The Berean Expositor
Volume 21 - Page 139 of 202
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"The son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God,
or that is worshipped: so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself
that he is God . . . . . whose coming is after the working of Satan . . . . . that they should
believe the lie . . . . ."
The mystery of godliness may be expressed in the language of I 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."
Rev. 13: is the prophetic fulfillment of the mystery of iniquity, and Phil. 2: 5-11 the
prophetic declaration concerning the fulfillment of the mystery of godliness. Whilst the
one is a blasphemous usurpation, the other is the inherent and inherited right of the Lord.
The mystery of Rom. 16: indicates that the inner teaching of Romans (Rom. 5: 12 -
8: 39) has something to say about this great conflict of the ages. Rom. 5: 12 opens
with a reference to Adam, and Rom. 8: closes with a triumph that includes angels,
principalities and powers. The opening words of Rom. 5: 12 are: "Wherefore, as by
one man sin entered into the world", and the question we propose to answer from the
Scriptures is: "What sin was it that entered into the world?"
The word eiserchomai, which is translated "entered into" in Rom. 5: 12, is translated
"enter" 107 times, and "enter in" 17 times; and a study of the concordance will make it
quite plain that the meaning of the word is that of someone or something passing from
one place to another. The mind picture conjured up by the word "entered into" in
Rom. 5: 12 is of sin waiting outside this world of Adam, ready to enter in at the first
opportunity, and actually accomplishing this entry by the disobedience of the man.
Rom. 5: 12 takes us back to Gen. 3: The actors in that tragic scene are the serpent,
the man and the woman. Whatever views we may entertain as to the literality of the
serpent, Rev. 20: 2 and II Cor. 11: 3, 14 make it plain that Satan, either as the shining
one, or using the serpent as a medium, was the tempter. Satan had sinned and fallen long
before the creation of man, and his sin is expressed in the words of Ezek. 28: 2:--
"Thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God."
This is a blasphemy echoed by Babylon, by Pharaoh and by other types of the future
man of sin, and the past fallen cherub. "The sin" that entered into the world was the one
basic sin of all sins, the idolatrous claim of the Devil. It was dangled before the eyes of
the woman--"Ye shall be as God" (Gen. 3: 5).
We read in I John 3: 8 that "the devil sinneth from the beginning", and that even
though the Saviour was manifested to take away our sins, He had an additional work to
"For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of
the Devil" (I John 3: 8).
"Through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the Devil"
(Heb. 2: 14).