Seven Mysteries in the First Epistle of Johnby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Fourth, Satan cannot touch such a church. He is out to make gain, but he finds out that whenever he touches that church, he suffers a loss. Even if he is invited, he will stay away!
First John 5:18 concludes, “The evil one does not touch him.” This is the only verse in the Bible that contains such a declaration. Our fallen concept is that Satan will always bother us, that he is too much for us, and that we cannot overcome him. We must pay attention to what this verse says. If a poker is heated white-hot in a fire, no one dares to touch it for fear of being burned. Today, on this earth, the church can be that threatening to Satan! Even in an evil city like New York there can be a church that the evil one does not touch. He will tell his demons to stay away, lest they get burned because the fire is so hot. What a glory to the Lord and what a shame to Satan when a church is so on fire!
If in our prayer meetings we pitifully beg the Lord to deal with our enemy, we are short of life, short of these seven mysteries. If we are filled up with them, Satan will stay away to avoid disaster.
“Little children, guard yourselves from idols” are the closing words of 1 John (v. 21). It seems like a strange conclusion, after the mention of the wonderful matters of life, fellowship, abiding, the anointing, the divine birth, the divine seed, and the water, the blood, and the Spirit. What are the idols? Notice the previous verse: “We know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding that we might know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life” (v. 20).
Idols, we can see from the context, are whatever is not the true God. What is the true God? It is the Triune God experienced by us as our life in a practical way. This life is a seed within, a life that overcomes the world and that Satan dares not touch. This life is in us and is the true God. Do you say that the God you worship is in the heavens? The God in 1 John is in us as our life, overcoming sin, the world, and Satan. This very life is the true God; whatever is not this true God in our experience is an idol.
Suppose, for example, the life within you says that you should get your hair cut. You cannot bear to go along, and beg the Lord to tolerate your hair the way it is for a while longer. To do this is to have an idol. The same may be true in regard to your shopping. If you bring home something from your shopping that the Lord has said no about, you are bringing home an idol. It might even be a leather, gilt-edged Bible. If the Lord within you says no, yet you insist upon buying it, even this Bible has become an idol to you. Whatever is against this inner life, in His eyes is an idol.
Our God today is not only the Creator, living in the heavens. He has come through the water, the blood, and the Spirit and is now the seed, living within you. This is the true God and eternal life. Anything other than this is an idol. Children, keep yourselves from idols. To have an idol, there is no need for you to go to a heathen temple. Whatever you take when He has said no is an idol. An idol in principle is anything that substitutes for God. The true God is simply eternal life. Anything that takes the place of this life is an idol.
The sixth issue of the mysteries is found in 2 John 9: “Everyone who goes beyond and does not abide in the teaching of Christ does not have God; he who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.” What does it mean to go beyond and not abide in the teaching of Christ? The teaching of Christ is that Christ, the Son of God, was incarnated and, after thirty-three and a half years of living on this earth, was crucified in our stead, shedding His blood to redeem us; He was buried and arose from the dead to become the life-giving Spirit; today we have His blood and His Spirit. Those who have gone beyond and do not abide in this teaching do not believe that Christ is the Son of God, that He came as a man for our redemption, that He shed His blood for our sins, and that He rose from the dead to impart Himself as life into us. What they teach is that Christ is simply a man who lived a good life and set an example for us to follow.
Notice how the apostle John says that such people should be treated: “Do not receive him into your house, and do not say to him, Rejoice! For he who says to him, Rejoice, shares in his evil works” (vv. 10-11). People like this are the ones John calls antichrists. They may call themselves Christians and consider themselves part of Christianity, but they deny Christ’s deity, His redemption, His resurrection, and even His virgin birth. They are actually blaspheming Him. In this category of those who have gone beyond and are not abiding in the teaching of Christ are Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Mormons, and the modernists. All these are antichrists.
If the church practices these seven mysteries, it will not tolerate such people. There will be a clear line drawn, because the church will recognize that these have no anointing. The living Body cannot take the presence of corpses, anymore than we would be able to sleep in a room where there was a dead body!
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