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26 Even the mystery [musterion] which [ho] hath been hid [apokrupto] from [apo] ages [aion] and [kai] from [apo] generations, [genea] but [de] now [nuni] is made manifest [phaneroo] to his [autos] saints: [hagios]KJV-Interlinear
26 that is, the mystery which has
been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to
His saints, NASB
There is a mystery in
history, which God kept from humanity for all of the many centuries from Adam
to the first advent of Christ.
In all of the Old
Testament prophecies, the promised Savior would come, secure salvation for
those who have believed in Him, rise up, ascend to
heaven to be glorified, then return to claim His kingdom.
In the minds of all Old
Testament people this was nothing more than one fluid and continuous time
stream that would presumably be fulfilled without interruption.After all, God controls history and Satan
would not have any ability or chances for delaying or altering this timeline.
However, there was a
mystery, in that God never revealed in the Old Testament that a secret in
Some would believe that
the secret was that God was going to include the gentiles in His kingdom.But that wasn t it.After all Abraham was a gentile when God
promised him that all the nations would be blessed through him.So the intended blessing from God was for all
the nations, not to just one nation.Israel would not even exist, let alone exist as a nation, for several
Daniel hinted at a
mystery in his seventy weeks prophecy, because there
was an implied break between the sixty-ninth week and the seventieth week.
Zechariah implies a gap
between verses nine and ten, in Zech. 9:9-10, the difference between the first
coming of the Savior and the glorified Lord
The word for mystery, musterion, is used in religious organizations to describe
something that is known only to its members.All others, outsiders, cannot know their most prized secrets.
Paul uses this word to
describe the mystery not known to the Old Testament believers, or anyone in
those ancient days, for that matter.
John uses this word to
describe certain secrets that only the people living in the Tribulation, will
be allowed to know.This includes things
that we, in our Church Age dispensation, will never know, but will only be
revealed after the Rapture.The identity
of the anti-Christ is one of those secrets.
Another use of the word
for mystery, is Bible doctrine.Only
believers can come to know and understand doctrine. Unbelievers cannot
understand Bible doctrine and therefore view it as foolishness.
Even within our own
dispensation, the secrets of the end of our era will not be apparent until those
final generations begin to unfold.Things such as dramatic population increases, a populated world,
dramatic increases in knowledge (science, technology, etc.) and so forth.
Paul is referring in
these verses, to the mystery of the Church Age. Described in greater detail in Ephesians and
Romans, our current dispensation, is commonly referred to, in theological
terminology, as the Body of Christ, Bride of Christ, the Age of the Royal
Family, or the Church Age.
In Biblical (Old
Testament) prophecy, when the Savior first came, He was to secure salvation, having
been rejected by all, and then be glorified and assume His throne.That was what the Old Testament believers understood.
Nothing was mentioned,
in the Old Testament, about an interruption in history, placing their
dispensation on hold, while Christ built up a Bride, Royal Family, Church, preparing
a home for us, and while the Father arranged His enemies as a footstool, in
preparation for a Second Advent.
And Paul sees this as a
significant honor, in that he was not only a minister of the gospel of the
Savior, but was given the opportunity to participate in the revealing of such a
dramatic change in human history as well.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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