Satan and the Church of the Mystery
1. The declaration.
We believe that Satan has no authority in the heavenly places to which the church
mystery has been translated. Demon possession is attached to other spheres and callings.
We believe that Satan's one means of access to the believer is through ignorance
of the truth, and that recovery from his captivity is by repentance and the acknowledging of the truth, which makes us free.
Conquerors do not go out to wage war against a conquered foe, neither are they haunted
the fear of his activity. We are more than conquerors in Christ. We are delivered
and translated out of Satan's authority. We have a command to withstand the spiritual
forces of this world's darkness and are provided with complete armour and with one
weapon, the Word of God. We are assured that apart from lowering the shield of faith
not one fiery dart of the wicked can reach us.
To sum up we would say that our attitude to the Satanic system is expressed first
of all by our
position in Christ as 'far above all'; and that everything else is relative to the
fact that we are 'seated together' there.
2. Scriptural grounds.
'Can ye be angry and sin not? (Author's translation). Let not the sun go down upon
wrath: neither give place to the devil' (Eph. 4:26,27).
'Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of
' ... that ye may know ... what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward
according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He
from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above
and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this
world (age), but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under His
feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the church, which is His body,
the fulness of Him that filleth all in all' (Eph. 1:18-23).
'Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the
of His dear Son' (Col. 1:13).
'To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of
unto God' (Acts. 26:18).
'Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary
doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them ... I would have you wise unto that
which is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan
under your feet shortly' (Rom. 16:17,19.20).
'In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give
repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves
out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will' (2 Tim.
'Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the
Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach
snare of the devil' (1 Tim. 3:6,7).
3. Some explanation and application of these scriptures.
Some Christians seem to be so indifferent to the power of Satan and to minimise it
to such an
extent that they are easily blinded to his activities, and are a source of danger
to the church through
negligence. There are some, on the other hand, who appear to magnify Satan's activity
and authority out of all due proportion. Attending their prayer meetings or conferences
one seems to hear the name of Satan almost as frequently as the name of God. Christians of this second class are usually the more earnest and zealous believers,
and such are even a greater menace to the church in this regard than their indifferent
Our theme here is not Satan and the Satanic system, the casting out of demons, and
subjects, but rather the more limited one -- 'Satan and the church of the mystery'.
We believe that the church of the One Body is a unique company, having a complete
for its doctrine and practice, and all necessary knowledge in those writings, called
'The prison epistles'. While we cannot rule that a believer should not resort to
the Gospels or the
Epistles of Peter for instruction concerning Satan and other subjects, we do maintain
that it is an
evidence that something is wrong when a professed member of the One Body, who has
endorsed the distinctive dispensational position of the mystery, leaves the epistles
of this calling and reverts for instruction on this great theme to the scriptures
written to the Circumcision or to the
Gospel records of a time before the Lord had overcome death, the Devil, and the grave.
Either the epistles of the mystery are complete, or they are deficient. So far as
concerned we make the declaration unfeignedly, that we believe that God has included
all necessary instruction for the church of the mystery within the pages of the 'prison
epistles', and any doctrine or practice that takes its origin in Scriptures confessedly addressed to believers on other dispensational planes, stands thereby excluded
and judged as error.
Paul makes ten references to Satan throughout the whole of his written ministry of
epistles. Eight of these references belong to the epistles written before Acts 28.
Two are found in the first Epistle to Timothy; and not one reference in Ephesians,
Philippians, Colossians or 2 Timothy.
Paul mentions Diabolos, 'The Devil', nine times in his epistles. Two of these references
in Titus and Timothy. 'The aged women, likewise, that they be ... not false accusers
(devils)' (Tit. 2:3); 'For men shall be ... false accusers (devils)' (2 Tim. 3:2,3).
The remaining seven references are found in Ephesians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy and
The other title of Satan, The Wicked, is used by Paul twice, both references being
We believe that the whole matter of Satanic authority and demon possession, so far
church of the One Body is concerned, is settled positionally. The very position of
the church in
Christ, far above all, raises that church above Satan's province. This we now proceed
to show from Scripture, and for convenience of approach to the subject we adopt the
following headings :
Let none misunderstand us. Satan is the enemy of God and man. We hold no truce with
or his agents, but we refuse to engage in a warfare that denies that we are already
conquerors. We refuse to give the slightest colour to the thought that Satan has
any jurisdiction over those who are raised far above all in Christ. We refuse to
lay down the sword of the Spirit, definitely given us of God as the one weapon, to
engage in methods that approach perilously near the psychic travesty of Pentecostalism. We
do not believe that we should see in sickness and disease among the members of Christ's
church a denial of His Lordship. We prefer still to believe that it is as true of
us as of those to whom John wrote, 'The wicked one toucheth us not'.
We do believe, however, that the believer may voluntarily lay aside the armour provided
God, and if he does so the fiery darts of the wicked will find him out. We do believe
that ground is certainly given to Satan by not putting off the conversation of the
old man, and by not putting on the new. These sad possibilities do not call for
warfare; they call for 'repentance to the acknowledgement of the truth'. and when recovery
is made, and the believer again reaches his true position where he stands as 'delivered',
'translated', and 'seated' 'far above all', the promise of Romans 16:20 is fulfilled -- Satan is beneath his feet. Time and opportunity can then be consecrated to
positive testimony and strife need never be known. Troubles, afflictions, persecutions
may come thick and fast -- they are promised to all who will live godly. Such accompaniments do not call for 'resistance', but rather for the spirit of Matthew 11:26,
or of 2 Corinthians 12:10.
Such is our 'persuasion'. So far as we are concerned, Satan is a beaten foe already
from the sphere of our calling. We seek to set our mind on things above where Christ
sitteth at the
right hand of God, and not to be occupied either with earthly things, or with the
foredoomed activities of Satan.
When we find chapter and verse in the Prison Epistles for changing this attitude it
time to modify it. Till then we make our declaration. Every child of God has his
own responsibility to the Lord, but we refuse to allow any to rob us of our blessed
security and heritage which is found in Christ in the heavenly places, far above