"And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven . . . " Matthew 13:10-11
Most of us are intrigued by mysteries. The word itself suggests something secret or hidden. The natural curiosity of man ‘wants to know’ the answers. "For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them."1 "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world."2
Paul continues this same theme in his letter to the Roman church, "Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith." 3 Paul is revealing a commandment that requires faith to obey it. He knew that Jesus had said "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."4 Paul continues this thought to the church of Corinth, with the understanding that ". . . we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."5 We speak in a mystery the wisdom of God. It’s no wonder the enemy is fighting ‘tongues’ so hard. He knows that God’s revealed word destroys the kingdom of darkness. Tongues with interpretation are prophetic and is a building block for the kingdom of God. Paul continues, "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."6 God is revealing a new nature that is coming our way from Him. Receiving the spirit of God is the key that opens this treasure. Jesus said ". . . he that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me’ and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me."7 Jesus is that treasure. The more we receive - the more treasure we have.
Paul is preparing the church for another mystery in this life-giving message, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."8 Jesus has come to his own in the generations that have preceded us. He is with us now in our generation and he is yet to come for those who follow after us. We are all his (Christ’s) by receiving him. The end that is coming is not a time. Jesus is the beginning and Jesus is the end. Jesus in his continuing reign will bring forth his body to the full nature (name) of the Father. Zion’s travail has brought this coming forth to every generation. The anointed ministries have fought the good fight seeing the presentation of this continuing birth into a world loved of God, but surely not worthy. "The first born among many brethren"9 passed through the veil, with his many membered body following. ". . . he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead . . . "10 At the presentation of the feet of the body of Christ (the full birth) then will be brought to pass the promise that the Lord spoke, "ye must be born again."
There is a misunderstanding surrounding the statements of the rebirth. The word ‘born’ [GENNAO or GENOS] in the Greek means ‘ regenerated from the Father’. The word ‘again’ [ANOTHEN] in the Greek means ‘from above’, ‘from the top’ or ‘from the beginning’. Jesus is the top, the head, the upright. He is also the beginning - the first born. The Lord’s statement could be read " ye must be regenerated from me."
Paul saw the joyous celebration of this event and began revealing the glorious change that was to occur.
"Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."11
Paul continues to speak of this coming event to the church of the Ephesians. "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him."12 "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ."13 "For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones."14 "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church."15 "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ."16
Paul’s summation to the church of the Colossians was the basis for this mystery. "Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil 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 glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."17
The Hope of Glory
The little word ‘is’ gave me some trouble in grade school. The conjugation of verbs based on their tense was a personal mystery to my young mind. But, I finally began to understand the past, present and future tenses of the English language. At least, enough to know that ‘is’ refers to the present tense. ‘Is’ is not ‘was’ or ‘will be’, it means now. This little word will separate the tares from the wheat as the angels of the Lord examine the harvest. The statement that reveals this, perhaps, the most emphatically came from John, "Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God."18 Jesus is not a two-timer. Jesus is not a God of only the past and the future. He is the God of NOW!! ". . . behold, now is the day of salvation."19 Every real ministry has preached and taught this. Religion teaches ‘ready . . . set . . . but not go.’ Sit down, be patient and when by and by comes, he was here, some day he will come back. Hello Philip!! ". . . Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not know me Philip?"20 Jesus is only invisible to the world. "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also."21 This present tense of his life is the cornerstone of the real church.
Jesus when commissioning the twelve disciples, "But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you."22 In preparing the disciples for ministry He began revealing His kingdom and the work of the King. His instructions as to ‘hallowing the Father’s name’ and ‘desiring the Kingdom to come’ he had taught earlier. He was now revealing the authority and leadership of the King.
When Jesus was demanded of the Pharisees, when the Kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."23
Paul was to later declare in his letter to the Romans, "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them (to show plainly): for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse."24
Jesus has made a promise to every person that he would manifest himself to them if they would keep his commandments and love him (see John 14:21). This personal one-on-one experience that is there for each of us is the foundation stone for being builded up in Christ. Knowing of him is not enough. We need to personally know him.
Paul, who had the tremendous Damascus Road experience with God, said in his letter to the Galatians that it pleased God "to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen."25 God is not followed because of the miracles that we witness, but because we have personally experienced Jesus.
It is no wonder Paul compared his preaching to a travail in his statement, "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you."26 He knew that each of us, because of our personal relationship with Jesus would understand the ‘greater is he that is in us, than he that is in the world’ principle. If we have been subject to the anointed word, we have and are maturing. As we have grown our spiritual appetites have also increased. The Christ in us calls for more than just milk.
The church of Corinth was told to "examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (People without judgement)"27 Jesus had made it very clear that ". . . he that receiveth whomsoever I sent receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that send me."28 Much of the church, even in this hour, has received His Spirit "the Lord is that spirit"29 and not recognized Him.
The babes in Christ are maturing as the proving ground of his nature is being prepared. Jesus had said that He was to be "glorified in them" (see John 17:10). And Paul began comforting the church with this knowledge. "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."30 His message about this coming glory, to the church of the Colossians, must have shook the very walls when it was received. It is still shaking the walls of form and fashion in this hour. "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."31 "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free; but Christ is all, and in all."32 If you can receive it, Paul was revealing the new earth.
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."33
"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature."34
"For there is no respect of persons with God."35
"But if you have respect to person, ye commit sin ."36
The church was beginning to see their new nature. And as the church increased in spiritual awareness, Paul began preaching and teaching the purpose of God’s expanding kingdom. "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints."37 Joint heirs with Christ! Where? If you can receive it, we are to possess the land together.
Possessing the Land
Paul’s second letter to the church of the Thessalonians was to clarify his first letter regarding the Lord’s coming. Even today, most of the religious systems get caught up in I Thessalonians, "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."38 I’m afraid that just a little anointed study would burst the mental bubble that’s raised up, if you can receive it. For example, the word ‘air’ in English has the same pronunciation as in the Greek [AER]. But in the Greek it refers to the ‘breath’ not the sky. In fact, the root meaning in the Greek [PAUCHO], relates to the Greek work [PNEUMA], which is Greek for Holy Ghost!! The word also relates to the Greek [PNOE or PNEO] which translated to the English was ‘the rushing wind’ of the upper room on the day of Pentecost. I surely want to get ‘caught up’ in that. Those that sleep (physically inactive) who are already in the new heaven with those ‘clouds of witnesses’ (see Hebrews 12:1) are coming with Him!
Paul’s third heaven experience, when he was ‘caught up’ was fully spiritual. He wasn’t zapped out beyond the moon somewhere. In fact, up in the spirit has nothing to do with a physical direction, God’s spirit fills all space. Jesus had already revealed to Paul that he wasn’t to know him by the flesh. "Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more."39 I pray your vision of Jesus is more than looking for nail scarred hands.
Paul continues his message, "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape."40 The second letter to Thessalonica was intended to reveal these events more clearly. Paul got right to the meat of the matter, "Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you, And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day."41
The glory from the presence of the Lord in us will bring a revelation of wickedness through the spirit of judgement and the spirit of burning. (see Isaiah 1:27-28 and 4:4)
This new name/nature in us will have power to consume and destroy the evil that has separated heaven and earth. Death and hell will be consumed.
"But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets."42 A moment’s worth of light will fill the spiritual eye causing it to twinkle signifying that the body is full of light.He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear.
2 Matthew 13:35
3 Romans 16:25-26
4 John 14:21
5 I Corinthians 2:7-8
6 I Corinthians 2:12
7 John 13:20
8 I Corinthians 15:12-16
9 Romans 8:29
10 Colossians 1:18
11 I Corinthians 15:51-54
12 Ephesians 1:9-10
13 Ephesians 3:9
14 Ephesians 5:30
15 Ephesians 5:32
16 I corinthians 12:12
17 Colossians 1:25-27
18 I John 4:2
19 II Corinthians 6:2
20 John 14:9
21 John 14:19
22 Matthew 10:19-20
23 Luke 17:20-21
24 Romans 1:19-20
25 Galatians 1:16
26 Galatians 4:19
27 II Corinthians 13:5
28 John 13:20
29 II Corinthians 3:17
30 Romans 8:18
31 Colossians 3:4
32 Colossians 3:11
33 II Corinthians 5:17
34 Galatians 6:13
35 Romans 2:11
36 James 2:9
37 Ephesians 1:18
38 I Thessalonians 4:15-17
39 II Corinthians 5:16
40 I Thessalonians 5:3
41 II Thessalonians 1:6-10
42 Revelation 10:7