Mark 4:9-12 “And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. 11 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: 12 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.”
Right after the parables Jesus taught, He gave an explanation, but only to those closer to Him. It was a mystery. There are mysteries in the Kingdom. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
Rom 16:25-27 “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, 26 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: 27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.”
Paul is talking about the mystery that was kept since the beginning of the world. The Bible teaches that there is a mystery. To he that overcomes, God will give the hidden manna. ‘Manna’ means ‘what is it?’
This is something we should ask God on a regular basis: ‘What is it, Lord, that You want me to do? What is it that You want me to see? What is it that You want me to know?’
There are mysteries given in Scripture that the definitions are given right away. In fact, for some things you need a revelation.
What are these mysteries?
Eph 3:3-5 “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;”
You can have head knowledge. You can learn something for the letter as much as you want, but it can be taken from you. Someone can trick you and lead you away from your head knowledge. But, once you get revelation, it’s a done deal. Nothing can take it away from you. Nothing can take away what’s been revealed by the Spirit. The Spirit will reveal things through the Word of God.
The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
When something is revealed, it becomes part of your life. Logic can’t sway you because there’s something deeper at work. It doesn’t have to make sense. God has no limitations. He can do whatever He wants.
Col 1:25-26 “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; 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:”
The early saints knew what he was talking about. Before then, it was kept in darkness. The prophets spoke it, but it was still a mystery. If you keep studying the Word and pray, He will reveal things to you.
A revelation that since the time of Paul has been taken from the church world. For one reason or another, they allowed false teachers to come among them.
The last book of the Bible is called ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ.’ What does it reveal? The Revelation reveals Jesus Christ, not the end times.
In the movie Superman, there is a plane crashing. But, is a plane crashing what the movie is about? Of course not! The movie is about how super Superman is because he catches the plane.
The events in Revelation reveal how great Jesus is, and Who He IS!
Rev 1:8 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”
1 Tim 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
The mystery is that God would be manifested in the flesh, that He would personally come to His creation.
Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Whose name? That baby’s name. The wonderful name of Jesus Christ. Jesus is Wonderful, He is our Counselor (Advocate), He is The Mighty God, He is the Everlasting Father. That same baby is both the mighty God and the everlasting Father. He is our Advocate. He is our Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:7 “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
John 1:1,14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
John 8:57-59 “Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. 59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”
Jesus identified Himself as 'I Am.'
If you go through a thorough Bible study, there is only one God. You see Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but there isn’t God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit anywhere in Scripture.
1 John 5:7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
That ‘one’ at the end of that verse actually means the number 1, no more than that. We serve that One, Jesus Christ.
John 8:24 “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”
That phrase ‘I am he,’ the word ‘he’ has been added. A proper translation is ‘I am.’
God isn’t made uneasy when we refuse to believe the truth. Rebellion doesn’t rattle God. He doesn’t want you to believe lies because they will destroy you.
Jesus isn’t some secret admirer. He wants you to know Him. That is what the Lord is after.
Mat 7:21-22 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?”
These people are using Jesus’ name.
Mat 7:23 “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
That verse is terrifying. If people who prophesy and perform miracles and have authority over devils can be lost, what about me?
What was their iniquity? They were workers in the church, examples to others? What did they lack? They lacked a relationship with Jesus Christ. They weren’t pursuing a true, intimate relationship with Jesus.
The greatest thing you can do as a Christian is to seek God and get to know Him.
The greatest commandment in the Bible is:
Mark 12:29:30 “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”
There is only one God. Love Him with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.
If a woman had three husbands, there is no way she could give herself fully to all three. You can give yourself to only one. One man, one woman in marriage, given to each other and no one else.
One God is more than enough. God wants a relationship with you. He wants you to truly know Who He IS.
If you want religion and tradition you can find it all over the place. If you want ritual, there are plenty of places where you can go for that.
John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Jesus died for you.
Abraham had a personal relationship with God. They were friends.
James 2:23 “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”
Know His voice. Be so close to Him that you recognize a counterfeit.
The way to identify counterfeit money is to absolutely know the real thing. Then, it’s easy to recognize a counterfeit.
The devil can’t deceive the elect because they know the Lord’s voice. They know Him. This is so much greater than head knowledge, this is revelation knowledge.
Jesus told the Apostles He was going to prepare a place for them.
John 14:8-9 “Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?”
This was a rebuke.
Give up your tradition, your religion, your ritual. The only thing that you need is a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jesus is our God. He is our Father, our Savior, our Counselor, our Lord, and our dear Friend.
Approach Him in prayer like you’re approaching someone very precious to you, just as you are to Him. Understand that He knows every secret, every insecurity, every fault, every mistake. He knows you. He knows you and still loves you anyway. Nothing can separate you from His love.
Abraham had dinner with God. Having dinner with friends, laughing and joking with dear friends, do that with God. The Bible isn’t a book of thou shalt not’s, it’s a book of loving your God. When you learn to love Him and receive His love for you, everything just falls into place.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Skip Christo.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!