A   mystery   is   commonly   defined   as   something   that   is   difficult   to   understand,   inexplicable,   and   has   a   secretive   character.     The   word   mystery   comes   from   the   biblical   Greek   word   “mustérion.”      Mustérion   is   something   that   is   hidden   by   God,   and cannot   be   known   (or   understood)   unless   it   is   revealed   by   God.      For   example,   have   you   ever   read   scripture   (that   you have   read   in   the   past)   and   found   a   completely   new   meaning?      Or   have   you   found   that   as   you   meditate   on   a   biblical passage   it   expands   different   dimensions   of   your   spiritual   awareness?     These   revelations   occur   as   the   mystery   of   God   is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. Among   those   who   believe   God   exists,   if   you   ask   100   persons   to   describe   God,   you’d   likely   hear   various   depictions.      A portion   of   responses   may   describe   Him   as   the   creator   of   the   universe   who   sits   on   a   throne   in   Heaven.      A   few   may portray   Him   as   authoritative,   angry,   judgmental,   and   vengeful.      While   some   may   describe   Him   as   being   benevolent.     However,   most   will   not   describe   Him   based   upon   the   most   important   and   mysterious   attribute   of   who   He   is—for   He   is (and is the source of) agape love—which is the highest form of love one can experience.  “Beloved,   let   us   love   one   another,   for   love   is   of   God;   and   everyone   who   loves   is   born   of   God   and   knows   God.      He   who does   not   love   does   not   know   God,   for   God   is   love.      In   this   the   love   of   God   was   manifested   toward   us,   that   God   has   sent His   only   begotten   Son   into   the   world,   that   we   might   live   through   Him.      In   this   is   love,   not   that   we   loved   God,   but   that   He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”  1 John 4:7-10 God   manifested   His   agape   love   in   the   life   and   sacrificial   death   of   His   Son,   Jesus   Christ—which   is   a   mystery   to   a   large percentage   of   persons   on   earth.      However,   there   is   a   reason   for   this   incomprehension,   lack   of   understanding   and “blindness.”      “But   even   if   our   gospel   is   veiled,   it   is   veiled   to   those   who   are   perishing,   whose   minds   the   god   of   this   age has   blinded,   who   do   not   believe,   lest   the   light   of   the   gospel   of   the   glory   of   Christ,   who   is   the   image   of   God,   should   shine on them.”  2 Corinthians 4:3-4 Those   who   have   placed   their   hope,   belief,   faith   and   trust   in   His   Son   understand   the   mystery   of   Christ   because   of   the direct   and   interactive   influence   of   the   Holy   Spirit.      “In   Him   you   also   trusted,   after   you   heard   the   word   of   truth,   the   gospel of   your   salvation;   in   whom   also,   having   believed,   you   were   sealed   with   the   Holy   Spirit   of   promise,   who   is   the   guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”  Ephesians 1:13-14 Jesus   Christ   used   many   illustrative   parables   (stories)   when   He   spoke   and   taught   by   comparing   earthly   stories   to spiritual   truths.      However,   for   those   who   heard   His   parables,   some   were   not   capable   of   understanding   because   they were   unable   to   make   a   “connection”   between   the   earthly   meaning   and   the   spiritual   meaning.      His   words   were   a   mystery to   them.      Those   who   understood   the   hidden   spiritual   truths   did   so   by   revelation   from   God.      This   revelation   continues today via the Holy Spirit. “And   the   disciples   came   and   said   to   Him,   ‘Why   do   You   speak   to   them   in   parables?’      He   answered   and   said   to   them,   ‘Because   it   has   been   given   to   you   to   know   the   mysteries   of   the   kingdom   of   heaven,   but   to   them   it   has   not   been   given.     For   whoever   has,   to   him   more   will   be   given,   and   he   will   have   abundance;   but   whoever   does   not   have,   even   what   he   has will   be   taken   away   from   him.      Therefore   I   speak   to   them   in   parables,   because   seeing   they   do   not   see,   and   hearing   they do   not   hear,   nor   do   they   understand.     And   in   them   the   prophecy   of   Isaiah   is   fulfilled,   which   says:   ‘Hearing   you   will   hear and   shall   not   understand,   and   seeing   you   will   see   and   not   perceive;   for   the   hearts   of   this   people   have   grown   dull.     Their ears   are   hard   of   hearing,   and   their   eyes   they   have   closed,   lest   they   should   see   with   their   eyes   and   hear   with   their   ears, lest   they   should   understand   with   their   hearts   and   turn,   so   that   I   should   heal   them.’      But   blessed   are   your   eyes   for   they see,   and   your   ears   for   they   hear;   for   assuredly,   I   say   to   you   that   many   prophets   and   righteous   men   desired   to   see   what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.’”  Matthew 13:10-17 We   live   in   a   physical   world.      Our   human   perception   is   based   upon   what   we   see,   touch,   hear,   taste   and   smell.      To understand   the   spiritual   realm,   to   understand   that   which   our   senses   cannot   experience,   to   experience   truths   that   speak to the depths of our soul…requires obedience and revelation by God via the Holy Spirit. Jesus   said   “If   you   love   Me,   keep   My   commandments.      And   I   will   pray   the   Father,   and   He   will   give   you   another   Helper, that   He   may   abide   with   you   forever—the   Spirit   of   truth,   whom   the   world   cannot   receive,   because   it   neither   sees   Him   nor knows   Him;   but   you   know   Him,   for   He   dwells   with   you   and   will   be   in   you.      I   will   not   leave   you   orphans;   I   will   come   to you.”  John 14:15-18 Jesus   said   “But   the   Helper,   the   Holy   Spirit,   whom   the   Father   will   send   in   My   name,   He   will   teach   you   all   things,   and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”  John 14:26 Jesus   said   “But   now   I   go   away   to   Him   who   sent   Me,   and   none   of   you   asks   Me,   ‘Where   are   You   going?’      But   because   I have   said   these   things   to   you,   sorrow   has   filled   your   heart.      Nevertheless   I   tell   you   the   truth.      It   is   to   your   advantage   that I   go   away;   for   if   I   do   not   go   away,   the   Helper   will   not   come   to   you;   but   if   I   depart,   I   will   send   Him   to   you.     And   when   He has   come,   He   will   convict   the   world   of   sin,   and   of   righteousness,   and   of   judgment:   of   sin,   because   they   do   not   believe   in Me;   of   righteousness,   because   I   go   to   My   Father   and   you   see   Me   no   more;   of   judgment,   because   the   ruler   of   this   world is   judged.      I   still   have   many   things   to   say   to   you,   but   you   cannot   bear   them   now.      However,   when   He,   the   Spirit   of   truth, has   come,   He   will   guide   you   into   all   truth;   for   He   will   not   speak   on   His   own   authority,   but   whatever   He   hears   He   will speak;   and   He   will   tell   you   things   to   come.      He   will   glorify   Me,   for   He   will   take   of   what   is   Mine   and   declare   it   to   you.     All things that the Father has are Mine.  Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”  John 16:5-15 Therefore,   before   you   continue,   it   is   important   to   pray   to   the   Father—in   the   name   of   Jesus—and   ask   the   Holy   Spirit   to guide   you   into   all   truth,   and   to   speak   to   your   heart.      For   we   are   incapable   of   understanding   the   mystery   of   God   without His revelation. We Need to Love and Be Loved We   are   uniquely   designed   with   a   need   for   reciprocal   love   that   is   unconditional;   and   with   the   whole   heart,   mind   and   soul.     This   basic   human   need   is   reflected   in   our   culture   by   songs,   plays,   television,   movies,   and   literature;   and   is   expressed by   touch,   words,   behavior—including   the   simple   joy   and   contentment   of   just   being   in   the   presence   of   who   we   love.      Our need   to   love   and   be   loved   is   more   powerful   than   we   realize.      But   what’s   interesting   and   revealing,   our   innate   need   for love begins during infancy. There   have   been   numerous   studies   on   the   significant   ill-effects   upon   infants   caused   by   deprivation   of   maternal   care   (a mother’s   loving   touch,   warm   embrace,   comforting   words,   and   so   forth).      These   studies   have   mainly   occurred   in institutional   orphanages   where   infants   are   given   basic   sustenance   (food,   clothing   and   shelter),   but   not   maternal   care.     The   physical   consequences   (shown   in   infants   older   than   one   month)   include   listlessness,   emaciation   and   pallor   (an unhealthy   pale   appearance),   relative   immobility,   quietness,   loss   of   appetite,   failure   to   gain   weight,   an   appearance   of unhappiness,   and   other   negative   physical   conditions.      What’s   more,   those   infants   who   lacked   maternal   care   had   a significant   increase   in   the   number   of   deaths   compared   to   infants   who   received   maternal   care.      In   addition,   infants deprived of maternal care also demonstrated severe emotional and psychiatric problems later in life. Sources: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/40724/WHO_MONO_2_(part1.pdf?sequence=1 https://drdavidhamilton.com/why-children-need-love-to-grow/ Our   need   to   love   and   be   loved   is   part   of   our   design—from   infancy   to   adulthood—even   when   challenges   and   traumas   in life   have   hardened   the   heart.      Consider   how   you   feel   on   the   inside   when   you   meaningfully   hug   someone   who meaningfully   hugs   you.      There   is   a   fleeting   moment   of   an   indescribable   feeling   of   elation   as   each   person’s   soul connects spiritually.  What’s more, anxieties and ongoing daily issues seem to disappear during the embrace. Similar   to   the   need   of   institutionalized   infants   who   lacked   maternal   care,   multiple   studies   have   also   found   that   persons who   engage   more   frequently   in   non-sexual   (and   appropriate)   interpersonal   touch   and   hugging   enjoy   better   physical, psychological   and   relational   health.      For   example,   hugging   can   reduce   the   chance   of   getting   a   cold,   reduce   blood pressure and can improve one’s mood. Sources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6169869/ w y - being Studies   have   also   shown   being   in   a   loving   marriage   is   related   to   improved   psychological   (anxiety   and   emotions),   and physical health (cardiovascular, endocrine and immune system). Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4275835/ God Desires Our Love God   is   self-sufficient   and   has   created   everything—including   our   human   self-will.      Our   self-will   empowers   us   to   make   our own   personal   decisions   in   life   as   to   what   we   will   do,   whom   we   will   love,   and   differentiates   us   from   all   living   organisms.     Without   self-will   means   we   would   function   as   robots;   and   any   declaration   of   love   would   have   no   meaning—because   a foundational   component   of   true   love   is   comprised   of   a   self-willed   decision.      Therefore,   because   of   our   self-will,   the   only thing   God   cannot   create   is   a   self-willed   person   who   diligently   seeks   Him   and   loves   Him   with   all   their   heart,   soul   and mind.  However, this is what He desires.  Since   the   beginning,   God   has   sought   a   personal,   and   intimate,   and   loving   relationship   with   His   creation,   starting   with Adam   and   Eve.      God   forbid   only   one   thing:   they   were   not   allowed   to   eat   the   fruit   from   one   specific   tree.         However,   their self-willed   hearts   preferred   to   fulfill   the   desires   of   their   flesh—rather   than   loving   and   obeying   God—and   they   disobeyed and   sinned   (Genesis   2   &   3).      As   the   population   on   earth   grew,   so   did   man’s   sin.      Meanwhile,   God   continued   to   search the   hearts   of   those   who   live   on   earth.      “I,   the   Lord,   search   the   heart,   I   test   the   mind,   even   to   give   every   man   according to   his   ways,   according   to   the   fruit   of   his   doings”   (Jeremiah   17:10).       However,   man’s   sin   became   so   bad   that   God   had   to start   over   by   saving   a   remnant   (Noah   and   his   family)   and   destroyed   all   in   the   flood.      Over   time   this   remnant   began   to grow   and   expand   in   population.      Meanwhile,   God   continued   to   search   the   hearts   of   those   who   would   love   and   obey Him—as He does today. God   knew   the   heart   of   Abram;   selected   him   to   be   the   seed   of   His   chosen   people;   made   an   unconditional   an   eternal promise   with   him   (known   as   the Abrahamic   Covenant);   and   changed   his   name   to Abraham.         “For   I   have   known   him,   in order   that   he   may   command   his   children   and   his   household   after   him,   that   they   keep   the   way   of   the   Lord,   to   do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.”  Genesis 18:19 “When Abram   was   ninety-nine   years   old,   the   Lord   appeared   to Abram   and   said   to   him,   ‘I   am Almighty   God;   walk   before Me   and   be   blameless.      And   I   will   make   My   covenant   between   Me   and   you,   and   will   multiply   you   exceedingly.’      Then Abram   fell   on   his   face,   and   God   talked   with   him,   saying:   ‘As   for   Me,   behold,   My   covenant   is   with   you,   and   you   shall   be   a father   of   many   nations.      No   longer   shall   your   name   be   called Abram,   but   your   name   shall   be Abraham;   for   I   have   made you   a   father   of   many   nations.      I   will   make   you   exceedingly   fruitful;   and   I   will   make   nations   of   you,   and   kings   shall   come from   you.      And   I   will   establish   My   covenant   between   Me   and   you   and   your   descendants   after   you   in   their   generations, for   an   everlasting   covenant,   to   be   God   to   you   and   your   descendants   after   you.     Also   I   give   to   you   and   your   descendants after   you   the   land   in   which   you   are   a   stranger,   all   the   land   of   Canaan,   as   an   everlasting   possession;   and   I   will   be   their God.’”  Genesis 17:1-8 God   expressed   His   love   for   the   descendants   of   Abraham,   and   desired   to   be   among   them   via   the   Tabernacle.      His presence appeared above the Tabernacle as a cloud by day and fire by night to guide them (Exodus 13:21-22). “For   you   are   a   holy   people   to   the   Lord   your   God;   the   Lord   your   God   has   chosen   you   to   be   a   people   for   Himself,   a special   treasure   above   all   the   peoples   on   the   face   of   the   earth.      The   Lord   did   not   set   His   love   on   you   nor   choose   you because   you   were   more   in   number   than   any   other   people,   for   you   were   the   least   of   all   peoples;   but   because   the   Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers.”  Deuteronomy 7:6-8. Knowing   man’s   sinful   nature,   through   Moses   God   provided   the   descendants   of   Abraham   (Israelites)   with   the   Mosaic Covenant.      It   included   basic   rules   of   behavior   via   the   Ten   Commandments   (Exodus   20:1-17),   and   a   means   to   be forgiven   for   sin   via   animal   sacrifices.      However,   unlike   the   unconditional   promise   God   made   with Abraham,   the   Mosaic Covenant was conditional: if Israel remained obedient, God will bless; if disobedient, God will punish (Deuteronomy 28). For   an   Israelite   to   be   forgiven   for   a   sin,   the   sacrificial   animal   had   to   be   without   blemish   (defect),   and   the   person   offering the   animal   had   to   inflict   death   upon   it.      Forgiveness   of   one’s   sin   via   the   shed   blood   of   an   animal   was   intended   to   cause the   person   to   deeply   comprehend   the   wrongness   and   consequences   of   what   they   had   done,   realize   God   has   forgiven them, and change that person’s heart towards Him.  The   following   scripture   from   Ezekiel   chapter   16   reveals   God’s   love   for   Abraham’s   descendants   as   He   describes   the Israelites   (as   a   female)   from   her   infancy—when   she   was   loathed,   cast   away   and   left   to   die.      He   also   describes   how   He cared for her and tended to her needs because of His love for her. “Thus   says   the   Lord   God   to   Jerusalem:   ‘Your   birth   and   your   nativity   are   from   the   land   of   Canaan;   your   father   was   an Amorite   and   your   mother   a   Hittite.     As   for   your   nativity,   on   the   day   you   were   born   your   navel   cord   was   not   cut,   nor   were you   washed   in   water   to   cleanse   you;   you   were   not   rubbed   with   salt   nor   wrapped   in   swaddling   cloths.      No   eye   pitied   you, to   do   any   of   these   things   for   you,   to   have   compassion   on   you;   but   you   were   thrown   out   into   the   open   field,   when   you yourself were loathed on the day you were born. And   when   I   passed   by   you   and   saw   you   struggling   in   your   own   blood,   I   said   to   you   in   your   blood,   ‘Live!’      Yes,   I   said   to you   in   your   blood,   ‘Live!’      I   made   you   thrive   like   a   plant   in   the   field;   and   you   grew,   matured,   and   became   very   beautiful.     Your breasts were formed, your hair grew, but you were naked and bare. When   I   passed   by   you   again   and   looked   upon   you,   indeed   your   time   was   the   time   of   love;   so   I   spread   My   wing   over   you and   covered   your   nakedness.      Yes,   I   swore   an   oath   to   you   and   entered   into   a   covenant   with   you,   and   you   became Mine, says the Lord God. Then   I   washed   you   in   water;   yes,   I   thoroughly   washed   off   your   blood,   and   I   anointed   you   with   oil.      I   clothed   you   in embroidered   cloth   and   gave   you   sandals   of   badger   skin;   I   clothed   you   with   fine   linen   and   covered   you   with   silk.      I adorned   you   with   ornaments,   put   bracelets   on   your   wrists,   and   a   chain   on   your   neck.      And   I   put   a   jewel   in   your   nose, earrings   in   your   ears,   and   a   beautiful   crown   on   your   head.      Thus   you   were   adorned   with   gold   and   silver,   and   your clothing   was   of   fine   linen,   silk,   and   embroidered   cloth.      You   ate   pastry   of   fine   flour,   honey,   and   oil.      You   were exceedingly   beautiful,   and   succeeded   to   royalty.      Your   fame   went   out   among   the   nations   because   of   your   beauty,   for   it was perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you,’ says the Lord God.”  Ezekiel 16:3-14 However,   the   Israelites   rejected   God’s   love,   turned   away   from   Him   and   sinned   with   other   “lovers.”      The   continued scripture   in   Ezekiel   below   (Ezekiel   16:15-43)   reveals   the   adulterous   ways   of   His   chosen   and   God’s   disdain   for   their actions.      The   Israelites   were   deeply   consumed   by   sin.      But   what’s   worse,   some   even   sacrificed   their   babies   to   Molech (a   god   of   the Ammonites   and   Canaanites).     As   you   read,   consider   how   you   would   respond   to   an   adulterous   spouse—for these emotions are revealed in God’s words—because whom He loves has become a harlot.  Jerusalem’s Harlotry “‘But   you   trusted   in   your   own   beauty,   played   the   harlot   because   of   your   fame,   and   poured   out   your   harlotry   on   everyone passing   by   who   would   have   it.      You   took   some   of   your   garments   and   adorned   multicolored   high   places   for   yourself,   and played   the   harlot   on   them.      Such   things   should   not   happen,   nor   be.     You   have   also   taken   your   beautiful   jewelry   from   My gold   and   My   silver,   which   I   had   given   you,   and   made   for   yourself   male   images   and   played   the   harlot   with   them.      You took   your   embroidered   garments   and   covered   them,   and   you   set   My   oil   and   My   incense   before   them.      Also   My   food which   I   gave   you—the   pastry   of   fine   flour,   oil,   and   honey   which   I   fed   you—you   set   it   before   them   as   sweet   incense;   and so it was,’ says the Lord God. ‘Moreover   you   took   your   sons   and   your   daughters,   whom   you   bore   to   Me,   and   these   you   sacrificed   to   them   to   be devoured.      Were   your   acts   of   harlotry   a   small   matter,   that   you   have   slain   My   children   and   offered   them   up   to   them   by causing   them   to   pass   through   the   fire?     And   in   all   your   abominations   and   acts   of   harlotry   you   did   not   remember   the   days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, struggling in your blood. Then   it   was   so,   after   all   your   wickedness—‘Woe,   woe   to   you!’   says   the   Lord   God—that   you   also   built   for   yourself   a shrine,   and   made   a   high   place   for   yourself   in   every   street.      You   built   your   high   places   at   the   head   of   every   road,   and made   your   beauty   to   be   abhorred.     You   offered   yourself   to   everyone   who   passed   by,   and   multiplied   your   acts   of   harlotry.     You   also   committed   harlotry   with   the   Egyptians,   your   very   fleshly   neighbors,   and   increased   your   acts   of   harlotry   to provoke Me to anger. Behold,   therefore,   I   stretched   out   My   hand   against   you,   diminished   your   allotment,   and   gave   you   up   to   the   will   of   those who   hate   you,   the   daughters   of   the   Philistines,   who   were   ashamed   of   your   lewd   behavior.      You   also   played   the   harlot with   the   Assyrians,   because   you   were   insatiable;   indeed   you   played   the   harlot   with   them   and   still   were   not   satisfied.     Moreover   you   multiplied   your   acts   of   harlotry   as   far   as   the   land   of   the   trader,   Chaldea;   and   even   then   you   were   not satisfied. How   degenerate   is   your   heart!’   says   the   Lord   God,   ‘seeing   you   do   all   these   things,   the   deeds   of   a   brazen   harlot.      You erected   your   shrine   at   the   head   of   every   road,   and   built   your   high   place   in   every   street.      Yet   you   were   not   like   a   harlot, because   you   scorned   payment.      You   are   an   adulterous   wife,   who   takes   strangers   instead   of   her   husband.      Men   make payment   to   all   harlots,   but   you   made   your   payments   to   all   your   lovers,   and   hired   them   to   come   to   you   from   all   around for   your   harlotry.      You   are   the   opposite   of   other   women   in   your   harlotry,   because   no   one   solicited   you   to   be   a   harlot.      In that you gave payment but no payment was given you, therefore you are the opposite. Now   then,   O   harlot,   hear   the   word   of   the   Lord!      Thus   says   the   Lord   God:   ‘Because   your   filthiness   was   poured   out   and your   nakedness   uncovered   in   your   harlotry   with   your   lovers,   and   with   all   your   abominable   idols,   and   because   of   the blood   of   your   children   which   you   gave   to   them,   surely,   therefore,   I   will   gather   all   your   lovers   with   whom   you   took pleasure,   all   those   you   loved,   and   all   those   you   hated;   I   will   gather   them   from   all   around   against   you   and   will   uncover your   nakedness   to   them,   that   they   may   see   all   your   nakedness.     And   I   will   judge   you   as   women   who   break   wedlock   or shed   blood   are   judged;   I   will   bring   blood   upon   you   in   fury   and   jealousy.      I   will   also   give   you   into   their   hand,   and   they shall   throw   down   your   shrines   and   break   down   your   high   places.      They   shall   also   strip   you   of   your   clothes,   take   your beautiful jewelry, and leave you naked and bare. They   shall   also   bring   up   an   assembly   against   you,   and   they   shall   stone   you   with   stones   and   thrust   you   through   with their   swords.      They   shall   burn   your   houses   with   fire,   and   execute   judgments   on   you   in   the   sight   of   many   women;   and   I will   make   you   cease   playing   the   harlot,   and   you   shall   no   longer   hire   lovers.      So   I   will   lay   to   rest   My   fury   toward   you,   and My   jealousy   shall   depart   from   you.      I   will   be   quiet,   and   be   angry   no   more.      Because   you   did   not   remember   the   days   of your   youth,   but   agitated   Me   with   all   these   things,   surely   I   will   also   recompense   your   deeds   on   your   own   head,’   says   the Lord God.  ‘And you shall not commit lewdness in addition to all your abominations.’”  Ezekiel 16:15-43 In   addition   to   her   harlotry,   God   also   become   tired   of   Israel’s   sin   sacrifices—which   became   ritualistic   and   not   a   heart- changing   event   that   caused   her   to   repent,   seek   Him,   and   love   Him.      As   you   continue   to   read,   listen   to   (and   spiritually experience   in   your   soul)   not   His   anger,   but   the   desire   in   God’s   heart.      Even   though   she   turned   from   Him   and   became   a harlot,   God   wanted   Israel   to   return   to   Him;   and   if   so,   because   of   His   love,   He   will   forgive   her   for   what   she   had   done.     This   love   God   declared   to   the   Israelites   is   the   same,   unchanging   and   everlasting   love   God   has   for   each   of   us—and   is why He will forgive us for what we have done, no matter how far we have strayed. “‘To   what   purpose   is   the   multitude   of   your   sacrifices   to   Me?’      Says   the   Lord.      ‘I   have   had   enough   of   burnt   offerings   of rams   and   the   fat   of   fed   cattle.      I   do   not   delight   in   the   blood   of   bulls,   or   of   lambs   or   goats.      When   you   come   to   appear before   Me,   who   has   required   this   from   your   hand,   to   trample   My   courts?      Bring   no   more   futile   sacrifices;   incense   is   an abomination   to   Me.      The   New   Moons,   the   Sabbaths,   and   the   calling   of   assemblies—I   cannot   endure   iniquity   and   the sacred   meeting.      Your   New   Moons   and   your   appointed   feasts   My   soul   hates;   they   are   a   trouble   to   Me,   I   am   weary   of bearing   them.      When   you   spread   out   your   hands,   I   will   hide   My   eyes   from   you;   even   though   you   make   many   prayers,   I will   not   hear.      Your   hands   are   full   of   blood.      Wash   yourselves,   make   yourselves   clean;   put   away   the   evil   of   your   doings from   before   My   eyes.      Cease   to   do   evil,   learn   to   do   good;   seek   justice,   rebuke   the   oppressor;   defend   the   fatherless, plead   for   the   widow.      Come   now,   and   let   us   reason   together,’   Says   the   Lord,   ‘Though   your   sins   are   like   scarlet,   they shall   be   as   white   as   snow;   though   they   are   red   like   crimson,   they   shall   be   as   wool.      If   you   are   willing   and   obedient,   you shall   eat   the   good   of   the   land;   but   if   you   refuse   and   rebel,   you   shall   be   devoured   by   the   sword’;   For   the   mouth   of   the Lord has spoken.”  Isaiah 1:11-20 However,   the   Israelites   continued   their   harlotries   as   an   adulterous   wife.      Thereafter,   God   replaced   the   conditional Mosaic   Covenant   with   an   unconditional   and   everlasting   covenant—because   of   the   promise   He   had   made   to   Abraham, and because of His love for the Israelites. “For   thus   says   the   Lord   God:   ‘I   will   deal   with   you   as   you   have   done,   who   despised   the   oath   by   breaking   the   covenant.’     Nevertheless   I   will   remember   My   covenant   with   you   in   the   days   of   your   youth,   and   I   will   establish   an   everlasting covenant   with   you.      Then   you   will   remember   your   ways   and   be   ashamed,   when   you   receive   your   older   and   your younger   sisters;   for   I   will   give   them   to   you   for   daughters,   but   not   because   of   My   covenant   with   you.     And   I   will   establish My   covenant   with   you.      Then   you   shall   know   that   I   am   the   Lord,   that   you   may   remember   and   be   ashamed,   and   never open   your   mouth   anymore   because   of   your   shame,   when   I   provide   you   an   atonement   for   all   you   have   done,’   says   the Lord God.” Ezekiel 16:59-63 God’s   New   Covenant   is   not   based   upon   the   forgiveness   of   sins   via   the   sacrificial   blood   of   animals—but   is   based   upon the   sacrificial   blood   of   His   Son,   Jesus   Christ.      In   addition,   God’s   promise   that   they   would   remember   and   be   ashamed will occur when Jesus—whom they rejected (even to this day)—returns. “‘Behold,   the   days   are   coming,’   says   the   Lord,   ‘when   I   will   make   a   new   covenant   with   the   house   of   Israel   and   with   the house   of   Judah—not   according   to   the   covenant   that   I   made   with   their   fathers   in   the   day   that   I   took   them   by   the   hand   to lead   them   out   of   the   land   of   Egypt,   My   covenant   which   they   broke,   though   I   was   a   husband   to   them,   says   the   Lord.      But this   is   the   covenant   that   I   will   make   with   the   house   of   Israel   after   those   days,   says   the   Lord:   I   will   put   My   law   in   their minds,   and   write   it   on   their   hearts;   and   I   will   be   their   God,   and   they   shall   be   My   people.      No   more   shall   every   man   teach his   neighbor,   and   every   man   his   brother,   saying,   ‘Know   the   Lord,’   for   they   all   shall   know   Me,   from   the   least   of   them   to the   greatest   of   them,   says   the   Lord.      For   I   will   forgive   their   iniquity,   and   their   sin   I   will   remember   no   more.’”      Jeremiah 31:31-34 The Mystery of Jesus Christ: God’s New Covenant Jesus said “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.”  Luke 22:20 Jesus   said   “For   God   so   loved   the   world   that   He   gave   His   only   begotten   Son,   that   whoever   believes   in   Him   should   not perish but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16 There   is   no   better   sacrifice   for   man’s   sin   than   God’s   own   Son—the   only   person   who   has   ever   lived   that   was   perfect, without   blemish,   and   was   worthy   of   paying   the   absolute   and   eternal   redemptive   price   for   our   sins   with   His   own   blood.     When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He replaced the Mosaic Covenant. “And   every   priest   stands   ministering   daily   and   offering   repeatedly   the   same   sacrifices,   which   can   never   take   away   sins.     But   this   Man,   after   He   had   offered   one   sacrifice   for   sins   forever,   sat   down   at   the   right   hand   of   God,   from   that   time waiting   till   His   enemies   are   made   His   footstool.      For   by   one   offering   He   has   perfected   forever   those   who   are   being sanctified.      But   the   Holy   Spirit   also   witnesses   to   us;   for   after   He   had   said   before,   ‘This   is   the   covenant   that   I   will   make with   them   after   those   days,   says   the   Lord:   I   will   put   My   laws   into   their   hearts,   and   in   their   minds   I   will   write   them,’   then He   adds,   ‘Their   sins   and   their   lawless   deeds   I   will   remember   no   more.’      Now   where   there   is   remission   of   these,   there   is no longer an offering for sin.”  Hebrews 10:11-18 But   what’s   more,   God   offered   His   grace   and   mercy   to   all   who   believe   (both   Jew   and   Gentile).      Jesus   revealed   the reason why God’s New Covenant was extended to Gentiles in the Parable of the Wedding Feast. “And   Jesus   answered   and   spoke   to   them   again   by   parables   and   said:   ‘The   kingdom   of   heaven   is   like   a   certain   king   who arranged   a   marriage   for   his   son,   and   sent   out   his   servants   to   call   those   who   were   invited   to   the   wedding;   and   they   were not   willing   to   come.      Again,   he   sent   out   other   servants,   saying,   ‘Tell   those   who   are   invited,   ‘See,   I   have   prepared   my dinner;   my   oxen   and   fatted   cattle   are   killed,   and   all   things   are   ready.   Come   to   the   wedding.’’      But   they   made   light   of   it and   went   their   ways,   one   to   his   own   farm,   another   to   his   business.      And   the   rest   seized   his   servants,   treated   them spitefully,   and   killed   them.      But   when   the   king   heard   about   it,   he   was   furious.      And   he   sent   out   his   armies,   destroyed those   murderers,   and   burned   up   their   city.      Then   he   said   to   his   servants,   ‘The   wedding   is   ready,   but   those   who   were invited   were   not   worthy.      Therefore   go   into   the   highways,   and   as   many   as   you   find,   invite   to   the   wedding.’      So   those servants   went   out   into   the   highways   and   gathered   together   all   whom   they   found,   both   bad   and   good. And   the   wedding hall was filled with guests.”  Matthew 22:1-10 The Apostle   Paul   further   explains   the   mystery   of   God’s   gift   of   grace   and   mercy   to   the   Gentiles.      Simply   stated,   grace   is God   giving   us   something   we   do   not   deserve.      Whereas,   mercy   is   when   God   does   not   punish   us   for   what   we   deserve.     For we “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “For   this   reason   I,   Paul,   the   prisoner   of   Christ   Jesus   for   you   Gentiles—if   indeed   you   have   heard   of   the   dispensation   of the   grace   of   God   which   was   given   to   me   for   you,   how   that   by   revelation   He   made   known   to   me   the   mystery   (as   I   have briefly   written   already,   by   which,   when   you   read,   you   may   understand   my   knowledge   in   the   mystery   of   Christ),   which   in other   ages   was   not   made   known   to   the   sons   of   men,   as   it   has   now   been   revealed   by   the   Spirit   to   His   holy   apostles   and prophets:   that   the   Gentiles   should   be   fellow   heirs,   of   the   same   body,   and   partakers   of   His   promise   in   Christ   through   the gospel,   of   which   I   became   a   minister   according   to   the   gift   of   the   grace   of   God   given   to   me   by   the   effective   working   of His   power.      To   me,   who   am   less   than   the   least   of   all   the   saints,   this   grace   was   given,   that   I   should   preach   among   the Gentiles   the   unsearchable   riches   of   Christ,   and   to   make   all   see   what   is   the   fellowship   of   the   mystery,   which   from   the beginning   of   the   ages   has   been   hidden   in   God   who   created   all   things   through   Jesus   Christ;   to   the   intent   that   now   the manifold   wisdom   of   God   might   be   made   known   by   the   church   to   the   principalities   and   powers   in   the   heavenly   places, according   to   the   eternal   purpose   which   He   accomplished   in   Christ   Jesus   our   Lord,   in   whom   we   have   boldness   and access   with   confidence   through   faith   in   Him.     Therefore   I   ask   that   you   do   not   lose   heart   at   my   tribulations   for   you,   which is   your   glory.      For   this   reason   I   bow   my   knees   to   the   Father   of   our   Lord   Jesus   Christ,   from   whom   the   whole   family   in heaven   and   earth   is   named,   that   He   would   grant   you,   according   to   the   riches   of   His   glory,   to   be   strengthened   with   might through   His   Spirit   in   the   inner   man,   that   Christ   may   dwell   in   your   hearts   through   faith;   that   you,   being   rooted   and grounded   in   love,   may   be   able   to   comprehend   with   all   the   saints   what   is   the   width   and   length   and   depth   and   height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”  Ephesians 3:1-19 God’s Mystery in Christ Will Be Revealed to the Israelites in the Last Days “When   you   are   in   distress,   and   all   these   things   come   upon   you   in   the   latter   days,   when   you   turn   to   the   Lord   your   God and   obey   His   voice   (for   the   Lord   your   God   is   a   merciful   God),   He   will   not   forsake   you   nor   destroy   you,   nor   forget   the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.”  Deuteronomy 4:30-31 The   Israelites   were   looking   for   a   warrior   to   defeat   their   enemies   and   free   them   from   bondage,   and   not   God’s   sacrificial Lamb.      Since   Jesus   walked   on   earth,   Israel   has   remained   “blind”   to   the   mystery   in   Christ.      What’s   more,   this   inability   to see   will   continue   into   the   very   last   days.      However,   when   Jesus   returns   and   destroys   Israel’s   enemies,   their   blindness will be removed and they will grieve, and mourn, and be ashamed as they realize: They rejected God’s Son, Jesus Christ, the promised Mashiach (Messiah). God had a better plan in how He would fulfill all of His covenants. The real enemy of Israel is not physical but spiritual. God gave us a means to overcome sin that transcends the blood of animals. God’s love and His word is unfailing and everlasting. Jesus said:  “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.”  Luke 21:20 Jesus   said   “Immediately   after   the   tribulation   of   those   days   the   sun   will   be   darkened,   and   the   moon   will   not   give   its   light; the   stars   will   fall   from   heaven,   and   the   powers   of   the   heavens   will   be   shaken.      Then   the   sign   of   the   Son   of   Man   will appear   in   heaven,   and   then   all   the   tribes   of   the   earth   will   mourn,   and   they   will   see   the   Son   of   Man   coming   on   the   clouds of   heaven   with   power   and   great   glory.     And   He   will   send   His   angels   with   a   great   sound   of   a   trumpet,   and   they   will   gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”  Matthew 24:29-31 “Now   I   saw   heaven   opened,   and   behold,   a   white   horse.      And   He   who   sat   on   him   was   called   Faithful   and   True,   and   in righteousness   He   judges   and   makes   war.      His   eyes   were   like   a   flame   of   fire,   and   on   His   head   were   many   crowns.      He had   a   name   written   that   no   one   knew   except   Himself.      He   was   clothed   with   a   robe   dipped   in   blood,   and   His   name   is called   The   Word   of   God.      And   the   armies   in   heaven,   clothed   in   fine   linen,   white   and   clean,   followed   Him   on   white horses.      Now   out   of   His   mouth   goes   a   sharp   sword,   that   with   it   He   should   strike   the   nations.      And   He   Himself   will   rule them   with   a   rod   of   iron.      He   Himself   treads   the   winepress   of   the   fierceness   and   wrath   of Almighty   God.     And   He   has   on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”  Revelation 19:11-16 “Behold,   He   is   coming   with   clouds,   and   every   eye   will   see   Him,   even   they   who   pierced   Him.      And   all   the   tribes   of the earth will mourn because of Him .  Even so, Amen.”  Revelation 1:7 “In   that   day   the   Lord   will   defend   the   inhabitants   of   Jerusalem;   the   one   who   is   feeble   among   them   in   that   day   shall   be like   David,   and   the   house   of   David   shall   be   like   God,   like   the Angel   of   the   Lord   before   them.      It   shall   be   in   that   day   that   I will   seek   to   destroy   all   the   nations   that   come   against   Jerusalem.      And   I   will   pour   on   the   house   of   David   and   on   the inhabitants   of   Jerusalem   the   Spirit   of   grace   and   supplication;   then   they   will   look   on   Me   whom   they   pierced.     Yes,   they   will   mourn   for   Him   as   one   mourns   for   his   only   son,   and   grieve   for   Him   as   one   grieves   for   a   firstborn .”     Zechariah 12:8-10 God’s Love for the Israelites and His Covenant Word with His Chosen is Eternal God’s   grace   offered   to   Gentiles   will   come   to   an   end   when   an   unknown   number   of   Gentiles   have   been   saved   (when   the “fullness   of   the   Gentiles   has   come   in”).      This   will   likely   occur   during   the   last   days   prior   to   the   return   of   Jesus   Christ   (the Deliverer who will come out of Zion).  “For   I   do   not   desire,   brethren,   that   you   should   be   ignorant   of   this   mystery,   lest   you   should   be   wise   in   your   own   opinion, that   blindness   in   part   has   happened   to   Israel   until   the   fullness   of   the   Gentiles   has   come   in.      And   so   all   Israel   will   be saved,   as   it   is   written:   ‘The   Deliverer   will   come   out   of   Zion,   and   He   will   turn   away   ungodliness   from   Jacob;   for   this   is   My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”  Romans 11:25-27 After Jesus destroys Israel’s enemies, He will begin His Millennial Reign.  The Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ The   Millennial   Reign   of   Jesus   Christ   (the   Messiah   and   Anointed   One),   is   God’s   long-awaited   fulfillment   of   His   word   to His   chosen   people.      It   is   a   thousand-year   period   that   will   occur   after   the   7-year   Tribulation.         The   Millennium   is   not heaven.  However, it may be considered “heaven on earth” for those who live in Israel during this period of time.  Jesus   Christ   will   reign   from   His   throne   over   the   earth   and   all   of   its   inhabitants.      Jesus   will   bring   unity   to   all   things   in Heaven   and   on   earth   under   Himself   (Ephesians   1:10).      He   will   reign   on   David’s   throne   (Jeremiah   23:5-6;   Isaiah   9:6-7; Luke   1:32-33).      He   will   rule   with   a   rod   of   iron   (Psalm   2:9;   Revelation   2:26-27,   12:5,   19:15).     And   He   will   execute   justice and   righteousness   over   the   twelve   tribes   of   Israel   (Jeremiah   23:5-6;   Matthew   19:28;   Daniel   7:13-14,   27;   Isaiah   9:6-7; Isaiah 24:23; Zechariah 14:9; Micah 4:3).  “‘On   that   day   I   will   raise   up   the   tabernacle   of   David,   which   has   fallen   down,   and   repair   its   damages;   I   will   raise   up   its ruins,   and   rebuild   it   as   in   the   days   of   old;   that   they   may   possess   the   remnant   of   Edom,   and   all   the   Gentiles   who   are called   by   My   name,’   says   the   Lord   who   does   this   thing.      ‘Behold,   the   days   are   coming,’   says   the   Lord,   ‘When   the plowman   shall   overtake   the   reaper,   and   the   treader   of   grapes   him   who   sows   seed;   the   mountains   shall   drip   with   sweet wine,   and   all   the   hills   shall   flow   with   it.      I   will   bring   back   the   captives   of   My   people   Israel;   they   shall   build   the   waste   cities and   inhabit   them;   they   shall   plant   vineyards   and   drink   wine   from   them;   they   shall   also   make   gardens   and   eat   fruit   from them.      I   will   plant   them   in   their   land,   and   no   longer   shall   they   be   pulled   up   fro m   the   land   I   have   given   them,’   says   the Lord your God.”  Amos 9:11-15 For   more   information   on   the   Millennial   Reign   of   Jesus   Christ,   read   “Revelation’s Blessings”       (pages       105-109)—which       is       downloadable       for       free       on UniqueBibleStudies.com. The Greatest Commandment Jesus   was   asked   which   is   the   greatest   commandment.      “Jesus   said   to   him,    ‘You   shall   love   the   Lord   your   God   with   all your   heart,   with   all   your   soul,   and   with   all   your   mind.’         This   is   the   first   and   great   commandment.     And   the   second   is   like it:   ‘You   shall   love   your   neighbor   as   yourself.’      On   these   two   commandments   hang   all   the   Law   and   the   Prophets.’”     Matthew 22:37-40 Those   of   us   who   seek   God   do   so   because   of   a   free   will   decision—because   we   know   deep   in   our   heart   that   He   alone   is worthy   of   everything   we   are,   and   have,   and   do.      What’s   more,   nothing   on   this   earth   can   truly   fill   the   needs   of   our   soul.     Wealth, power, fame, sex, drugs, (you can add to the list), are a lie and only distract from the truth. God   loves   us   more   than   any   of   us   can   humanly   imagine.      But   God   requires   a   self-willed   heart   to   turn   away   and   run   from that   which   leads   to   eternal   death;   and   turn   towards   Him   with   hope,   belief,   faith,   trust,   and   open   arms   as   we   spiritually reach out and “hug” the One who loves us. God is Preparing a Gift for Whom He Loves Jesus   said   “In   My   Father’s   house   are   many   mansions;   if   it   were   not   so,   I   would   have   told   you.      I   go   to   prepare   a   place for   you.     And   if   I   go   and   prepare   a   place   for   you,   I   will   come   again   and   receive   you   to   Myself;   that   where   I   am,   there   you may be also.”  John 14:2-3 “Eye   has   not   seen,   nor   ear   heard,   nor   have   entered   into   the   heart   of   man   the   things   which   God   has   prepared   for   those who love Him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9 John,   in   the   Book   of   Revelation   (chapter   21   and   22),   provided   us   with   a   glimpse   of   what   God   plans   for   those   who   love Him   (the   Bride   of   His   Son,   Jesus   Christ):   a   new   Heaven,   a   new   earth   and   a   new   Jerusalem.      What’s   more,   God   will dwell among them as it was in the Garden of Eden. Now   I   saw   a   new   heaven   and   a   new   earth,   for   the   first   heaven   and   the   first   earth   had   passed   away.     Also   there   was   no more   sea.      Then   I,   John,   saw   the   holy   city,   New   Jerusalem,   coming   down   out   of   heaven   from   God,   prepared   as   a   bride adorned   for   her   husband.      And   I   heard   a   loud   voice   from   heaven   saying,   ‘Behold,   the   tabernacle   of   God   is   with   men, and   He   will   dwell   with   them,   and   they   shall   be   His   people.      God   Himself   will   be   with   them   and   be   their   God.      And   God will   wipe   away   every   tear   from   their   eyes;   there   shall   be   no   more   death,   nor   sorrow,   nor   crying.      There   shall   be   no   more pain, for the former things have passed away.’”  Revelation 21:1-4 “Then   one   of   the   seven   angels   who   had   the   seven   bowls   filled   with   the   seven   last   plagues   came   to   me   and   talked   with me,   saying,   ‘Come,   I   will   show   you   the   bride,   the   Lamb’s   wife.’     And   he   carried   me   away   in   the   Spirit   to   a   great   and   high mountain,   and   showed   me   the   great   city,   the   holy   Jerusalem,   descending   out   of   heaven   from   God,   having   the   glory   of God.      Her   light   was   like   a   most   precious   stone,   like   a   jasper   stone,   clear   as   crystal.     Also   she   had   a   great   and   high   wall with   twelve   gates,   and   twelve   angels   at   the   gates,   and   names   written   on   them,   which   are   the   names   of   the   twelve   tribes of   the   children   of   Israel:   three   gates   on   the   east,   three   gates   on   the   north,   three   gates   on   the   south,   and   three   gates   on the   west.      Now   the   wall   of   the   city   had   twelve   foundations,   and   on   them   were   the   names   of   the   twelve   apostles   of   the Lamb.     And   he   who   talked   with   me   had   a   gold   reed   to   measure   the   city,   its   gates,   and   its   wall.      The   city   is   laid   out   as   a square;   its   length   is   as   great   as   its   breadth.      And   he   measured   the   city   with   the   reed:   twelve   thousand   furlongs.      Its length,   breadth,   and   height   are   equal.      Then   he   measured   its   wall:   one   hundred   and   forty-four   cubits,   according   to   the measure   of   a   man,   that   is,   of   an   angel.      The   construction   of   its   wall   was   of   jasper;   and   the   city   was   pure   gold,   like   clear glass.      The   foundations   of   the   wall   of   the   city   were   adorned   with   all   kinds   of   precious   stones:   the   first   foundation   was jasper,   the   second   sapphire,   the   third   chalcedony,   the   fourth   emerald,   the   fifth   sardonyx,   the   sixth   sardius,   the   seventh chrysolite,   the   eighth   beryl,   the   ninth   topaz,   the   tenth   chrysoprase,   the   eleventh   jacinth,   and   the   twelfth   amethyst.      The twelve   gates   were   twelve   pearls:   each   individual   gate   was   of   one   pearl.      And   the   street   of   the   city   was   pure   gold,   like transparent   glass.      But   I   saw   no   temple   in   it,   for   the   Lord   God   Almighty   and   the   Lamb   are   its   temple.      The   city   had   no need   of   the   sun   or   of   the   moon   to   shine   in   it,   for   the   glory   of   God   illuminated   it.     The   Lamb   is   its   light.     And   the   nations   of those   who   are   saved   shall   walk   in   its   light,   and   the   kings   of   the   earth   bring   their   glory   and   honor   into   it.      Its   gates   shall not   be   shut   at   all   by   day   (there   shall   be   no   night   there).     And   they   shall   bring   the   glory   and   the   honor   of   the   nations   into it.      But   there   shall   by   no   means   enter   it   anything   that   defiles,   or   causes   an   abomination   or   a   lie,   but   only   those   who   are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”  Revelation 21:9-27 “And   he   showed   me   pure   river   of   water   of   life,   clear   as   crystal,   proceeding   from   the   throne   of   God   and   of   the   Lamb.      In the   middle   of   its   street,   and   on   either   side   of   the   river,   was   the   tree   of   life,   which   bore   twelve   fruits,   each   tree   yielding   its fruit   every   month.      The   leaves   of   the   tree   were   for   the   healing   of   the   nations.     And   there   shall   be   no   more   curse,   but   the throne   of   God   and   of   the   Lamb   shall   be   in   it,   and   His   servants   shall   serve   Him.      They   shall   see   His   face,   and   His   name shall   be   on   their   foreheads.      There   shall   be   no   night   there:   They   need   no   lamp   nor   light   of   the   sun,   for   the   Lord   God gives them light.  And they shall reign forever and ever.”  Revelation 22:1-5 The Mystery of God’s Heart God   desires   a   loving   relationship,   and   to   be   in   the   presence   of   whom   He   loves—beginning   with Adam   and   Eve.      Later He   tabernacled   in   the   presence   of   the   Israelites   in   the   wilderness;   then   in   the   Temple   built   by   King   Solomon,   and   in   the rebuilt Temple   after   the   first   was   destroyed.     Thereafter,   God   sent   His   Son   as   a   sacrifice   for   our   sins   so   that   He   could   be in   our   presence   (and   live   withing   us)   via   His   Holy   Spirit.      In   the   future,   we   will   be   in   His   presence   and   will   see   Him,   love Him   and   worship   Him—as   an   indescribable   joyous   love   flows   from   the   depth   of   each   of   our   souls,   and   from   His heart—for this is what He has desired from the beginning of time. God’s   love   is   a   mystery   because   people   misinterpret   His   intentions.      God   is   actively   seeking   those   who   will   love   Him.     What’s   more,   in   the   same   way   we   desire   to   give   good   things   to   those   who   love   us—God   gives   good   things   to   those   who love Him—and is preparing an unimaginable eternal gift for those who are saved by His grace and mercy. For those who desire to know and love God:      “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:13      “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.”  Proverbs 8:17 If   you   are   reading   these   words,   you   are   searching   for   God—which   begins   with   His   Son,   His   New   Covenant,   and   His revelation   of   Himself.     As   we   learn   more   about   Jesus,   we   begin   to   spiritually   see   and   understand   the   love   and   the   heart of God—because Jesus was the physical manifestation of the Father. Jesus said “I and my Father are one.”  John 10:30 Jesus   said   “‘If   you   had   known   Me,   you   would   have   known   My   Father   also;   and   from   now   on   you   know   Him   and   have seen   Him.’    Philip   said   to   Him,   ‘Lord,   show   us   the   Father,   and   it   is   sufficient   for   us.’      ‘Have   I   been   with   you   so   long,   and yet   you   have   not   known   Me,   Philip?      He   who   has   seen   Me   has   seen   the   Father;   so   how   can   you   say,   ‘Show   us   the Father’?      Do   you   not   believe   that   I   am   in   the   Father,   and   the   Father   in   Me? The   words   that   I   speak   to   you   I   do   not   speak on   My   own   authority;   but   the   Father   who   dwells   in   Me   does   the   works.      Believe   Me   that   I   am   in   the   Father   and   the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.’”  John 14:7-11 Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  John 14:6 Jesus said “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  John 3:3   Jesus   said   “Most   assuredly,   I   say   to   you,   unless   one   is   born   of   water   and   the   Spirit,   he   cannot   enter   the   kingdom   of God.      That   which   is   born   of   the   flesh   is   flesh,   and   that   which   is   born   of   the   Spirit   is   spirit.      Do   not   marvel   that   I   said   to you, ‘You must be born again.’”  John 3:5-7 Here   are   questions   that   every   one   of   us   should   consider—because   how   we   respond   will   define   where   we   spend eternity. Do you know God loves you? Do you know His Son, Jesus Christ?  Are you born again? Is Jesus Christ your Savior and the Lord of your life? If not, do you realize whatever is standing in your way…is a lie. There   are   two   Bible   studies   on   UniqueBibleStudies.com   that   will   assist   in   understanding   what   it   means   to   be   born again.      The   first   is   “3   Types   of   Death   1   Source   of   Life.”      The   s econd   is   “What   is   a   Born-Again   Christian?”      Both   Bible studies may be read from th e website or downloaded for free. “The   mystery   which   has   been   hidden   from   ages   and   from   generations,   but   now   has   been   revealed   to   His   saints.      To them   God   willed   to   make   known   what   are   the   riches   of   the   glory   of   this   mystery   among   the   Gentiles:   which   is   Christ   in you,   the   hope   of   glory.      Him   we   preach,   warning   every   man   and   teaching   every   man   in   all   wisdom,   that   we   may   present every   man   perfect   in   Christ   Jesus.      To   this   end   I   also   labor,   striving   according   to   His   working   which   works   in   me mightily.”  Colossians 1:26-29 “Blessed   be   the   God   and   Father   of   our   Lord   Jesus   Christ,   who   has   blessed   us   with   every   spiritual   blessing   in   the heavenly   places   in   Christ,   just   as   He   chose   us   in   Him   before   the   foundation   of   the   world,   that   we   should   be   holy   and without   blame   before   Him   in   love,   having   predestined   us   to   adoption   as   sons   by   Jesus   Christ   to   Himself,   according   to the   good   pleasure   of   His   will,   to   the   praise   of   the   glory   of   His   grace,   by   which   He   made   us   accepted   in   the   Beloved.      In Him   we   have   redemption   through   His   blood,   the   forgiveness   of   sins,   according   to   the   riches   of   His   grace   which   He made   to   abound   toward   us   in   all   wisdom   and   prudence,   having   made   known   to   us   the   mystery   of   His   will,   according   to His   good   pleasure   which   He   purposed   in   Himself,   that   in   the   dispensation   of   the   fullness   of   the   times   He   might   gather together   in   one   all   things   in   Christ,   both   which   are   in   heaven   and   which   are   on   earth—in   Him.      In   Him   also   we   have obtained   an   inheritance,   being   predestined   according   to   the   purpose   of   Him   who   works   all   things   according   to   the counsel   of   His   will,   that   we   who   first   trusted   in   Christ   should   be   to   the   praise   of   His   glory.      In   Him   you   also   trusted,   after you   heard   the   word   of   truth,   the   gospel   of   your   salvation;   in   whom   also,   having   believed,   you   were   sealed   with   the   Holy Spirit   of   promise,   who   is   the   guarantee   of   our   inheritance   until   the   redemption   of   the   purchased   possession,   to   the praise of His glory.”  Ephesians 1:3-14 “Now   to   Him   who   is   able   to   establish   you   according   to   my   gospel   and   the   preaching   of   Jesus   Christ,   according   to   the revelation   of   the   mystery   kept   secret   since   the   world   began   but   now   made   manifest,   and   by   the   prophetic   Scriptures made   known   to   all   nations,   according   to   the   commandment   of   the   everlasting   God,   for   obedience   t o   the   faith—to   God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.”  Romans 16:25-27 God Bless You as You Grow in Spiritual Understanding of Your Savior and Lord! H arold D. Thomas Bible Study Thought-Provoking Questions The   purpose   of   the   questions   is   to   facilitate   a   deeper   understanding   of   the   Bible,   this   Bible   study   topic   and   ourselves.     The   questions   may   be   answered   by   each   reader,   or   used   by   a   Bible   study   group   leader   or   church   pastor.     The   following questions should be answered or discussed after reading “The Mystery of God’s Heart.” There   are   two   types   of   questions:   lesson   and   opinion.      Lesson   questions   (preceded   by   a   number)   are   provided   an answer.      Opinion   questions   (preceded   by   an   “O”)   are   designed   to   enhance   learning   via   the   determination   of   opinions and/or discovering how the lesson content illuminates our personal lives.  As such, no answers are provided. Questions O What did God see in Abraham?  1. What did God promise to Abraham? 2. Was God’s promise to Abraham (the Abrahamic Covenant) conditional or everlasting? O What words (Deuteronomy 7:6-8) did God use to describe His: Feelings towards the descendants of Abraham? Relationship with the descendants of Abraham? 3. Why was there a need for God to make the Mosaic Covenant with the Israelites? 4. Was the Mosaic Covenant conditional?  Explain. 5. If the Israelites failed in their part of the Mosaic Covenant, would this negate the Abrahamic Covenant? 6. Jerusalem: A. What happened to Jerusalem during her infancy? B. What happened when God passed by her? C. What happened to her thereafter? D. Which covenant does God refer to when He said “Yes, I swore an oath to you…and you became mine.” O Jerusalem’s Harlotry: How did the Israelites respond to God’s demonstration of His love and blessings?