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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 10

Section 12

The Mystery



In my translation, I have rendered the words eueggelise, as he hath declared the glad tidings. The English Version reads as he hath declared. But this is not the full import of the verb euaggelizo. This is compounded of the adverb eu, good, and the verb aggello, to announce by one sent; by a messenger, or angel. The context of the English Version shows that the thing declared to the prophets was "the mystery," or secret purpose "of the Deity;" but its rendering does not indicate whether the import of that mystery was good or bad. The original gives us to understand that the subject-matter of the mystery was good -- or glad tidings of great joy. Good, of course, to the servants of the Deity, the Father’s sealed ones; not to those who are obnoxious to the "pillars of fire," which march in indignation through the countries of "the earth and sea." This mystery of the Deity to be finished is styled by Paul "the mystery of Christ," "the mystery of the gospel," "the mystery of the Deity’s will," "the mystery of Godliness," "the mystery of the Deity, even of the Father and the Christ." These are not many mysteries, but one and the same mystery, which he says, was "hid from the aiones," or Mosaic and prophetic cycles of time; "and from the genea," or thrice fourteen, that is from the forty-two generations between Abraham and Christ; and in another place he says that it was "hid from the aions in the Deity;" or "kept secret chronois aioniois in the times of the aions."

It was the special function of the apostles to make known this mystery in their preaching. Paul was a prisoner in bonds because of his zealous labors in this enterprise. As we have seen before, it was revealed or declared to the prophets; but the revelation was not in the same form as was the revelation of it to and by the apostles. This appears from Paul’s teachings, who says concerning "the mystery of the gospel, for which he was an ambassador in bonds," "in other generations it was not made known to the sons of men as it is now apekaluphthe, apocalypsed or revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by spirit;" among whom he includes himself in saying, "kata apokalupsin, by revelation be made known to me the mystery." They were commanded to go and make manifest this important and long concealed secret to every creature under the Roman heaven. This was the apostolic work in which John and his companions were engaged. The whole ground of their prophesying was covered by the euaggelion, by the kerugma, and by the apokalupsin musteriou; that is, by the good-announcement they made as the messengers of heaven; by the proclamation of Jesus as the Christ; and by the revelation of the secret, which none of the chief men of their time knew anything about. These are the three grand divisions of the great subject they handled, and in the right understanding of which they sought to establish all true believers. In addressing such, Paul says, the only wise Deity establish you "by my evangile," good-announcement, or gospel, "and proclamation of Jesus Christ; by the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret in aionian times, but now is made manifest through the prophetic writings by command of the aionian Deity (the Deity of the times of the law) made known for obedience of faith to all the nations." They set forth in their teaching the gospel preached to Abraham; and afterwards preached by Moses to the enslaved Israelites in Egypt; and next proepeggeilato, previously announced through His prophets in the holy writings; and then by John the Baptist, Jesus and his disciples, before the crucifixion; after this, they proved that Jesus was the promised and expected Christ, or Son of David and Son of the Deity, raised from among the dead to be King of Israel; and they showed how remission of sins and eternal life might be obtained through his name. "The sufferings of the Christ and the glory that should follow," are the more general and twofold division of the mystery; or in other words, "the things concerning the Kingdom of the Deity, and the Name of Jesus Christ;" which every one taught by them who desired to share in the great salvation, practically elaborated by the Spirit-Angel of the Bow, believed, and obtained a right to by being aqueously immersed into Christ. From this exposition, then, the reader will perceive, that, the mystery previously announced through the prophets, and preached by the apostles, is not yet finished. Multitudes have received the remission of sins and a right to eternal life, on the basis of the sufferings of the Christ, belief of the truth, and immersion into his name; but the realization of their right in the kingdom of which they are "heirs;" and the blessedness of all nations in Abraham and his Seed, are parts of the mystery previously announced to the prophets, "the Hope of the Gospel" and "the Hope of Israel," which yet remain to be developed by the almighty power of the Spirit-Angel of the Bow, in "the days of the seventh angel," when he shall synchronically consummate "the wonders" and "the times" (Rom. i. 2; xvi. 25,26; 1 Cor. ii. 7,8; Eph. i. 9,10; iii. 3-9; vi. 19,20; Col. i. 26; iv. 3; Matt. i. 17).




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