That is why I have chosen to bring this message -- in order that we might understand these secrets, and give ourselves to this matter of becoming faithful stewards of the mysteries, the secrets, the hidden wisdom, of God. What truth! Now, even Christians struggle a great deal in their lives. This is the answer -- this secret of God. The Old Testament Scriptures had predicted tha As Paul tells us, "This slight, momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison," (2 Corinthians 4:17 RSV). Save me, O God, for the waters are come in even unto my soul: I am come into deep waters; so that the floods run over me.--Ps. I hope you have learned already that a Christian resolves his puzzles and riddles and the difficult questions of life on the basis of the authority of the Word of God. For man, condemned today to lose his dearest, tomorrow himself to pass through the gate of darkness, it remains only to cherish, ere yet the blow falls, the lofty thoughts that ennoble his little day. But nearer to death, no nearer to God. 7No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. Perpetually reminds us of our duty, and leads to meditation on divine providence. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God OF PEACE will be with you.â (Philippians 4:8-9, emphasis added, NKJV) 6. The most prolific cause of loss is disobedience--disobedience either to one of God's written commands, or to the inward promptings of His Holy Spirit. It is also called "the mystery of the gospel" (Ephesians 6:19), and in another place "the mystery of Christ and his church," Ephesians 3:4). They are certain essential elements which I must know if I am going to handle life properly, and which I cannot learn anywhere else. This book, the Old and New Testaments, is the revelation of the mind of God -- God speaking to man. 8. Col 1:26~27 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. The most prolific cause of loss is disobedience--disobedience either to one of God's written commands, or to the inward promptings of His Holy Spirit. It takes purposeful intention to lean into a whisper. Christ treated all of Scripture, which at that time consisted of what we call the Old Testament, as the â¦ All this points to that great theme which, Paul tells us in Ephesians, is behind all of God's work (see Ephesians 1:10) -- that in the fullness of time he may gather together all things in Christ, and harmony and unity will be restored to the universe. But sometimes even Christians use that phraseology because we are falling heir to the philosophy of the world about us which tries to obscure the kingdom of God and act as though it isn't there. You don't have to be torn apart and discouraged and bored and jealous and envious and anxious and fretful. Why is it that we are still grappling with the problems the Romans struggled with in the days of Julius Caesar? Answer, from the institution and end of prayer. 'Show me Thy ways, O Lord,' he asks in a previous verse; where he means by 'Thy ways,' not God's dealings with men, but men's conduct as prescribed by God. One of the greatest secrets scattered throughout the Scriptures is what you find referred to repeatedly as "the mystery of the kingdom of God" -- the secret government of earth, if you like. He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos. He wrote: Brief, powerless is man's life. lxix. Why do I have to go through this experience? We feel worthless, useless. âI am the LORD,â he says, âand there is no other. Psalm 31:20 says, âYou shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.â He hath many seekers of comfort, but few of tribulation. There is no way by which we could possibly spend the time necessary to think and study through everything ourselves. I don't mean to condemn; God does not condemn. There is no more encouraging secret in all the world than to understand this mystery of God's working in the future. And they are essential to life. Perpetually reminds us of our duty, and leads to meditation on divine providence. God has not told us everything that He knows. Cloud's book, The Secret Things of God" however, sheds light on the real secret of the universe. lxix. â â Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from â¦ (1 Corinthians 4:1-2 RSV). We want to be strong and genuine and healthy and whole and wholesome, imparting health and strength to others as well. Even the Scriptures are acceptable to us only because of the authority of the person of Jesus Christ. The knowledge of these secrets doesn't remove us from conflict. 3. Where has all our vaunted education -- the heights of human wisdom -- brought us, when we haven't been able to solve any of the basic problems? Sometimes the believer is under such a distemper of weakness and deadness, that there is almost no commanded duty that he can go about; his heart and all is so dead, that he cannot so much as groan under that deadness. The paths of the Lord? The core message of âThe Secretâ is that we are in control of our own destiny. Message transcript and recording © 1972 by Ray Stedman Ministries, owner of sole copyright by assignment from the author. And because they don't know them, they make the most atrocious blunders. Safe Walking. It would appear that Joseph had inherited some very basic, yet important, spiritual qualities from the great spiritual patriarchs before himâ¦ 2. It is found in intimate fellowship with God. This is why we can take the sorrows and heartaches and injustices which come. The Psalmist prays in this psalm for three things: deliverance, guidance, and forgiveness. "Why should injustice prevail? You must face these questions. The Daily Benefits Derived from It. They are given to us in order that we might understand them, and begin to live on them ourselves, and then by that demonstration to impart them to others around us, so that all of life begins to be changed. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. Who is he who hath the happiest lot? Job xxxvi: 22. The only reason that people deny the existence of God is because they want to hold onto their sin but unless they repent and trust in the Savior, it is no secret that â¦ God has not only gone public with this secret, but he invites us and longs for us to know it. They are imparted to those who are filled with the Spirit. It is unquestionable because it is God himself speaking -- the ultimate authority in all of life. I take it that youâre familiar with the part I was given in Godâs plan for including everybody. This feeling is perhaps best described by the high priest of humanism, Bertrand Russell, who recently died. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. We can't get away from that, although we might like to. for …John Ross Macduff—The Faithful Promiser, On the Contemplation of Human MiseryThou art miserable wheresoever thou art, and whithersoever thou turnest, unless thou turn thee to God. The Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping: the Lord will receive my prayer.--Ps. Yet without this knowledge of the kingdom of God, and God's control of human events and human lives, including yours and mine, even to their most intimate details, life becomes meaningless, empty, and devoid of purpose. Through us, Lord, heal the blight of humanity around us -- the curse and the darkness and the corruption and the despair which is so evident about us. I am greatly concerned at how many Christians exposed to the truth of God are still unable to handle life as it is thrown at them. Why do wars continue their senseless destruction?" And yet that is what changes life. Christ who is the great secret in the bible. That's the point. It is the kingdom of God. But we have the mind of Christ. Without it, life is mere existential despair. "But," he says, "God has revealed these secrets to us, by his Spirit. 1. Most certainly. Safe Walking. Confirmation by example. These are the riches God has entrusted to us to disseminate through our lives to others. It is possible, is it not, to lose life while you are living it because you don't know the hidden wisdom, the secrets, the mysteries of God. You will never be able to help another. Conclusion. That despair has spread throughout the world in our day. 3:1-3; 6:19). xxv: 8-9. And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling; and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. You can never escape the struggle, but you can win! Nature is what is produced, not what is producing. And he is the Redeemer, of whom the prophet Isaiah was telling when he said--He, Save me, O God, for the waters are come in even unto my soul: I am come into deep waters; so that the floods run over me.--Ps. Do you know how to handle the sense of feebleness you feel whenever you are challenged with something too big for you? You will constantly be merely treating the symptoms which keep reappearing all the time unless you begin to understand how to use weapons which will aim at the real source of trouble, as Paul tells us in the sixth chapter of Ephesians. It is in the secret place that we are most vulnerable with God and most deeply experience His intimate love. And the older we grow, the less reason we seem to have for living. That is senseless. vi. This was not unlike Plato's theory that maintained a higher truth existed. Then things will begin to fall into place and make sense. It is God who produces nature. He will show them his covenant. If you read a road map or refer to the owner's manual of a new appliance or even read a newspaper, you are constantly accepting statements on the authority of others. never follow thine own paths. 3I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. If you want purpose in your life, you must begin by recognizing the fact of this mystery, of this secret kingdom, this rule of God in the midst of human affairs. 3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. As we close, I would like to ask you for a moment to pray silently before God and answer whatever the Spirit of God is asking your own heart. You can win, by means of the secret of godliness. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. Of course, a lot of demagogues run around making promises merely because they want to get into office. 17. --PSALM xxv. Why? There is no realistic way of dealing with current problems. And back even to the dimmest recesses of human history they were wrestling with the same basic problems. Yea, he may be under such a decay, that little or no difference will be observed betwixt him and others that are yet in nature; and be not only unable to go actively and lively about commanded duties, yea, or to wrestle from under that deadness; but also be so dead, that he shall scarce, Jesus hath many lovers of His heavenly kingdom, but few bearers of His Cross. We all have grave problems. It is these same things which later on in First Corinthians he refers to as the "mysteries" of God. He is behind creation. Not in all the libraries or universities of earth, nor in all the research of science, nor in all the thinking of philosophers -- not in any of the investigation of human knowledge and wisdom -- can I ever find the truths which are hidden here. xxv. 8None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 8, 9. Prayer defined. That is all. Jesus spoke of âthe mystery of the kingdom of Godâ (Mark 4:11, NAS) that He was at that point revealing to His disciples. By keeping Godâs commandments. A general summary of what is contained in the previous part of the work. The sorrows of my heart are enlarged: Oh! How much we need to give ourselves to it, Lord. Paulâs point wasnât for believers to imitate Christ outwardly. The final right we have as human beings is to choose the authority we are going to obey. We say, "I want to come to my own conclusions." 9. This is what puts hope back into our discouraged lives. There is a book currently popular that explores the possibility that God used a kind of "Morse Code" that hides popular names and dates in the layout of the words of scripture. God rewards Christian fasting because it attunes us to the very purpose of God in the universe: to magnify himself in our desiring, enjoying, and being satisfied in him. And he says, "They do not know these secrets of God. The apostle Paul used the word mystery 21 times in â¦ 9 However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no â¦ My soul! The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. The first is Joseph. 6:4 ). Nature does nothing. âShhh, Iâm trying to listen.â The whisper of God is an invitation to the secret place. The Sermon on the Mount is addressing the issue of authenticity. A loud voice easily draws a crowd. Psalm 27:5 says, âFor in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. The speaker in the book of Job was thinking of this Great Teacher when he asked--"Who teacheth like him?" Christians are said to be stewards of the mysteries of God. Job xxxvi: 22. The second law of thermodynamics, which insists upon decay and loss, will be reversed, and things will get better and better, and greater and greater, and richer and richer, and higher and higher to an infinity beyond our comprehension. The phrase âshadow of the Almightyâ symbolizes Godâs protection. God has a secret which, if you learn it, enables you to handle this mystery of lawlessness. It doesn't mean a thing. What a fantastic treasure of knowledge is here in these pages! I am always disturbed, whenever I go someplace like a national park, to hear the rangers say, "Nature did this, and nature did that." Or we might invoke the authority of Jesus Christ -- and of course all final authority rests there. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52 RSV). The great secret of the Bible is God the Motherâ existence. 5 Days. We know what a stewardess is, in this day of aviation. That is what God calls us to learn. 2. This is the fact that in the midst of the world around us, with nature and people and books and trees and houses and all the other visibilities of life -- right in the midst of it, permeating all of it, and governing and controlling everything -- is a secret, invisible kingdom. Give âin secretâ¦and your Father who sees in secret will reward youâ ( Matt. In First Corinthians 2, the Apostle Paul is saying this very thing to the Corinthian believers: When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom. And it was he who was in the Psalmist's mind when he spoke of the "good, and upright Lord" who would teach sinners, if they were meek, how to walk in his ways. Only thus can we become faithful stewards of the mysteries of God. It is God's holy presence, consciously abiding with us, that keeps us from disobeying Him. It is challenged and rivaled by no other. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. never follow thine own paths. All desire to rejoice with Him, few are willing to undergo anything for His sake. It is superseded by no other authority. In the multitude of the sorrows which I had in my heart, Thy comforts have refreshed …Charles Kingsley—Out of the Deep, 'Good and upright is the Lord; therefore will He teach sinners in the way. Our focus today is on Godâs hidden, or secret will, which is alluded to â¦ As ask in Jesus' name, Amen. Now, let me say something out of the depths of my pastoral heart: You will never be a faithful steward of the mysteries of God that way. There is a malevolent being called Satan, prince of a great kingdom of darkness and evil, a kingdom of millions of beings like himself who are in headlong stampede against the government of God, in revolt and rebellion against him, and who are intent on wrecking and smashing and mangling all the love-born plans of God for the human race. Why art thou disquieted because it happeneth not to thee according to thy wishes and desires? Do you have any idea how dark this world would be, how completely hopeless life would be, without the slightest bit of relief, were it not for the dissemination of these secrets of God through the centuries already -- by Christian people? Why does cancer suddenly strike a dear one?" But there are some good politicians, too, who make promises they fully intend to keep. Work through our lives to heal many, we pray, and above all, make us faithful stewards of these secrets. Website © 2020 by Ray Stedman Ministries. Yea, he may be under such a decay, that little or no difference will be observed betwixt him and others that are yet in nature; and be not only unable to go actively and lively about commanded duties, yea, or to wrestle from under that deadness; but also be so dead, that he shall scarce …John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life, Of the Fewness of those who Love the Cross of JesusJesus hath many lovers of His heavenly kingdom, but few bearers of His Cross. 2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Joseph proved to be a trusting, faithful young man whom the Lord blessed, much to the dismay of his brothers. We do it all the time: If you are a stranger in a town and somebody gives you directions, you accept them as an authority in that area without question, because you think they know more than you do, even though you have never met them before. The meek will He guide in judgment; and the meek will He teach His way.' Therefore it is essential that we understand these mysteries. It was to help them to experience Christ Himself as the pattern. 1, 2. You don't retaliate or spill out a torrent of angry words in return. He was sent to teach and to preach. And it was he who was in the Psalmist's mind when he spoke of the "good, and upright Lord" who would teach sinners, if they were meek, how to walk in his ways. 29:29). In this chapter God is reminding the people that they are in covenant with him. God created man for the enjoyment of a walking relationship that involved companionship, dialogue, intimacy, joint decision-making, mutual delight, and shared dominion. xxxviii. There are many very legitimate approaches to answering that question. You accept that by blind faith. Jesus described the kind of experience he wants us to know:Paul, from prison, shared his experience of the secret with all who would listen:The secret to contentment is very simple. 14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. And yet that is all you can see in this universe. I will say to the LORD, 'My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'" This is said to be a code that can only be deciphered using sophisticated computer generated computations. The speaker in the book of Job was thinking of this Great Teacher when he asked--"Who teacheth like him?" Then there is what Paul calls, in Second Thessalonians, "the mystery of lawlessness," (2 Thessalonians 2:7 RSV). The great (and often hidden) reward of fasting is God himself. 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