God's Mystery Revealed
In Jesus Christ
Did you know that God was the world's first mystery writer? His story was written long before it was a popular literary style. The focus of God's "mystery" masterpiece is the cross of Jesus Christ and "the way of faith". The Apostle Paul called the crucifixion of Jesus "a mystery", which explains why it's so easily distorted by religion. The apostle Paul had this to say...
"Now to Him who is able to establish 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 has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for the obedience to the faith--to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen." (Romans 16:25-27 NKJV)
The "mystery" theme is repeated throughout the New Testament, predominantly in the epistles of Saint Paul: "...we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery" (1 Cor. 2:7)..."having made known to us the mystery of his will" (Eph. 1:9)..."how that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery" (Eph. 3:3)..."you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ" (Eph. 3:4)..."And to make all people see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God" (Eph. 3:9)..."This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church." (Eph. 5:32)..."to make known the mystery of the gospel" (Eph. 6:19)..."the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints" (Col. 1:26)..."what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27)..."to the knowledge of the mystery of God" (Col. 2:2)..."to speak the mystery of Christ" (Col. 4:3)..."holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience" (1 Tim. 3:9)..."great is the mystery of godliness" (1 Tim. 3:16).
The Scriptural support for Saint Paul's position is extensive ... but there is a problem. Religion distorts the meaning of God's mystery and the effects are disastrous. Good people in church leadership roles and with noble intentions interpret God's mystery incorrectly. This practice claims many victims as we approach the last days. If you think that religion and Christianity is the same - you're in for a rude awakening.
Why do we call our ministry "Rock of Offence"? When Biblical truth collide with the religious traditions and philosophies of men, offense is always the result. Jesus is referred to as "The Rock of Offence" (1 Peter 2:7-8, Romans 9:33). Our choice of names may not represent a good marketing strategy, but it does convey a Biblical warning. If you're new to our website don't misinterpret our "straight talk" as a "cavalier" attitude. We avoid religious and denominational bias and oppose popular "conventional wisdom" when it conflicts with the Bible - God's Word. For these reasons the tone of our discussions may appear abrasive to those who are unaware that God calls His people to "fight the good fight of faith" (1 Timothy 6:12, 2 Timothy 2:3-4).
The Crisis Of Truth And
We address some "controversial" subjects but not for the sole purpose of stirring up controversy. These topics impact our eternal destiny and relationship with God. They are serious issues. We don't promote any particular denomination or church organization. We aren't building "a following" or starting a movement. The last days (Today--right now!) before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is characterized by the rejection of sound doctrine (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Jesus never dishonored Biblical truth by allowing the success of a ministry or program to be more important - so we follow His example (balanced with love, of course!). This "truth honoring" attitude angered the first century religious establishment, caused Jesus to be convicted as a criminal and executed on a cross. A commitment to Biblical truth still gets the same response today. The anger of the religious leaders "boiled over" when Jesus drove the merchants out of the temple and over-turned their tables (Mark 11:15-18). They plotted together to kill Jesus from that time on. Try to imagine that scene! The Jesus of the Bible never promised world peace but plainly stated something different. Yet, many in the modern church falsely portray him as a type of "world peace and love activist" (Matthew 10:34-42). We're not against peace, love, and unity - only the kind that compromises truth and redefines the Jesus of the Bible.
The Present Darkness
Jesus made an interesting statement..."I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work" (John 9:4). Lately, it seems to be getting very dark. Anyone who takes a stand on the teachings of Jesus Christ is now assaulted; not only from "the church" but also from the intellectuals of the world who believe His teachings are intolerant and socially irrelevant. Speaking the truth (as Jesus taught it) in public - or worse - in the news media gets you verbally assaulted from countless different directions. In the Bible, 'darkness' is used as symbolism for the scarcity of truth and society's acceptance of wickedness. Today, good is evil and evil is good. Everyone's beliefs are accepted as truth - it's just considered a "different" truth. Many believe the occult, homosexuality, the "free sex culture", hedonism and the loss of religious freedom to be among the greatest threats to Biblical truth. Yet, these issues pale in comparison to the real danger ... a danger no one wants to address. The greatest threat is the anti-christian and anti-grace church. This is a covert influence within "Christian Orthodoxy" that looks and sounds like real Christianity, but isn't. It's a counterfeit that ensnares millions of unsuspecting professing Christians.
One example of this influence is the many church organizations that sacrifice their Godly calling to entice people into their services. The truths of the Bible are redefined to the lowest level that appeals to the largest segment of the public. Yet, we wonder why God's power isn't around any more. Many will be astonished when Jesus returns in righteousness to set things straight. Unfortunately, by then it will be too late.
Spiritual freedom is one of the central characteristics of authentic Christianity. Jesus said...
"And ye shall know the truth, and
the truth shall make you free."
However, distorting God's Word to further the cause of a religious organization does not produce freedom - it creates spiritual bondage. Christianity is commonly practiced in this manner...and it grieves the Holy Spirit and dishonors the ministry of God's Word. Today, we see a growing number of Christians leave institutional churches to escape spiritual abuse and unbiblical teaching. Across America, they number in the millions. Church leaders suggest that these people are in rebellion against God and His appointed authority. Religious leaders tell us that "committed Christians" belong in church and that it is a sin to "forsake the assembling of ourselves together". We agree that Christians should not "forsake assembling" - but disagree with the way the word 'assembling' is redefined to advance an organization. We call these people "Un-churched Christians" - and most are not rebelling against God at all because it's God's voice (the voice of the Good Shepherd) that they're following! We desire to accomplish several things related to this unique move of God. First, we want to relieve condemnation and guilt by validating what many "Un-churched" Christians already know to be true. Secondly, we seek to expose spiritual abuse and doctrinal distortions in order to return the Gospel of Jesus Christ to its original state as Good News! Currently, we are far from these goals. But, we hope to do a better job as more material is added in the future. We share some of the experiences of this movement. We understand the condemnation, guilt and loneliness that is oftentimes felt--and the healing that is needed.
The world's eternal destiny hangs in the balance - which is something the Lord Jesus gave his life for. He treats the truth and those who exploit it for personal advantage with great seriousness. Authentic salvation depends on following simple, but specific conditions based on the Bible which is God's legal authority. Because of His great love, our heavenly Father made eternal life simple to obtain so that as many as possible could receive it. Yet, religion has confused the way so that few actually find it. Many in the modern church world are convinced they are heaven bound. Yet, they fail to accept eternal life (heaven's prerequisite) as God's free gift through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Many believe there is "a way" that is more right. They believe "their way" of church affiliation, spiritual dedication and commitment to obey religious law ... is a "better way". This belief is similar to the error of Cain (Genesis 4:1-16) who killed his brother Abel in anger because God rejected his sacrifice of "good works". The Bible warns about "the way that seems right" but ends in death (Proverbs 14:12). The "better way" that many follow is not God's way. Yet, it appears as authentic Christianity to uninformed casual observers.
Biblical Clues that Help
Us Solve God's Mystery
Those of us who are familiar with mystery novels and stories are aware of how incorrect and often disastrous conclusions are often made before all the facts are known. When we begin to study the many truths and principles of God’s mystery – the outcome tends to be the same.
The apostle Paul referred to Christ’s New Covenant as “The Mystery of Christ” and God made Paul the exclusive administrator of its truths through what Bible scholars call, “The Pauline Revelation” (Read Ephesians 3;1-12, 2 Corinthians 12;1-4 and Galatians 1:11-12). Contrary to popular beliefs, Paul was the only apostle to receive this revelation about the mystery of the New Covenant, which was also the source of the Gospel of Christ that he preached. This mystery was not fully revealed for several years (some theologians think 7-10 years, but nobody actually knows how long) after Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection, ascension - and the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Here’s a small part of what Jesus had to say about the revealing of this truth:
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify Me: For He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” (John 16:7-14)
Notice the timeframe in Christ’s words. The truth He wanted his disciples to know wasn’t going to be fully revealed - except for some vague “types and shadows” - until after His death, resurrection, ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Why? These things had to happen first before the New Covenant could start to govern. Important Note: As we previously learned in this study - the New Covenant is also referred to as;
- The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2-4)
- The ministry of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:4-11)
- The new and living way of Christ (Hebrews 10:19-23)
THE OLD COVENANT BASED ON THE
LAW OF MOSES REMAINS IN FORCE
ONLY UNTIL THE NEW COVENANT OF
CHRIST BEGINS TO GOVERN.
The New Covenant that Jesus Christ came to initiate was “the many things” that He couldn’t tell His disciples while He was still alive during His ministry on earth. The phrase ‘many things’ also means ‘a lot of things’. Any way you look at it, Jesus alerts His audience to another major story that’s hidden in a mystery that He said couldn’t be revealed before the cross.
Christ had a good reason to withhold the revelation about His New Covenant. Years later, the apostle Paul gives us the reason for the Lord's action.
"However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 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.” (1 Corinthians 2:6-8)
The "rulers of this age" that Paul speaks of here are "high order" demonic spirits, which were responsible for planning and orchestrating Christ's crucifixion ‘behind the scene’. These demonic ‘ruling spirits’ were the ones manipulating and controlling the earthy human authorities, who actually performed the act. If Jesus and His disciples (during His earthly ministry) went around preaching the details of the yet future New Covenant - Paul said that these demonic spirits would have never crucified Christ. Why? The New Covenant in Christ's blood (Luke 22:20 and 1 Corinthians 11:25) was God's secret plan (Paul called it 'hidden wisdom') to utterly destroy Satan's dominion over the human race. Christ's crucifixion was the centerpiece of God's plan. The New Covenant couldn't become reality without the crucifixion of our Lord. As a result of Christ's 'information blackout' Satan and his demonic world didn't learn about their mistake until it was too late.
A vast majority of Christendom thinks that Jesus revealed everything about our salvation in the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - that record His earthly ministry. Yet, Jesus our Lord and the apostle Paul both said that this was not the case.
Incorrect Knowledge of God's
Mystery Produces Dangerous
Any good mystery novel wouldn't be complete without the existence of imposters, counterfeits and various forms of deception. Unfortunately, this is also true for God's mystery. Yet, these misleading elements do not originate with God, but are mixed into the storyline by those who unknowingly work for His enemy.
A popular misconception found throughout the Christian Church involves the idea that the Bible consists of (and teaches) only one spiritual program. The Bible translators understood this danger, which is why they included special title pages that separated the Scriptures into two primary parts; the Old and New Testaments. Respecting this division is crucial because each program operates by vastly different rules and principles. Saint Paul, who wrote nearly half of the New Testament warned his disciple Timothy that the Scriptures must be "rightly divided" to properly understand its truths and obtain the approval of God (2 Timothy 2:15). When the Bible is "rightly (or correctly) divided" it compels the reader to avoid the practice of intermingling - or 'mixing everything together'.
But, over the years a popular historical theology operating within Christendom (sometimes referred to as 'Historical or Biblical Christianity') has successfully invalidated this Divinely mandated division. As a result, in nearly all denominations and churches, Christ's New Covenant (or what the Bible translators labeled 'the New Testament') is now viewed as a continuation or extension of the Old Testament program. This teaching effectively combines or intermingles these two vastly different Biblical programs - and contradicts Saint Paul's command to keep them; 'separated and divided'. As a result, a counterfeit 'faith in Christ' is created ... and then accepted as authentic Christian faith.
Spiritual counterfeits, similar to
counterfeit money, are especially
dangerous because they are designed
to be indistinguishable from the
God responded to this threat to the truth of the Gospel by placing warnings and examples in His Word. One such example involved an entire church congregation, who had been fooled into accepting the counterfeit. Saint Paul wrote his 'Epistle to the Galatians' in an attempt to correct the damage and warn future generations of Christian believers. Paul summarizes their error in two frightening statements:
"I marvel that you are turning away so soon from him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:6-8)
"You have become estranged (separated or cut-off) from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from Grace." (Galatians 5:4)
Through a close examination of Paul's warning, we discover that the Church at Galatia had embraced a 'different gospel of Christ' consisting of a mixture of Old Testament Law (also referred to as Judaism) and New Testament Grace. It is similar to the salvation doctrine often taught in churches today. This illegal and confusing mixture is applied to the way salvation is obtained - and leads listeners astray in their faith without their knowledge.
The Galatian Church had accepted a corrupt evangelistic message that results from failing to keep the Scriptures separated and 'rightly divided' - as Paul instructed Timothy. Various Bible scholars refer to this kind of theology as 'the Galatian error ... or Galatian religion' - because Paul first warned about it in his New Testament 'Epistle to the Galatians'. However, beginning in the first century (and continuing today), influential Bible teachers and ministers persuaded the Church to ignore Paul's warning - by claiming that the only correct way to interpret the Bible is as 'one undivided program'. The problem with this now widely-accepted theology - is that it perverts God's original intentions concerning how the salvation of His Son is obtained. As a result, an alarming number of modern-day denominations and churches (but thankfully not all) are established on this 'different gospel' of Galatian religion ... which is a counterfeit gospel that God condemns and refuses to honor. The problem exists on both the Roman Catholic and Protestant sides of the isle (and most everything in between) - and is believed to affect, in varying degrees, more than 8 out of 10 churches worldwide. In Galatians chapter 4 Paul provides additional insight into this error by saying;
“Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic.
FOR THESE ARE THE TWO COVENANTS:
The one from mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar - for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children (speaking of the first covenant of the Law) – but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.” (verses 21-25)
(Paul continues in verses 28 through 31) Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? "Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman."
“SO THEN, BRETHREN, WE
ARE NOT CHILDREN OF THE
BONDWOMAN (SPEAKING OF
THE FIRST COVENANT OF
THE LAW) - BUT OF THE FREE
(SPEAKING OF THE SECOND
OR NEW COVENANT OF
At the Last Supper, Jesus introduces
this 'Second ... or New Covenant'
established on His blood.
"Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.'"(Luke 22:20 - also see 1 Cor. 11:25)
In his Epistle to the Hebrews Paul
continues to teach about these
‘two covenants’ by saying;
"But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He (Jesus Christ) is also mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second." (Hebrews 8:6-7)
"In that He (Jesus Christ) says, “a new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away." (Hebrews 8:13)
Discerning the difference between Galatian religion (that illegally mixes these two covenant programs together) - and authentic New Covenant Christianity is crucial to gaining a proper understanding of God's mystery. This is often a painful task because both of these positions are taken from the pages of the Bible ... but God honors only one. The Bible calls it 'contending earnestly for the faith' (Jude 1:3-4) and it often causes strong emotional disagreements because it exposes the falsehood behind many other popular brands of theolgy that operate within Christendom. If readers have ever wondered why there are so many denominations that all teach conflicting things about God from the Bible - this is one of the main reasons. As a result, a majority of church leaders (but thankfully not all) attempt to omit or redefine Paul's warning about this spiritual counterfeit - because his warning also threatens the foundational doctrine of their ministry.
According to the Bible, Galatian
religion is a dangerous lie that
disguises itself as authentic
Christianity. Yet, few warnings
about the eternal consequences
connected with this counterfeit
come from those who stand
behind a pulpit.
The Bible refers to the cross of Jesus Christ as "a blood covenant" ... and a MYSTERY that is understood through the principles of that covenant (also called 'The New Covenant'). A 'rightly divided' perspective of the Holy Scriptures restores the awe and majesty of God's love and Christ's sacrifice to the Gospel. The Rock of Offence ministry and its free ebook, "Mystery of the Faith" examines some of the ancient truths that transformed the first century church into a group who "turned the world upside down" for Jesus Christ (Acts 17:6).