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There have been two "mysteries" at work since early times. The mystery of God and the mystery of iniquity. In this study we are going to find out what both these mysteries are and reveal the sad fact that most churches are following the mystery of iniquity today! This truth is so important and it is our prayer that you will know the truth, live the truth and share it far and wide!

So what is the 'mystery of God'? Revelation 10:7 says ... 'But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.' What is this 'mystery' which is to be 'finished' during the sounding of the 7th angel? In basic terms, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the mystery of God, but there are certain elements of the gospel and this 'mystery' which the Bible reveals and which we must understand to not be deceived by the mystery of iniquity and its false gospel. So let us look at these various elements from the Bible:


Ephesians 1:9-10 ...'Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.'

Ephesians 3:3-6 ...'How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.'

Colossians 1:26-29 ...'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: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.'

So what are the elements of the 'mystery of God'? 1. That the offer of salvation through Christ is open to all and no one is outside the scope of God's salvation. He will gather all into one in Christ. 2. That Christ would dwell in us through His Word and Spirit. 3. That we would be made perfect in Christ through faith and His mighty working in us. This is the 'mystery of God', a mystery that the Jews certainly did not understand because there was another 'mystery' working in the world, the mystery of iniquity. The gospel has a certain work to do, that is, to gather out from all nations, during the time that sin is running its course, a holy people for God. A people who are abiding in Christ and Christ abiding in them, revealing the character of God in them. But the 'mystery of iniquity' seeks to hinder this work of God in the world through a false gospel, which is sadly being followed by most churches in the world.

Now what do you think Jesus will do after sacrificing and suffering all for us? Just leave us as we are to continue living a life of sin and worldliness? NEVER. If we are willing, He will change us into His image, perfecting us in holiness.

Ezekiel 36:26-27 ...'A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and CAUSE YOU TO WALK in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.'

Jeremiah 31:33 ...'But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.'

Paul said in Romans 11:17 that us Gentiles, through Christ, are 'grafted into the tree.' This means we also become the 'house of Israel.' So the above verses apply also to us Gentiles who have been grafted in through Christ. Now what do you think happens when God writes His law in our hearts and Christ causes us to walk in His ways? Will we just continue sinning? No, never! We will be KEEPERS of Jehovah's holy commandments. Not just 9 of them, but all 10 and not just in the letter, but in the spirit.

Romans 8:3-4 ...'For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.'

Do you see what happens when Christ comes to us through His Spirit? If we seek His truth in God's Word and seek to obey His Word, surrendering all to Him by faith, He causes us, if we allow Him, to walk in His ways and to keep Jehovah's commandments and thus the "righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us." Jesus doesn't just leave us in sin, simply 'declaring' us righteous, He makes us righteous, so that we can truly be 'presented perfect in Christ Jesus' (Colossians 1:28), a 'glorious, holy church, without spot or wrinkle' (Ephesians 5:27). This is the POWER of the gospel, the power not just to save, but to "save to the uttermost" (Hebrews 7:25), changing us from sinners to 'saints', causing us to KEEP Jehovah's holy law. It is the 'power of God' (Romans 1:16), and as Jesus said in Matthew 28:18, ALL POWER has been given to Him in heaven and earth. So if Christ is IN us as the gospel confirms, then we also have POWER to overcome all sin and truly be free FROM sin. The question is, do you BELIEVE in that power?

This is all connected with the 'cleansing of the sanctuary' at the end of the 2300 day prophecy from 1844. What is Jesus doing as our High Priest? Blotting out our sins. From where? From the record books in the sanctuary in heaven AND from our very lives NOW. Where is Jesus now? In the most holy place in heaven. What is in the most holy place, as shown in the Old Testament tabernacle on earth and in Revelation 11:19? The ark of the covenant with God's ten commandments. But where did Jesus say He would also dwell? In us, in our minds, and what did He say He would do? Write God's law in our minds, so we become KEEPERS of God's law (Revelation 14:12) and are 'cleansed' of sin! Do you see this? Our Adventist pioneers understood and preached this truth, hence the 'finishing' of the mystery of God when the seventh trumpet was to begin to sound, after 1844.

Think about it! Why would God write His law in our minds for us to just keep on sinning or if His law was done away with? It makes no sense! God would only write His law in our minds and "cause us" to walk in His ways for us to be KEEPERS of His commandments.

Sadly there is another 'mystery' at work according to the Bible, which is still at work today! Interestingly, it is called the 'mystery of iniquity.' What is 'iniquity'? SIN. Something the professed people of God need to wake up to and take much more seriously. Let us take a look:

2 Thessalonians 2:7 ...'For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.'

What was this 'mystery of iniquity' already at work in Paul's day? Just as the true gospel had various elements which we have shown above, the mystery of iniquity also has various elements which are at odds with the true gospel of Jesus Christ. The basis of this 'mystery of iniquity' is a rejection of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone:

Acts 15:1 ...'And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.'

Galatians 1:6-8 ...'I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.'

So what was this 'mystery of iniquity' already at work? It was 'another gospel' which rejected salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8) and falsely claimed that we cannot be saved without our own works of the flesh. We know that it was the Jews pushing this false gospel of salvation by works, and what will that mindset keep you in a state of? SIN, because our own works can never release us from slavery to sin. But think about it, is that any different from the mainstream belief today that we cannot gain victory over sin, even with Christ? No, it is the same condition - continued slavery to sin. The churches today say we are saved IN our sins rather than FROM our sins, and yet the result is the same as trying to be saved by your own works - slavery to sin! This is the 'mystery of iniquity.'

Romans 6:16 ...'Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?'

The Jews chose to continue being servants of sin due to their false belief of being saved by their own works and sadly today, many professed Christians continue to be servants of sin due to their false belief that in Christ, they are free from the requirements of Jehovah's commandments. BOTH of these beliefs are a result of the 'mystery of iniquity.' This 'mystery of iniquity' which was already at work in Bible times, continued to work and grow and develop into that 'antichrist' power which was 'revealed' when Pagan Rome was 'taken out of the way' (2 Thess.2:7). And what did this 'mystery of iniquity' develop into? Papal Rome.

The Popes and Roman Catholic system became the full manifestation of the 'mystery of iniquity', that 'man of sin' whom Paul prophesied was to be revealed, "opposing and exalting himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God" (2 Thessalonians 2:4). And the sad truth is that most churches in the world follow after the mystery of iniquity, rather than the mystery of God - the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us look at the differences between the churches today and the true gospel:

THE MYSTERY OF GOD vs THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY - The first element of the true gospel (mystery of God) was that salvation is open to ALL people in the world and that God would "gather together in one all things IN CHRIST." But what does the Roman Catholic Church and many other denominations teach today? That we HAVE to be part of their churches to be part of the 'body of Christ' and thus be saved. They teach exactly the same as the Pharisees on this point. They remove Christ as the only way and say that anyone who remains 'outside' their institution cannot be saved. But what did Jesus say? "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20). In other words, where two or three are gathered IN CHRIST, in the TRUE gospel of Christ, THERE is His church! Not once does the Bible say we have to be part of any particular church or institution to be saved. Jesus is the ONLY way (John 14:6). Do you see the mystery of iniquity at work today in the churches? They get the people to look to the church leaders, rather than look to Christ, just as the Pharisees deceived the Jews into looking to them, instead of Christ.

THE MYSTERY OF GOD vs THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY - The second element of the mystery of God we saw above was the truth that Christ would come to us. But what do the majority of churches teach regarding God? That God is a trinity 3 in 1 god, which keeps Christ up in heaven and says it is "God the Holy Spirit" who comes to us. But what does the Bible say? That "God sends the SPIRIT OF HIS SON into our hearts" (Galatians 4:6). Jesus even confirmed this in John 14:18-23 and Revelation 3:20, that HE would come to us and be in us. So what does the false trinity god of the churches today do? REMOVE Christ from us. This is the mystery of iniquity.

1 John 4:2-3 ...'Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ IS come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.'

Notice John didn't say Jesus 'HAS' come in the flesh. He says Jesus 'IS' (present tense) come in the flesh, just as Paul confirmed the 'mystery of God' which was revealed ... "Christ IN you, the hope of glory." But the churches of the world today follow after that mystery of iniquity and are of that 'spirit of antichrist' by removing Christ from us and worshipping a 'mystical' 3 in 1 trinity god which the Bible never speaks of. Thus by removing Christ from us, we have no power to overcome sin and remain slaves to sin. This is the condition and spirit of many of the world's churches today.

THE MYSTERY OF GOD vs THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY - The third element of the mystery of God we saw above was the truth that Christ doesn't allow us to continue living in sin, but changes us, perfecting us in His holiness, causing us to walk in His ways and KEEP the commandments of God. Revelation 14:12 even confirms that the end time saints of God are those who "keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12). But what do the various churches teach today? That we cannot gain victory over sin and will continue to sin until Jesus returns, with most of them even rejecting the 4th commandment of God, the 7th day Sabbath. Thus they reject the POWER of God to 'save to the uttermost' and without realising it, are seeking to be saved by THEIR OWN works - choosing their own way!

2 Timothy 3:1-5 ...'This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but DENYING THE POWER thereof: from such turn away.'

Are not the above verses an apt description of the churches today? The churches are FULL of the above sins. Why? Because they follow the mystery of iniquity (false gospel) instead of the mystery of God (true gospel).

From the beginning Satan accused God's law and government as the cause of sin (Great Controversy, 1888, p.498) and the churches today, many without realising, lay the same charge against God's holy law and thus the commandments of God and the true gospel of Christ is rejected in favour of the 'mystery of iniquity.' So the question is, who are you following and which 'mystery' are you following? God knew what condition the various churches would be in, in the last days. Which is why in Revelation 18:1-4, we see the following warning:

Revelation 18:1-5 ...'And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.'

Fallen Babylon are the various churches of the world. Jesus warned the first church (Ephesus) in Revelation 2 that she had 'fallen' due to the 'mystery of iniquity' that was already at work there and warns her to repent or else she would no longer be His church. Sadly, the various churches have not heeded this warning from Jesus and have been building up their sins and false teachings, which are reached unto heaven. This is soon to bring about judgment from God in the seven last plagues, which is why God is calling His people still caught in these fallen churches who follow after the mystery of iniquity to COME OUT, lest they share in the sins of the churches and receive of her plagues.

Revelation 22:14-15 ...'Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.'

Please heed the warning. We must BELIEVE in the salvation of Christ ALONE and in the POWER of His gospel, as we are only saved through FAITH. Faith in His Word to change us and cause us to keep the commandments of God. Those who are 'without' the kingdom are those who 'love' iniquity and following after the 'mystery of iniquity.'

For more important studies in relation to this study, please see our following pages: