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Looking Unto Jesus

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    27 FINISHING THE “MYSTERY OF GOD.”

    IT was shown in the preceding chapter that at the time when the 2300 days ended, and the cleansing of the sanctuary commenced, then the temple of God, that apartment where the ark is, was opened; and that that took place under, and marked the commencement of, the sounding of the seventh trumpet. When the seventh trumpet, the last of the series of trumpets which covers the gospel dispensation, sounds, the temple of God is opened in heaven, and the cleansing of the sanctuary commences.LUJ 232.1

    There is another remarkable prediction concerning what takes place at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, and the accomplishment of the sanctuary work, which now invites our attention. It was said to John (Revelation 10:7): “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 meant by “the mystery of God,” and its finishing? In a number of passages Paul speaks very definitely concerning the mystery of God. In Ephesians 3:3-6, he says: “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 fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.”LUJ 232.2

    Here Paul states explicitly that the “mystery” was made known to him by revelation. In his epistle to the Galatians he tells us what was made known to him by revelation. Galatians 1:11, 12: “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” This is what he had written “afore,” or a little before, “in few words.” The epistle to the Galatians was written six years before the letter to the Ephesians. And what in Ephesians he calls the “mystery” made known to him by “revelation,” in Galatians he calls plainly the “gospel” as preached to the Gentiles.LUJ 233.1

    Again he says (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. Again, in Colossians 1:25-27, we have this declaration: “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 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.” Ephesians 3:9: “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.” Romans 16:25, 26: “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandments of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.”LUJ 233.2

    All these texts speak to the same point, and testify unmistakably to the fact that the “mystery of God,” the “mystery of Christ,” etc., is no more nor less than the gospel of Jesus Christ, through which the Gentiles are brought in to be members of the commonwealth of Israel and partakers with the household of faith. This being the mystery, its finishing would be the close of the proclamation of the gospel, the completion of the work which it was designed to accomplish. This of necessity closes the period of man’s probation, and finishes the plan of salvation.LUJ 234.1

    But this, as we have seen, is the very result which is reached in that great work called the cleansing of the sanctuary. In that Christ brings his work as priest to an end, finishes his mediation, decides the cases of all mankind, and concludes the work of the gospel.LUJ 234.2

    The reader will now perceive another beautiful link in the faultless chain of harmony which the Bible presents to us on this subject. When the seventh angel sounds, then commences the work called the finishing of the mystery of God. But it will occupy some years; for it is “in the days,” years, “of the voice of the seventh angel when he shall begin to sound” that this mystery is to be finished. Revelation 10:7. This work will occupy the first years of the sounding of this trumpet. But this trumpet commenced to sound at the end of the 2300 days in 1844, when the temple of God was opened in heaven. We are now, therefore, in the period of the finishing of the mystery of God; and this finishing work of the gospel we find to coincide with the cleansing of the sanctuary, which is the ministration in that apartment of the heavenly temple then opened. Could facts more completely harmonize than these?LUJ 234.3

    “The mystery of God shall be finished,” proclaimed the angel, “as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” Where had he declared this? This is but a part of the declaration of the angel, which includes the preceding verses; and in these we find him uttering a solemn oath that “time shall be no longer.” Revelation 10:6. This cannot mean literal time; for the angel immediately speaks of the days of the seventh angel to succeed. It cannot mean probationary time; for John, as a representative of the church, is commissioned to proclaim another message to the people after that. Revelation 10:11. But one other kind of time remains, and that is prophetic time; and to this, therefore, the passage must refer. But the period of 2300 days is the longest prophetic period given in the Bible, and reaches down to the latest point. Therefore this oath of the angel has its application at the point where the 2300 days terminate; and the expression is equivalent to a declaration that then prophetic time should end, or the 2300 days would reach their termination. Then the angel states what shall immediately follow; namely, “the mystery of God should be finished, as he had declared to his servants the prophets.” And what had God declared to the prophets should take place at the end of the 2300 days? - Why, it had been shown to Daniel that then the sanctuary should be cleansed. Here, then, in declaring that the sanctuary should be cleansed, is where he had “declared to his servants the prophets” that “the mystery of God should be finished,” which is the same thing. How beautiful the harmony!LUJ 0235.1

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