Revelation 1:20

Revelation 1:20  The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

This verse is simple in that it interprets for us the previous verses we have already discussed.  The seven stars are the messenger angels of the churches.  The seven candlesticks represent the churches themselves.  However, the intriguing thing to me concerning this verse is the use of the term mystery.  This term is of great significance in the bible.  The term mystery is used many times in scripture and represents some significant insight where it is used.  The mystery of the kingdom is talked about in the Gospels.  The mystery of Israel’s blindness is discussed in the book of Romans 11:25. The revelation of the mystery is introduced in the book of Romans 16:25, which coincides with the last chapter of Acts, and Paul explains it in Ephesians 3.  The Mystery of God is spoken of in 1 Corinthians 2:7 and in Colossians 2:2. The mystery of translation in 1 Corinthians 15:51. The mystery of Christ and the Church in Ephesians 5:32.  The mystery of godliness in 1 Timothy 3:16.  The mystery of iniquity in 2 Thessalonians 2:7.  The mystery of Babylon in Revelation 17:5. 

As you can see, the term mystery is important to understand to know what God is saying to us.  At its root, the term, in a biblical sense, means secret.  So, when a mystery is revealed in scripture, it means that God was keeping a secret that He gave to us when He decided to.  We are living now during the time of the revelation of the mystery which God gave to Paul.  The importance of understanding the revelation of the mystery gives insight into why Peter preached the way he did at Pentecost and why the rapture of the Church has been under attack ever since our conception.  Colossians 1:26-27 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  We can see that God gave Paul a revelation that had been hidden from all others down through time.  This great secret was the Church and the power which resides in the Church, which is Christ in us, the hope of glory.  This being a secret that Paul was announcing, it would stand to reason that Satan himself did not know about the Church or the power given to the Church.  There was a lot of information Satan didn’t have.  Jesus told us that no one knows the day or the hour of His return, not even the angels in heaven.  This being the case, it stands to reason that Satan does not know when Jesus will return either.  I believe that Satan did not know Jesus was planning to return at all until he heard the announcement given by the angel in Acts 1 that this same Jesus would come again in like manner as they saw Him go away.  Satan has been preparing for the return of Christ since Acts 1.  This statement is the most pivotal statement we can make in understanding the timing of the rapture of the Church.  We will come back to this statement many times before we are through with the study of this book.  This as well is connected to the mystery of iniquity. 

From a more practical sense,  the mysteries of God are not reserved for the elite or the learned but are open to all who seek Him with a pure heart.  This is a beacon of hope, a promise that God's revelation is not beyond our reach. May God, in His infinite grace, pour out the revelation of Himself to us all as we embark on this study.

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