed up in Christ there will no longer be any evil, for there is no evil in Christ!   Humanity could never conceive or understand a plan that could accomplish this.  God's plan remained a mystery to humanity until it was revealed in Christ!   Even now, most Christians fail to comprehend the exceeding greatness of God's will for all humanity.  ALL things will be summed up in Christ!  ALL includes everyone; there is no exception! 

In 1 Cor. 15:20-28 we read, "But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.  For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.  But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming (presence), then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.  For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.  The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet.  But when He says, 'All things are put in subjection,' it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him.  When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also, will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all." 

When all things are summed up in Christ, the myth of an eternal physical hell fire will be done away with!  God will prove that He has the ability to accomplish His will!  He desires and declares that all will be reconciled to Him.  He will prove that Christ's obedience is greater than Adam's disobedience!  He will prove that man's will cannot defeat His will!   The myth of man's free will, will be abolished, as well as all other myths about God! 

All things have been put under Christ, but at present we don't see that.  However, the day will come when this becomes evident to all! After Christ has subjected all things to Himself, He will hand it all back to the Father, so that God will be all in all!  This is the wonderful declaration and promise that has been revealed to us in Christ!  This is the revelation of God's will for ALL humanity! 



1 Timothy 3:9 states "But holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.” As we read this verse a number of questions immediately come to mind.  Why is faith a mystery, and what makes it a mystery?

There are many kinds of faith.  We can have faith in our ability, in the stock market, in a friend, in the doctrines of our church, in human logic, in our intelligence, in our government, in our positive confession, etc.  Some people also have faith in the superstitious realm in which a four-leafed clover and a rabbit's foot have special merit.  This is the faith the world is familiar with.  

We notice that Paul is speaking of a special kind of faith, for he says, "the faith".  He is speaking of the faith that is rooted in Christ, for He is the truth, and He is infallible!  Faith that is not rooted in truth will not bring us the desired results!   Only faith that is rooted in Christ is completely trustworthy!  Therefore it can be trusted to bring the results that God has ordained!  This faith is a living confidence in the very essence of the living God and His promises!  It can only be understood by those who have had their eyes illumined by the Holy Spirit!  This living faith is hidden from the world!  It remains a mystery to all who are still walking in the blindness of natural thinking.  Living faith is "THE FAITH"; it has its foundation and fulfillment in Christ!  This faith remains a mystery to those who do not associate it with the crucified and resurrected Lord.  This is the faith of which Paul states, "Whatever is not from faith is sin." (Romans 14:23) 

In 2 Cor. 13:5 Paul tells us that we are to examine ourselves. How do we examine ourselves?  Do we examine the old Adam man in whom we used to be? Do we list all our failures and shortcomings that God has already forgiven and forgotten?  Let's listen to Paul's answer.  We are to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith!   Who is the source of our faith?  Is it Christ or is it self?  Paul wants us to realize that if Christ is in us, His life, truth and resurrection are actively working in us to change us into His image!  If Christ is in us, we are in the faith.   We need to recognize this!  


In Ephesians 6:19,20 we read, "And pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given unto me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."


The word `gospel' means good news.  Our daily newspapers are generally full of bad news; occasionally we hear some good news, but there is no mystery about that news.  The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is different, and it is important to know the difference.  Paul emphasizes the fact that he has to make the mystery of the gospel known. 


Things that are a mystery to us are not a mystery to God.  His ways are mysteries to us because we don't understand the spiritual realm, neither can we conceive the magnitude of His wonderful salvation.  The good news of the gospel finds its fulfillment spiritually!  It tells us that Christ is our Savior, and that we can rest from our own works for righteousness!  It frees us from our slavery to self, from our bondage to the law and its fearful condemnation that accompanies every failure to comply in even the minutest detail. 


The good news of the gospel is Jesus Christ!  It has nothing to do with the law and long lists of dos and don'ts.  It is all about telling the world that God loves every individual, and that in Christ their sins are forgiven and that they have been reconciled to God!  In Christ God’s love for hurting humanity is revealed.  Therefore everyone can repent of his unbelief and receive reconciliation! "Now all these things are of God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation."  (2 Cor. 5:18-19)   This is the good news of the gospel, and it is good news for ALL people! 


Ephesians 5:32 states, "This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church."  Here Paul compares the marriage relationship with the relationship that Christ has with the church.   A union between Christ and the church has taken place!   

This concept of relationship is missed by those who think the church is a building.  In common conversation people talk of going to church, and of beautiful churches with stained glass windows and high steeples, and things like that.  We are taught that believers need to join a church.  We like to know to which church the people with whom we are in contact belong, so that we have some knowledge of what they believe. This understanding of "church" is foreign to the scriptures, and therefore we have to chuck it. 

The Greek word "ekklesia" from which we get our English word "church", actually means an assembly, or a gathering of called-out ones.  Since the church is a people, it is a living organism - not a building or an organization.  It is built on the divine revelation that Jesus Christ is the Son of God!  In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said, "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it." The context reveals that it is on Peter's confession, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,'' that the church is built.  So we see that the church is individually and as a group composed of people who have been called out of the world and into a living relationship with the Lord.  This enables us to understand that we cannot join a church; we, the believers - ARE the church! 

Understanding this concept is the key to understanding that the church is a living organism.  It is not an organization, a denomination, a certain group of people, a building, or a certain religion.  It is time for us to realize that we are the church.  We are the temple of God; we are a building fitly framed together!   The church meets at a certain house.  Since we are the church, we cannot go to church; we cannot go to something we already are.   

This brings us into the glorious revelation that we are vitally connected to our Lord Jesus Christ!    We have been called out of the world of darkness, death and despair; we have been brought into the very life, light and love that Jesus Christ is! 

God has a PURPOSE for us, and this purpose is subject to Christ's purpose.  Jesus said that He is the builder of His church. He chooses the materials that are needed for His building.  He has called us to be the building material for His dwelling place.  In order to fit into the niche He has for us, we have to be molded and structured to be living sons of God.  Since He is life, He can only dwell in life!  Everything that pertains to unrighteousness and death has to be discarded.  Christ is the builder, and the whole building is fitly framed and built together of sons of God.  All sing the praises of God in glorious harmony.

The church of our Lord Jesus Christ consists of all who have received the revelation that Jesus is the Christ, the anointed One!  They understand that His church is spiritual, and therefore it is in the unseen realm. This remains a mystery to those who are looking for a church or denomination to emerge in the physical realm to be His church.   Our relationship is not with a building and a set of doctrines and rules.   We have a glorious relationship with our Lord; we meet together to enjoy the presence of the Lord and to encourage one another in our most holy faith!  This is the revelation of the mystery of the church!



The following verses help us to understand the mystery of Christ. "Praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak."  (Colossians 4:3,4)  "For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body; so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit." (1 Corinthians 12:12-13).  "That is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory:" (Colossians 1:26,27)"

Paul encountered a lot of rejection and persecution from the Jews because they did not understand his message.  The mind of the Jews was firmly entrenched in the old covenant, so the new covenant remained a mystery to them.  They liked the idea that they were special to God, and therefore superior to the Gentiles. They found it just as difficult to leave their comfortable rituals and traditions as Christians do today. But in order to embrace the spiritual, we have to leave our old thinking - our comfortable pew!  Those who cling to the old will persecute the sons of promise, just as Ishmael persecuted Isaac.  Paul experienced persecution by the unbelieving Jews, and the chosen ones today are persecuted by the organized church.  

The word "Christ" means anointing or Messiah.  As long as we see Jesus Christ as an individual, He will remain a mystery to us.   We may recognize that Jesus is the Christ, yet fail to realize that we are a part of Him.  He is the Head and we are the body.  Christ is not complete without His body!  We need to understand the corporate aspect of Christ!  He is the beginning of a new humanity! 

There are only two corporate men in the scriptures - Adam and Christ, so we are either in one or the other.  If we only see Christ Jesus as He was when He walked the streets of Galilee, He will remain a mystery to us. In 2 Cor. 5:16 Paul tells us that we are no longer to see Him as a physical man.  We need to remember that we are part of Christ's body.   He is not complete without His body!  Jesus is the Christ, and we are the Lord's Christ.  In Ephesians 1:23 we read that His body is "the fullness of Him who fills all in all."  What a revelation!  Christ is the anointed One, and we are His anointed ones!

His "anointed ones" include all believers!  In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile!  Both Jew and Gentile are put into Christ, the new Man!  Christ is the truth, and we are part of His body of truth!  We are taken out of Adam, the body of lies and deception, and put into Christ, the truth!  Furthermore, Christ is in us!  It says, "Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27)  Truth resides in us, for Christ has given us His mind! In order to dwell in truth, we have to relinquish our natural understanding of spiritual realities, and receive Christ's understanding!   What a wonderful plan God has for His creation! 



"But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets." (Rev. 10:7). Authority is vested in this angel.  In the preceding verses it tells us that this angel swears by the Creator of all things that there shall no longer be a delay in bringing about the fulfillment of what was spoken by the prophets. Then the mystery of God is finished.

"In the days when the seventh angel sounds." The word translated as "days" means a period of time. Day also refers to light; the seventh angel is bringing a message of light and understanding! This message is being sounded today. We are always intrigued by mysteries; we want to solve them! God's ways are a mystery to us for they are beyond our natural understanding. The open book tells us that God does not want it to remain a mystery to us.

God's promises have to be understood spiritually. In the natural realm they remain a mystery to us, so we need clues to help us understand them spiritually. The prophets had proclaimed the coming of the Messiah, a release from all bondage, and the coming of a new day when there would be a new people and a new creation! But God's people did not understand that this new creation would be a spiritual one. Since people thought that the fulfillment of these promises would come in the natural realm, they did not recognize the fulfillment in Christ; it remained a mystery to them.

This mystery was not solved until Paul came and boldly proclaimed, "That I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col. 1:25b-27) This is the true spiritual fulfillment!

The formation of this new nation in Christ began when people from different parts of the world had gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, and the Holy Spirit was poured out. At that time they also received a new law - the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus! The mystery was finished, but it was still not understood!  Even the leaders did not understand that Christ had come to be in a people, and that the Spirit was actually the Lord, and that Christ was the beginning of a new spiritual humanity in which there is neither Jew nor Gentile. All are one in Christ.  Since Christ is in us, we no longer see Him as a physical being. Even today, many don't understand the mystery of "Christ in you, the hope of glory."  However the angel has declared that the time is now, and the revelation of its meaning is entering the hearts of overcomers everywhere!




"To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand." (Luke 8:10)  "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, `Look, here it is!' or 'There it is!'  For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst."  (Luke 17:20-21)  " Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God…Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:3,5,6)  "For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Rom. 14:17)  "Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable." (1 Cor. 15:50)

God's kingdom remains a mystery to us when we look for it in the natural realm.  The Jews looked (and are still looking) for a Messiah who will be another king David - one who would free them from all Gentile governments.  As long as we look for a deliverer in the natural realm, we miss seeing our true Messiah!  We must realize that we need to be delivered from our self-life!  Although Jesus plainly taught that the kingdom of God cannot be seen, Christians today are still looking for a physical Jesus to come from the sky to establish His kingdom in Jerusalem.  Just as the Jews missed embracing their Messiah when He was in their midst, so Christians today are missing their Messiah because they do not recognize that He is within them and that the kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom.

Jesus taught about the kingdom of heaven in parables. Let's take a brief look at the one in Matt. 18:23-35.  We all know this story of the man who was forgiven an exceedingly great debt, and later would not forgive a man who owed him a paltry sum of money. We may only think of it as a teaching on forgiveness; however in verse 23 Jesus said that this parable was about the kingdom of heaven.  In this parable He contrasted the beauty of God's kingdom of grace and forgiveness with the harsh legality of the kingdom in which they were living!  It also illustrates how we enjoy God's grace and mercy, yet want to apply the law of Moses (our Bible club) to those who offend us.  

Jesus knew that these parables would not be understood at that time, for the natural mind cannot understand spiritual realities.  It cannot understand the things that come from the Spirit of God.  To understand the mysteries of God's ways, we need to be taught by the Holy Spirit. . 

Jesus also said that the kingdom of God was in their midst.  What did He mean by that?  He was saying that He is the kingdom of God.  He is the rule or government of God!  Therefore the kingdom of Good with its wonderful government could not be established until after Christ's death, resurrection, and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit.  The government of the kingdom of God is the rule of the Holy Spirit within us.  God has poured His Spirit into our hearts to rule and guide us and to give us His nature. Just as Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit and walked in total obedience to the Spirit's directives, so we need to have spiritual ears to hear the Spirit!  Hearing the Spirit includes obedience to the Spirit's teaching.  When the kingdom of God governs us, changes in our behavior take place.  We will love our enemies and pray for those who mistreat us.   We will love them into the kingdom of God! 

Paul gives us a definition of the kingdom of God. It is "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."  It is NOT in the seen realm.  It is NOT in natural Jerusalem that is in slavery with its children!  So we can quit waiting for Him to come down from the sky to establish His kingdom in Jerusalem. It is within those who have been born again.  Jesus said that we need the new birth to enter in!  It transforms us into spiritual beings, and we receive the spiritual mind of Christ.  Then we need to learn to walk in it.  In order to receive Christ's spiritual government we have to leave our old government of natural thinking.  All who are ruled by the Holy Spirit will do the will of God and manifest His nature while they are living on planet earth.  The mystery of the kingdom of God is solved when we see that it comes to us in the Spirit! 


"For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.  Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming."  (2 Thess. 2:7-8)  A more accurate translation of "the appearance of His coming" is given us in the Concordant Literal New Testament.  It reads, "by the advent of His presence."

Lawlessness is disobedience to the law.  It is an expression of superiority, for the lawless one declares that he does not have to submit to the law's requirements.  Is Paul referring to the law of Moses or to another law?  The law of Moses was not a universal law; it was only for Israel; the Gentiles were not under that law.  However, lawlessness is against all law.

The first universal law is the law of sin and death.  The second universal law came into being in Christ when the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost.  This is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:2)   It sets us free from the law of sin and death.  Yet there is a resistance in the heart of man to receive the life that is in Christ Jesus.  This resistance is manifested in lawlessness.

Attention is drawn to the fact that lawlessness operates as a mystery. Its mysterious being hides its destructiveness.  What is the mystery?  To find the answer we have to go back to Genesis 3, and see how lawlessness or iniquity came into this world.  There we see that the serpent first began his seductive reasoning by introducing doubt into Eve's mind regarding God's word.  Then he impressed her with the goodness of the forbidden fruit that contained both good and evil.  It contained a little good and a little evil as well as a lot of good and a lot of evil.  It looked beautiful!  When Eve saw that the fruit was good and that it would make her wise, she and Adam ate of it.

The mystery factor resides in its ability to present itself as being so good that people do not recognize its deadly poison.  The fruit looked good to Adam and Eve; it appealed to their physical senses.  Similarly, disobedience to God's word appeals to our selfhood.  It causes us to think that we are in charge of our life.  Therefore we think that we can work for our own righteousness, and make right choices and decisions.  We think this gives us the authority to compare ourselves with others and know where we are on the totem pole.  We therefore conclude that those who make wrong choices deserve to be cast into an eternal hell of fire.  This line of thinking makes us feel independent of our need of God.  It is exactly what the serpent told Eve! He said that she could become like God in disobedience.  It clothes disobedience in good deeds, making the exterior look beautiful without having to be subservient to God.  But our own efforts can never produce the righteousness of Christ in us!

According to the scriptures, there are only two men, Adam and Christ.  In Adam all die and in Christ all are made alive.  Since there is no lawlessness in the mind of Christ, lawlessness must be working in all who are living according to the dictates of their carnal mind - the mind of Adam!  Adam is the man of sin, for he brought sin and death into the world. Iniquity or lawlessness has to do with man, for apart from humanity there would be no lawlessness.  It is the expression of what is in the heart of man. 

In 2 Thess. 2:4 we read, "Who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple (Greek, NAOS) of God, displaying himself as being God."   Who is this man of sin or antichrist who sits as god in the temple of God?  Many Christians think that this man is yet to be born, and that he will take his seat in the temple in Jerusalem, and there establish his godless rule over the whole world.  The Greek word NAOS gives us the key to the answer of this question.  NAOS always speaks of the temple of our body.  Whenever a physical temple is meant, the Greek HIERON is used.  Paul, writing under the anointing of God, did not make a mistake by penning NAOS.  This man of sin resides within humanity. It is the flesh, the natural thinking that is always against the Spirit.  It always wars against the spiritual mind of Christ, and sets itself up as knowing better that God.  In this way he displays himself as being god.  He is revealed when we recognize his true being.  If we do not receive this revelation, we will think that he is yet to be born.    

"…only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way " Who restrains our ability to recognize the deception?  Isn't it the man of sin who sits as god in the temple of our body?  It is he who keeps us in blindness to our need of the true God.    However, he cannot keep us in blindness and ignorance forever.  He is slain by the brightness of Christ's presence. The man of sin cannot live in the light and life of Christ.  To win the victory we need to have a love for the truth (v. 10, keep our eyes fixed on Christ and live in His presence!


Humanity’s deception that in disobedience it can become like God, is revealed or exposed by truth; and the myth, that by choosing the good in evil, we can attain  the righteousness of God, is punctured. Living in obedience to the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, slays all lawlessness and does away with all iniquity!

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