|Matthew 4: 11 – 11|
|Good Morning Devotions
A Ministry of Huckaby’s Evangelism
Key Words That Unlock Scripture Truths
By-Evangelist Gary Huckaby
(Part 1) And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: Matthew 4:11.
The word Mystery, in the Bible does not have the same meaning as in our everyday English. It does not refer to unsolved crimes, nor stories about clever sleuths, nor riddles with elusive meanings. Mystery, in the Bible, has reference to divine secrets which Jehovah carefully hides from the unbelieving world, while, at the same time, revealing them to his servants. This is why we see in Amos 3:7; “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”
As we shall see this word “Mystery” is inevitably related to the Divine plan which was decreed and set into motion by the Creator before the universe and creatures were brought into existence.
The English word Mystery is a transliteration of the Greek word “musterion”. This term underwent its most intensive development during a period between seven hundred and four hundred B.C. It was used by the Hellenist as a title for secret religious orders spawned by the demon worshippers of the near East. The cults whose secret rites and formulae were designed to bring them into union and communion with the various fertility deities, and gods of the nether regions, were commonly called “mystery religions.”
It is thought by many scholars that the Greek word “musterion” reaches back to an ancient root, “mue’o” (to close the eyes). In turn it is thought that this relates to a Hebrew noun which means “secret” or “hidden things.” In The Latin Bible the word “sacramentum” is often used to translate “musterion” from the Greek New Testament. This work, in the secular world, was used for an oath of allegiance to Rome and her leaders by soldiers being inducted into service. Just as the word “musterion” was used by the Greek Churches to designate the religious services following baptism, so the Latin Churches used the term “sacramentum”. (Our English word “sacrament” obviously derives from the Latin term.) In both the secular and sacred the terms have to do with submission and loyalty to a higher power from the point of induction or initiation and on.
If today were your last on earth, do you know that you would go to heaven? If your are not absolutely sure you would, then you should make sure. The Bible tells us that we can know that we have eternal life in Jesus Christ. Do you know Him as your Saviour and Lord today? If not, call on His name and confess Him with your mouth and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead to save you. He is waiting for you to call on Him. Do it now!
pine Mountain, Ga. 31822
And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: Matthew 4:11.
Mystery Demands Initiation
Integral to the concept of the Mysteries is the fact that those who wish to take part in their celebration must undergo initiation, for the uninitiated are denied both access to the sacred actions of the drama, and the knowledge of them. Since the very nature of the Mystery religions involved secrets of the universe, and knowledge of the gods, an act which separated the faithful from the world outside was necessary. Initiation was an imperative. The ritual of initiation was the bridge between those “in the know” and those who were ignorant of the divine secrets.After this point in the ceremonies, which could be viewed by the public, the audience was dismissed and only the initiated were allowed to view the sacred drama and hear the magic incantations.
Dismissal After Initiation
A modern example of the principle of separation between the initiated and the nominated is seen in the Latin mass.(In the organized church the act of Baptism is thought to be the act of initiation.) After the prayers and scripture readings of the Latin church, preceding the service of the Eucharist (Holy Communion), the non baptized were solemnly dismissed with the words, “Ite missa est.” (Note the Latin word missa in the center of our English word dismissal.) Little by little people who often spoke of remaining at services until the missa or dismissal, began to call the service itself by that term; by missa, or as we would say in English, mass.
Note: We do not agree with this practice as we are independent Baptist, but give this for your understanding of our key word, Mystery in this series.
The reason for the dismissal of the non baptized (ie. non initiated) being that the Mystery or sacrament, in which the miracle of the body and blood of Christ was manifest in the wafer and wine, was reserved for the initiated alone.
Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour today? The work of Grace is a great mystery to us, as we can not fully understand how God can love a sinner like us and want us to come to Him for salvation full and free, but the Bible tells us in Romans 5:8; But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Have you been Born Again? If not, please receive Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour right now.
Pray; Lord Jesus come into my heart and life. I repent of my sins. I believe that you died on the cross for me, and that you rose from the dead to save me. I put my trust in you. In Jesus Name. Amen!
The Degrees or Secret Steps
Following the initiation ceremony, in which the devotee was separated from the non worshipper on the outside, the neophyte was instructed in the secret signs, handshakes, and passwords of the order. Then began the careful process of taking him up the secret steps into the inner sanctum of the mystery. This ascending in one’s knowledge of the holy, and progressive revelation of the diving secrets, was called the taking of “degrees.”
The term “degree,” which is obviously related to advances in learning in our academic institutions and in secret fraternities in our time, had its origins in ancient astrology. In the Mystery religions the votaries ascended the celestial route of the twelve signs of the zodiac, from wisdom to wisdom, as they drew closer and closer to their demon deity.
Satan the master imitator that he is, loves to use the terms of Jehovah in perverting the truth. The Word of God speaks of Christ as The Way, and The Holy Spirit as the secret of that way. An example of this is seen in the Song of Solomon 2:14; “O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely. Stairs here has reference to the place or manner of ascent, just as Satan’s programs speak of “degrees” or steps to the seat of wisdom. Satan’s altars were approached by steps, but God commands that his altars shall not be so approached.
Modern Mystery Religions
Although all are not known by the name of “mystery religions” there are many cults today which are sophisticated descendents of the ancient secret societies. One group which still remains under various names, which was associated with apostasy in Israel is the Kabbalah. This group influenced the Knights Templar of the ancient order of masonry during the crusades, completely reshaping their Christianity into ways of the Cabal. Their philosophies also influenced to a great degree the Illuminati of Europe. including such groups a the Rosicrucians who combine the mysteries of alchemy with esoteric principles of religion.
Like the Asian mystery religions, most of the modern descendents by the way of gnosticism and philosophy minister to a general longing for “salvation”, immortality, security, and sacramental comfort. Those which place their emphasis upon emotional experience in religion are closest to the magic cults; those which emphasize good works. All, according to the Bible are “the ways of death” which seem so right to man.
The Vow of Silence
Another feature implicit in the etymology of and essential to the mystery religionist was that of the vow of secrecy. Homer and Herodotus abound with references to secrets secured by vows of absolute silence concerning those words and actions which relate to the mystery of the god. Persons who broke the sacred vows, and revealed the hidden things of the demon deity, were threatened with terrible punishments…tongues torn out, emasculation, and even death. The details of the sacramental rites which led to union and communion with the god were never to be shared with the non-initiated.
Various ancient references, partially in the jests, indicate that these rites involved physical abreaction through the use of drugs, wine, and sexual activity resulting in speaking in angelic tongues of the demons, and appearances of the deity in clouds of smoke and fire.
One of the chief caracteristics of ancient Satan worship, in the religions spawned in the near East, was identification with demons or gods through emotional excesses. It was believed that only when the emotions were “high” that the power and presence of the god could be unleashed within the worshipper.
Intense drum beats, with rhythms and cross-rhythms, swaying bodies with angular movements, hands ecstatically waved toward heaven ect…Characterized the devotees, who were seeking the gift of their demon god.
Satan knows well that the two chief “ways” which seem right to fallen Adam’s race, in their search for God, is salvation by good deeds and the emotional experience routs. The flesh demands that it be involved in the matter of salvation and union with God. In spite of the fact that the Word of God emphatically declares that salvation is entirely by the Grace of God apart from any work of the flesh whatsoever, mankind in general believes the lie of the serpent who insists that man must have a part in the work that brings him to heaven. The Scripture is very clear in teaching us that the issue is not “how I feel” but “what I believe.” Still the enemy has so blinded man’s spiritual eyes that he refuses to base his salvation on faith in the Word of God. He insists that there must be emotional activity, and the more the closer his walk is with his God. This was the principle of the mystery religions and it is just as active today as it was in the phallic groves of antiquity!
The Mystery of The Blood
Many of the mystery religions of Asia had initiation ceremonies built around the blood, and revelation rituals in which wine was symbolic of the life of the universe. One does not have to wonder long why Satan should dwell on the blood and the fruit of the vine in his vain attempt “to be like the Most High.”
As the master imitator of all creation, the serpent god loves to copy the symbols of Jehovah while perverting their original meaning.
In the adoration of Dionysius the wine and blood are predominant in the sacred drama. This was also true of the cults of Cybele, Isia, and Mithras, In some instances the votaries of the demon deity drank blood, which is contrary to the Word of God. The idea was that the blood spoke of the death of the god and of his resurrection from among the dead in those who were partakers of his nature!
In many of the Asian rites there was also a baptism of blood called taurobolium or bath in the blood of taurus the bull of the zodiac. Some insist upon sprinkling with the blood, while others insists on baptism by immersion. It almost sounds like a modern works-cult argument, doesn’t it?
Mystery In The Old Testament
Now that we have seen some of the ways in which the serpent has cleverly perverted truths contained in the mystery of the Word of God, let us look at how the Holy Spirit takes this same term and uses it in the sacred Scriptures of the Old Testament.
In Daniel 4:9, the vision of Nebuchadnezzar is properly a musterion (mystery). It is a Divine Secret hidden from those in whom the spirit of satan dwells, but revealed to Daniel in whom the Spirit of Jehovah dwelt. Daniel 4:9; “O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof.”
When the word “mystery” is used in the Word of God it always has reference to the Divine Plan and its details, especially those regarding the future.Man has always had an incessant desire to know about the future, hence his obsession with astrology and mediums. God insists that man is to know only that which the Creator wants him to know, and that His revelation of eschatological events is to be found in the Scriptures of the holy prophets and apostles, and nowhere else.
Satan insisted that he has the knowledge that man needs, and that an unfair Creator is keeping from His caracter. The cosmic conflict goes on and on with the issue ever the same.God’s Word verses Satan’s and God’s way verses Satan’s. Man’s decision of which to believe, and which way to go, determines whether he will spend eternity in bliss or torment.
Mystery In The Old Testament
The apostle Paul knew that the revelation of the things of man is given by the spirit of man, the things of Satan by the spirit of Satan; and the things of God by the Spirit of God. Only by the spirit can the “secret things” be understood. The pagans understood the principle, as did the gnostics and philosophers who developed a more sophisticated form of their agarian magic. Satan consistently uses the principles of Jehovah in perverted form to carry on his heinous obsession to be as God. Paul enunciates the principle when he writes to the church at Corinth (where the flesh was getting out of hand, and emotional excesses were embarrassingly common).
1Corinthians 2:9-10; “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (Please note that the unregenerate man can not understand the secret things of the Lord without the Spirit of God).
Mystery In The Gospels
In the Gospel accounts where the word musterion (mystery) is used the term occurs only with the parables and their purposed-obscurity. They are designed to be understood by the disciples under the illumination of the Holy Spirit, but they are not at all to be comprehended in spiritual depth by those who are on the outside ( or those who were not disciples).
Shockingly enough to those who are ignorant of Bible doctrine, such as those of Election, Predestination, In Christ, Purpose, ect.. the Lord Himself says; Mark 4:11-12; “And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.”
It is to be seen that the purpose of the parables, in which the mystery (divine secret, to be revealed only to those in whom the Spirit of God dwells) is couched, is not to explain but to hide Truth! The preaching of Jesus was not designed to bring the masses to an understanding of Truth, but to hide Divine Wisdom from them and to complete the hardening of their hearts.You may here ask, Why? The answer is simple. God refuses to reveal His secrets to those who reject His Dear Son, the living Word, Jesus Christ.
Do you know Him as your Lord and Saviour today?
Mystery In The Gospels
Before one can understand the mysteries of God, there must first be the point of initiation, the heavenly birth of the Spirit of God which takes place when the Word is accepted. There must be the Divine act of Regeneration by which a confessed sinner is translated from the kingdom of death into the Kingdom of Life, through faith in the Word of God concerning the person and work of His dear Son, Jesus Christ. Until He is accepted as personal Lord and Saviour there will be absolutely no spiritual understanding. All of the Evangelist agree in their gospels that the purpose of the parables is to conceal the Divine Plan of the Elect and the kingdom. It is only as the heavenly King is accepted, and His rule instituted in the individual heart, that the meaning of the mystery and the message of the parable becomes known on the spiritual plane.
Musterion In The Epistles
As in the Old Testament and the Gospels the idea of the word musterion (in the Epistles) is related to the Divine plan which becomes an “open secret” to those who the Holy Spirit is resident. There are ascending levels or degrees of understanding as the doctrines of Scripture are faithfully studied and believed. Emotional response to each doctrine may often be contrary, for the flesh hates the things of the Spirit. Romans tells us this;
Romans 8:5-13; For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
The Word of God and it’s glorious doctrines, are to be believed for the simple reason that it is His unimpeachable Word to man! Since His Word is absolute Truth, to be completely accepted by those in whom His Spirit dwells, the very rejection of any doctrine will result in dimming the work to illumination.
Are you a child of God today? If not, please receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour right now.
The Mystery in Romans 11:25.
Just as the musterioun (Mystery) of the book of Daniel always deals with future events (prophecy) so it also is in the epistles of Paul. In Romans 11:25 the apostle speaks of a matter that is totally opposed to the desires of the flesh, he calls it a “mystery.”
Romans 11:25; For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
The hardening of the Jewish heart is seen as the Divine plan until the precise point in which the allotment of gentiles is accomplished. There is to be a major eclipse of Israel until the Church from among all nations, and a few from the household of Abraham, are won to the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Mystery In Romans 16:25-26
The word musterioun (mystery) can also be seen in Romans 16:25-26, where the apostle tells us this.
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:
Then he adds in the next verse. Romans 16:27; To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. Written to the Romans from Corinthus, and sent by Phebe servant of the church at Cenchrea.
The Gospel is a Divine secret that can be understood by the initiated ones, the Elect. The preaching of Jesus Christ is the proclamation of a mystery which has been hid in God, and in His Word, and given to all nations. Yet only those in whom the Spirit of Jehovah dwells can receive and understand it. The whole purpose of the apostle’s life and ministry after salvation was to impart hidden truth, wisdom, and secrets of God.
1Corinthians 2:1, and 7; tell us;
Verse 1, And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
Verse 7, But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
They were stewards of God. 1Corinthians 4:1; Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
If you died today, do you know that you would go to heaven? If not, receive Christ as your Lord and Saviour. He receives all that will come to Him and confesses Him as such.********************
Mystery In Ephesians
In the epistle to the Ephesians Paul relates this word musterioun (mystery) to the Divine Plan as it relates to the unifying a rebellious universe to Himself “in Christ.” This is the central doctrine of the mystery of the Divine Plan.
All spiritual blessings are ours in the heavenlies because we are “in Christ.” Paul assures the saints that they are in Him because they were so-chosen before the foundation of the world. Our redemption, predestination “unto the adoption of sons,” inheritance, sealing with the Spirit, and so on are all the result of the “in Christ” relationship which is a MYSTERY.
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: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the
redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
From this passage we have the Divine Plan which is revealed to the believer, that Jehovah is going to unite the universe and all creatures by means of His dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s entire sphere of operation is in and through His Son, and in and through, absolutely no other!
(Ephesians 3:3-4, 9; 10:16, 19)
The parable of the relationship between a husband and wife, and their sacred oneness, is declared by Paul to be an obscuring of the spiritual truth concerning Christ and the Church. In Ephesians 5:32; after quoting from Genesis 2:24, he admits; Ephesians 5:32; This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. The universe itself, and all of it’s physical units, is designed as a parable which hides Divine Truth from the unbeliever but reveals it to the believer, those who trust the Word of God.
Mystery In Colossians
In the book of Colossians 1:26-27, and 2:2 the secret of the Divine Plan is basically that the Gentiles as well as the Jew, as far as the believers are concerned, are “in Christ,” just as He is in them in 1Timothy 3:9, 16, and Revelation 10:7.
Colossians 1:26-27; “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:
Are you “in Christ” today? Are you a part of the family of God? If not, please come to Christ for salvation from sin, and hell. Receive Him as yours right now.