De Witt Tabernacle Teaching Series


The Mystery of Iniquity


“What was The Saviour’s Thought in Submitting

Us to Sin and Himself to The Cross?”


                       By C. W. Wood                     December 2001



The death of Christ on The Cross is without question the most remarkable and the most astounding event in all of the world’s history. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it was God Himself who died there. By the revelation of One Person in the Godhead, we have been made to see this, and we know that He did not assign someone else such a sentence, but He came and endured The Cross Himself. We have been legally redeemed by the LAW GIVER, who also became our LAW KEEPER, and then our PERFECT SACRIFICE. To believe that God sent His Son as a “Different Person” from Himself, is to miss the revelation that God is one God and that He has satisfied Himself that the sin debt is fully paid.

          The scriptures clearly teach ONE PERSON in the Godhead, and not three. Zech. 14:9, “There shall be One Lord and His name One.” I Cor. 8:4, “….and that there is none other God but One.” Eph. 4:5-6, “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Deut.6:4, “The Lord our God is One Lord.” Gal.3:20, “….God is one.” Mark 12:32, “….For there is One God, and there is none other but He.” James 2:19, “Thou believest that there is One God; Thou doest well…”     

          Great is the Mystery that Paul spoke of in the first chapter of Colossians. Brother Branham used Col. 1:15-29 for his text in preaching the Message “Christ The Mystery of God Revealed.” He declared that The Mystery was in three parts, or that God had a threefold purpose in The Mystery, and that “The first thing was that God wanted to Reveal Himself to the people.” His plan to do so involved subjecting His Elect to sin, and Himself to The Cross. Where can we go for understanding about the sin in our flesh and the reason for The Cross? Human reasoning is useless and the opinions of unspiritual men are worthless.

          We can only go to the Word of God and to His Prophet’s explanation of that Word. What has God done in the flesh body of Jesus Christ to reconcile us back to Himself? What message did He put into the minds of the writers of scripture for us? What is it that we must believe about The Cross in order to be raptured? We hope to show, with the help of the Lord, that we have been fully Redeemed, and made as Righteous as our God is Righteous, (II Cor. 5:21) and that it was done through a plan that we had nothing to do with. (Rom. 9:16) It involved us being taken from a Perfect Theophany Body and being placed in a sinful flesh body!

          The plan of Redemption was made by God alone, for it must be a Perfect Plan. Therefore, He took no advice from any group or counsel. (Eph.1:11) It was made in accordance with what He, Himself, knew would satisfy His wrath against sin. His own Righteousness and Justice must be PERFECTLY SATISFIED. There could be no stopping short of full payment for the sins of His Elect. From the time that He cried out, “It Is Finished,” there must never be any question concerning the LEGALITY of the plan that would redeem man. In God’s mind, it was just as He said, “Finished.” The sin question had been settled! We had been subjected to it and then delivered back out of it. Never again would it be legal in God’s mind for His Elect, each of whom has a repentant heart, to be charged with sin. Even in our earthly courts, a man may not be charged with the same crime twice. How much more is this settled in Heaven since our High Priest, Jesus Christ, has “By His own Blood entered in ONCE into the HOLY PLACE, having obtained ETERNAL REDEMPTION FOR US.”  (Heb. 9: 12) “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s Elect? It is God that Justifieth.” (Rom. 8:33) Only God could have made a plan for doing away with sin that would satisfy Himself. We are helpless, within ourselves, to please Him by the keeping of His Law. Ps. 49:7, “None of them can by any means redeem his Brother, NOR GIVE A RANSOM FOR HIMSELF.”

          A Perfect Law can only be kept by a Perfect Person, and we have been rendered impotent by sin and are “Without strength.” (Rom. 5:6) Our deliverance had to come from without, through another Person. Rom. 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.”

          Except for God’s permission, sin could not have entered into the world, and but for Grace there would be no satisfaction made for our failures to keep His Law. God and God alone is the Source of our deliverance, and He never intended to trust that deliverance into the hands of another. What a Faith-building revelation to know that the One who made the Plan of Redemption, came Himself and fulfilled it and has satisfied Himself so that His wrath against sin is forever appeased. He had determined that He, Himself, would be, “The Lamb slain from before the foundation of the earth,” (Rev. 13:8) and that He would be the “Him” that would be “Delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.” (Acts 2:23) We are saying that God would deliver Himself up to become sin in our stead.

          How then, could God have failed to be perfectly satisfied with the payment that was made? He knew every sin that we would ever commit, and the very degree of punishment that was being required for those sins, so that He did not cry, “It is Finished,” until He was satisfied that He had paid the debt, in full. God appointed the penalty and its degree of punishment, then God paid the penalty to its fullest degree. In His great mind, we who believe His plan, now stand before Him, “Holy and without blame, in love.” (Eph. 1:4)

          God had a “Secret Mystery” before the world ever began. It involved a plan wherein He would subject His Elect to sin. Rom. 8:20, “For the Creature was made subject to vanity (Sin), not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope.” In so doing, God would open up the way through which He could show His attributes. By manifesting these attributes, His great love would be wound up to its highest pitch and brought into clear view before His people as He hung on The Cross.

          QUOTE: CHRIST THE MYSTERY OF GOD REVEALED, PAGE 16, “Now God’s Secret Mystery, He had before the world began. Now back in the back part of God’s mind, there was something that He was trying, and was going to achieve, and He had a motive in doing it, in order to let Himself be expressed. (In order to let His powerful Love be expressed) (End quote)

          What was this Secret Mystery? It is still a Mystery in the minds of many of God’s children. Why do we have a “Law of Sin” (Rom. 7:23) in our members that renders us incapable of fully keeping God’s Law? We are grieved by our many failures, we groan within ourselves, waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God (Rom. 8:19), waiting for the day when we have been delivered from our flesh bodies of sin. We long to please our Father, but even as the Apostle Paul, we must confess that, “The good that I would I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Rom. 7:19)

          Why are we in such a strait in the first place? This is the Great Mystery! Why were we subjected to vanity? It was not that we chose to be, but rather that God chose it for us. We had no more to do with our physical birth that rendered us sinful, than we had to do with our Spiritual Birth that redeemed us. As has been said, God could have prevented the entrance of sin into the world. He could have prevented the Serpent’s Seed from being placed in Mother Eve. He could have kept Adam and his seed pure and Holy. Had it pleased God to do so, He could have taken us to Heaven without our having been polluted by sin.

          This, by itself, would have been an amazing demonstration of His Love, yet the Prophet declared that He was not satisfied without still further proof of it, and was determined to bring to light that proof.

          QUOTE: CHRIST THE MYSTERY OF GOD REVEALED, PAGE 16, “So in His great mind, He wanted these attributes to be expressed. And in Him was Love, in Him was to be a Father, in Him was to be a Son, in Him was to be Saviour, in Him was to be Healer.”

          Page 17, “Now God had a purpose and a Hidden Mystery, and that’s what I want to speak on to the Church this morning. The HIDDEN MYSTERY of God, that He had in His mind before the world ever began, and how it’s unfolded itself right down to this present hour that we’re living. And then you will understand clearly, I believe, what is being done.” (End quote)

          To this writer, the Prophet was saying that God wanted to grant to His people a deeper, fuller, revelation of His Love for them. God had loved His people in ordaining them to Eternal Life (Acts 13:48), but He gave a grander proof of it by suffering us to fall into sin, and then coming Himself to redeem us from it. If we had first been brought to Heaven without knowing the misery and shame of sin, it would have been a glorious reward, but how much more now, since we fell and have been, as it were, snatched out of the flames.

          Every Born-Again Believer knows he is guilty, and until the full revelation of WHY we were “Subjected to Vanity” comes, we have a battle with condemnation. After ever failure, the enemy is there to condemn us. The purpose of the Prophet’s teaching concerning the Mystery of Iniquity is to deliver us from this condemnation. When we begin to understand exactly why God did not keep Adam and Eve in The Holy State, and it dawns on us that it was because He could never have shown the fullness of His Love, it is then that we will refuse condemnation over the fact that we cannot perfectly keep God’s Law Standard. We will simply trust the plan that made us subject to sin and then redeemed us from it.

          QUOTE: CHRIST THE MYSTERY, PAGE 23, “Now why didn’t He just keep Adam and Eve like that? (Sinless) Then He would have never been able to express His fullness, His full attribute. (Attribute of Love) He could have been a Father there, that’s true, but also He is a Saviour…..and He had to express that, and how could He do it? Only through Christ. (After we needed saving)

          Page26, “Now, Oh the great revelation now! Now to restore back His kinship. To bring back….Now He had to let them get lost, (Do) you understand it? He had to let them sin, put them on free (Free Moral Agency)

          Page 27, “But He had to put man on free moral agency to fall, so that He might be a Saviour to display what’s in Him....Something had to be lost, and the very thing that man fell and became lost, He became the Saviour of that, taking His own Law. (The very thing of man falling is what God used. He wanted to save him from the fall.) (End quote)

          Now, can we see that the Creature was MADE subject to vanity by God, because it better served His purpose of revealing Himself in Love? God’s love for His Children was such that we could not grasp it, and not understanding it, we could not return it properly. But now, as we look at The Cross, and see how the Eternal One laid aside His Robes of Glory, and entered into the depths of shame and humiliation, we are awed and staggered. We see that because He had subjected us to sin in a body of flesh, He would come and taste of the same in a flesh body.

          Heb. 2:14, “For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”

          The Great Mystery, the Great Revelation that sets us free from condemnation, is that it is not our fault that we were made to be sinners in a flesh body.

          QUOTE” INVISIBLE UNION, PAGE 33, “How did you come to do this? (How is it that you were born in sin?) You were deceived into it by your first marriage, to your adulteress parent, Eve. It is no fault of your own. By your natural birth you came after Eve (born with a fallen nature), who committed adultery. That is the reason you were born an adulteress. You were a sinner to begin with. That is right. You were deceived into it….No, it isn’t your fault….” (End quote)

          Here the Prophet said that it is not our fault that we were SUBJECTED to sin, but we must not misinterpret the teaching. It is exactly true that we had nothing to do with coming here through a wrong birth, and being born “Dead in trespasses and sins.” (Eph. 2:1) In this we had no say, but we did have a say as far as entering into sin is concerned. God placed a conscience in us and we knew that many of the sins we engaged in were against His law. We have been “Guilty” and therefore have earned death. Adam and Eve were warned against their sin, and so are we. Even so, Grace has allowed repentance and then furnished forgiveness through The Cross.

          We are looking at the Mystery of Iniquity. Has it not been a Mystery to us why we would be placed in the position of loving God’s Holy Law (through the New Birth), yet be unable to keep it to God’s satisfaction, or even to our own satisfaction? Along with the Apostle Paul, we know that, “The Law is Holy, and the Commandment Holy, and Just and Good.” (Rom. 7:12) But also, we see with the Apostle, “Another Law in our members, warring against the Law of our mind, and bringing us into captivity to the Law of sin which is in our members.” (Rom. 7:23) There is clearly a “Mystery” connected with us being on Earth in such a position.

          The mystery is centered around the fact that God planned it to be as it is. We are meaning to say that God planned for His Elect to be on Earth, in desperate need of a Redeemer. But, we may continue to ask, “Why would God subject His Lovely Ones to sin, seeing how He hates it? Why would the Great Creator, whose governmental holiness, demanded that His Law be kept, allow us to end up as we are, unable to keep it? Again, we say this is the MYSTERY! Why is sin on the earth to begin with?

          I recently heard a radio minister answering a question that had been sent in to him. He had been preaching on the Battle of Armageddon, and then the later Battle of Gog and Magog, which will be the result of Satan being “Loosed again out of his prison.” (Rev. 20:7) The question was, “Why would God loose the devil again, seeing that He had him in prison and helpless?” I thought the Baptist minister gave a very good answer when he replied, “If you will tell me why God loosed him in the first place, then I’ll tell you why He loosed him the second time!” Apparently, the minister did not know why God loosed the devil the first time. But now, in the last hours, the Bride is being shown why he was loosed.

          It was because God was determined to be a Saviour by dying for a people that needed saving, therefore, He loosed the devil and used him as an instrument to cause the fall. God was under no obligation to save Adam and Eve, nor us, for He had straightly warned them not to commit the sin. That He did so, was purely a matter of His Love being shown. As to the manner, or the plan, by which God chose to exhibit  that Love, we can only say that He is Sovereign and does according to His own will. At the same time, we know that the “Statues of the Lord are right.” (Ps. 19:8)

          If we can believe the scriptures and our Prophet, in that love was the motive behind God allowing us to have a Law of Sin in our flesh, then we will no longer “Frustrate the Grace of God.” (Gal. 2:21) The more undeserving we are of this redemption, the more amazing that Love becomes to us, and we frustrate it by accepting condemnation.

          I John 4:9-10, “In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is LOVE, not that we loved God, but that He LOVED us, and sent His son (came Himself) to be the Propitiation for our sins.”

          But, God’s LOVE was not lawless. He did not bypass His Law in order to show His Love. God could not ignore sin and by doing so break His own Law. He could not cancel sin without His Law being fulfilled concerning it, there had to be a payment made that would satisfy His Righteous Indignation against it. How could Love act freely without Justice being set aside? How could Justice have its way without Love’s Hands being tied? God had the perfect answer in His great mind; He would cause Love and Justice (the Law) to meet together. By dying on The Cross HIMSELF, He satisfied His own Justice against sin, and since Justice was satisfied, the door was opened for Grace to be freely bestowed upon all who would believe the plan. Here we see that God’s infinite Justice, and His overwhelming Love, found their means of being totally satisfied in His coming Himself, as the substitute for guilty men.

          We are looking into the realm of the MYSTERY OF INIQUITY. The entrance of sin into the world, God’s Holy hatred of it, His setting before us a Law Standard that we cannot keep, His saving His Elect from the penalty of breaking it, and His receiving Glory unto Himself through all of it, these are some of the things involved in the Mystery, and so, even as our Prophet has said, God has wondrously used SIN as an occasion for displaying His attributes. We know BY FAITH that the Curse, under which men had fallen, has been removed. This is eternally true in that the curse has fallen on another, Who was made a curse in our place. (Gal. 3:13)

          Sin was the dark background that God chose to use for the occasion of shining forth His glorious attributes. The Light of His Love shined more brightly against its blackness. In so doing, He has “Made the wrath of man to praise Him.” (Ps. 76:10) In so doing, He has made our sins to bring Him glory. Amen! How great is our God!