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The Mystery of the Faith
1 Timothy 3:9
"Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience."
People down through history have had different kinds of faith in what God would do. There are different kinds of faith about God. In the book of Hebrews chapter eleven there is a list of people who had faith that God would do different things for them.
God promised Abraham that a great nation would come from his seed. This nation would be as large as the number of stars and would rule the world. Abraham had faith that God would do what He promised. What Abraham believed became known as "the faith." Abraham became known as the father of "the faith." Everyone who would believe what Abraham believed were in "the faith." It would be said of them that they kept "the faith."
Later, down through the ages, this "faith" would receive more details with those who would keep "the faith." As details would be given by God from one generation to another a "mystery" developed about "the faith." Some of the things mentioned in "the faith" would not be understood until after the resurrection of Jesus. The "mystery of the faith" would be understood by believers in the church age. The only spiritual qualification for a pastor or deacon is to know the "mystery of the faith." 1 Timothy 3:9 "Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience." Understanding the "mystery of the faith" lays the foundation for all of the doctrines of the Bible. You can understand prophecy better when you know the "mystery of the faith."
It is easier to put a puzzle together when you have the picture of the puzzle to go by. The Bible is like a puzzle. The doctrines of the Bible are pieces of the puzzle. It easier to put things together when you have the picture. The "mystery of the faith" is that picture.
To understand what the "mystery is, first you must know what "the faith" is. God promised Abraham that from his seed he would have a great nation that would rule the world. Abraham had faith that the population of this nation would be as many as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand in all of the world as God had promised. This promise of a great nation to rule the world was made to Abraham and his seed that was to come. God would use the word seed instead of seeds in reference to a large nation.
Abraham did not understand this, but just had faith that God knew what he was doing. Abraham did not understand that the word seed was in reference to the Son of God, but just had faith in what God said. Abraham had faith that God would keep his word even though Abraham, seventy five years old, and Sara, sixty five years old, did not have any children at the time.
God promised Abraham that this nation would rule the world from the land located between the river of Egypt and the great river Euphrates. The capital providence of the land would be the land of Canaan, later known as Palestine. This providence would be also known as the promised land and later Israel.
This "faith" was believed by Isaac, Jacob and his twelve sons even though they only numbered about seventy four. This family would be know as Israel, because Jacob's name was changed to Israel by God. When Israel went to Egypt they numbered seventy four, a small family. Yet they had "faith" that God would keep his word. Then after hundreds of years in Egypt this family grew to over a million in number. God reassured them that He would keep his promise to Abraham. This "faith" grew as they followed Moses back to the promised land. While on the way back to the promised land, God gave Moses the Ten Commandments and the laws to organize and run this nation.
When this nation, Israel, reached the promised land and conquered it, God gave them a King, David. God promised David that the King of Kings to rule this nation and the world would be from his family and would rule on David's throne.
"The faith" grew to mean that God would have a great nation from Abraham and the King would be the Messiah, the Son of God, to rule on David's throne. The capital of this nation would be Jerusalem and it would also be the capital of the world.
The basic concept of "the faith" is that God's Son would come to this earth, born of a virgin. He would be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and David. He would set up a political kingdom with the Israeli nation as the ruling nation of the world. He would rule the world from Jerusalem for 1,000 years of peace.
There were things taught about this "faith" which they did not understand (a "mystery"). They did not understand (a "mystery") that Jesus would come, be born of a virgin, but would be rejected, crucified, buried, and raised the third day. They did not understand (a "mystery") that Jesus would ascend to heaven and return at a later time to set up his political kingdom as promised to Abraham.
They did not understand (a "mystery") that while Jesus is in heaven he would develop the local churches. The local churches are not to replace Israel as God's nation. The local churches would become the bride and body of Jesus. They did not understand (a "mystery") that Jesus would return as a thief in the night and the born again believers would be taken out, Raptured. Then a period of great tribulation would follow on the earth for seven years, to purge and prepare the Israeli nation for the 2nd coming of Jesus to be their King and Savior. At the end of the tribulation period Jesus, with all of his saints, would return and he would conquer the satanic trinity and the nations of the world, and rule for 1,000 years as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Israeli nation would be the administrators of His kingdom. At this time the "mystery" of "the faith" would be over and "the faith" would be complete.
Paul was taught the "mystery of the faith". He was taught by a man in Christ, while he was in Arabia for three years. This was right after his salvation. Paul was commissioned to teach the local church the "mystery of the faith."
Now we are to understand and teach the "mystery of the faith." When you understand the "mystery of the faith", you will have the picture of the Bible puzzle. Then you will be able to put all the pieces (doctrines) together properly. You will be able to understand prophecy, because you know the picture of the Bible puzzle (the "mystery of the faith").
In this Bible study we will examine the scriptures explaining the "mystery of the faith." All the answers to the questions in the following lessons are based on the King James version of the Bible.
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