I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another” 

~1 Cor 4:6

I love mysteries. Particularly when they unfold in movies or novels, and occasionally I find myself drawn into the labyrinth of conspiracy theories. The intrigue is simply hard to resist at times. As such, it’s not surprising to me why the fascination with supposed secrets and mysteries is widespread within the church.

Today, the church finds itself amidst a sea of voices claiming divine secrets, revelations, and hidden mysteries. From popular apostles to self-proclaimed prophets, many assert that they possess special insights from God.

They tantalize believers with promises of deeper truths beyond what is already revealed in Scripture. However, amidst this cacophony of claims, one truth remains; the completeness of God’s revelation in His Word.

I believe the key to understanding this truth lies in understanding the true mystery of God: Christ Jesus Himself. So we will first look at what it means. While I recognize that this may seem like a departure from the topic at hand, I urge you to stay with me.

By diving into the mystery of Christ, we will discover how His centrality illuminates the sufficiency of Scripture. Thus, establishing a foundation for holding firmly to the truth that God’s revelation is complete. Therefore, leaving no room for additional revelations or the deception of false prophets.

Let’s dive in…

Jesus Christ is the Mystery

Those who claim new revelations often cite I Corinthians 2:7 and 12-14 as proof-texts that the Holy Spirit is still revealing “spiritual secrets” to the church. So let’s examine the passages:

1 Corinthians 2:7 ESV:

No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.

1 Corinthians 2:12-14 ESV:

"12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit."

These verses highlight the role of the Holy Spirit in enabling believers to understand and interpret spiritual truths. And when taken in isolation, they do seem to suggest ongoing new revelations since they speak of hidden mysteries and spiritual realities.

However, when we consider the context of the passages, particularly verses 1-8, a different picture emerges. So let’s take a look, shall we?

1 Corinthians 2:1-8 ESV:

"1 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. 6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."

The point Paul seeks to emphasize is that his preaching to the Corinthians when he first came to them, was not based on human wisdom. But on the demonstration of the Spirit’s power through the simple message of the Gospel.

He explains that he did this so that their faith would be founded on God’s “foolish” wisdom (Christ crucified) rather than human wisdom which seemed wiser in their eyes. 

Therefore, the secret and hidden wisdom in verse 7 refers to the message of Christ and Him Crucified. A message that the Holy Spirit, who searches the deep things of God, bestowed uniquely upon the apostles (1 Cor 2:10-11). 

Why is this important?

Because verse 14 which says,

“But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means” (NLT), is often used as an indictment upon those who reject that God is still giving new/fresh revelations. 

Those who accept new revelations conclude that they reject them because they are not spiritual. They reason that they cannot understand the “new” and “deep” things that the Holy Spirit is revealing to the church today because they lack spiritual understanding.

I see why it’s easy to arrive at that conclusion, especially if you read the verse out of context. However, I think translations like the NIV translate it more clearly by saying, “The person without the Spirit”. Simply referring to someone who is not born again.

Therefore, Paul is conveying that those who are unsaved, lacking the Spirit, cannot grasp spiritual truths concerning the Gospel. They perceive God’s wisdom as foolishness.

Earlier, in 1 Cor 1:18 he says, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”. Thus, underscoring the same point. It is only those who have faith in Christ (those possessing the Spirit) who can discern the spiritual truths conveyed in Scripture about Jesus Christ.

It therefore goes without saying, that when we understand 1 Corinthians 2:7 and 12-14 in context, it becomes apparent that we cannot use them as prooftexts for introducing new revelations beyond what is contained in God’s Word.

Paul uses this Kind of Language all the time

Throughout his writings, the Apostle Paul employs the term “mystery”  to describe the profound truths surrounding Christ and the Gospel. Here are some examples:

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. 1 Timothy 3:16 ESV 
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:1-3 ESV 
Of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:25-27 ESV 
Assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Ephesians 3:2-6 ESV

Other verses Include Romans 16:25; Ephesians 1:9; 5:28-32; 6:19.

Cross Decorated Flowers with Holy Bible on Blue Background signifying that there are no new revelations.

So, Why is Jesus Christ God’s Mystery?

Before the foundations of the earth, God had already ordained a mystery as part of His eternal plan for redemption (1 Peter 1:20).

In Scripture, the term “mystery” refers to something previously concealed but now revealed by God. It often involves aspects of God’s plan that were not fully explained in earlier times but were gradually unveiled over time.

The mystery of Jesus Christ is intricately woven throughout the Old Testament, with prophecies, types, and shadows pointing forward to His coming and redemptive work. Various prophecies foretell specific details about the Messiah, including His birth (Isaiah 7:14), lineage (Micah 5:2), suffering (Isaiah 53), and ultimate victory (Psalm 110:1).

Additionally, the sacrificial system, the Passover lamb, and other ceremonial practices in the Old Testament serve as types and shadows that foreshadow the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross for the forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 10:1).

This is why in John 5:39, Jesus tells the Pharisees, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.

The mystery is further unveiled in the Gospels through the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, it wasn’t until after Jesus’ ascension that the Holy Spirit revealed the fullness of this mystery to the apostles. This was in keeping with His promise in John 14:25-26 where He says:

“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 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 that I have said to you.”

True to His promise, the Holy Spirit empowered the apostles to understand the significance of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection (Eph 3:5). He brought to their remembrance the words and teachings of Jesus and imparted to them a deeper understanding of this mystery of God.

It is this revelation that culminated in the writing of the New Testament scriptures. Where the apostles put into words the profound truths of the Gospel and its implications for believers.

Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostles penned the epistles, Gospels, and other writings that comprise the New Testament. The completion of the New Testament scriptures, therefore, represents the full revelation of the mystery that was partially revealed in the Old Testament.

If Christ is the Mystery of God then it Becomes Easier to Understand…

  1. Jesus Christ as the Word Made Flesh:

In John 1:14, the Bible tells us that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” This verse identifies Jesus as the incarnate Word of God. This means that Jesus is not just a teacher of God’s Word; rather, he is the embodiment of that Word. Everything about Jesus’ life, teachings, and actions reflects God’s character, will, and plan for humanity as revealed in the Scriptures.

  1. God Speaking Finally Through Jesus:

Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” Jesus represents the culmination of God’s revelation to humanity through His life, teachings, death, and resurrection. Therefore, we need no further revelation beyond what has been revealed in Jesus Christ through the writings of the Apostles (the New Testament).

  1. The Role of the Holy Spirit in Glorifying Christ:

Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit’s role in glorifying Him in John 16:14. He says, “He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” The primary mission of the Holy Spirit is to testify about Jesus, to illuminate His teachings, and to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:18). Therefore, any genuine revelation from the Holy Spirit will always point back to Jesus Christ by magnifying His person, teachings, and work on the cross.

  1. The Limitation of Claims to Extra-Biblical Knowledge:

Since the Holy Spirit’s purpose is to glorify Christ, we must scrutinize any claim to receiving knowledge or revelation. If any revelation does not align with the person and teachings of Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture, we cannot consider it an authentic manifestation of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul cautions against accepting teachings contrary to the Gospel, even if they come from angelic sources (Galatians 1:8).

Related: Bibliolatry: Should Christians Beware of Making the Bible an Idol?

Why New Revelations Are Appealing

It’s interesting how many purported revelations and mysteries often come bundled with promises of solutions to life’s challenges and spiritual dilemmas. In many cases, those who claim access to hidden secrets or mysteries present them as powerful keys for addressing fundamental human concerns such as:

  • Health and prosperity
  • Overcoming sin
  • Deliverance from curses and demonic influence
  • Supernatural experiences
  • Predicting the end of the world. 

While the last theme is mostly prevalent in extreme movements like cults, the rest find resonance within charismatic churches where believers seek supernatural encounters and divine intervention in their lives.


But those who embrace new revelations fail to realize that in doing so, they deny the sufficiency of Scripture. And when one denies the sufficiency of Scripture, they set themselves up for rejecting that Jesus Christ and His work on the cross is enough.

Why? Because new revelations often introduce extra-biblical beliefs as a means to address these concerns apart from Christ.

And when believers sideline the sufficiency of Scripture in favor of esoteric (secret) teachings, they will inevitably place their trust in human effort (rituals). Rather than trusting in the finished work of Christ on the cross.

It leads to legalism

This not only detracts from the true source of freedom and victory, but also burdens believers with yokes that God did not intend for them to bear. Instead of experiencing true liberation, they find themselves entangled in legalism, spiritual bondage, and works-based spirituality.

Here’s the thing, adding to God’s Word whether we like it or not inevitably leads to legalism. Remember, the Pharisees? They added their own traditions to the Mosaic Law contrary to God’s command only to end up burdening the Israelites (Deut4:2). Similarly, when new revelations are imposed as necessary additions to divine revelation, the focus shifts from genuine faith to outward observance of man-made rules.

In contrast, the sufficiency of Scripture and the mystery of Christ already offers believers true freedom and victory. His sacrifice on the cross provides complete forgiveness of sin and victory over the powers of darkness (Col 1:13-14). 

And while believers still find themselves in a world fraught with affliction and suffering, we are to take heart for Christ has overcome the world John 16:33). Because of Christ’s sacrifice, “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Moreover, God has promised that in the future, “He will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things will have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

This is the promise and comfort that we find in the complete and efficacious work of Christ on the cross.  So, rather than binding yourself to esoteric teachings, legalistic practices, or the constant pursuit of supernatural experiences.  We are called to abide in God’s written Word and the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

More on the Danger of New Revelations

When “men of God” claim to receive new revelations from God, spiritual elitism inevitably begins to take root.

Spiritual elitism refers to a mindset or attitude in which certain individuals or groups within a church consider themselves or are considered superior and more spiritually advanced than others.

In this case, the church tends to regard those who claim to receive divine insights with reverence as though they possess a special anointing or spiritual authority. Such elevation is dangerous because it undermines the unity and equality of believers taught in Scripture. I discuss more about this in our post on Spiritual Authority: Is the Spiritual Father or Mother Doctrine Biblical?

Furthermore, when these new revelations are accepted, they often take precedence over the faithful preaching of God’s Word. This, in turn, paves the way for deception. Which leads to spiritual bondage, as congregants become ensnared in a cycle of dependence on the leader’s supposed new revelation, rather than grounding their faith in the Word of God. 

Tragically, such a pattern is often the breeding ground for the emergence of cults.

Did you know that cults typically begin with someone claiming to have received a divine revelation from God that others do not have? Such claims are what sow seeds of exclusivity within the church with those who subscribe to the new revelations separating themselves from those who do not. 

Related: What is a Cult and How to Spot One 

Yet, the Sufficiency of Scripture Guards against Deception

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” This passage underscores that Scripture is enough to provide guidance and instruction for every aspect of life and faith. 

It also means that Scripture serves as the standard for testing and evaluating all spiritual teachings and revelations. When confronted with new revelations or teachings, believers should compare them against the Scriptures to discern their validity and authenticity.

Moreover, Scripture warns against false prophets and deceptive teachings and encourages believers to exercise discernment and caution. In Matthew 7:15, Jesus warns, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

Similarly, God commands believers not to ”believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out” (1 John 4:1). These admonitions emphasize the importance of discernment and critical thinking in evaluating spiritual claims and teachings.

Furthermore, the Bible commands believers to “contend for the faith that was ONCE FOR ALL delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). This call to defend the faith emphasizes the completeness and sufficiency of the Gospel message as revealed in Scripture. Not to mention Proverbs 30:6 warns that we should not “add to God’s words or He will rebuke us, and we will be proved a liar” (Rev 22:18-19).

Jesus Christ is the ultimate way that God has shown Himself to humanity, which points to the sufficiency of Scripture. Through Jesus, God has spoken fully and completely, so there’s no need for more revelations beyond what’s in the Bible. So, we should check any revelation or knowledge claiming to be from God against what the Bible says.

God Shows No Partiality

Before I conclude, I’d like to share one more thought that has come to mind as I write this. I think the idea that God is giving new revelations, also paints a distorted image of God’s fairness.

When some claim to possess new revelations, it subtly propagates the idea that God shows favoritism towards a select few. It is no wonder it fosters spiritual pride in those who feel that they have exclusive knowledge that others do not have.

However, such a belief contradicts the fact that God shows no partiality (Acts 10:34-35; Rom 2:11). This is evident in the fact that He offers salvation to ALL who believe (Rom 10:12) . Furthermore, Scripture itself testifies to God’s impartiality because He has made His Word available to everyone, not just to a select few (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Thus, I think it’s fair to say that elevating certain “men of God” as recipients of exclusive divine knowledge implies unfairness in God’s distribution of revelation.

Furthermore, it begs the question, if God is imparting secret divine insights to a select few, how then can He judge justly? What about those who do not have access to this privileged knowledge? Do you see how this casts doubt upon His impartiality in judgment as well?

Nevertheless, the accessibility of God’s Word to all provides a solution to this dilemma. In Deuteronomy 29:29, God declared, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” 

This verse highlights that indeed there are secret things known only to God. But pastors and believers need not concern themselves with finding out what they are. Instead of reveling in the mysterious, we should concern ourselves with what He has plainly made known to us in His Word. 

God has made sure that, through His word, everyone has the opportunity to opportunity to know and obey Him faithfully. By making His Word available to all, God ensures the fairness and justice of His judgment based on how we respond to His plan of salvation (the mystery of God).

Final Thoughts…

In His letter to Timothy, a young pastor to the church at Ephesus, Paul writes,

“As for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:14-16 ESV

Paul’s exhortation to Timothy was to continue in what he had learned from his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice, which primarily consisted of the Old Testament Scriptures. In 2 Timothy 4:2, Paul further charges him to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” 

Note, there’s no encouragement for Timothy to preach new revelations. He is instead, reminded that the Word of God contains all he needs to equip himself and shepherd the Ephesian church.

In Biblical Christianity, the gold standard is antiquity (something old). Pastors are not called to come up with new/fresh revelations. Rather, they are to uphold and proclaim the ancient truths found in the Scriptures “in season and out of season”.

This means that as Christians we are to be cautious of “men of God” who are not content with what the whole council of God’s word has to offer. We should endeavor only to listen to those who seek to proclaim God’s Word faithfully at all times.

Related: Mysticism: The Dangers of Seeking Special Revelation


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