Q. My question is concerning the mystery of the Rapture. I have been doing some research into the different mysteries mentioned in the Bible. One interesting thing I noticed is the word mystery isn’t found in the Old Testament. I do understand that the word mystery means truth. So, a truth is being revealed when we see a mystery being explained.
It makes sense to me that the Cross was a mystery because if Satan had known about it, then he would have done everything in his power to keep it from happening. But what about the hidden truth of the Rapture? Why would this need to be hidden? Could Satan do something against the church if he happened to know about it before hand?
I’ve tried to approach this from all angles and just cannot see how he could do anything if the Rapture is determined by a number. After all, Satan may be a mighty angel, but an angel none the less. I appreciate any insight you may have on this. Thanks for your efforts and God bless.
A. I’m sure there are several views on the correct answer to your question. But they’re all speculation because the Lord has never explained His motives in keeping the timing of the Rapture secret. That said, here’s an answer that has intrigued me ever since I first heard it about 15 years ago. It’s rather complex so I’ll try to summarize it.
In Genesis 14:19 Melchizedek called God by an unusual name, “The Most High God, Possessor of Heaven and Earth.” Normally He’s called the Creator of Heaven and Earth, and some modern versions of the Bible translate verse 19 that way but they’re incorrect. The Hebrew word means possessor. It’s a different word than the one used for Creator
In Isaiah 14:14 Satan boasted, “I will make myself like the Most High.” He used the same Hebrew phrase (El Elyon) as Gen. 14:19 in naming God.
From that some speculate that Satan wasn’t claiming that He was going to replace God, but only that he’d become like Him by possessing Earth and its atmosphere, which is what the Hebrew word translated heaven means.
When God re-created Earth after the judgment that had left it an uninhabitable ruin (formless and void) there was only one day out of the six when He didn’t pronounce His work as good. That was Day Two, when He created the expanse between the waters above and the waters below, in other words our atmosphere. The reason He didn’t pronounce Day Two good was that Satan and his minions immediately took possession of it. This is why Paul called him “The ruler of the kingdom of the air” in Ephesians 2:2.
By deceiving Adam in the Garden, Satan took dominion over Earth making good on his boast. He was now possessor of Heaven and Earth.
At the cross he watched helplessly as Jesus, Adam’s Kinsman Redeemer, bought back that which Adam had lost, and was shocked beyond measure when he saw that all of Adam’s progeny had been redeemed as well. What should have been his greatest victory had sown the seeds that would blossom into his ultimate defeat. Had he known that was going to happen, he would never have let Jesus be crucified. (1 Cor 2:8)
One day soon at a time unknown to Satan or mankind, the Lord will descend with Michael, and with the trumpet call and a loud shout He’ll catch up His Church and we’ll meet Him … in the air! (1 Thes. 4:16-17)
Can it be that the Rapture of the Church will also be a secret invasion of Satan’s Kingdom? That when we leave this Earth we’ll stream through Satan’s front yard on our way to our destiny, dispossessing him as we go? Could the Rapture be the opening salvo in the Lord’s war to take possession of all that He redeemed at the cross and restore His position as Possessor of Heaven and Earth?? If so it makes strategic sense for its timing to be a secret.
Sometime after the Rapture, Satan will be thrown out of God’s presence and confined to Planet Earth, his last stronghold. By then he’ll know that his time is short but he’ll fight with all his might to cause as much destruction as possible before he’s taken. (Rev. 12:7-12) This is the period of time we know as the Great Tribulation.
Of course, this is all speculation of the highest order. But it does conform to what little information we’re given in God’s Word. And it makes for one terrific story of warfare and intrigue.