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Mysteries Out Of Context

John Collins3/27/2012 8:52:00 PMIf you search the word "mystery" in the MSG, you'll quickly find that WMB was fascinated by mysteries, at over 400 of the 1100+ sermons. If you broaden that to include antiquities and study of ancient civilization, you'll be shocked to see how most of the sermons he preached involved some mystery or another.

So much that at the end of his ministry, he would be found saying that the "bride" must have the "mystery of the seven seals" to have rapturing faith in a few roundabout ways.

Take the following quote:

Now, this blessed old Book is a Book of all books. And there's only One can rightfully interpret this Book, and that's the Holy Spirit. He's the Writer of it.
And it's only One that can really interpret. No matter how well we think we know it, we don't know it until the Holy Spirit has revealed it, because it's--it's all a mystery. It's cut up in mysteries. And God said He did it purposely, so He could hide It from the smart and wise, but He would reveal It to babes such as would learn.

On the surface, this looks good. None would argue.

But if you really catch what he's doing here, you quickly find that he has taken away the listener's ability to understand the Word of God, for it's hidden in mystery.

The first problem here is context. This quote from the bible, "hide it from the smart and wise," and "reveal it to babes such as would learn", comes from Matthew 11:25.

At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

This quote, used over and over by WMB refers to the Pharisees and their Scribes not being able to notice that John the Baptist was Elijah. If you read the entire chapter in context, you find that he is praising God that the Pharisees and their Scribes, who were vainly puffed up by their ways, and having their hearts hardened, refusing to submit to the righteousness of God. They set about to establish their own salvation by their good works.

Had the Pharisees and Scribes knew that John the Baptist was the one Malachi 3-4 spoke about, they would have certainly kept him from the sinners who needed salvation.

Jesus said in the same chapter (referring to that which was hidden), "John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds."

The only "mystery" that was to be made known was really who would be the Christ child. After his resurrection, ALL who believed in Jesus Christ could be saved, and there was no hidden mystery.

Peter criticized several who took some of Paul's writings and misconstrued them -- making mysteries out of his words. He condemned these people who tried to make mysteries out of the Bible, calling them "ignorant and unstable."

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:14)