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Dictionaries :: Mystery

Below are articles from the following dictionary:
Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g3466 Greek: musterion

Mystery:

primarily that which is known to the mustes, "the initiated" (from mueo, "to initiate into the mysteries;" cp. Phl 4:12, mueomai, "I have learned the secret," RV). In the NT it denotes, not the mysterious (as with the Eng. word), but that which, being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by Divine revelation, and is made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God, and to those only who are illumined by His Spirit. In the ordinary sense a "mystery" implies knowledge withheld; its Scriptual significance is truth revealed. Hence the terms especially associated with the subject are "made known," "manifested," "revealed," "preached," "understand," "dispensation." The definition given above may be best illustrated by the following passage: "the mystery which hath been hid from all ages and generations: but now hath it been manifested to His saints" (Col 1:26, RV). "It is used of:

"(a) spiritual truth generally, as revealed in the gospel, 1Cr 13:2; 14:2 (cp. 1Ti 3:9). Among the ancient Greeks 'the mysteries' were religious rites and ceremonies practiced by secret societies into which any one who so desired might be received. Those who were initiated into these 'mysteries' became possessors of certain knowledge, which was not imparted to the uninitiated, and were called 'the perfected,' cp. 1Cr 2:6-16 where the Apostle has these 'mysteries' in mind and presents the gospel in contrast thereto; here 'the perfected' are, of course, the believers, who alone can perceive the things revealed;

(b) Christ, who is God Himself revealed under the conditions of human life, Col 2:2; 4:3, and submitting even to death, 1Cr 2:1 (in some mss., for marturion, testimony), 7, but raised from among the dead, 1Ti 3:16, that the will of God to co-ordinate the universe in Him, and subject it to Him, might in due time be accomplished, Eph 1:9 (cp. Rev 10:7), as is declared in the gospel, Rom 16:25; Eph 6:19;

(c) the Church, which is Christ's Body, i.e., the union of redeemed men with God in Christ, Eph 5:32 (cp. Col 1:27);

(d) the rapture into the presence of Christ of those members of the Church which is His Body who shall be alive on the earth at His Parousia, 1Cr 15:51;

(e) the operation of those hidden forces that either retard or accelerate the Kingdom of Heaven (i.e., of God), Mat 13:11; Mar 4:11;

(f) the cause of the present condition of Israel, Rom 11:25;

(g) the spirit of disobedience to God, 2Th 2:7; Rev 17:5, 7; cp. Eph 2:2." *
[* From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 256, 257.]

To these may be added

(h) the seven local churches, and their angels, seen in symbolism, Rev 1:20;

(i) the ways of God in grace, Eph 3:9. The word is used in a comprehensive way in 1Cr 4:1. *
[* See The Twelve Mysteries of Scripture, by Vine.]

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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