Silently, Secretly, Mysteriously


By Oscar M. Baker – slightly adapted for added clarity. These 2 messages were verbal and later transcribed as heard.

No trumpets, no shouts, marked the beginning of the dispensation of “the mystery.”  Just the simple statement, "The salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles" (Acts 28:28).

Because they cannot point back to some historical landmark, many are inclined to doubt these words in “the Word of truth.”  They cannot believe that such an important event could just happen without some eruption in nature or a great battle of world forces or some such landmark to point out a great change.

There is no evidence that the end of the dispensation of the mystery will be any more spectacular than its beginning.  It is likely that it will never make the headlines in the papers.  It has been going on so secretly and silently during all these centuries since Paul spoke those words in Rome, that the great bulk of Christendom does not know anything about it. 

It is still a secret, made known only to such as are “the saints, and the faithful” (Eph. 1:1).  It is not known by a study of the Bible as just a book among other books.  No amount of worldly learning or degrees can search out “the mystery” (the secret).  One must receive the totally free gift of the spirit of wisdom and knowledge.  The understanding must be “enlightened” (cf. Eph. 1:15-18).

There are those who talk about “the mystery [secret]” but that is no guarantee that they really know it or believe it.  Many know that there was a dispensational boundary at the end of Acts, but know nothing of what lies beyond. 

This is especially true of some sects which have agreed with the teaching that there is a change of dispensation so that they might catch some unaware.  But they are unable to define the mystery.  You get absolutely no light on the subject from their writings. This is a good thing to keep in mind when examining anything new.

The term “mystery,” at the time Paul was writing his epistles, was a word used among the heathen.  It was the degrees or steps by which they were gradually led into the secrets of idol worship.  A mystery then was something revealed to an initiate.

The highest God ordained “mystery” is something revealed to the newcomer in the things of God.  But very few seek to know. Few go on unto any perfection at all.

Mere Christian professors then cannot be expected to know the mystery.  There is little likelihood of anyone having part in or reaping benefits from something he does not really know about.  He cannot receive anything by faith till he has heard about it. 

Ephesians 1:13 (KJV) 13 In whom ye also trusted, AFTER that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also AFTER that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

That is where many are deceived.  They try to make “the mystery” a part of the kingdom to come on earth.  They think they can be meek and inherit the earth and get Heaven too.  So they mix the dispensations and say that the dispensation of the mystery will end with a shout, the voice of an archangel, and a trumpeting.  They obviously do not know the mystery.

Our mission today is, " make all men see what is the fellowship [dispensation] of the mystery [Gk. musterion, secret]" (Eph. 3:9). 

But we are very limited in that mission.  Many do not wish to see.  Like Demas, they ‘love this present world.’  Many are entangled in religion so deeply that they cannot escape.  But we press on.



Rapture vs Manifestation

These are the hopes respectively of the dispensations of promise and the mystery.

  • The rapture concerns an earth people, who here on the earth expect the coming of the King. Among those who go out to meet Him at His coming are the five wise virgins; the foolish ones not being ready, miss it.
  • The manifestation or appearing concerns those whose ‘citizenship is in the heavens’ (cf. Philippians 3:20-21) who are “seated with Christ at the right hand of God.” The manifestation is to be in the heavens and to “the [angelic] principalities and powers” there. Those who take part in it are those who are there, those whose “life is hid with Christ in God” (cf. Col. 3:3-4).

So the rapture is for earth-dwellers; and the manifestation if for heaven-dwellers.

The rapture was not a secret “hid in God from ages and generations.” This resurrection and the change that is a part of it are revealed in John 11:24-26. In the last day, when the Lord comes, the believing dead will be resurrected and the believing ones who are alive will live forever, that is, be changed. But the people who should have a resurrection to heaven and be manifested with Christ the Head was NOT known to ages and generations till revealed by the Apostle Paul after Acts 28:28.

In the rapture, the believers are “caught up to the air (not heaven) to meet the Lord in the air” as He comes to take over the kingdoms of this earth and rule on the throne of His father David. All the guests and the virgins will return with Him to the earth where a marriage supper will be observed and the King will take over His rule on the earth. At one time the people of Israel were invited to this marriage, but they refused the invitation and even killed some of the servants who gave it. But a day is coming when other servants (angels) will come and gather scattered Israel from the highways (among the nations) and bring them to the supper. These are the nation, a nation born in a day, who will bring forth the fruits of the kingdom, taking the place of those rejected. These are the eternal earth-dwellers.

But the manifestation does not pertain to the earth and those that dwell in it. When Satan is cast out of the heavens, and his angels with him (cf. Rev. 12), then will Christ be manifested (seen) in the heavens. And it is promised that when He is manifested, then His church which is His body will be manifested with Him (cf. Col. 3:4). The members, both living and dead, are there (at least in potential). Their lives are “hid with Christ in God” and will continue there till their resurrection and manifestation in that place. Nowhere do we find any of these will be resurrected here on the earth and then have to be transported to heaven.

At the pronouncement at Acts 28:28, the rapture ceased to be a hope for anyone. The kingdom was then set aside for the time being and another program set in motion (the mystery). But all through both these dispensational times there were multitudes of believers who were not sons of God or firstborn, who could take part in neither of these hopes. They will be resurrected here on the new earth when the heavens are no more. See Job 14:12; Heb.1: II; 2 Pet. 3:10-13; Rev. 20:11.