Editor's Note: The words in BROWN have been added by the Editor, those are NOT Bullinger's words.





     (Gr. kosmos) that then was."  Gen. 1:1, 2-.  2Pet. 3:6.

    B. SATAN'S FIRST REBELLION.  The earth became waste and a ruin
         (Heb. tohu va bohu).  Gen. 1:2-.  God created it not a ruin (Isa. 45:18,
         Heb. tohu) nor
waste ("confusion").

        C. THE EARTH RESTORED AND BLESSED. "The heavens and the
             earth which are now."
  Gen. 1:2-2:3.  2Pet. 3:7.


                E. MANKIND DEALT WITH AS A WHOLE.  Gen. 4-11:26.

11:27-Mal. 4:6.  (Jehovah and His kingdom rejected.  Israel

                        G. THE FIRST ADVENT.  (Micah 5:2.  Zech. 9:9).  The Four
                             Gospels (
Rom. 15:8).  The King and the kingdom proclaimed
                             and rejected, and the King crucified.

                            H. THE KINGDOM RE-PROCLAIMED.  Acts 3:19, 20, &c.
church of God called and taken out, Acts 13 and on,
                                 and earlier Pauline Epistles.  The kingdom again rejected
Israel again scattered.

                                                I. THE AGE OF GRACE IN WHICH WE ARE LIVING NOW.                                                                                The MYSTERY revealed and proclaimed.
                                                Eph. 3:2-11. 
Col. 1:25; 2:2, 3.  1Tim. 3:16.  THE
                                                NEW HOPE.
  Phil. 3:11, 14.  Titus 2:13.  "The
                                                church which is His body "called, and taken up.
                                                Phil. 3:11, 14.

                            H. THE KINGDOM POSTPONED AND IN ABEYANCE.
                                 "Not yet" (Heb. 2:8).  The later, or Prison Epistles

                        G. THE SECOND ADVENT.  "The first resurrection."  The
                             kingdom established.  The King enthroned.  "The day of
                             the Lord."
Matt. 24; 25:31.  Luke 19:11-27.  Isa. 2:11-19.
                             Joel 2; &c.

                        11:11-36.  Acts
15:16.  Isa. 60, 61, 62.  Jer 30, 31.  Zech. 12:13,
                        14; &c.

                E. MANKIND DEALT WITH AS A WHOLE.  Joel 3:2.  Matt.
                    25:31-46.  Acts
15:17Rom. 15:8-12.  Rev. 4-19.

            D. SATAN BOUND AND THE CONSEQUENCES.  Rev. 20:1-3.

        C. THE EARTH RESTORED AND BLESSED.  Rev. 20:4-6.  Isa. 35; &c.
             The Millennium.

    B. SATAN'S FINAL REBELLION.  Rev. 20:7-10.  Followed by the second
         resurrection and the judgment of the "great white throne".
  The destruction
         of "all things that offend".
  Rev. 20:11-15.

     Rev. 21, 22.  2Pet.
3:12, 13.  Isa. 65:17; 66:22.

1. The above Structure shows the respective dispensations in which God has been and is dealing with the Jew, the Gentile, and the church of God. (1Cor 10:32)  The "church which is His body" occupies the central position, and its present standing is seen to be separated from its future destiny and hope.  The two rebellions of Satan also are seen to be in direct correspondence; suggesting the necessity why he must be loosed, and the loosing, for a little season (Rev. 20:3, 7).

2. All things were created by Him "Who is before all things and by Whom all things consist" (lit. hang together, Col 1:17); Who is now "upholding all things by the word of His power" (Heb. 1:3).  The Structure shows in almost pictorial form the great lesson that God sets before us from Genesis to Revelation, viz. that no created being can stand (upright) apart from Christ (our Head in heaven, being we the members of his Body on earth, we are his mouth, witnessing to others in his name; his hands, to help others in his name, etc, etc.)  Hence the necessity for a "new heaven and a new earth" wherein abideth righteousness, inhabited by a "new creation" of beings who have by grace been made "partakers of the Divine nature" (2Pet. 1:4).

3. Further, it will be seen that it is not God's purpose to bring in the new heaven and new earth by means of the "church".  The new creation will be full of physical marvels, brought about by physical means and not "spiritual agencies".  These means and their results are set before us in Revelation.  Well may we exclaim with Paul, -- "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!  For who hath known the mind of the Lord?  Or who hath been His counselor?  Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?  For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things:  to WHOM BE GLORY FOR EVER.  AMEN."




A. The King and the Kingdom, (See Ap. 95. II and Ap. 198) in promise
     and prophecy (the Old Testament) :

    B. The King presented, proclaimed, and rejected (the four Gospels) :

        C. Transitional.  The kingdom again offered and rejected (Acts and
             the earlier Epistles.  See Ap. 180 and 181) :

    B. The King exalted and made Head over all things to "the church which is
         His body".  The "mystery" (the later Pauline Epistles.  See Ap. 193).
         The kingdom in abeyance (Heb. 2:8).

A. The King and the kingdom unveiled.  The King enthroned.  The kingdom
     set up.  Promise and prophecy fulfilled (The Revelation).

1. The Lord Jesus Christ is the one great Subject of the Word of God (cp. Luke 24:27; John 5:39), being the promised "Seed" of the woman (Gen. 3:15).  He is therefore the Master-key to the Divine revelation of the Word.  The whole Bible is about Him directly or indirectly, and as everything centers in and around Him, apart from Him it cannot be understood.

This is set forth in the foregoing Structure, from which we see that Genesis and Revelation, "the first" and "the last" books of the Bible, are inseparably linked together.  Genesis is "the beginning" and Revelation the ending of the written Word, even as the Lord, the Incarnate Word, spake of Himself (cp. 21:6; 22:13). Revelation is the complement of Genesis.  Either without the other would be unintelligible.  Genesis 1-2 finds its correspondence in Rev. 21-22 (see Ap. 198).

Without the first chapters of Genesis, Revelation would be an insoluble riddle, as indeed it is to those who treat the record of the "Creation" and the "Fall" as "myths" (See 2Tim. 4:4).  Without the last chapters of the Revelation "the Book" would be a hopeless and heart-breaking record of the failure and doom of the Adamic race.

The Bible may be likened to a beautiful and complex girdle or belt, with a corresponding connecting clasp at each end, one the complement of the other.  Do away with either, the girdle is useless as a girdle.  So here, Genesis and Revelation are the two clasps of the Divine Word, which link together and enclose between them in "perfection of beauty" and harmony the whole of the Scriptures in which God has been pleased to reveal His "Eternal Purpose" (Ap. 198).

2. ITS SCOPE, &c.  The key to unlock the meaning and scope of the book is found in 1:10.  "The Lord's day" = THE DAY OF THE LORD (Jehovah).  (See Isa. 2:12)  John was not in "a state of spiritual exaltation" on any particular Sunday at Patmos, as the result of which "he saw visions and dreamed dreams".  But as we are told, "I came to be (or found myself) by the Spirit in the day of the Lord" (cp. Ezek. 1:1; 8:3, &c.).  He is then shown, and both sees and hears (22:8), the things he records.

"The day of the Lord" being yet future, it follows that the whole book must concern the things belonging to "that day", and consequently is wholly prophecy.  Though partial adumbrations of judgment may be traced in connection with affairs of past history, yet the significant, solemn warning here (1:10) that the "judgments" in Revelation relate to the day of the Lord, "the day of vengeance" (cp. Isa. 61:2; 63:4, &c.), makes it clear that the book concerns the future, and the day of the unveiling (the Apocalypse) of the great "King of kings and Lord of lords" (see Ap. 198).

Its scope is further shown by its place in the Canon.  The order of the separate books of the N.T. varies, but they are always formed in four groups that never vary chronologically.  (See Ap. 95. II.)

The Gospels contain the prophecies of the great tribulation:  Revelation describes it.  Between, come the Scriptures of the intermediate period, Acts and the Epistles.  Chronologically and canonically, Revelation follows after the Epistles, though logically in God's purpose (Eph. 3:11) it follows the Gospels.  Therefore we see the scope embraces the wind-up of all the affairs of time; it records the end of prophecy, the end of "the secret of God" (10:7), the end of all "enmity towards God", and the dawn of the "ages of the ages".

3. ITS HEBREW CHARACTER.  The language of the book is Greek, its thoughts and idioms are Hebrew.  This links it with the O.T., and shows that its great purpose is to declare God's final dealings with the Jew and the Gentile as such; and that "the church of God" of the Pauline Epistles and this dispensation (Ap. 195 below) has no place in Revelation (other than in association with its glorified Head). See Ap. 193.  All the imagery of the book, Temple, Tabernacle. &c., belongs to Israel.

Again, in Matthew (the Hebrew Gospel) are some 92 quotations from and references to the O.T.  In Hebrews there are 102.  In Revelation are found no fewer than 285.  This emphatically stamps its close connection with the O.T. and Israel; and it equally stamps the latest utterances of "modern scholarship", viz. that "whatever view may be taken of the indebtedness to Jewish sources, there can be no doubt that he (the writer) has produced a book which taken as a whole is profoundly Christian", as being the dicta of men who, wittingly or unwittingly, are blind to this fundamental fact of Revelation.

SOME OF THE TITLES OF CHRIST (the other ones given in the text itself) further attest its Hebrew character :

"The Son of Man" (1:13; 14:14).  Never found in the Pauline Epistles
             to the "churches".  See Ap. 98. xvi and Ap. 99.

"The Prince of the kings of the earth" (1:5).  Never used in
              connexion with "the church".

"Who is to come" (= The Coming One), 1:4, &c.  Occ sixteen times
               in the Gospels, Acts, Hebrews (
10:37); three times in Revelation, and
               nowhere else.

"The Living One" (1:18).  A title only found in Daniel (4:34; 12:7)
               and six times in this book.  Thus linking Daniel and Revelation
               in a very special manner.

4. THE "BRIDE" AND THE "WIFE" of 21:9 must not be confused with the "wife" of 19:7.  The latter is Israel called out from among the nations for blessing in "the Land"; the earthly consort of "the Great King" (cp. Ps. 45; Jer. 3:14).  This "wife" (19:7) is connected with the Millennial Jerusalem which, with the rest of the earth "that now" is, will pass away and give place to the new earth with the new Jerusalem, succeeding and replacing the former.  "The bride, the Lamb's wife" of 21:9, is still of Israel, but the Israel of the "heavenly calling" (Heb. 3:1) :  all those connected with the "heavenly country" and "the city with the foundations" for which they "looked" (Heb. 11:13-16); the "Jerusalem above" of Gal. 4:26Hence the significance of the term "bride" (numphe) in 21:9.

The Israel of 19:7 is not spoken of as bride (numphe), because she has become wife (gune). Cp. the "married to you" = am become your husband (consummation), of Jer. 3:14, and see the Note there relating to the "restoration" time.  Here (21:9) the term "bride" indicates clearly that the betrothal has taken place and that the marriage will be consummated when the bride shall have come down out of heaven. John sees her coming down (pres. part.), 21:10.

The loose way in which we speak of a "bride" as not only a contracting party at the time of the marriage ceremony, but also of her after she has become wife (gune), is responsible for much confusion as to the "wife" of 19:7 and the bride-wife of 21:9.  Strictly speaking , "bride" is to be applied only to a betrothed virgin (Gr. parthenos = Heb. hethulah), when the marriage (legal) ceremony takes place.  Directly after, she ceases to be "bride", and has become (legally) "wife", although from the forensic point of view consummation of the marriage may be delayed (cp. Matt. 1:25, and see the Note there).

According to the Mosaic Law, a betrothed maid (Heb. bethulah) was legally a wife ('ishshah), (cp. Matt. 1:18, 20 with Deut. 22:23, 24); hence Joseph's trouble and temptation (see Matt. 1:20).  A careful study of the terms in Matt. 1:18-25 will afford a clue to a clearer understanding of the terms "bride" and the two "wives" of Rev. 19:7; 21:9 than volumes of commentary.

If the earthly millennial metropolis is real, so is this also, for both are spoken of in the same terms.  And if the laying of "thy stones with fair colors" and "thy foundations with sapphires" (Isa. 54:11) is spoken of the day when God is to be called "the God of the whole earth" (see v. 5), it must refer to the time of Isa. 65:17; 66:22 and Rev. 21:1.  Moreover, laying foundations implies a solid substratum on which to lay them, i.e. earth.  Foundations are of no use to a city "suspended" in the air!

The same argument applies also to the "tree of life" and the "water of life".  If the "river" and "trees for meat" of Ezek 47:1-12 are real and literal, so also are the "tree" and the "water" of life here.  Again, both are spoken of in identical terms.  There is no more room for "imagery" in the one case than the other.  The "tree of life" lost in the paradise of Genesis is here seen restored to the whole earth in the day when "the God of the whole earth" will "tabernacle" with men, - (and be) "their God" (Rev. 21:3).  There is no place for "symbolism" in either case.

5. The more important Figs. of Speech are noted.  These will supply helpful keys where the symbolism is not Divinely explained or indicated, and will enable the student to judge whether Revelation is purely Johannine "symbolic imagery", as some affirm, and a "legitimate appeal to Christian imagination"; or whether the book is, as it claims to be, a deliberate setting forth proleptically of the actual scenes and events with which God declares that His purposes concerning the heaven and the earth shall be consummated.

6. NUMBERS hold a prominent and significant place in Revelation.  These in order are: - 2 (occ. eleven times); 3 (eleven); 3 1/2 (twice); 4 (thirty); 5 (three); 6 (twice, including 13:18); 7 (fifty-four); 10 (nine); 12 (twenty-two); 24 (seven); 42 (twice); 144 (four); 666 (once); 1,000 (nine); 1260 (twice); 1,600 (once); 7,000 (once); 12,000 (thirteen); 144,000 (three); 100,000,000 (once, 5:11); 200,000,000 (once 9:16). Twenty-one in all (3 x 7 = 21. See Ap. 10).

Seven is thus seen to be the predominant number, occurring fifty-four times (3 x 3 x 3 x 2 = 54. Ap. 10). Twelve comes next - twenty-two occ. Seven, ten, and twelve, with their multiples, run throughout the book.  In the Notes attention is called to other numbers of great significance.  The student will thus be enabled to work out for himself many problems connected with the question of number in Scripture. Some examples are here given of word occurrences.

        6 times; Babulon, basanismos (torment), theion (brimstone) :

        7 times; abussos (bottomless pit), axios (worthy), basileuo (reign), etoimazo
                     (make ready), makarios (blessed), propheteia (prophecy), semeion
                     (sign, &c.), hupomene (patience), charagma (mark), Christos:

        8 times; Amen, thusiasterion (alter), planao (deceive), Satanas, sphragizo
                    (seal), stephanos (crown), nux (night):

        9 times; deka (ten), kainos (new), krino (judge), marturia (testimony),
                    pantokrator (Almighty), polemos (battle, &c.):

        10 times; alethinos (true), eikon (image), thumos (wrath), keras (horn),
                      prosopon (face), hora (hour), salpizo (to sound):

        12 times; dunamis (strength), phiale (vial) :

        14 times; aster (star), Iesous, doulos (servant); &c.

The word arnion (lamb) occ. 29 times ("the Lamb" 28 = 4 sevens : the other occ. 13:11).  Elsewhere only in John 21:15. hagios (holy) occ. 26 times according to the texts, which omit 15:3 and 22:6, and add 22:21; otherwise 27 times (3 x 9 or 3 x 3 x 3) : doxa (glory) occ. 17 times (10 + 7) :  eulogia (blessing and ascription) 3 times; ethnos (nations) 23 times; nikao (overcome) 17 times : drakon (dragon) 13 times : plege (plague, &c.) occ. 16 times (4 x 4).

Phrases occ. frequently, e.g. (i) he that hath an ear 7 times; if any man hath an ear occ. once : (ii) third part , 16 times : (iii) the kings of the earth, 9 times.

7. CONCLUSION.  The "tree of life" (22:2) and the "water of life" (vv. 1, 17) are seen to be the great central subjects of the new earth.  No longer will there be any "curse" (v. 3). In place of the "Fall" we have restoration.  Instead of expulsion -- "lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever" (Gen. 3:22) -- is the gracious invitation to those who "have right to the tree of life" (v. 22), "Come, whosoever desireth, and let him take the water of life freely" (v. 17).

8. The Benediction (22:21) not only completes the correspondence of the Structure (p. 1883), but appropriately closes the whole of the Book of God.  "Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). In this dispensation all is of grace.  Grace now, glory hereafter (cp. Ps. 84:11).  In the time coming, with which Revelation is concerned, grace will be given to "endure to the end" (Matt. 24:13) to all who come "out of the great tribulation" (7:14); to all slain under antichrist "for the Word of God" (6:9); and to all who "have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (12:17).  "Grace, grace."  ALL IS OF GRACE !




1. God has spoken at "sundry times" as well as "in divers manners" (Heb. 1:1).  The time when He spoke to "the fathers" is distinguished from the time in which He has "spoken to us".  The time in which He spake by the prophets "stands in contrast with the time in which He spake by (His) Son".  And the "time past" is obviously distinguished from "these last days" (Heb. 1:2).  To "rightly divide the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15) it is essential to regard the times in which the words were spoken, as well as the times to which they refer.

Three Greek words in the New Testament call for careful consideration.  These are :

        (1) chronos, time, duration unlimited unless defined; occ. fifty-three times and is translated "time" in

        (2) kairos, a certain limited and definite portion of chronos, the right time or season; occ. eighty-
              seven times;, and is rendered "time" in sixty-five passages, "season" in fifteen;

        (3) oikonomia, meaning lit. administration of a household (Eng., economy, including the idea of
              stewardship); occ. eight times, trans. "dispensation" four, "stewardship" three, "edifying" once
              (1Tim. 1:4), which the R.V. rightly corrects to "dispensation", making five occ. in all of that
              English term.

A dispensation, administration, or arrangement, during a portion of chronos may, or may not, be equal to kairos, according as the context determines.

Nothing but confusion can arise from reading into one dispensation that which relates to another.  To connect with God said and did in one dispensation with another, in which His administration was on an altogether different principle, is to ensure error.  And finally, to take doctrine of late revelation and read it into the time when it was "hidden" leads to disaster.

The nations, Israel the Chosen Nation, and the church (Ap. 186) are each dealt with in distinct "times" and on distinct principles, and the doctrine relating to each must be kept distinct.  When our Lord speaks (Luke 21:24) of "the times (kairos) of the Gentiles", the implication is that there are times of the Jews (under Messiah, Isa. 33:6, &c.), whatever be the contrasted elements.  So that what is recorded as connected with the times of the Jews is not necessarily applicable to the times of the Gentiles.  The present administration of God is in grace, not in law, judgment, or glory, and belongs to the "dispensation" (oikonomia) of the Mystery (Ap. 193), that secret "which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints" (Col. 1:26), that secret "which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men" (Eph. 3:5).  Hid in God from the beginning of the world (see Eph. 3:9), it was kept secret since the world began (see Rom. 16:25).

There is no authority for taking enactments Divinely fitted for the times of the Jews and transferring them to the present dispensation of God in grace.  Similarly, the endeavor to read the precepts of the "Sermon on the Mount" (Matt. 5-7), which are the laws of the kingdom of heaven (see Ap. 114), into such church epistles as Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, not only obscures the truth, but antagonizes one part of Scripture with another.

 2. THE SEVEN TIMES OR DISPENSATIONS (a work in progress)


Two models have been proposed here. They are similar in the first three and in the last divisions. Both include the Age of Grace. The differences are that one subdivides the Law in two parts, separating the Ministry of Jesus Christ in his first coming, whereas the other subdivides the Apocalypse in two parts, separating distinctively the Millenium, in which Christ will be reigning ON EARTH, and at the end of the Millenium, the only one able to destroy the final armies that Satan will organize against Christ, and against the saints living on earth at that time, will be GOD, who will send fire from heaven to consume that final evil army. This is another powerful evidence of the clear difference between Christ, God’s Son, Our Brother, and God Himself, Christ’s Father and Our Father.

In the Bible seven distinct administrations are set before us.  Each has its own beginning and ending; each is characterized by certain distinctive principles of God's dealings; each ends in a crisis or judgment peculiar to itself, save No. 7, which is without end.  These may be tabulated thus:

        [Bullinger sets the next points given here for your consideration:        

        1. The Edenic state of innocence.
                End -- the expulsion from

2. The period "without law" (the times of ignorance, Acts 17:30).
     End -- The Flood, and the judgment on Babel
(Bullinger’s inconsistencies here is that the next era started until long time after the Flood and after Babel, when God gave the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai, so the Patriarchal era, as will be seen below, makes more sense).

        3. The era under law (this includes the Ministry of Jesus Christ’s First Coming on earth, as he did came under the law).
                End - The rejection of

        4. The period of grace (which we are living now).
                End - The "day of the Lord".

        5. The epoch of judgment.
                End - The destruction of Antichrist.

        6. The millennial age.
                End - The destruction of Satan, and the judgment of the great white throne.

        7. The eternal state of glory.
                No End ]

Working out the meaning of the other model proposed (by Dr. Wierwille) we have the next:

[1. The Edenic state of innocence.
                End -- the expulsion from

        2. Patriarchal (since the expulsion from Eden to the giving of the Law to Moses, includes the Flood and Babel).

3. Under the Law (since the giving of the Law to Moses until the day of Pentecost, includes the Ministry of Jesus Christ in his First Coming, who did came under the Law).

4. Jesus Christ First Coming (although is a subdivision of the Law period, is different to it, as the long waited for “Promised Seed” was the only one ON earth able to destroy the works of Satan (Jesus Christ had pure blood as the blood of Adam before Adam’s Fall, so Jesus Christ was the only one with legal rights to recover everything that was lost with Adam, for the human race). This distinctly active Ministry under the Law of Jesus Christ first coming oes from his baptism on Jordan, on earth, until his giving of holy spirit, the gift, in the day of Pentecost, ten days after his ascension, Jesus Christ being then in heaven, and this period is the shortest one in history and the most important also, as it lasted about a year only. So, at the day of Pentecost the Law period ended and also the Purpose of the First Coming of Christ was accomplished and completed, as he gave back to human believers what Adam lost in his non-believing disobedience, power from on high or holy spirit).

        5. The Age of Grace we are living now (from Pentecost until our reunion with Christ in the clouds).

6. The Apocalypse (from our departure to the establishing by God of the New Heavens and Earth, include the thousand years of the earthly reign of Jesus Christ (the last part of his Second Coming) and ends with the destruction of Satan’s last army against Christ and his saints, with fire sent by God from heaven).    

        7. The eternal state of glory.
                No End]

So, we have here that the Ministry of Jesus Christ ON EARTH includes his First Coming and his Second Coming, meanwhile We, the members of the Body of Christ, the born again believers are resisting Satan, but when we depart from here, that work will be done only by those Israelites that now still rejecting Jesus Christ as Lord. Until then, and under the kingdom of the Beast, is when they will also accept Jesus Christ, as always was, their legitimate King and Lord…

All seven dispensations exhibit differing characteristics which call for the close attention of the Bible student.


While the seven dispensations above specified are the main divisions of the long period of the Divine dealings, there is still another dispensation referred to as "the times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24), a dispensation which overlaps two of the above divisions.  These times began when Jerusalem passed under the power of Babylon (477 B.C.  See Ap. 50, p. 60, and Ap. 180), and continue while Jerusalem is "trodden down of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24).  These "times" are referred to in Rom. 11:25, which has no reference to the completion of "the church", as is so generally believed, but relates to the fullness, or filling up, of the times of the Gentiles, the word "Gentiles" being put for the times which they fill up.


In the Nazareth Synagogue (Luke 4:16-20) our Lord stood up and read from the book of the prophet Isaiah.  After reading the first verse and part of the second (of ch. 61), He closed the book.  Why stop there?  Because the next sentence belonged, and still belongs, to a future dispensation.  The acceptable "year of the Lord" had come, but "the day of vengeance of our God" has not even yet appeared.  Thus did the Lord divide two dispensations.  There is no mark in the Hebrew text of Isaiah 61:2 to indicate any break, yet an interval of nearly 2,000 years separates the two clauses quoted.  In this interval comes the whole of the present church dispensation, following on the years after Israel's final rejection (Acts 28:25-28).  See Ap. 180, 181.  




The English word "mystery" is a transliteration of the Greek word musterion, (*0) which means a sacred secret.

It occurs in the Septuagint Version (280 B.C.) nine times as the equivalent for the Chaldee raz in the Chaldee portion of "Daniel", which means to conceal; hence, something concealed that can be revealed, viz. in Dan. 2:18, 19, 27, 28, 29, 30, 47, and 4:9.

It occurs frequently in the Apocryphal books; which, though of no use for establishing doctrine, are of great value in determining the meaning of Biblical usage of Greek words. In these books musterion always means the secret of friends, or of a king, &c. (*1)  See Tobit 12:7, 11.  Judith 2:2.  Wisdom 2:22 (transl. "mystery"); 14:23.  Eccl. 22:22; 27:16, 17, 21.  2Macc. 13:21. (R.V.).  The passage in Judith is remarkable:  for Nabuchodonosor calls his captains and great men together just before entering on a campaign and "communicated with them his secret counsel", lit. "the mystery of his will". This is exactly the same usage as in Eph. 1:9, except that the Gr. word for will or counsel is different. (*2)

By the end of the second century A.D. it was used interchangeably with tupos (= type), sunbolon (= symbol), and parabole (= parable).

When we find the Greek word musterion rendered sacramentum in the Latin Vulgate of Eph. 5:32, it is clear that it was used as meaning a secret sign or symbol, and not in the modern meaning put upon the word "Sacrament", i.e. "holy mysteries".

It is evident to all that God has made known His will "at sundry times and in divers manners" (Heb. 1:1, 2).  He also kept certain things secret, and revealed them from time to time according to His purposes and counsels.  Hence the word musterion is connected with several concealed or secret things in the New Testament.

1. It was used of the secrets of the kingdom:  which had been concealed, until the Lord revealed them to His disciples (not to the People) in Matt. 13:10, 11.  It had not before been known that the kingdom would be rejected, and that there would be a long interval between that rejection and its being set up in glory. This was concealed even from the prophets who foretold it (1Pet. 1:10-12).

2. In Rom. 11 it is used in connection with the duration of Israel's blindness.  That blindness itself was not a secret, for it had been foretold in Isa. 6:9, 10.  But the duration of the blindness was kept a "secret" from Isaiah and only revealed through Paul (Rom. 11:25).

3. It was used of a fact connection with resurrection, which had never before been made known to the sons of men.

The Lord had spoken of it to Martha (John 11:25, 26), but though she believe it, she did not understand that to those who should be alive and remain to His Coming the Lord would be "the life", and they would "never die" (v. 26).

The Thessalonians who "received the word" were not left in ignorance of it (1Thess. 4:13), for the Lord's words in John 11:25, 26 were explained to them.

But in 1Cor. 15:51 the secret was fully and plainly shown; and it was that "we shall not all sleep".  Up to that moment the universal belief had been that we must all die (cp. Heb. 9:27). thenceforward it was revealed and made known for faith that all would not die, but that those who are alive and remain (lit. remain over) unto the Lord's Coming will not die at all (see note 1Thess. 4:15, and cp. Phil. 3:14).

4. Side by side with these Divine secrets there was the secret of the [foretold] lawlessness (2Thess. 2:7 cp. Dan. 12:4).  It was already working during the dispensation covered by "Acts"; and had the nation repented at the call of those "other servants" of Matt. 22:4 (Acts 2:38; 3:12-26; &c), those secret counsels of "the lawless one" and "the transgressors" would have "come to the full" (Dan. 8:23).  But now they are postponed and in abeyance until the appointed time.

5. But "the great secret" which concerns us to-day was not revealed until after the close of that dispensation covered by "Acts".  (see Acts 28:17-31 and App. 180 and 181).

Paul was not commissioned to put in writing the "purpose" of God which was "before the overthrow of the world" (Ap. 146), until that dispensation was ended.

What this "great secret" was can only be learned fully from the Prison Epistles.  There alone can we find the things which had been concealed and kept secret "since the world began" (Rom. 16:25); "which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men" (Eph. 3:5); "which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God" (Eph. 3:9); "which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest" (Col. 1:26), where "now" (Gr. nun) with the pret. = just now, recently.

The special scriptures which describe this secret are the postscript of Rom. 16:25, 26.  Eph. 3:1-12.  Col. 1:24-27.

The mention of "the mystery" in Rom. 16:25, 26 has perplexed many, because the revelation of it is specifically propounded in the Epistle to the Ephesians.

Hence it has been suggested that the Epistle originally ended at Rom .16:24 with the Benediction (or even at v. 20 (see the marginal notes in the R.V.,) and that the ascription (vv. 25-27) was added by the apostle after he reached Rome (1) in order to complete the structure by making it correspond with the ascription in ch. 11:33-36; and (2) to complete the Epanodos or Introversion and thus to contrast "God's gospel", which was revealed of old by the prophets of the Old Testament and never hidden (1:2, 3) with the mystery which was always hidden and never revealed or even mentioned until 16:25-27.  See Longer Note p. 1694.

In any case, while there is no doubt about the general order of the Epistles, the actual dates are conjectural, and rest only upon individual opinions as to the internal evidence (Ap. 180).  And, after all, Rom. 16:25-27 is not the revelation of the mystery as given in the Prison Epistles, but an ascription of glory to Him Who had at length made it manifest by prophetic writings (not "the writings of the prophets", for it is the adjective "prophetic", not the noun "prophecy" as in 2Pet. 1:20).  Romans and Ephesians are thus brought together as two central Epistles of the chronological groups:  the one ending one group, and the other beginning the next, both being treatises rather than epistles, and both having Paul for their sole author, while in all the other Epistles he has others associated with him.

As to the great secret itself, it is certain that it cannot refer to the blessing of Gentiles in connection with Israel.  This is perfectly clear from the fact that that was never a secret.  Both blessings were made known at the very same time (Gen. 12:3); and this well known fact is constantly referred to in the Old Testament.  See Gen. 22:18; 26:4; &c.  Deut. 32:8.  Ps. 18:49; 67:1, 2; 72:17; 117:1.  Isa. 11:10; 49:6. Luke 2:32.  Rom. 15:8-12.

But the secret revealed in the Prison Epistles was never the subject of previous revelation.

In Eph. 3:5 it is stated to be "now revealed".  This cannot mean that it had been revealed before, but not in the same manner as "now"; because it is stated that it had never been revealed at all.

It concerns Gentiles; and it was "revealed unto His holy apostles (*3) and prophets by the Spirit", that the Gentiles should be joint-heirs, and a joint-body, (*4) and [joint] partakers of the promise in Christ through the gospel (see Notes on Eph. 3:5, 6).

We cannot know the whole purpose of God in keeping this concealed all through the ages; but one thing we can clearly see, viz. that had God made it known before, Israel would of necessity have had an excuse for rejecting the Messiah and His kingdom.

As to ourselves, the question of "who is in the secret?" does not arise. For we are not to suppose that all who do not know of it are "lost".

One thing we know, and that is : it is made known for "the obedience of faith", or for "faith-obedience" (Rom 16.26).

It is a subsequent revelation; and the question is, do we believe it and obey it by acting according to it?

Abraham had several Divine revelations made to him.  From his call in Gen. 11 he was a "righteous" man. In ch. 12 he believed God concerning His promises of the future.  In ch. 13 he believed God concerning the promise of the Land.  But in ch. 15 God made a further revelation concerning the see which He would give him; and it is written, "Abraham believed in the Lord, and it was counted (or imputed) unto him for righteousness".

Even so with ourselves and the subsequent revelation of the mystery in the Prison Epistles.  Let us believe it, and we may be sure that it will be counted unto us for something, for some blessing, which those who refuse to believe it will lose.

(*0) It is from mueo = to initiate or admit to secrets; and mustes was used of the person so initiated.

(*1) In subsequent Revisions of the Sept., Theodotion (A.D. 160) uses it for the Heb. sod (Job 15:8.  Ps.
25:14.  Prov. 20:19).  See notes in loc.

(*2) In Judith 2:2 it is boule (Ap. 102. 4) while in Eph. 1:9 it is thelema (Ap. 102. 2).

(*3) These were not those of the Old Testament dispensation, but were the subjects of a promise by the
Lord Himself in Matt. 23:34.  Luke 11:49, which was fulfilled in Eph. 4:8, 11.  See the notes on these
passages and Ap. 189.

(*4) Greek sussomos, a remarkable word occurring only here in the N.T.

To Check all the Appendixes of "The Companion Bible".

An Overview of the Sacred Secret.

Another chart on the Administrations, with 8 for a New Beginning at the very end.

Articles on Administrations.

More Articles on the Administrations.

Tasters of the Word (YouTube), videos recientes: "Astronomía y Nacimiento de Jesucristo: Once de Septiembre Año Tres A.C.", "Estudio sobre Sanidades" (en 20 episodios), "Jesus Christ, Son or God?" and "We've the Power to Heal":

Tasters of the Word (the blog, with: "Astronomy and the Birth of Jesus Christ"):


And a commercial before we go:

Window Cleaning of Ronnie Petree, where my wife works (smile): Good Looking Glass of Houston (serving also at: Katy, Surgarland, Conroe, Kingwood, Woodlands, Galveston).