Summary: Does the Bible teach that Jesus will rapture His people before the Tribulation? This is a series of Studies on the question, "Will the rapture be before the Tribulation or before the Wrath of God?
"PRE-TRIB. OR PRE- WRATH" Study Six
"BOY! IS THAT A MYSTERY"
The word "mystery" is a very informative word as it is used in the New Testament. It is
not a word that is found in the Old Testament at all. It is actually not a translated word but it is a transliterated word. The Greek word is "muterion" and it is used 27 times in the
Greek New Testament (Matt. 13:11; Mark 4:11; Luke 8:10; Rom. 11:15; 16:25: I Cor.2:7; 4:1; 13:2; 14:2; 15:51; Eph. 1:9; 3:3,4,9; 5:32; 6:19; Col. 1:26,27; 2:2; 4:3; II Thess.2:7; I Tim.3:9;16; Rev. 1:20; 10:7; 17:5,7).
Thayer’s Lexicon gives this definition for the word "musterion":
(1) a hidden thing, secret, mystery: a hidden or secret thing, not obvious to the
(2) a hidden purpose of counsel; a secret will (page 420).
Kenneth Wuest in his Word Studies In The Greek New Testament says about the
Greek word "musterion": It’s a secret purpose of God which when uncovered is understood by the Spirit-taught believers." (page 81, vol. 1).
The first place that this word is used in the Bible is by our Lord in Matthew 13:11,
"He answered and said unto them (the disciples), because it is given unto you to know the
mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given."
We need to look at this verse in context. Our Lord had just began speaking to the
people in parables. The disciples wanted to know why he had changed his method of
teaching (verse 10)? So, Jesus tells them that it is given for them to know the hidden
secrets (mysteries) of the kingdom. That group of disciples was the first called out
assembly of our Lord (the church). Those disciples to whom our Lord was speaking did
not understand this parable nor the mystery of it. In fact, they asked Jesus to explain this
parable to them. Jesus was saying, "It is given for you (the church) to know the mysteries."
It is my understanding that only the New Testament church really understands the mystery of God.
So, the question is "What is the hidden secret? Does the Scriptures tell us what that mystery (hidden secret) is? The most clearly defined explanation of this is given by the apostle Paul in the book of Ephesians. In Ephesians 2: 11, the Apostle Paul directly addresses the Gentiles and gives the comparison of the Jews and the Gentiles by saying, "Wherefore, remember that ye, being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands" (Eph. 2:11).
Please note the contrast of Circumcision (the nation Israel) and the Uncircumcision
(the Gentiles nations). In Ephesians 2:12, Paul says that the Gentiles were out side of the
covenant relationship that God made with Israel during the time of the Old Testament.
Now the great revelation is that Jesus, by His death on the cross, made peace and broke
down the wall of partition between the Jews and Gentiles and has reconciled to God in one body both the Jews and the Gentiles (see Eph.2:14-18). That body that He has brought both the Jew and Gentile together in a covenant relationship with God is the New
Testament church. Can anyone deny that great truth?
Now, let us go back to the mystery. In Ephesians 3:1-6, the Apostle Paul clearly defines to us what the mystery is, "For this cause I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles - - If ye have heard of the dispensation(administration) of the grace of God which is given me toward you. How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery (as I wrote before in few words, by which, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel, ... "
Now what was the mystery which was hidden to the Old Testament saints? Was it
salvation? No, they understood salvation. God saved Gentiles all the way through the Old
Testament. The mystery is how God would bring both the Jews and Gentiles together
under the covenant relations of Abraham. A person could not explain "bringing them
together in one body" out side of the New Testament church. Go ahead and check every
reference to the word "mystery" and see if this truth is not substantiated.
Now what does this have to do with the end times? It has a great deal to do with the