By Oscar M. Baker
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."
Because they cannot point back to some historical landmark, many are inclined to doubt these words in the Word. 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 anymore 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 saints and faithful. It is not known by a study of the Bible as a book among other books. No amount of worldly learning or degrees can search out the secret. One must receive the gift of the spirit of wisdom and knowledge. The understanding must be enlightened.
There are those who talk about the mystery, but that is no guarantee that they know 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 the idol worship. A mystery then was something revealed to an initiate.
The mystery is something revealed to the initiate 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 know about. He cannot receive anything by faith till he has heard about it. That is where many are deceived. They try to make the mystery a part of the kingdom. They think they can be meek and inherit the earth and get Heaven too. So they mix up the dispensations and say that the dispensation of the mystery will end with a shout, the voice of an archangel, and a trumpeting. They do not know the mystery.
Our mission today is, "...to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery" (Eph. 3:9). But we are very limited in that mission. Many do not wish to see. Like Demas, they love the world. Many are entangled in religion so deeply that they cannot escape. But we press on.