How do we Stand Approved before God?
The word mystery does have a pagan origin. It started in Babylon in the great rebellion against God and His commands. But God has taken the language of man and purified it for His own use.
Running down through the ages are two mysteries. They seem to be parallel, but some day they will meet. That will be a terrible time when absolute holiness comes face to face with the epitome of unrighteousness. It is hard to imagine the result.
The two mysteries are; the mystery of godliness, and the mystery of iniquity. The first one is of God, the latter is of the wicked one. The one is manifested in Christ. The other will be manifested in Antichrist. Closer examination will reveal the terrible truth that one is a very close counterfeit of the other; so close that many will be deceived and led to destruction.
The mystery of godliness is expressed in Ph'p 2:5-9, Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant ...Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name.
The mystery of iniquity is expressed in Isaiah 14:13,14, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation ...I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. These are the words of Satan as he aspired to be on an equal with God. But Christ has that place now.
We are told about the mystery of godliness in l Tim 3:15,16, The pillar and ground of the truth, and without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. He came that He might declare or manifest the Father.
The pinnacle of the mystery of godliness is the administration of the mystery. It was really a secret, for we are told that it was hid in God and also hid from ages and generations. Other mysteries were not so completely hidden or secret as this one.
This mystery was a program or purpose of the ages that man had never dreamed of before. It concerns the headship of Christ over all things in the creation. It tells of a people chosen to have a place in heavenly places in resurrection. It tells of blessings, spiritual ones, in the heavenlies. And this church of the mystery is now making known to principalities in heaven the manifold wisdom of God. The surprising thing about all this is the fact that this chosen people are Gentiles, not Israel.
After Acts 28:28 it was the avowed purpose of Paul to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery. That also should be our goal today, if so be that we have trusted in this great gospel.
We understand that the plan of God concerning Israel is still in abeyance. But we must not be careless. The mystery of iniquity is working in the world yet today. But there is provision. We are to put on the whole armor of God and stand. We should be able to withstand in the evil day.
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