Look around you, this world is filled with things that were created for the sole purpose of our understanding. God created the world that will live in; He created everything specifically and uniquely in order to teach us about spiritual things. He uses the world around us, and the things in it, to help us understand Him and the complexity of our souls.
Even when the WORD was made flesh and He walked this earth, He taught by relating the things around Him to spiritual things. He came to us veiled in flesh in order to teach us how to connect with Him. Jesus taught primarily through parables or parabolic teachings (ref Mat 13:3). A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Even as the Scriptures were written, they were written by the Spirit of God in the form of a mystery.
Early Church Father, Origen in “De Principles” says this:
“Then, finally, that the Scriptures were written by the Spirit of God, and have a meaning, not such only as is apparent at first sight, but also another, which escapes the notice of most. For those (words) which are written are the forms of certain mysteries, and the image of divine things. Respecting which there is one option throughout the whole Church, that the whole law is indeed spiritual; but that the spiritual meaning which the law conveys is not known to all, but to those only on whom the grace of the Holy Spirit is bestowed in the word of wisdom and knowledge.”Origen, “De Principles”
That being said, it is safe to say that the Scriptures, as well as the whole world, is filled with parables which conceal hidden mysteries (ref Mat 13:11). We can begin to understand just how complex our soul is by looking at the shadow (natural things). The vessel of our soul is our body, and just as the body needs food to sustain itself, so does our soul need the WORD of God (ref John 1:1). We can have natural food and then we can have spiritual food. It is important to understand that the food we eat today is just a type and shadow of the real food, which is spiritual.
“But the true food of the spirit is the WORD of God.” Origen, Spirit & Fire, pg 260
That’s right, the food we eat everyday is not the real food which sustains, but a shadow of what the true food is: the WORD. This world is filled with the “shadows of things to come” (ref Col 2:17). Jesus, who is the bread of life, the bread that fell from Heaven to the children of Israel, spoke of the fathers who ate of that manna and died (ref John 6:32-33, John 6:48, John 6:58, recommend reading John 6:22-59). Jesus was teaching about a spiritual manna (the mysteries), which the children of Israel could not see, but rather ate blindly without understanding what God was trying to teach them (ref Deut 8:3-16). They were not eating the true spiritual food (mysteries) but mere bread, which only sustained their bodies and not their soul.
“You prepared their food” (Ps 65:9). The psalmist means spiritual food, and he says that it was prepared. For before the foundation of the world, the mystery of Christ, who is the bread come down from heaven (cf. Jn 6:31-33), was established.” Origen, Spirit & Fire, pg 261
Jesus comes in the form of a mystery, just as He was in the beginning of time (ref Gen 1:1, John 1:1). You can see Him all throughout the Old Testament [specifically regarding spiritual food]; He was in the wilderness when He came as the bread of heaven, which the children of Israel did not know (ref Heb 10:7, John 6, 2 Cor 3:14). Again, in a mystery, the WORD of God came veiled in flesh, which very few people understood (ref John 1:14, John 6:36, Mat 13:10-17).
Just as before, the Lord is coming back as a mystery (ref Act 1:11). The first verse the Apostle John wrote in the Book of Revelation was, “the revelation of Jesus Christ,” which in Greek speaks of the unveiling of Him (Rev 1:1); Christ is coming back through revelation. Apostle Paul received grace (revelation) which he describes as the mystery of Christ (Eph 3:1-4).
“(5) 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: (6) that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, (7) 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”Ephesians 3:5-7
The wisdom of God is hidden in the mysteries, which Christ and Paul both taught were for us to know and understand (ref Mat 13:11, Eph 3: 9-10). In our westernized way of understanding a mystery remains unknown. However, that is not what Hebrew thought reflects; mysteries are made to be discovered. The Book of Revelation talks about manna (mysteries of Christ), which is given to the overcomer (ref Rev 2:17). According to the Old Testament, we know that Moses gave direction to put the manna inside the Ark of Testimony to be kept for the generations to come (ref Exo 16:33). The Ark of Testimony was placed inside the Holy of Holies (ref Num 7:89). Again, this is symbolic and part of a greater mystery the Lord was trying to show us, as only the High Priest was able to access the Holy of Holies.
What can this represent?
The temple wasn’t just a physical place; remember what the Apostle Paul said, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Co 3:16). According to Revelation, He has made us kings and priests (ref Rev 1:6); therefore, if we are a tabernacle, and also being made into priests, that must mean we have every piece of furniture within us (e.g. altar of sacrifice, menorah, ark, etc). The ark, with the manna, must be inside us.
There were two veils in the temple; Jesus made a way through the first veil (ref Heb 10:20), which separated the Outer Court from the Holy Place. However, there was still another veil separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. Christ left the veil going into the Holy of Holies, which concealed the ark containing the manna. If the veil is the flesh, and Paul describes the veil as a mind blinded and unable to understand the mystery of Christ, then we must remove the veil (flesh/carnal reasoning) from our minds, so we can access what has been hidden (Heb 10:20, 2 Co 3:14). We do this through the process of revelation, going behind the veil, to reveal what was hidden.
“I have food to eat of which you do not know” (Jn 4:32). The one who makes more progress than the stragglers, who cannot see the same things, will always say: “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” . . . Therefore, the more progress we make, the better we eat and the more we eat, until perhaps we come to eat the same food as the Son of God, the food which the disciples here do not yet know.” Origen, Spirit & Fire, pg 259
Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34). If we look at the word that is used for food we can see it is the Greek word “brōma,” meaning meat. This is also symbolic. Paul, in his letter to the church of Corinth, refers to carnal (fleshly) people as babes in Christ. He told them he could not speak to them as spiritual people, but instead had to feed them with milk and not with solid food (1 Co 3:1-2). The solid food Paul is referring to is the meat of the Word, which is for the fathers (those mature in the faith). Wisdom is for those who are mature (ref 1 Co 2:6). They are considered the fathers because they have known Him who is from the beginning [revelation of the WORD] (Jn 1:1, Jn 2:13).
Revelation comes by the Spirit of God and through the Spirit. The disciples did not yet know what true food (mysteries) Christ was speaking of. Consider when Peter had the revelation that Christ was the Son of God; Jesus replied to him, “Blessed are you Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven”(Mar 16:17). It is only through the revelation of Christ that we can obtain the bread that provides eternal life.
“The essential bread then, which is most suited to a rational nature and is related to being itself, gives health, vigor and strength to the soul and (since the WORD of God is immortal) shares its own immortality with those who eat it. . . . We must pray for this, that we may be worthy of it, and, nourished by the WORD that is God and was in the beginning with God (cf. John 1:1), we may be made divine.”Origen, Spirit & Fire, pg 260
- Origen, Spirit & Fire, pg 260
- Origen, Spirit & Fire, pg 261
- Origen, Spirit & Fire, pg 259
- Origen, Spirit & Fire, pg 260