Day: March 20, 2011
Teaching: An Overview of the Sacred Secret
Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.
If you would like to read my views on religion and how we got started with the ministry, you can read this.
Let’s get started:
[The following article is an edited transcription of the July 2005 Tape / CD of the Month, “An Overview of the Sacred Secret” by John W. Schoenheit.]
For a PDF chart on the Administrations in Scripture, click here!
This month we are teaching on the Sacred Secret. I have got tell you that I am so excited to talk about this topic. The Sacred Secret is one of the most incredible things that God has ever done for mankind. Amazingly enough, even though God revealed the Sacred Secret over 2000 years ago, for the most part in Christianity, it is still the Sacred Secret.
Let us talk about how wonderful and powerful this secret really is.
We always believe at Spirit & Truth that these teachings are more powerful if you are reading along with us in your Bible. I invite you to read along with me in your Bible. I think that you will get a lot more out of this teaching and from this information. Jesus Christ said that the words that I speak unto you, “they are spirit, and they are life.” A life and spiritual power is there that flows out of the Word of God that is just very hard to put your finger on and to describe, but it is definitely there.
1 Corinthians 2:6 and 7
(6) We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
(7) No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom…
That is exactly right, it is a Sacred Secret.
1 Corinthians 2:7 and 8
(7) a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.
(8) None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Do you get the impact of that? Wow! What this verse is saying is that the rulers of this age, of course, are satanic rulers, Satan and his demons and his hordes. They would not have set up the crucifixion of Jesus Christ if they had understood the subject that I am teaching you today. They did not understand it, and they did not understand it because it was a Sacred Secret. God hid it. He absolutely hid it.
I want to talk about what God Himself says about this. What does God say about how glorious this Secret is?
2 Corinthians 3:7
Now, if the ministry that brought death…
Now, remember that this is God’s Word that we are reading. This is God’s Words about His Word. What does He call the Law, the Law of Moses—the Law that dominated the Old Testament? He calls it the ministry that brought death.
We are going to be talking about administrations in a little bit. That God changed the rules for different time periods. We actually know this; we know that God changed the rules. For example, we do not have a Temple today. We do not do animal sacrifices today. Why, because God changed the rules. It is not that God changed; He just simply changed the rules by which He wanted mankind to live.
What does God say about His own rules in the Old Testament? He says that they are “the ministry that brought death,” and they did. No one, we learned, is righteous because of their ability to keep the Law. Nobody could keep it.
2 Corinthians 3:7 and 8
(7) Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was,
(8) will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?
Praise the Lord! The ministry of which you and I are a part, the ministry of the Spirit, the Administration of the Age of Grace is more glorious than the Law.
2 Corinthians 3:9
If the ministry that condemns men is glorious….
This is a pretty interesting admission on God’s part. He calls the Law “the ministry that condemns men” but acknowledges at the same time that it has glory. The Law of Moses did have glory. The Law of Moses even according to Romans chapter 7 is “holy and just and good.” It was not that the Law of Moses did not come with glory and benefit to mankind. Look at what God says about it.
2 Corinthians 3:9
If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!
Why is it important for you and me to know the Sacred Secret? Why is it important for you and me to live according to the revelations of the Church Epistles (Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, Thessalonians)? Because in those Church Epistles is revealed God’s Sacred Secret, which by God’s own testimony is more glorious than the Law.
2 Corinthians 3:10
For what was glorious [which was the Law] has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory.
What we have today is so incredibly glorious that it is as if the Law had no glory at all. We learn from 1 Corinthians chapter 2 that had Satan known what we have today, he would not have even crucified the Lord of glory. He would not have even gone there.
Is it not exciting to learn about this? It is such a privilege to teach this; I trust that it is a privilege to you to study it. We can go over this together because we are learning what God has done for us that He says is so glorious that the Old Testament did not even have any glory compared to what we have today. Oh, that is so important. Christians today want to take on the rituals of the Law. They want to keep the Passover, the Feast of Tabernacles… They want to keep the various rituals, but God says, “Wait a minute. Those things were a shadow of what we have today and had no glory compared to what we have today.” [For further study read: “Are Christians Required to Keep the Sabbath?” and “Are Christians required to observe the feasts of the Old Testament?”]
Ladies and Gentlemen, let us learn about what we have today. Satan knew about the Temple; he knew about the Sacrifices; he knew about the Feasts. That is not why it says that he would not have crucified Jesus. He would not have crucified Jesus if he had known what we have today, the Sacred Secret. That is what we are going to talk about.
We are going to talk about the fact that we cannot lose our salvation; however, in the Old Testament you could. We are going to talk about how we are born children of God while in the Old Testament, people had Spirit upon them, and they were servants of God. We are going to talk about the fact that we cannot be separated from God’s love.
Let us just go into one point here on the Sacred Secret which we will make again later in this teaching, just to give you a feel of the greatness of this and how important this is. I am going to make the assumption that maybe I should not make that you are familiar with Romans chapter 8 where it says that “nothing shall separate us from the love of God.” Do you remember Romans chapter 8, the closing of the chapter, starting in verse 35 going through verse 39 that nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God. When you are in Hosea chapter 1, back in the Old Testament, that was not true because in the Old Testament the relationship between God and people was not the relationship of a father and a child, it was the relationship of a Lord and a servant. When the servant displeased the Lord, he would cut off the servant. For example, the problem with Israel in Hosea’s time is illustrated in chapter 1 verse 2.
When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, [Why?] because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD.”
The Israelites had departed from the LORD. What was His response to this?
Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter.
Gomer was the woman who Hosea took as a wife.
Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the LORD said to Hosea, “Call her Lo-Ruhamah
The word “Lo” in Hebrew means low and “Ruhamah” means love or mercy or compassion.
for I will no longer show love to the house of Israel
Wow! What a heart breaking verse. The verse in Romans that you and I get to claim says, “Nothing shall by any means separate us from the love of God.”
The fact is, what we have in Christ, in the Sacred Secret, is so big that I do not have time to cover it in a 70 minute tape [We have provided further study links at the end of this transcription.]; thus, I am going to give you some verse references occasionally instead of reading the whole verse.
What we are going to cover first in this teaching is to see that the word mystery is the Greek word musterion, which is most often translated mystery in the New Testament, and it is not a mystery at all; it is a Sacred Secret. We are going to see why we call musterion a Sacred Secret. We are going to look at verses about the musterion, the Sacred Secret, and see that it was once hidden but now has been made known. We are going to discuss where we would look to find information about the Sacred Secret; including why did God hide it, and why is He now revealing it? That will bring up the fact that God is revealing it because it reveals His wisdom, and He is revealing it in part for our glory. We are going to talk about different aspects of the Sacred Secret.
First of all, we need to talk about the fact that the word musterion does not mean mystery but it means secret.
That is, the mystery [musterion] made know to me by revelation…
That word mystery is the Greek word musterion. By the way, you can find a number of books for this—Greek interlinear, lexicons, and especially Bible study programs for the computer that will allow you to see this for yourself. I am letting you know that this subject of the musterion, the Sacred Secret, is so important that it is worth checking out and worth looking in to. When I say that the Greek word for mystery here is musterion, go and get a Bible study software program or a Greek lexicon and check it out. It will fortify your faith to see exactly what I am teaching.
What has happened in English is that the Greek word musterion has been transliterated into the English word mystery. Now, to transliterate comes from the Latin root trans, which is across, and litera, which is the Latin word for letter. To transliterate is to simply bring across a word in the letters from one language to another, so musterion in Greek got transliterated into mystery in English. Transliteration is nice, but transliteration is not translation. Translation is when you bring across the meaning. What we want to find out is not what the letters in the Greek are, but what the meaning of the Greek word musterion is, then we can translate it. What we will find is that the Greek word musterion refers to a Sacred Secret. That is where we are going in the near future here.
We need to become clear on some definitions. Why do I not like the English word mystery? The English word mystery means something that is incomprehensible; it is unknowable; it is beyond understanding. For example, it is common in religious circles to speak of the Trinity as a mystery, and then say that no one can comprehend it. In science, the fact that light has the properties of a particle and the properties of a wave is a mystery to us. It is incomprehensible to us. We do not understand it; it is outside of our nine dots. That is a mystery. A mystery is when something is beyond our understanding, unknowable, incomprehensible.
In contrast a secret is something that is known by someone but unknown by others. For example, a surprise birthday party is a secret—well supposedly it is a secret to the one who is having the birthday, but everybody else knows it. A mystery is incomprehensible; it cannot be known. A secret is something that can be known, but it is not known by every person.
I want to point out that this is so incredibly important to know that I want to document this first from the scholars and then from the Word of God itself. In the New Bible Dictionary when you look up the word mystery, for example, it says, “but where as mystery may mean and in contemporary usage often does mean a secret for which no answer can be found, this is not the connotation of the word musterion in classical and Biblical Greek. In the New Testament, musterion signifies a secret which is being or even has been revealed.”
You might be familiar with Smith’s Bible Dictionary, a very famous Bible Dictionary. Here is what Smith’s has to say, “Musterion by no means necessarily denotes anything strictly mysterious and incomprehensible. The fact or truth though requiring to be revealed, it may when revealed be of a very elementary character.”
One of the conservative Bible Dictionaries that I like is Zondervan Tutorial Encyclopedia of the Bible has this to say, “Mystery in the New Testament does not deal with the unknowable but with what is imparted by revelation.”
Lastly, you are probably familiar with Strongs as in the Strong’s Concordance, in the Strong’s Expanded Dictionary under musterion we read, “In the New Testament, it denotes not the mysterious as with the English word, but that which being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension can be made known only by Divine revelation.”
That is exactly right. The scholars recognize it. This is important, and the reason that this is important is because the vast majority of the Bible versions translate the Greek word musterion as mystery, so I want to make it clear that the scholars know that mystery is not a good translation of musterion. It communicates the wrong idea. Translating musterion as mystery communicates the idea that the things of God cannot be understood.
I cannot tell you the harm that this has done to the Church over the centuries. The number of good, God-loving people that are kept in the dark about the things of God because when they ask tough questions, they are taken to some verse in the Bible that mentions the word mystery and told that “Well, the things of God are mysterious.” No, the things of God are secret to those that have not bothered to take the time to look. The things of God are not mysterious in the sense that we cannot understand them. It is so important to get that.
So much harm has been done to the Church by false doctrines that are promulgated and then when somebody questions them and says, “It just does not make sense this doctrine of…whatever.” They are told, “Well, that doctrine, that one is a mystery.” Oh really. Well, that is not in Scripture. That is in man’s theology.
You can read the rest of the article here.
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