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Volume 19 - Page 109 of 154 Index | Zoom | |
Satan and the Church of the Mystery.
pp. 129 - 135
In Eph. 2: 2 the apostle gives Satan a new title: "The prince of the authority of the
air". Why the air? And why is the title revealed just here? While it may be true of this
world that: "Princes have but their titles for their glories, an outward honour for an
inward toil", it is not so in Scripture. There, titles are used with doctrinal and
dispensational accuracy. In the light of the context, this title of the Devil contains, in
germ, the whole doctrine of his relationship with the church of the mystery.
Eph. 1: 19 - 2: 7 is a complete section of the epistle. It opens with the exalted
position of Christ "in the heavenlies", "far above all", with "all under His feet", and it
closes with the church raised and seated in the same glory at the right hand of God. The
section also contrasts two great spiritual forces that are at work to-day:--
"According to the inworking of the strength of His might which He wrought in
Christ . . . . ." (Eph. 1: 19, 20).
"The prince of the authority of the air, the spirit that now inworks in the sons of
disobedience" (Eph. 2: 2).
To usward who believe is the mighty resurrection power of the Lord. For the children
of wrath is the inworking of him that had the power of death, that is the Devil. To
meddle with this distinction, and suggest that Satan can energize those who by death,
burial, and risen life are united with Christ, is a denial of truth, and is calculated to help
on the cause of the very one it is supposed to resist.
Satan's limitation, expressed in the new title of Eph. 2: 2, is in direct contrast with
the glorious position of the church, which, together with Christ, is said to be "far above
every principality . . . . . in this or the coming age". "Principality" is arche, and "prince"
is archon. It is quite clear that Satan included in the spiritual authorities and dominions
of Eph. 1: 21, and that the statement holds true now. While Christ is not yet manifestly
"Head over all things", He is so "to the church which is His body", for God has "given
Him" so to be. Whatever Satan's authority may have been before the overthrow of the
world, or even while Christ was in the flesh (e.g., Matt. 4:), it is clear that at the present
time he has no authority in heavenly places where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God,
for his authority is expressly limited to "the air".
In harmony with this teaching of Eph. 1: and 2: is Col. 1: 13, which puts the matter
beyond all possible doubt:--
"DELIVERED OUT OF the authority of darkness,
TRANSLATED INTO the kingdom of the Son of His love."