IV. NOT TOUCHED BY THE WICKED ONE
Fourthly, 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, “That wicked one toucheth him not.” This is the only verse in the Bible which 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 wicked one touches not. 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.
V. NOT HAVING IDOLS
“Children, keep yourselves from idols” are the closing words of 1 John (5:21). 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. “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, even 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 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 water, blood, and 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 which takes the place of this life is an idol.
VI. REJECTING ANTICHRISTS
The sixth issue of the mysteries is found in 2 John 9: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” The word transgresseth is more accurately rendered “goes forth” or “goes too far.” What does it mean to go too far and not abide in the doctrine of Christ? The doctrine 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 too far and do not abide in this doctrine 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 us an example to follow.
Notice how the Apostle John says such people should be treated: “Receive him not into your house, neither bid him God-speed: For he that biddeth him God-speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 10-11). People like this are the ones John calls antichrists. They may call themselves Christian 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 too far and are not abiding in the doctrine 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!
(Seven Mysteries in the First Epistle of John, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)