Showing posts with label Mystery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mystery. Show all posts

Sunday 18 April 2010

God Reveals to Those Who Love Him

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Mystery of Christ
Ephesians 3:1-4

I was brought up in the Roman Catholic tradition. It was driven in our head that everything about God was a mystery.  We were therefore instructed to leave to the clergies the interpretation of the scriptures.  The Bible was forbidden for us to read.  The myth was that it made people crazy.  Now and then, we would hear stories of such phenomena.  At the age of 20, I bought a bible, and I have been crazy ever since, LOL.  Little did I know that God revealed to those who love Him, to anyone who seeks Him.  Moreover, once the fever to learn got into me, no stone was to be left unturned.

Little truth that I started with was enough to challenge the authority of the Roman Catholic establishment.  I was threatened to be excommunicated.  Consequently, I moved and I stopped my association with the Roman Catholic establishment. 

The void in me needed to be filled, so in my search for the truth, in 1984, I started attending church service at "The Worldwide Church of God". For those who are not aware of this denomination, the observation of the Sabbath and the Jewish festival was a doctrine expected from its members.  For over 8 years, I lived as a Jew, observing all the festivals and kosher dietary laws.  I did not fully understand that they were the shadows of things to come fulfilled 2000 years ago,(Col 2:17).  The fellowship and the genuine warmth of the congregation members were very enjoyable.  The presence of the Holy Spirit was felt.  The members showed love toward each other's.

Occasionally, there would be changes due to new doctrinal facts.  They were minor and therefore did not affect our fellowship.  However, there came a time, when a change in one particular doctrine caused a major disturbance in the church.  The religious authority decided to deny the power of the Holy Spirit, by not viewing the Holy Spirit as God, denying the deity of the Holy Spirit.  Suddenly, that affected the whole establishment and its members. At that time, I did not recognize the cause.

It was disturbing.  I did not know what was happening. It affected the fellowship within the church.  The church disbanded.  Some elders started their own denomination, disassociating completely from the mother church.  As for me, I disassociate from everyone.  I became angry, and delusional, and did not know and understand that God was still working with me.  I moved due to a new employment.  I bought a property and started to develop a small vineyard on the property.  Everything was turning up all right.  However, for God, there was unfinished business.  He reminded me how much I loved understanding.  He reminded me of the time when I kept asking Him for some more.  He reminded me of the love I had for Him and for His Word.

He got my attention all right.  I lost my job, and the manufacturing plant closed.  The vineyard bears no fruit.  My wife's health was deteriorating. Her job also was uncertain.  You probably heard of Nortel Networks.  Debt was increasing.  I could not find a job. There I was, in the middle of a major drought in my life.  He reminded me of His commandment to "Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God" Matthew 6:33.  

Now when I look back I understand.  He took action in my life.  He saw that I was overwhelmed by the care of this world.  I was miserable, unhappy, with a thirsty soul. He reminded me of my first love.  He knew what I wanted all along.  Now when I look back, I do understand what happened. When a church denies the Holy Spirit, God denies the church (Titus 1:15-16, 2 Timothy 3:4-6, 2 Peter 2:1-3).  The church is the body of Christ.  He is the Head.  The members are filled with the Holy Spirit.  One of the main purposes of the Holy Spirit is to teach (1 Co 2:13).  The Worldwide Church of God became the prey of false teachers as forewarned by, (Jude: 5).  Since the false teachers were in a position of leadership, many recognized it and left.

I did not need to run away from God.  Instead, I needed to stay closer to God for understanding. He was protecting me all along from the false teachers.  So I got back into seeking the kingdom of God….and "voila". As seasons change, so do the conditions in my life.  My wife and I moved to her native town in Newfoundland. God is gradually improving our financial dilemma.  From winter to summer, spring is in between, which means that changes are gradual.  In the process, God is teaching.  He is teaching something valuable that will be forged in me for eternity, (Isaiah 64:8, Romans 9:21).  We bring nothing physically with us in heaven.  The only thing that stays with us is our character and the righteousness of Jesus, (Romans 4:5, Romans 5:17, and Galatians 3:6).  All this is God's doing.  We are to be willing to learn.  Once saved, we are to grow in knowledge and its application in our lives.
What you have read above, about the circumstances of my life is "pretty" general, there was much more to this.  This is my testimony of Christ in my life. What I've learned is that we are to live life as God teaches.  If you have accepted Jesus even with little knowledge, Jesus will teach you. Some Christians have the false impression that we are to sit and wait, leaving to the pastors to do all the work.  It is not all-blind faith.  Jesus will give you the gift of discernment to understand, (Philippians 1:9, 1 Corinthians 12:10, 1 Corinthians 2:14).

There is much more after salvation that meets the eyes.  We are saved by grace, and nothing will take that away.  It is a gift.  Salvation is only the beginning.  Being "saved" means "born again". We were born physically in water, within our mother's womb, which was the beginning of a long process to become a mature adult.
"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit," Jn 3:5-6.  
Born of water is not water baptism; it is born in the flesh.  Born again of the Spirit is also a beginning, of living in the Spirit.  So, do not expect to know everything in one bible study.  Expect a life journey walking with Jesus, learning the application of His Word. As Jesus replied, "But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice".  Luke 11:28 (New Living Translation)

Enoch walked with God 300 years out of 365 years.  Our life expectancy is shorter, about 70 years, so learn early and quick.  Here is a hint of what God is expecting.  He is expecting you to apply the lesson of trusting Him, (Ps 37:3).  A mystery of physical longevity is to honour your father and mother, (Exodus 20:12).  The mystery of mental health longevity is to trust in God the Father, the Son Jesus our Lord and King and in the Holy Spirit living in you.  If you belong to God and have not yet learned the lesson of trusting in the Lord, expect to live a life with all the pain worrying and doubting.  The sooner you learn the lesson of trusting the better.  Aren't we taught to die in Christ?  (Romans 6:8, 1 Corinthians 15:31).  To please God is to trust Him.  To trust God is to please Him.  The only work expected from you is to believe and to trust (John 6:28-29).  We are not to walk with God murmuring and doubting as the Israelites experienced in their 40 years of journeying in the desert.  The whole experience of God's people Israel from the time of Abraham till now is for our learning.  It was an episode of trusting and not trusting.  We can read the consequences. Proverbs 3:5-6 should be read as a commitment, it should be read as so: "I will trust in the LORD with all my heart, and I will not lean on my own understanding.  In all my ways, I will acknowledge Him, and He shall direct my paths".

Another lesson in our walk with Jesus is to rest in Him.  We all could act religiously by taking care of the widows, the orphans, and the poor, visiting prisoners, the sick, yet if we have not learned "to rest in the Lord", we are doing all this by our own work and effort (Matt 7:21-23). 

We all need teachers.  We all need to be instructed by someone.  Someone we can trust.  Jesus warned us that false teachers and prophets would come about.  He warned us not to be deceived, (Luke 21:8).  Ask God for help to bring about the right teachers in your life, (Acts 8: 26-31).

The Book of Psalms points up that it is all about trust.  The history of Israel shows the consequences of trusting and not trusting in the Lord.  Now look at your life.  Can you see the same scenario repeating?  The fundamental truth, both salvation and rest are gifts from God through our Lord Jesus.  We are saved and we rest in the works of someone else, which is Jesus our Lord and Redeemer. The mystery of God, the mystery of the gospel, the mystery of Christ, and all mysteries are revealed and are to be revealed even if it takes eternity.
In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. Luke 10:21
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. But as it is written:

     "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
      Nor have entered into the heart of man
      The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God," 1 Cor 2:10

"which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets," Ephesians 3:5.
"the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints," Colossians 1:26

Now, if anyone insists on telling you that no one can't know and understand the Bible, he is a liar, for God reveals to those who love Him 1 Cor 2:9