The Devil and the Mystery
by Pastor J. C. O'Hair
Most Christians know more about the devil than they know about “The Mystery.” Even so, they do not know any more about the devil than they should know. They should know more about him, so that they can truthfully say, with Paul, “We are not ignorant of his devices” (II Cor. 2:11). Certainly every Christian should know more about “The Mystery.” God wants every Christian to know “The Mystery,” and to make it known to others (Eph. 3:9). You say, “Then it would no longer be “The Mystery.” Certainly not. Why after over 2,000 years should this divine truth still be a mystery so far as ninety-nine per cent of God’s people are concerned? Can you answer this question? It is true that the devil doesn’t want any one to understand or even study this divine truth. But is not God’s will to be desired by Christians more than Satan’s? Doesn’t God’s power exceed the devil’s power? Satan is mighty. God is almighty. Genuine spiritual Christians know that God’s power exceeds Satan’s power.
But let’s take an inventory. As we take in the world-wide political situation, the distress of nations, with even the so-called Christian nations on the verge of bankruptcy and destruction, we may wonder that Satan has such power after 2,000 years of Christianity. But we believe that Satan knew what he was talking about in Luke 4:6 when he told the Lord Jesus that the kingdoms of the world were under his control. The Lord was right when He called Satan “the prince of this world.”
When we consider the millions and millions of people of the world religiously, and see what the devil has done to them, surely we give a hearty “Amen” to the statement of I John 5:19, “the whole world lieth in [the evil one].” In his tricks to keep sinners away from the saving gospel of Christ, Satan is called “the god of this [age]” (II Cor. 4:3,4). To accomplish his purpose with people who want some kind of a so-called Christian religion, the devil transforms himself into an angel of light and instructs his servants to pretend that they are missionaries of Christ (II Cor. 11:13-15).
Then let us consider what the devil has done with Church members who are actually members of Christ’s Body, God’s one and only Church today. Note God’s instructions in Ephesians 4:3-6:
“Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one Body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling: one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
Meditate—”the unity of the Spirit.” Where is it found? One faith, one hope of your calling, one baptism. One Body. How many sects and denominations? Several hundred. How many bodies? One Body. Note Ephesians 1:20-23:
“Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in [the heavenlies]. Far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, 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.”
Christ is in the heavenlies. Christ is the one Head of His one and only Church, which is His Body, “the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.”
No matter how loyal, zealous sectarians may defend and contend for their denominational churches, the student of the Word of God knows that “denominationalism” is absolutely unscriptural. There is one, and only one, true Bible Church and that Bible Church is denominated, The Body of Christ, “the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.” In Ephesians 3:6 that one Church is called the “Joint-Body” (see the Greek).
Members of Christ’s Body are seated with Christ in the heavenlies and are blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:6 and 1:3). One reason why God wants all men to see “The Mystery” is expressed in Ephesians 3:10,11:
“To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in [the heavenlies] might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The Mystery then, is divine truth concerning “the heavenlies” and “according to the eternal purpose which God purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” By searching the Scriptures we find that this divine message was not in fulfillment of prophecy, but was a spiritual program predestinated by God before the foundation of the world.
We have seen how Satan works politically as “the prince of this world”; how, as “the god of this age” he blinds the unbeliever to keep him from believing the gospel of salvation. In Ephesians 6:11-20 we learn of Satan’s spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies, his opposition to the message and the messenger of “The Mystery,” divine truth concerning the heavenlies. Note Ephesians 6:11,12:
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places [in the heavenlies].”
And note Ephesians 6:19,20:
“And [pray] for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
Why was Paul a prisoner of Rome? Hear his own words: for “the mystery of the gospel.” Read this again in Colossians 4:3,4 and hear his testimony in Ephesians 3:1-3:
“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles. If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God, which is given me to you-ward: how that by revelation He made known unto me the Mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words).”
Note God’s Word in Ephesians 3:9:
“And to make all men see what is the [dispensation] of the Mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God.”
Here we see “the dispensation of the grace of God” and the dispensation of the Mystery are linked together. This glorious truth was made known by revelation to the Apostle Paul, who became the prisoner of Jesus Christ for the Gentiles. Do we appreciate what he suffered for us? Let’s get into the Book and try to understand the message for which he suffered.
While Paul knew that religious men were opposed to “The Mystery” and were determined that he should not preach that divine truth, he knew that he was not wrestling against flesh and blood; that his real opponent was the devil as the ruler of world darkness in the heavenlies.
Paul wrote in II Corinthians 4:3 and 4 that Satan blinded minds. But note his request for a very specific prayer in Ephesians 1:17,18:
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”
Paul did not want minds blinded to “The Mystery.” He knew that it required a special spirit of wisdom and revelation to comprehend that particular glorious truth.
Yes, the devil succeeded in getting Paul in jail for “The Mystery,” bound as an evil doer unto chains. But from his prison cell he wrote: “The Word of God is not bound.”
God wants you to know and to make known this glorious truth…which should have ceased to be a mystery more than twenty centuries ago.