In the Bible, there are many mysteries revealed by the Lord to Apostle Paul. Some of which are the Mystery of God or the grafting of the Gentiles (the Grace Period, Eph.3:6, Rom. 9:6-8; 16:25-26; Eph. 2:11-3:11), the Mystery of Marriage (Eph. 5:15-33) and the Mystery of Body Change (Rapture, 1 Cor. 15:51). These are the mysteries which the Apostle Paul claimed to be revealed to Him by the Lord Himself. Now, a mystery is something previously hidden but now revealed (Rom. 16:25-26).
Though the mysteries I have mentioned above are very interesting to look at, they are not the mysteries that I wanted to share with you in this article. I would like to focus your attention on these two other mysteries mentioned by Paul in his epistles. They are the “MYSTERY OF INIQUITY AND THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS.”
In the Bible, two always denote division or difference. This number affirms that there is opposition. And so, these two mysteries are actually two opposite mysteries opposing each other. One leads to Life, the other leads to destruction. Let us discuss them then.
First, let me discuss the Mystery of Iniquity.
THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY
2 Thes. 2:7-9 “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.”
According to the verse above, the Mystery of Iniquity has already been working and will culminate when the Wicked one (the Antichrist), will be revealed. His coming will be according to the working of Satan.
The word used by Paul for iniquity in this verse is the Greek word “anomia” which means “wickedness and lawlessness.” We all know that the author of iniquity is not the Lord but Satan. He is the father of iniquity. The first iniquity was seen in him as we can read in Ezekiel 28:15:
“Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”
Therefore, Satan is the father and author of iniquity. Now, the word “iniquity” in this verse came from the Hebrew word “eh’-vel” (from where the English word “evil” also originates) which means “unjust, injustice, unequal or inequality”. Satan don’t just want to be an angel. He wanted to be like God (Isa. 14:13-14). He doesn’t just want to be equal with angels. He wanted to ascend to the status of God. This is where the Mystery of Iniquity started. This is why we can also call the Mystery of Iniquity the “Mystery of Ascension” or the “Ascension Mystery” because this mystery focuses on how to ascend to a higher status.
The act of thinking highly of one’s self to created inequalities, positions or injustice (iniquity) did not only end with Satan, but it spreads among the angels of God. And so, the Mystery of Iniquity created its own kingdom. It became Satan’s kingdom. One-third of angels think highly of themselves and sided with Satan (Rev. 11:4). In this kingdom, Satan’s quality of inequality is being emphasized. This kingdom is full of iniquity which is the very system operating in it.
THE QUALITIES OF THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY
Below are the qualities of the kingdom (Mystery) of Iniquity:
1. The aim is to make yourself highly.
Members of the kingdom of the Mystery of Iniquity are always thinking highly of themselves. You will always think that you are greater than your brothers and sisters. This is because you are in the system of Satan and you have his qualities. You love positions and authorities because this kingdom is full of them. Therefore, the Mystery of Iniquity is the “Mystery of making yourself highly.” Your goal is to always ascend and that’s why this is called “The Mystery of Ascension.”
Ministers of this kingdom love positions and titles. They are the ones who wanted to be called Pastor, Apostle, Prophets, etc. all the time. In fact, they make these as their titles. They think that if they have these titles, they are higher than the rest. And therefore, they exercise authority to those lower than them through these positions.
2. The ambition to have more is the main priority.
Because this mystery is full of inequalities and is designed to have more positions to exalt one’s self, the main priority of those people under this kingdom is to have more. This is actually the Bottomless Pit described in Revelation 9. The people under this kingdom are never contended with what they have. They desire to have more and more of everything because they have an appetite that can never be full. They can never be contented in life. That’s why it is called the Bottomless Pit. Their desire to have more is bottomless. Therefore, they are forever falling into this Bottomless Pit.
3. The focus is the self and man’s own works and efforts.
Members of this kingdom think that they can be saved and go to heaven by their own works. They think that they can be raptured by their own efforts. This is because Satan, their father, also thinks that he can be like God through his five “I’s” and by his own efforts (Isa. 14:13-14). Actually, every religion in this world, is patterned in the Mystery of Iniquity. The principle that man can save himself through his own works is present in every religion.
4. The goal is to be independent from God. You don’t need God.
The goal of this kingdom is to totally erase God from the picture. They are teaching that you can do anything without the Lord. One example of this is the false teaching that you can heal yourself and others because God has already granted you the authority to heal that’s why you don’t need the Lord anymore. This hogwash teaching is actually prevalent today even among the End-time Message ministers.
These ministers further emphasized that you are like a Police officer who has the authority and that you don’t need to report to the Lord anymore if you want to heal someone or cast out demons or perform signs and wonders because He has already given you those authorities. These ministers totally erased the Lord out of the picture. They are ignorant to the truth that this authority they are talking about is actually the Lord Jesus Christ Himself living in every born-again believer! He is not separated from us. You can heal not because you have a separate power or separate authority to heal, you can heal because the Lord Who is the only healer, is living in you and that He is actually the One who heals through you. Therefore, He is the One you decide Who to heal, NOT YOU. He is your AUTHORITY. You must not separate yourself from Him and think that you have a separate authority from Him.
I have even heard one pastor saying that the Bride has a ministry today given by the Lord. He added that the ministry should be finished by the Bride because the Lord Jesus is waiting. If she can’t finish it, then the Lord cannot leave heaven and Raptured her. To them, the Rapture depends if the Bride can finish her ministry. What nonsense teaching! This is the result of man trying to be independent of God which is the works of the Mystery of Iniquity.
THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS
At this point, let us tackle the Mystery of Godliness, which is the opposite of the Mystery of Iniquity.
1 Tim. 3:16 “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.”
According to Paul, this Mystery of Godliness is a Great mystery. Why he called it great is because it is the mystery that we should be in. It is the character of God and His Kingdom. If the Mystery of Iniquity is called the Mystery of Ascension, the Mystery of Godliness on the other hand is called the “Mystery of Descension.” In this mystery, the almighty God Who is the creator of heaven and earth lowered Himself to be manifested in flesh and become a man. He left heaven to save us. That is why we can also call this as the Mystery of Humility.
This mystery told us that God lowered (humbled) Himself to reach us out. This was even elaborated by Paul in Philippians 2:5-8:
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in 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, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
This is the Mystery of Godliness: that God made Himself into a man and not just a man but a Servant. He is in this status even in His death on the cross. This is the Kingdom of God. And members of this Kingdom have these qualities.
THE QUALITIES OF THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS
Below are the qualities of the kingdom (Mystery) of Godliness:
1. Servanthood is the quality of its members.
Members of the kingdom of Godliness love to serve each other. Just like the Lord Who is a servant, this quality also flows in them. They love to lower themselves and they have no interest in titles and positions. They are okay if you will just call them “Brother” and not “Pastor.” None of them wanted to subdue or have authority over another because the Lord has clearly stated this in Mark 10:42-45 that it should not be present in His Kingdom:
“But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
BUT SO SHALL IT NOT BE AMONG YOU: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
So if you wanted to have authority over the believers, if you want to be addressed as “Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor or Teacher” and put them before your name to lift you above the common believers then you don’t belong to the Kingdom of Godliness or you have been deceived by the ways of the Mystery of Iniquity. THIS QUALITY SHOULD NOT BE SEEN IN THE KINGDOM OF GODLINESS. The Lord will surely bring you down.
2. They are contented on what they have.
Because this Kingdom is the Kingdom of Servants, the people of this Kingdom have no interest in material prosperity. The most important thing to them is Spiritual riches that they are willing to give up all their material possessions on this Earth just to gain these true treasures. This is because, the Mystery of Godliness is a heavenly Kingdom while the Mystery of Iniquity is an earthly Kingdom. And because it is a heavenly Kingdom, the people of this Kingdom have more concern on the heavenly things than earthly things.
3. People of this Kingdom are dependent on God.
If the people in the Mystery of Iniquity wanted to be independent from God, the people of the Mystery of Godliness on the other hand, wanted to be fully possessed by God. They know that apart from God, they are nothing. It is revealed to them that their own works cannot save them, their own righteousness is just filthy rags. They need the Lord and they are fully dependent upon Him.
These people realized that God must indwell them. That God must possess them. That they should be born-again. All their worldly ambitions died in them so that God can fully use them. They know that they cannot enter heaven if the One who came from heaven is not in them as written in John 3:13:
“No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.”
We can only enter heaven if we possess the only One Who can enter it. They know that they cannot heal, cannot cast out demons, cannot perform miracles, and cannot have a reward from God if they are independent of Him and if He is not the One working in them.
In short, these people have died to their selves and are willing to give their lives as a living sacrifice to be used by their Lord. The people in the kingdom of Iniquity think that the people in this Kingdom are insane. This is the reason why the world hates them because the cares of the world are not in them.
MYSTERY OF INIQUITY VS. MYSTERY OF GODLINESS
Because of their opposing nature, these two mysteries are at war with each other. Satan is the king of the kingdom of Iniquity and God is the King of the Kingdom of Godliness. Below are the seven battles that happened, are happening and will going to happen between these two kingdoms:
1. Satan’s Demons vs. The Angels of God
The first battle between these two mysteries happened when one-third of the angelic host sided with Satan and made him their king. Satan then brought them to Earth, they conquer this planet and destroy the prehistoric creations of God (Rev. 12:4). This happened long before the first man Adam was created. This is the reason why Earth became “void and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (Gen. 1:2).
After conquering this Earth, Satan and his demons also wanted to conquer heaven. They made war with the heavenly host. Michael and two-thirds of the angels that remained with God fought Satan and his demons (Rev. 12:7). This is also called as “the battle between Heaven and Earth.” The kingdom of Iniquity was defeated by the Kingdom of Godliness. The kingdom of Earth was defeated by the Kingdom of Heaven (Rev. 12:8). On this first battle, the Mystery of Godliness won. And so, Satan and his demons cannot access heaven anymore. They became Earth-bound (Rev. 12:9-10). And because they have no more access to heaven, they concentrate to destroy Earth and all that is in it (Rev. 12:12).
2. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil vs. The Tree of Life
When God created Adam, he was created a spirit. He is made from the Spirit of God. Then God created him a physical body made of earth. After that, Adam has these two compositions: a heavenly spirit (because it is made from the Spirit of God Who is heavenly) and an earthly body because it is made from the dust of the Earth. In short, Adam is both a heavenly and an earthly being. Now, we should remember that Heaven and Earth are at war with each other.
In Genesis 2:9, we can read that there are two Trees in the midst of the Garden which is different from other fruit-bearing trees that grow out of the ground. They are not natural trees. These two Trees are the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life gives Eternal Life (Gen 3:22) while the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil brings death (Gen. 2:17). So the Tree of Life here represents God who is the giver of Eternal Life while the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil represents Satan who brings death upon Earth. And since God is a Spirit, the Tree of Life once partaken, should give Eternal Life to the spirit of Adam. It is a heavenly Tree, that’s why It will boost Adam’s spirit because his spirit is made of heaven.
The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, on the other hand, represents Satan who wants to conquer Adam’s body. Satan has no access to heaven, therefore, he has also no access to Adam’s spirit because it is made of heaven. The only way that Satan can access Adam is through Adam’s body because it is made of Earth where Satan and his demons have dominion. Satan intends to conquer Adam’s body. But since Satan is a spirit himself, he needs someone or something that is physical that can access Adam’s body which is made of Earth. Enter the Serpent (Gen 3:1).
The Serpent in Genesis 3 is actually Satan’s device to conquer Adam’s body. The Serpent is the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It is a hybrid of good and evil. The serpent seduced Eve by telling her that they can be like God without being dependent on God (Gen. 3:5). This is where the Mystery of Iniquity comes in. The ambition of exalting one’s self without dependency to God. Unfortunately, Adam and Eve chose the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil instead of the Tree of Life. They choose to side with the Mystery of Iniquity instead of the Mystery of Godliness. They chose to side with the Earthly kingdom of Satan instead of the Kingdom of Heaven. They chose their bodies that are made of Earth over their spirits that are made of heaven. Therefore, in this second battle, the Mystery of Iniquity won over the Mystery of Godliness.
Adam and Eve’s bodies were conquered by sin. No matter what they do, their bodies cannot enter heaven for the reason that sin is dwelling in it and this is why “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 15:50). Man’s body always returns to dust (Gen. 3:19). The Mystery of Iniquity has no place in heaven (Rev. 12:8). And because they chose their earthly bodies, Adam and Eve’s spirits died. The Tree of Life that can give their spirits Eternal Life was also hidden away from them by the Lord (Gen. 3:24). After that, every person born in this world has a live body but has a dead spirit. All our bodies also contain sin on them (Rom 7:18).
3. Children of Men vs. Children of God
The third battle between the Mystery of Iniquity and the Mystery of Godliness is between Children of Men and the Children of God. This started with Cain and Abel.
Cain is the best example of people in the kingdom of Iniquity as he represents those who approached God based on their own works. Cain offered God the fruit of his own works (his own strength) as he offered him the fruit of the ground (Earth). Remember that the ground (Earth) was cursed at that time as punishment to Adam because Adam chose his Earthly body instead of his heavenly spirit (Gen. 3:17). So one needs to work hard in order to produce crops. This is what Cain did.
Cain offered God the fruit of his hard work. And we know that God is not pleased with our own hard work. He wanted that it should be Him Who works in us (Phil. 2:13). He wanted us to be dependent on Him and not on our own strength. Therefore, the Lord rejects Cain’s offering (Gen. 4:5).
On the other hand, the Lord respects Abel’s offering (Gen. 4:4) because it is done with dependency on Him. Abel followed the Lord’s will to offer an offering with blood (Gen. 3:21). And because of this, Cain killed Abel. After this event, Cain vanished from Adam and Eve and his lineage flourished upon the face of the Earth. The Bible called the lineage of Cain the “sons of men” and the lineage of Adam through Seth was called the “sons of God” (Gen. 6:1-2). But it was the sons of men that flourished more on Earth as they are earthly (Gen. 6:5) and their wickedness grow. So in this third battle, the Mystery of Iniquity won again over the Mystery of Godliness. Therefore, God needs to send a planetary flood upon the Earth to destroy them.
After the flood, the lineage of Cain still flourishes on Earth and they are the ones ruling this planet and are called great men.
4. Nimrod vs. Abraham
In Genesis 11, Nimrod united the people of the world by creating a tower that can reach heaven. These people’s aim is to reach heaven through their own efforts and without the help of God. Just like their father Satan, they wanted to ascend to heaven. But this was destroyed by the Lord by changing their language.
On the other hand, Abraham left his country to follow the will of the Lord. He surrendered everything to God even his only son Isaac for he was fully dependent on Him.
5. World Governments vs. The Leading of God
When the Lord led Israel out of Egypt into the Promised Land, He is their leader and King. But then there came a time when the Israelites were not contended for God to be their King. They demanded a human king instead of His leadership (1 Sam. 8:5-6). And the Lord was greatly hurt by this (1 Samuel 8:7-8).
Because the nature of the Mystery of Iniquity is great in them, the Israelites wanted to copy the ways of the Mystery of Iniquity instead of the ways of the Mystery of Godliness. They wanted to copy the ways of the world. And so begins their downfall.
How many times shall we not learn from Israel? How many times shall we reject the leadership of our Lord?
6. Flesh vs. Spirit
When the Lord Jesus gave Himself for us on the cross, that’s where the serpent’s head was crushed (Gen. 3:15). That’s when the serpent’s venom has no more effect on Adam’s lineage. The souls of those Old Testament saints were freed from hell and were taken by the Lord to Paradise. Hell cannot imprison them anymore.
After this victory, Tree of Life was restored and was given to the Church. The Spirit of the Lord quickened the dead spirits of His people starting from the Pentecost. Members of His kingdom were then born-again. Those people whose spirits were once dead became alive. Therefore, man now has two natures within him. He does not only possess the nature of the Mystery of Iniquity in him but also the Mystery of Godliness. Within his spirit is the presence of the Tree of Life. His spirit and his flesh now are always at war with each other (Gal. 5:17). These two Mysteries are fighting within him. But then one day, the Mystery of Godliness will win and the Spirit will engulf his flesh making it immortal and incorruptible (1 Cor. 15:53, 1 Thes. 4:16-17). Man will have a glorified body, completely eradicating the Mystery of Iniquity within his flesh.
7. Earthly Kingdom vs. Heavenly Kingdom
The final battle between the Mystery of Iniquity and the Mystery of Godliness will be during the Great Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 19:11-21). It is a battle of heaven vs. Earth. This time, the Mystery of Godliness or the Heavenly Kingdom will go to Earth and claim it. The kingdom of the Mystery of Iniquity will try to stop it then. Satan, his demons and all people who are members of his kingdom will fight in this great battle to prevent the Lord and His heavenly host from claiming Earth. But the Lord will just say the Word and all of them will be dead (Rev. 19:15,21). Not even one member of the heavenly host will lift a finger for this fight. The Word of the Lord will be enough to destroy the Mystery of Iniquity.
Earth then will be claimed by its true owner – the Kingdom of Godliness. It will then be renewed. All of the filthiness and destruction brought by the Mystery of Iniquity upon Earth will be destroyed (Isa. 11). The past will be gone and the new will come.
With these many battles going-on between the Mystery of Iniquity and the Mystery of Godliness, at the end of the day, the Mystery of Godliness will surely win. So choose where you will side today. You may say “Of course, I will side with the Mystery of Godliness.” Then you must remember that in the Kingdom of Godliness, no members of it are exalting themselves. Exaltation have no place in the Kingdom of Godliness.
In this Kingdom, in order to go up, you must go down, in order to be a king, you must be a servant. Being served isn’t best. Being honored isn’t greatness. Exaltation should not be seen in you because it is written:
Luke 14:11a “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased.”
Right now, if you will look at the world, the Mystery of Iniquity is ruling. The ways of this world are ruled by the ways of Iniquity. Our government and its system are patterned in Iniquity. It is full of positions that one should aim for in order to go up the ladder. You need to make an effort in order to go up. Some are even killing each in order to gain position. Even in our jobs, the system is patterned in the Mystery of Iniquity. In order to go up the ladder, you need to prove yourself. You need to aim for it.
But the sad thing is, the system of the Mystery of Iniquity is not only prevalent in the world, BUT ALSO IN THE CHURCH ITSELF. Believers today adapted the ways of the Mystery of Iniquity. They have created positions in the Church like Senior Pastor, Associate Pastor, Major Prophet, Minor Prophet, Chief Apostle, etc. Most ministers today love to be exalted and they demand that they should be always addressed as “Pastors” and not just brothers. I can see how these ministers will badly fall someday because the Lord will not allow that there will be ways of self-exaltation in His Kingdom.
But you oh Bride of Christ, go away from these things. Pursue the Kingdom of Godliness. It is your only way to be crowned by the Lord one day. God must descend in order for us to reach heaven. We must also descend in order for us to go up. This is the Mystery of Godliness.
May the Spirit of Truth continue to guide us into all Truth is my prayer.
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