Excerpt taken from a discourse by Brother George Tabac Feb. 1990
The word Mystery or Mysteries comes from the Greek word Musterion and is used in the New Testament 27 times. Strong defines it as a secret or mystery imposed by initiation into a religious rite. Vines Dictionary defines its primary meaning as, "that which is known to the initiated." He continues by stating that in the New Testament, it denotes not the mysterious, but that which is beyond the range of unassisted natural understanding, and could only be known by divine revelation, -- and is made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God, to those who are illuminated by His spirit. In the ordinary sense a mystery implies knowledge withheld, - its scriptural significance is truth revealed.
We find that there are 12 mysteries referred to in the New Testament and that rather than referring to 12 different isolated subjects, they are all referring to different aspects of the one great wondrous mystery of God.
To delve into this mystery, we need to go back in time. Back, before the creation of Adam. Back before the creation of earth, back before the creation of our Galaxy, back, back before the creation of the all the countless billions of stars of the universe, back before the creation of all the various orders of Angelic beings, yes, back even before the creation of the Logos, when God was all alone. This is when the Mystery began to unfold, in the mind of our almighty God.
As God contemplated His infinite power, we believe what was at the center of His desire was a Family. A universe filled with perfect intelligent beings, all created in His likeness, with freedom of will, to seek their own destinies. Above all He desired a precious first born Son who would ever be His most cherished possession. To His only begotten, he would give a glorious bride who together with His Son, He would share his own infinite Divine Nature.
But His creative power would continue on. There would be further variety in His family, many levels or orders of life. “In my Father's house (place of residence, abode, home, Strong’s # 3614) are many mansions (conditions or levels of being)…" John14:2 Cherubim, Seraphim, Thrones, Dominions, Principalities, Powers, angels, all spiritual beings with powers to come and go as the wind, then just a little lower than the angels, a wondrous human family. Oh what a beautiful family God envisioned. Each happy, perfect, and contented beyond their fondest desires. A family who together with their Heavenly Father, would go on to live everlastingly in perfect harmony, peace and joy, throughout eternity.
But how to accomplish it? How could God develop this family without having to use coercion to maintain perfect obedience, and yet let them have freedom to follow their own will so they could live together in perfect harmony forever? There was only one way!
In the course of time He would have to allow disobedience to enter His Universe, so that each and every family member could experience the consequences of both good and evil. Then each in their own time and way would be given a final test to see if they were worthy of eternal life. No one would be allowed to go into the ages of everlasting life, without reaching perfect unselfish love in their hearts.
The test for His beloved Son and His bride would be the most severe. They would have to develop this perfect love, through extreme tests of adversity, through suffering, persecution, self-denial, and sacrifice. For to those who would be faithful, God would share with them His very own Nature, life within themselves. And thru the eons of eternity, he would constantly be showering them with new facets of His unending love and power.
As we read in John 17:3 "This Is life eternal, in order that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ who thou hast sent." Yes it will take all eternity to know God, even for the Church, for there will always be something new coming forth from the mind of our omnipotent creator.
Having conceived in His mind this magnificent family, our great God took the first wondrous step to implement His plan. He brought forth His first born, only begotten Son. Oh could you imagine that momentous occasion and the emotions shared by God with His beloved Son?
How long Gods son, the Logos and our Heavenly Father were alone together, before other creative works took place we do not know. But in due time were told in Col 1:15, 16 of the works that followed. Speaking of Jesus in his pre-human form as the Logos it says: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation: (Note the family concept brought to our attention, he was in the Image of His Father, the first born of every creature.) By him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” And so the creative processes continued. God's family expanded with all the angelic hosts and eventually the human family was brought into being.
Adam and Eve rejoiced in their companionship in the splendor of the Garden of Eden. It was filled with the joy of the bird and animal kingdom, which frolicked in their presence, tame and free from all fear. Flowers of every hue of the rainbow abounded to delight the eye and fill the air with a fragrance beyond description. All provided by their creator for their enjoyment and happiness.
A tree of the knowledge of Good and evil was placed in the center of the garden. And a beautiful guardian Cherub was appointed to watch over all.
Thus the stage was set for the introduction of disobedience into Gods Universe. The testing process of every heavenly and earthly member of Gods family was about to start.
We're told of the guardian Cherub in Ezek. 28:12-16 (NIV) "You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty; you were in Eden, the garden of God. Every precious stone adorned you, ruby topaz, and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub.”
Thus sin entered the universe. The permission of evil began. To people of the world the permission of Evil is indeed a mystery. Why would an all wise and all loving God permit evil, pain, sorrow, suffering and death.
Our understanding of this is indeed one of the most important fundamental doctrines necessary for the development of our faith. Without it, it would be impossible to develop a faith strong enough to sustain us thru all the necessary trials of life necessary to crystallize our new creature.
How thankful we are that we can truly understand, rejoice in and be thankful for this facet of God's plan. For we realize it was foreknown to God, and is an absolute necessity that will result in the ultimate development and testing of every intelligent being in this universe.”
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