The Revealer of Mysteries
There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries… (Daniel 2:28)
Before I begin this article I would like to define the word mystery. What do you think of when you think of a mystery? Most of us think of a mystery as a story, most often a crime or murder story in which the plot is kept a secret until the very end. We must continue reading to the end of the story to discover the truth. When I looked up the word mystery online I found several definitions which are all similar in nature. They are as follows:
- Anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown.
- A novel, short story, play etc. whose plot remains puzzlingly unsettled until the end.
- Any truth that is unknowable except by divine nature.
The books and authors which come to mind for me at the mention of a Mystery are books written for children, namely the Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene or the Hardy Boys written by Frank and Joe Hardy. In the adult world of books I would think of authors like James Patterson, Andrew Cross, Richard Castle, Nora Roberts and Phyllis Whitney, just to name a few. The definition above which best fits what I want to write about today however is the third one – any truth that is unknowable except by divine nature.
Some years ago as I sat in church with my small grandson sitting beside me our pastor began his sermon with the words; Listen, [while] I tell you a mystery. (1Corinthians 15: 51) My grandson who was maybe 6 years old at the time whispered in my ear; Grandma, Scooby Doo is a mystery. It brought a smile to my face, but at the same time I was amazed that a six year old child was able to grasp the concept of the word mystery. The Scooby Doo cartoons which children watch are indeed short story mysteries. I don’t always think their content is necessarily good for children but in this case it was something he could relate to. It made him sit up and take notice of what was being said.
|A Book of Mysteries|
What do you think about the Bible? Is the story of God a mystery? Much of the story of the Bible is very clear, especially what we need to know for our salvation. In the first chapter of Genesis God clearly tells us how He created the world in which we live, and how he made the first man and woman. He instituted marriage when He said; for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Sex was not meant to be a casual thing. God made man and woman to fit together perfectly both physically and emotionally. Sex is a precious gift from Him. He meant for it to be between one man and one woman within the commitment of marriage for a lifetime. Through that union He blesses couples with children. It is a mystery to us how the two can become one and yet still be two, but God tells us that this is true and not something to be taken lightly.
|The first people|
God also tells us how the first man and woman sinned and reveals to us that sin is like a disease which is inherited and passed down from generation to generation. He tells us that the result of that sin is death for all people. In His Word, the Holy Bible, we see His unconditional love for us in that He rescued us from eternal death through the perfect life, the sacrifice, death and resurrection of His one and only Son, Jesus Christ. It is a mystery to us how Jesus can be true man (human) and true God all in one being.
There is much in God’s Word that we believe by faith – things that no human is able to grasp. There are beings in the spiritual realm which we cannot see – the angels both good and bad, and Satan, yet we know they are real because God tells us so.
|Heaven – God’s Throne|
We cannot see heaven with our human eyes, but God tells us it is real. We don’t know where exactly it is, or what exactly it will be like, but He gives us hints. In Revelation 21 we are given a vivid description of the glory and beauty of heaven. In reality there are no words in any human language which can truly describe what it will be like, but God wants us to know that heaven is something to look forward to rather than something to fear. He wants us to understand that it will be a place of beauty, peace, safety and love. We can trust His promise that it will be wonderful and that He has reserved a place there for all who love Him and believe in Him which is all we need to know for now. On the day we are called from this earth the mystery of heaven will be revealed to us.
|One God – Three Persons|
It is a mystery to us how God is one God but three separate persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We refer to Him as the Triune God meaning three in one. We are aware that all three were present at creation because He tells us in the first chapter of Genesis; In the beginning God (being God the Father) created the heavens and the earth…and the Spirit (being God the Holy Spirit) of God was hovering over the waters. We know that Jesus, the second person of the Trinity was there in the beginning also because we are told in John 1:1; In the beginning was the Word (Jesus) and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God. He was with God in the beginning. God also refers to Himself as Us (plural) in verse 26 of Genesis chapter one where we read; Then God said, “let us make man in our image, in our likeness …
|He Rose from death|
It is a mystery to us how Jesus rose from death and was still flesh and blood, but was able to appear and disappear at will and able to walk through walls. He appeared in a room with His disciples without using the door. We are told that the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, and Jesus came and stood among them… (John 20:19). This happened on two separate occasions after He had risen from the dead. He showed them the holes in his hands and feet and invited them to touch Him and see that He had flesh and bones (Luke 24: 36-49). He even ate with them.
It is a mystery how he appeared out of nowhere to Mary Magdalene at the tomb (Mark 16:9-20) and to the disciples on the road to Emmaus and didn’t allow them to recognize Him at first (Luke 24:13-34). It is a mystery how Jesus, as He was blessing His disciples, began to rise into heaven and disappear behind the clouds. (Luke 24:50-53)
No, the Holy Bible is not the first book that would naturally come to mind when naming a good mystery but there are many mysteries hidden in God’s Word. I have touched on only a few. The Bible is actually a living mystery. It is the true story of the world from beginning to end and it is unfolding before our very eyes. The answers to all our questions will be revealed, either when God calls us to our eternal home, or when Jesus comes back to judge the world, whichever comes first for each of us.
|When the time had fully come …|
In the meantime we must wait patiently and rather than sit and wonder or worry when it will happen, He wants us to use our time of grace to His glory. There is much work to be done. There are many people in the world who don’t yet know Him and all He has done for us through His Son. He wants us to tell everyone we can about the way to heaven. He wants us to work unceasingly planting the seeds of His Word in hearts that don’t know Him so that the Holy Spirit can ignite the flame of faith and lead them to an eternity in glory. He has promised He will come back and His promises never fail.
As God waited for just the right time to send Jesus into the world the first time – But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son…(Galatians 4:4), so also He will wait until just the right time to send Him back the second time. He loves all people as the crown of His creation and does not want anyone to be lost. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
|He will come again|
We can look forward to the day when Jesus comes back in all His glory. It will be a glorious day. It is described by the apostle Paul in his first letter to the Thessalonians where he states; according to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, [will see Him] come down from heaven, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ (all believers who have died since the beginning of time) will rise first. After that, we who are still alive (those believers still living)…will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1Thessalonions 4: 13-18) So we must press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called [us] heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)
|God’s servants – our protectors|
When Jesus comes back all of our questions will be answered. The mystery will be solved for us. We will ascend into heaven in the same way He did. We will see it with our own eyes. We will meet all three persons of the Trinity in one God face to face and we will understand how it all works. We will see the Holy angels who serve Him as our guardians in this life. The bodies and souls of all who have died will be reunited – believers to live with God and unbelievers to go to eternal punishment. We will no longer have to suffer from the imperfections of body and mind which challenge us here on earth. We will each have our own body and it will be glorified like that of Christ. There will be no need to lock doors for fear of intruders. We will be safe in His arms forever.
Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet…The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15: 51, 52, 56)
In His holy name – Gloria Dei!