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Satan by Lewis Sperry Chafer

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between them. The first, though externally religious, is of Satan, and
leaves its followers in the doom of everlasting banishment from the
presence of God: while the latter is of God, and "has promise for the
life that now is and that which is to come."

It is also noticeable that the term "infidel" has, within a generation,
disappeared from common usage, and that manner of open denial of the
truth has been almost wholly abandoned. Yet the real Church has by no
means lost her foes, for they are now even more numerous, subtle, and
terrible than ever before. These present enemies, however, like the
unclean birds in the mustard tree, have taken shelter under her
branches, and, like the leaven in the pure meal, they are penetrating
and appropriating her most sacred altars and institutions. These
vultures are fed by a multitude, both in the Church and out, who, in
Satanic blindness, are committed to the furtherance of any project or
the acceptance of any theory that promises good to the world or is
apparently based upon Scripture; little realizing that they are often
really supporting the enemy of God.

A counterfeit is Satan's most natural method of resisting the purpose of
God, since by it he can realize to that extent his desire to be _like_
the Most High. Every material is now at hand, as never before, for the
construction of those conditions that are predicted to appear only in
the very end of the age. In II Tim. 3:1-5 one of these predictions may
be found: "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall
come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters,
proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without
natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce,
despisers of them that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of
pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but
denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

Every word of this prophecy is worthy of most careful study in the light
of the present tendency of society. The fifth verse is especially
important in connection with the subject of counterfeits to the truth:
"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such
turn away." Here it is stated that in these last days forms of
godliness shall appear which, however, deny the power of God; and from
these leaders the believer is warned to turn away. The important element
in the true faith which is to be omitted in these "forms" is carefully
defined elsewhere in Scripture: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of
Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that
believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Rom. I:16). "But we
preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the
Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and
Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God" (I Cor. I:23,
24). Therefore, that which is omitted so carefully from these forms is
the salvation which is in Christ. This is most suggestive, for "there is
none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved,"
and it is by salvation alone that any deliverance can be had from the
power of darkness. Without this salvation Satan can still claim all his
own. It is perhaps necessary to add that, judging from all his writings,
this salvation, of which Paul confesses he was not ashamed, was no less
an undertaking than regeneration by the Spirit; and whatever other
theories may be advanced, this is the teaching of the Spirit through the
Apostle Paul.

It, therefore, follows that one feature of the last days will be a form
of godliness which carefully denies the power of God in salvation.

Again, Satan is "in the latter times" to be the promotor of a system of
truth or doctrine: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the
latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing
spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having
their conscience seared with a hot iron;" (I Tim. 4:1, 2). These
predicted Satanic systems are here carefully described. Their offers
will be so attractive and externally so religious that into them will be
drawn some "who shall depart from the faith;" they being enticed by
seducing spirits. These attractive systems are not only from Satan, but
are themselves "lies in hypocrisy," being presented by those whose
conscience has been seared with a hot iron. No more illuminating terms
could be used than these. A lie covered by hypocrisy means, evidently,
that they are still attempting to be counted among the faithful; and the
conscience seared would indicate that they can distort the testimony of
God and carelessly point other souls to the bottomless pit, without
present remorse or regret.

The doctrine of devils is again referred to in Rev. 2:24 as "the deep
things of Satan" and this is Satan's counterfeit of "the deep things of
God" which the Spirit reveals to them that love Him (I Cor. 2:10).

Thus there is predicted for the last days of this age, both a form of
godliness which denies the power of salvation that is in Christ; and a
system known as "the deep things of Satan" or "doctrines of devils,"
which calls some adherents from the true faith and speaks lies in
hypocrisy. Can there be any doubt that these two Scriptures describe the
same thing, since they also refer to the same time? The lies of one can
be but the covered denial of salvation in the other.

Again, Satan has his assembly or congregational meeting which is his
counterfeit of the visible Church. This assembly is referred to, both
in Rev. 2:9 and 3:9, as the "synagogue of Satan;" an organized assembly
being as important for the testimony in the deep things of Satan as it
has been in the things of God.

In Matt. 13 the tares appear _among_ the wheat and their appearance is
said to be after the sowing of the wheat. So, also, the "children of the
Wicked one" appear and are often included and even organized within the
forms of the visible Church.

The assembly of Satan, calling itself a part of the visible Church, is
to have its ministers and teachers. This is stated in II Cor. II:13-15:
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves
into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is
transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if
his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness;
whose end shall be according to their works." Here is a remarkable
revelation of the possible extent of the Satanic counterfeit: "False
apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of
Christ" and "ministers of righteousness;" yet these are shown to be only
agents of the great deceiver, Satan, who is himself transformed into an
angel of light. It is evident that the method of this deception is to
imitate the real ministers of Christ. Certainly these false apostles
cannot so appear unless they gather into their message every available
"form of godliness" and cover their lies with the most subtle hypocrisy.
Evil will not appear on the outside of these systems; but they will be
announced as "another gospel" or as a larger understanding of the
previously accepted truth, and will be all the more attractive and
delusive since they are heralded by those who claim to be ministers of
Christ, who reflect the beauty of an "angel of light," and whose lives
are undoubtedly free from great temptation. It should be noted, however,
that these false ministers do not necessarily know the mission they
have. Being unregenerate persons of the Satanic system, and, so, blinded
to the real Gospel, they are sincere; preaching and teaching the best
things their energizing power, the angel of light, is pleased to reveal
unto them. Their gospel is one of human reason, and appeals to human
resources. There can be no appreciation of Divine revelation in them,
for they have not come to really know God or His Son, Jesus Christ. As
all this is true, how perilous is the attitude of many who follow
attractive ministers and religious guides only because they claim to be
such, and are sincere, and who are not awake to the one final test of
doctrine by which alone the whole covered system of Satanic lies can be
distinguished from the truth of God. In this connection John writes the
following warning: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this
doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed"
(II Jno. 10).

There yet remains one mighty element in the program of Satan's
counterfeits in addition to his outward forms, deep doctrines, church
and ministers,--that is, the Man of Sin, the blasphemous counterfeit of
the blessed Christ; who is yet to appear; who will be the very
incarnation of Satan; and "whose coming is after the working of Satan
with all power and signs and lying wonders and all deceivableness of
unrighteousness in them that perish" (II Thes. 2:9, 10). As the whole
purpose of God in the ages has its consummation in the yet future coming
of Christ, so Satan, in imitation of the program of God, has appointed a
coming one (II Thes. 2:9), who will be his greatest manifestation, and
upon whom he will bestow his greatest wisdom, power and attractiveness.
The study of this mighty and imposing character can only be suggested in
the following pages.

The titles of Satan would indicate that he is attempting, also, in his
own person, to counterfeit the Persons of the blessed Trinity. He
appears as "the god of this world" in imitation of God the Father; he
appears as the "prince of the world" in imitation of God the Son; and
"the spirit that now energizeth in the children of disobedience" is his
imitation of God the Spirit, who dwells in and energizes the true
believers. Thus his desire to be like the Most High has led him to a
blasphemous attempt to imitate all the separate manifestations of the
three Persons of the Godhead. But, since redemption, which he proposes
to hinder, is the work of the second Person, God the Son, Satan more
often appears as a counterfeit of Christ, both in title and undertaking;
and this is the character in which he makes his last and most desperate
effort before he is banished to the pit and his final judgment is begun.

Chapter VIII.

The Man of Sin.

Reference has already been made to a period of tribulation yet to come
upon the earth. That period is referred to in Scripture by various
figures: "The great tribulation," "the time of Jacob's trouble," and "a
day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness." It
is also described as the culmination of the great apostasy which is
predicted for the end of this age and which is emphasized in the later
Epistles of the New Testament. These Epistles not only recognize a
complete apostasy yet to come in this age, but teach that the beginning
of that apostasy was apparent even then at the time when they were
written. This teaching of the apostles finds its natural culmination in
the last book of the Bible wherein the exact development of the apostasy
and the conditions to prevail in the tribulation are recorded at length.
All other references, both in the Old and the New Testaments, perfectly
agree with this extended description.

In reference to the time of the tribulation which is thus predicted,
Paul states in II Thes. 2:3 "Let no man deceive you by any means: for
that day ('the day of the Lord') shall not come, except there come a
falling away first, and that man of Sin be revealed, the son of
perdition," thus showing that the tribulation precedes the day of the
Lord; and in Rev. 19 that day is seen to be the termination of the
tribulation, which is previously described in that book. This period of
tribulation is, therefore, to come before the Kingdom Age, and to be
ended by the glorious appearing of Christ, the King.

Again, the tribulation is to come after the true Church has been
removed; for it should be remembered that the true believers are to be
saved _out_ of the "hour of trial which shall come upon the earth to try
those that dwell therein" (Rev. 3:10), (the believer, being a citizen of
the heavenlies is, therefore, not included among those who dwell in the
earth). This aspect of the Lord's return is often misunderstood. He
comes first, not to the earth, but into the air to meet His Bride and
gather her to Himself; both those that are sleeping and those that are
awake: "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead
in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be
caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:
and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thes. 4:16, 17). This phase of
his coming is, and has been, imminent since the promises of his return
were given; and it is for this particular preliminary event that the
Church is taught to hope and pray, for it will be the time of her
rapture and blessedness. As has been before stated, the utter
dissolution of humanity is latent in the unregenerated heart (Rom.
3:10-18), and its own tribulation only awaits this removal of all Divine
restraint. It is, therefore, both Scriptural and reasonable to conclude
that tribulation will instantly begin upon the earth after the first
aspect of the return of Christ when He comes _for_ His Church.

Thus it may be seen that this period of unsurpassed trial upon the
earth, when the blasphemous claims of Satan and man are to be proven and
God's testimony is to be vindicated, is bounded by the two events in the
Second Coming of Christ: when He comes _for_ His saints (I Thes. 4:16,
17), to gather to Himself His heavenly people, and when He comes _with_
His saints (Rev. 19:11-21) to be the complete fulfillment of all the
covenants of God with His earthly people.

The actual duration of this period is marked off in Daniel 9:24-27:
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to
finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make
reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness,
and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the
commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the
Prince shall be seven weeks, and three score and two weeks: the street
shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after
the three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for
himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the
city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and
unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm
the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he
shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the
overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the
consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."

There are three distinct periods of time here indicated. First: Seventy
weeks between the time of the vision, and the age of "everlasting
righteousness" and anointing of the most Holy; or, from the time of the
vision, to the earthly kingdom of Christ, which is yet future. Second:
Sixty-nine weeks; beginning to reckon from the same time, or from the
command of the King of Babylon to restore Jerusalem, and continuing unto
the death of Christ, which is referred to as the "cutting off of the
Messiah." And lastly: One week, for the overspreading of abomination and
that which is determined to be poured upon the desolate.

History fortunately interprets the time here indicated: for, from the
command of the King to rebuild Jerusalem, to the death of Christ was 483
years, or sixty-nine weeks of seven years each. This leaves but the one
additional week of the seventy before the bringing in of the everlasting
righteousness. That one week is here described as the time of most
terrible desolation and overspreading of abomination, when the people
are under a covenant with another prince. This present age is as a
parenthesis in Jewish history and, as no account is made of it in these
reckonings, the last unfulfilled week (seven years) of the seventy,
before the kingdom is established upon the earth, must be the time
between the gathering out of the Church--an event which completes the
purpose of this parenthetical age--and the final bringing in of the

The last period of seven years of desolation is, however, to be
shortened, according to the words of Christ: "For then shall be great
tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this
time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened,
there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days
shall be shortened" (Matt. 24:21, 22). It should be noticed that this
period cannot be confused easily with any other, for it is referred to
as the time more terrible than any other that has ever been, or ever
will be (Dan. 12:1; Joel 2:2; Matt. 24:21, 22).

Reference has been made at length to the tribulation period in order to
make clear the exact conditions in which the Man of Sin is to appear;
for this mighty world-ruler makes his advent in those days of earth's
darkness and gloom when all the light of God has been withdrawn, and the
world is left in its own helpless confusion. He appears in the
tribulation as the agent of Satan after that mighty head of the Satanic
system has been cast out of heaven into the earth (Rev. 12:7-12). The
time of the destruction of the Man of Sin is also revealed in that it is
mentioned as one of the events in the glorious coming of Christ (Dan.
2:44; 7:11-14; II Thes. 2:8; Rev. 19:20). He, therefore, appears as the
culmination of the Satanic effort, and a careful study of his person and
character will reveal the fact that he is the most stupendous work of
Satan in his enmity against God.

In connection with the time of the Man of Sin, it is also to be noted
that the believer is not directly warned against his person, but is,
rather, warned against the conditions that are to prevail as a
preparation for his coming. This is due to the fact that the true
believers are to be gathered to their Lord before that "Wicked one"
appears, and they are, therefore, only in danger of being influenced by
that which precedes and prepares for his coming. His description is set
forth at length only in such passages as deal with the whole and final
development of the age.

It should also be remembered that the description of this person, like
that of the person and work of Satan, is from the standpoint of the
holiness of God; and that which the world will hail as its glorious
ideal of perfection is, in God's sight, the personification of
rebelliousness, blasphemy, and treason.

The order of the governments and rulers of the world in this Gentile age
is revealed to Daniel in visions which are recorded and interpreted in
the book of Daniel. In these visions the Man of Sin appears as the
"little horn" of Dan. 7 and is the last and most God-dishonoring
world-ruler. He also later appears as the "desolator" of Dan. 9:27; the
"willful King" of Dan. 11:36; the "abomination of desolation" of Matt.
24:15; the "Man of Sin" of II Thes. 2:4-8; the rider on the white horse
of Rev. 6:2; and the first Beast of Rev. 13. His identity is certain,
even though he appears under various figures and titles; for he, like
Satan, is so unique in his character, time, and undertakings, that he
cannot be confused easily with any other.

In Daniel 2 the order of the kingdoms is set forth by the figure of the
great image which, at the last, is suddenly and violently shattered by
the "stone cut from the mountain without hands": which Stone is Christ,
the Corner Stone; and the Stone which the builders rejected. The feet
and toes of this image are said to be the last manifestation of human
government, and it is this part of the image that is violently shattered
by the Stone. Of this termination of earthly rule it is recorded in Dan.
2:44, 45: "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up
a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be
left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these
kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. For as much as thou sawest that
the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake
in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the
great God hath made known to the King what shall come to pass hereafter;
and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure."

From this chapter it may be seen that the setting up of the Messianic
Kingdom is to be both sudden and destructive to all human governments,
and that it is in no way the result of an age of development and
progressive improvement.

In Dan. 7 the Man of Sin appears, as has been stated, as the "little
horn" among ten horns; which, like the ten toes of the great image,
indicate the extreme end of human authority and power. In this vision
the latter end of the kingdoms of the earth is seen to culminate in the
one most daring ruler, the "little horn", who has "a mouth speaking
great things" and whose look is more imposing than all others; and he it
is who makes war with the saints and prevails over them until the coming
of the Ancient of days. The inspired interpretation of the vision is
given in Dan. 7:23-27: "Thus he said, the fourth beast shall be the
fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and
shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in
pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall
arise: and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from
the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great
words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most
High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into
His hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the
judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume
and destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the
greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the
people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting
kingdom, and all dominion shall serve and obey Him."

In Dan. 11 the reign of the Man of Sin, the willful king, is prophesied
in detail; and the fact is stated that the reign and the blasphemous
attitude of this last great ruler are both in the purpose of God. A
portion of this remarkable passage is here given: "And the king shall do
according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself
above every God, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of
gods, and shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished: for that
that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his
fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall
magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honor the God of
forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold,
and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus shall he
do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall
acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule
over many, and shall divide the land for gain." This last verse is more
clearly translated "and he will practice in the strongholds of
fortresses with a strange god; whoso acknowledgeth him will be increased
with glory; and he shall cause them to rule over the many, and shall
divide the land to them for a reward" (Dan. 11:36-39).

Beside the collossal disregard for God, this passage presents several
important revelations. First: The expression "the God of his fathers"
would seem to indicate that the Man of Sin would come from a lineage of
Christians. Second: His disregard for the desire of women is evidence of
his hatred of the true Messiah; for this reference is probably to the
desire of every Jewish woman to be the mother of Messiah. Third: Those
who acknowledge the strange god, (Satan), whom he honors, will be
prospered, and the land will be divided unto them and he will give them
authority and glory.

In the New Testament the Man of Sin is described as "the one who comes
in his own name," whom men will receive (Jno. 5:43); "that man of sin,"
"the son of perdition" (II Thes. 2:3); "that Wicked _one_" (II Thes.
2:8); and the "beast" (Rev. 13:1), and to him Satan gives all the power
and glory he offered to Christ (Lu. 4:5, 6). Of the many references to
him, two passages deal with him at length. In the first (II Thes.
2:1-10), his coming is mentioned as directly following the removal of
God's present restraint from the earth; and in the second (Rev. 13:1-8),
as has been shown, his coming is said to directly follow the casting of
Satan from heaven into the earth (Rev. 12:7-12), and continues until the
glorious appearing of Christ, which is described in Rev. 19 and 20.

The former passage (II Thes. 2:1-10) is as follows: "Now, we beseech
you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our
gathering together unto Him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be
troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as
that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means:
for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and
that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and
exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so
that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is
God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these
things? And, now, ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in
his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now
letteth (restrains) will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then
shall that Wicked (one) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with
the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his
coming; even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all
power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of
unrighteousness in them that perish; because they receive not the love
of the truth, that they might be saved."

In this passage it is predicted of this mighty person that he will
assume to be very God, "sitting in the temple as God," and winning the
worship of the multitude by his miraculous power, signs, and lying
wonders; deceiving all who perish, and who would not receive the love of
the truth that they might be saved.

Still another and more striking description of this person is given in
the second passage just mentioned (Rev. 13:1-8): "And I stood upon the
sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven
heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads
the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a
leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the
mouth of a lion: and the dragon (Satan) gave him his power, and his
seat, and his great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were
wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world
wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon (Satan) which
gave power unto the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is
like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him? And there was
given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power
was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his
mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and his
tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to
make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him
over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the
earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life
of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

The first, and, it would seem, most important thing that is stated of
this being in this Scripture is that one of his heads was, as it were,
wounded to death, and his deadly wound was healed. Some have claimed
this to be a reference to a previous political defeat followed by
reinstatement to power. The expression is, however, most suggestive and
significant as an attempt on the part of Satan to imitate, in the Man of
Sin, that which was the supreme miracle of the Christ--His death and
resurrection. The effort is plainly effective; more so than a mere
shifting of political fortune could possibly be; for the statement
follows: "All the world wondered after the beast who had received the
deadly wound and yet lived." After they wondered, they worshipped. First
they worshipped Satan, who performed the mighty miracle; and then they
worshipped the beast, saying, "Who is like unto the beast? who is able
to make war with him?" The terrible blasphemy of the Man of Sin has been
emphasized in all Scripture references to him, and is here still more
vividly pictured.

The time he is to continue is said to be forty and two months, which
would be one-half the tribulation period; and this statement is probably
not at all figurative. By his overwhelming supernatural power and wisdom
he gains authority over every living thing in the Satanic system,
excepting those recorded in the Lamb's book of life. These are not
brought under his governing power.

The latter part of the chapter presents still another mighty person, who
is also called a "beast," but later appears as the false prophet (Rev.
19:20); and who exercises all the power of the first beast, and
receives his power from the dragon, Satan. Much is said of this second
"beast," but his mission is in no way to attract attention to himself.
He co-operates in gaining world-wide worship and authority for the first
beast, whose deadly wound was healed. The second beast seems to deal
directly with the people and by his mighty signs and miracles, as well
as by his authority, he compels loyalty to the first beast. Fire is
called down from heaven; and a dumb idol is made to speak and live. He
is able to establish a union of all people in trade, imposing a death
penalty upon them. And by all these means he furthers the interests of
the first beast. The Scripture here referred to is as follows: "And I
beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns
like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon (Satan). And he exerciseth all the
power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them
which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was
healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down
from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that
dwell on the earth, by the means of those miracles which he had power to
do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth,
that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a
sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the
beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as
many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And
he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to
receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no
man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the
beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath
understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a
man; and his number is Six hundred three score and six" (Rev. 13:11-18).

There is a deep suggestion, in the person of this second beast, of a
counterfeit of the Holy Spirit of God. He who came not to speak of
Himself, but to glorify Christ and to unite all believers; leading them
in worship and praise. This second beast is probably identical with
"Anti-christ," who appears under that title only in the writings of
John, and who is there seen as the consummation of a long succession of
false religious teachers who have denied the Christ and His sacrificial

When the testimony of all Scripture upon the Man of Sin is considered,
he is seen to be a person whose superhuman power is plainly ascribed to
Satan. He appears upon the scene, after the removal of the heavenly
people and during the great tribulation, as the climax of all Satanic
exaltation and opposition to God. He is the last and greatest of earthly
rulers, and, from his position of unsurpassed influence, speaks great
words and manifests great wisdom. He is externally religious, and the
promoter of great righteous projects and principles which in God's sight
are only hypocrisy and blasphemy because of the subtle Christ-denying
motive which prompts it all. His hold upon the public mind is by a
process which is natural. Great miracles are performed by himself and by
his prophet,--fire is called down from heaven; a dumb idol is made to
speak and live; and he himself has been wounded to death and yet lives.
By such supernatural works his assumption to be very God is accepted,
and he becomes the world's ideal of all that is supreme. The people are
said to first marvel and wonder; then to worship at his feet; and at
last, in mad devotion, they challenge the universe to produce his
equal--"Who is like the beast?" they cry. He has been wounded to death
and yet lives; he performs as great miracles as the world has ever seen;
his teachings are based upon Scripture; and he must, therefore, be God
manifest in the flesh. His wisdom, beauty and majesty are a seeming
warrant for every element of adoration.

Thus the Man of Sin will appear as the culmination of all the
counterfeit methods of Satan; which method had its beginnings in the
last days of the age, even before the calling away of the true Church,
the Body of Christ. The subtle doctrines of devils will be adopted as
creeds in assemblies and so called churches, and these deep things, with
the Satanic ambition for moral improvement, will be voiced by ordained
ministers who appear as apostles of Christ and ministers of
righteousness. Yet in God's sight it is all a deep lie and hypocrisy,
for they are distorting His truth and subtly denying His redemption.

All this, as has been stated, is but the Satanic preparation of humanity
that they may wholly acknowledge him as their god, and that he may
himself become like the Most High. This program is permitted in the
purpose of God, for "that that is determined shall be done" (Dan.
II:36). It will be only for a moment; for the resistless coming of the
"Ancient of Days" will unveil all this deception, banish the enemies,
and bring in His own long-predicted and glorious reign of everlasting
blessedness upon the earth.

Chapter IX.

The Fatal Omission.

To some extent it has been necessary to anticipate the subject of this
chapter in dealing with those counterfeits which are predicted for the
last days, when there will be found a "form of godliness, denying the
power thereof," and also the deep "doctrines of devils" which are "lies
in hypocrisy." This chapter deals with that which is so vital in the
true faith, and which is to be so carefully omitted in the false; that
which makes the true so potent, and without which the false becomes an
immeasurable deception. Everything depends upon this one point of
distinction; for, according to prophecy, it is the only difference that
is finally to exist between the false and the true. The issue is,
therefore, as important as life itself.

It has already been seen that the method of counterfeiting, if
successful, will require Satan to appropriate and incorporate in his
false systems every available principle of the true; for the deception
of the counterfeit depends wholly upon its likeness to the real. Herein
is revealed the reason for calling that a lie or deception which is
externally so like the truth. Certainly there could be no greater
pitfall for souls than a system which seems to be the truth of God, and
yet robs its followers of any basis for a true hope, and it will be
found that the most terrible condemnation of Scripture is uttered
against such systems and their promoters.

In seeking to discover the actual point of difference between the false
and the true, it will be well, first, to consider the present perverted
relation which exists between the Creator and the fallen human creature;
for herein is revealed the necessity of that which God proposes to
accomplish by redemption.

Two important points in Satan's doctrine were announced by him in the
Garden of Eden when he first approached the woman, and these two
declarations kave been an important part of the world's creeds
throughout the history of man. The first was a bold denial of a positive
statement of God, when Satan said: "Ye shall not surely die." Whether
Satan intended here simply to deny the truth of God's statement, or
whether he overestimated his own resources and proposed to shield them
from their God-appointed doom, is not clear. Certainly the latter view
is in keeping with Satan's original purpose, as well as with his evident
sincerity. It is quite reasonable to conclude that, if he could be so
misguided as to attempt to be like the Most High, he would willingly
have undertaken to protect man from judgment which followed as a result
of loyalty to himself. Satan is striving, at any rate, to direct the
lives of those who are under his power into a degree of self development
that will be a substitute for the revealed purpose of God for men.

The second announcement of Satan assured the woman that they would, by
this independent action, "be as God;" and this, so far from promising
death, seemed to them the immediate realization of the highest human
ideal. It was undoubtedly the original purpose of God in creation that
humanity should eventually become like Himself. By what process of
development this was to have been accomplished, had not sin entered, has
not been revealed. It is enough to know that even after man had fallen
from his high estate through sin, this Divine purpose was not abandoned,
though the problems involved were immeasurably increased: and now,
through the unsearchable riches of His grace, the realization of that
which surpasses all human dreams has been made possible, even to fallen
and polluted man.

The consummation of the transforming work of God is thus described: "For
whom He did foreknow, He did also predestinate to be conformed to the
image of His Son" (Rom. 8:29). "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and
it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall
appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is" (I Jno.
3:2). "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also
appear with Him in glory" (Col. 3:4). "Now unto him that is able to keep
you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of
His glory with exceeding joy" (Jude 24). "For our citizenship is in
heaven; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who
shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed
to the body of his glory, according to the working whereby He is able
even to subject all things unto Himself" (Phil. 3:20, 21 R.V.).

It is natural that Satan should suggest to humanity that which had been
the object of his own unholy ambition; and especially is it natural,
since by such a separation of humanity from its God, he could claim that
authority over them, and secure that worship from them, which he so much

There are, then, at least two distinct methods proposed for the
uplifting of humanity, and these are brought into sharp contrast; for
one is of Satan, and the other is of God. Since both these methods claim
to aim at the same end--though one ideal is not worthy to be compared
with the other--the method, alone, forms the first point for discussion.

Under the Satanic control, man has always been strangely influenced in
the matter of his relation to his Creator. He, too, has been willing to
assume a hopeless position of independence toward God; and, under that
abnormal relation, he has gone out alone to grope his way; blindly
seeking to build his own character, and by education and cultivation to
improve his natural heart, which God has pronounced humanly incurable.
He has also bent his inventive skill to the development of means by
which God-imposed labor may be avoided; and much of his selfish greed
springs from a desire to purchase a substitute who shall bear for him
the discomfort of a sweating brow. "God is not in all his thoughts;" nor
has he any disposition to claim the help of God upon the terms upon
which it is offered. The Satanic method for life prompts him to become a
god by a process of self-help and development of the finite resources.

It is very possible and natural to introduce much of religious form into
the world system of self-help; for there is a great field for religious
exercise for the one who is attempting to make himself Godlike, and
there is endless material for supplication and prayer that all available
assistance may be secured to aid one in that humanly impossible task. A
devout spirit is, therefore, a natural part of the Satanic doctrine, and
the predicted "forms of godliness" will naturally appear.

There is a vast difference between an individual supplicating God to
save him: and one supplicating God to help him save himself. The latter
is a natural part of the Satanic plan and has no promise of Divine favor
upon it. All such religious exercise, though full of outward forms and
deep sincerity, leaves its moral aspirants doomed, alike with the most
degraded, to as everlasting separation and banishment from the presence
of God: "which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and
humility, and severity to the body; but are not of any value against the
indulgence of the flesh" (Col. 2:23 R.V.). Such prayer and religious
practice do not really place the saving work in the hands of God, but
mockingly ask Him to give His sanction and assistance to that which
wholly dishonors and really disregards Him, and which is also both
unreasonable and impossible.

Though the process by which unfallen man would have reached a higher
development has not been revealed, it is certain that he would have been
then, as now, wholly dependent upon the Creator. Man's present
independence toward God is the blindest delusion of the fallen nature;
for complete independence cannot even be assumed in the least of all
temporal things: how much less is it possible in that which is

Again, the self-saving principle is utter folly, since God must demand
a quality which no human can present. God's requirement is not
unreasonable, however, for He also proposes to bestow, in grace, all He
ever demands. The absolute holiness of God demands no less than holiness
in all who are acceptable to Him; yet He has never mocked man by asking
him to make himself acceptable, or even to attempt to do it by Divine
help. True salvation is wholly a work of God. It is said to be both a
finished work and a gift, and, therefore, it lays no obligation upon the
saved one to complete it himself, or to make after payments of service
for it; though the saved one is called upon to serve from another and
more glorious motive.

The Divine terms of obtainment into Godlikeness are clearly stated in
the Scriptures; but the hopeless estimate God has placed upon human
nature at its best, and the logical necessity that man shall receive, as
a gift, all that he has, and be forever a debtor to the Divine
giver,--these things have always been rejected by self-sufficient and
Satan-inspired humanity. These terms are the only possible or reasonable
relations that could rightfully exist between fallen humanity and its
Creator. Here Satan has blinded the minds of the lost lest they should
believe, and he has made that which is reasonable and natural seem to be
unreasonable and unnatural. They are unable to abandon their
Satan-inspired sense of self-sufficiency and independence of God and
receive from Him, as a gift, every possession commendable in His sight.

The controversy between Satan-ruled man and God is one of method;
whether it shall be one of self-righteousness and character building:
or one of bestowed righteousness and character by the fruit of the
Spirit. Will man try to save himself: or humbly submit to being saved by
Another? Will he try to conform himself to what little he knows to be
good and true: or will he be transformed by the power of God into that
which is no less than the image of Christ? Will he present the sacrifice
of a sincere effort to be moral and religious: or accept the
God-provided sacrifice for all sin, in the shed blood of Christ? Will he
try to establish himself before God on the ground of his own works: or
rest in the finished work of Christ for him? Will he try to improve his
fallen nature: or partake of the Divine nature and become a Son of God
by the power of God, through faith in Christ Jesus?

One method, it may be seen, depends wholly upon self for its
realization; promises glory to man alone; and has its origin at that
unknown time when Satan proposed in his heart to become like the Most
High. The other method is dependent upon God alone, and, therefore,
demands an attitude of faith toward him for its realization. It issues
in glory to the Creator, Who alone is worthy to be praised. The latter,
in contrast with Satan's method, had its origin in the purpose of God,
which He purposed before the foundation of the world. Therein,
transcendent blessings are offered; stores of grace are unfolded; and
the omnipotent power of God is seen working for the transformation of
His human creatures. These two methods are confused only because they
seem to aim at the same general result. In reality their results, like
their methods, are not only incomparable, but they are as far removed
from each other as God's ways are higher than man's ways.

The revelation of God in regard to salvation might have been limited to
the fact that He, rather than man, was to accomplish the work; and while
much that is involved in the mighty undertaking of redemption has not
been, and probably cannot be, reduced to the level of human
understanding, He saw fit to reveal much that was necessary, on both the
Godward and the manward side, in providing this way of salvation. No
human conception of the atonement is complete, yet, as the
all-sufficient sacrificial death of Christ is clearly stated in
Scripture, its value, though unanalyzed, may be appropriated; for man is
not saved by what he comprehends or understands, but his salvation is
made possible by his attitude of willingness and expectation toward the
transforming power of God.

In determining the exact point of the truth that is to be omitted from
the Satanic counterfeit, it is important to distinguish between the
_Person_ and _work_ of Christ. In the one is included His teachings and
example, both in His life and death: in the other is included His
substitutionary, sacrificial, and atoning death for the sin of the
world. There is no controversy as to the value of the teachings and
example of Jesus; but the wisdom of this world is displayed in
ever-increasing antagonism against the blood of the Cross. This enmity
has never been founded on the Word of God, for Scripture does not deny
itself. The opposition appeals to pride and human reason, and dares to
challenge the plain statements of Scripture on this particular point.
Very much is thus omitted; for all the meaning of sacrifice in the Old
Testament and all the promises of redemption in the New Testament, are
inseparably related to the blood of the Cross. It may be to the Jew a
stumbling block, and to the Greek foolishness; yet to those who are
called, both Jews and Greeks, "it is the power of God and the wisdom of

In Ephesians, the eternal purpose of God is said to be the complete
perfection of souls: "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the
foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before
Him in love" (1:4). And that transformation is also said to be by the
blood of Christ: "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the
forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (1:7). In
like manner the object of this transformation is said to be that the
Church may be the present and eternal manifestation of the wisdom, love
and power of God: "To the intent that now unto the principalities and
powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold
wisdom of God" (3:10). "That in the ages to come He might show the
exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ
Jesus" (2:7). "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to
usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which
He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at
His own right hand in the heavenlies" (1:19, 20).

There is also a strong contrast of figures used in the Old Testament
which accurately emphasizes the mighty power of the Creator in the
regeneration of a soul. In Psalm 8:3 the creation of the solar system
is mentioned as the work of the _fingers_ of God: "When I consider Thy
heavens, the work of Thy _fingers_, the moon and the stars, which thou
hast ordained," but in Isa. 53:1, where the substitutionary sacrifice of
Christ is referred to, it is spoken of as the effort of the Creator's
_arm_: "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the _arm_ of the
Lord revealed?" The suggestion here given, that the creation of a
universe is the work of His fingers, and the regeneration of souls is
the work of His mighty arm, is not overdrawn; for the price of
redemption cannot be measured by corruptible things, such as gold and
silver: but is purchased at the price of the precious blood of Christ,
as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (I Pet. 1:19).

The Scriptures abound in statements that regeneration, and the whole
transforming work of redemption, are accomplished on the ground of the
sacrificial blood of the Cross; and if these statements of Scripture are
rejected, the discussion never can be one of interpretation of
Scripture, but becomes a question of the authority of the testimony of
the Bible. A few of these passages are here given: "Surely He hath borne
our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken,
smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our
transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of
our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like
sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the
LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Isa. 53:4-6). "Even as
the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to
give His life a ransom for many" (Matt. 20:28). "Behold the Lamb of God,
which taketh away the sin of the world" (Jno. 1129). "Whom God hath set
forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood" (Rom. 3:25). "But
God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we
shall be saved from wrath through Him" (Rom. 5:8, 9). "For He hath made
Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the
righteousness of God in Him" (II Cor. 5:21). "Who gave himself for our
sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according
to the will of God and our Father" (Gal. 1:4). "And every priest
standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices,
which can never take away sins: but this man, after He had offered one
sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; from
henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool. For by one
offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified" (Heb.
10:11-14). "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree,
that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose
stripes ye were healed" (I Pet. 2:24). "For Christ also hath once
suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to
God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (I
Pet. 3:18). "And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours
only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (I Jno. 2:2).

From the foregoing passages it may be seen that, according to the
Scriptures, the stupendous transformation of regeneration is not only
the greatest Divine undertaking, but is directly accomplished by the
sacrificial death and shed blood of Christ, and is sealed in security by
the Holy Spirit of promise.

The sacrificial death of Christ presents the only gateway for fallen man
from the power and final doom of Satan to the glory and transcendent
light of God; and there is nothing strange in the Satan-inspired
"offence of the Cross" which is often garnished with culture, worldly
wisdom, and religious forms. Even in Paul's time there were those who
were enemies of the Cross of Christ: "For many walk, of whom I have told
you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of
the cross of Christ" (Phil. 3:18). These were evidently recognized
leaders in the Christian fellowship, who were undoubtedly ardent
admirers of the _Person_ of Jesus, as revealed in His earthly life and
example: yet Paul does not hesitate to mention his own tears at the
fatal omission in their preaching; for they were enemies of the _Cross_
of Christ.

Again, it is predicted in II Pet. 2:1, 2 that a fierce enmity against
the Cross should appear: "But there were false prophets also among the
people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily
shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought
them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow
their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil
spoken of." Here again the denial is against the purchase or redeeming
_work_ of Christ rather than His Person or character. They are offended
at the Lord who _bought_ them, though they may be devoted to the Lord
who _taught_ them. These Satanic agents are here, as before, described
as those who seem to be teachers in the true faith, yet they bring in
damnable heresies, in all covered subtlety, which crystallizes in a
denial of the redemption that is in Christ. Being only blinded
unregenerate men, they may suppose themselves to be ministers of
righteousness and apostles of Christ; their humanitarian dreams may
inspire tireless effort and zeal; their doctrine may become world-wide
in its influence; and they may drive their mighty ecclesiastical
machinery by the injunctions of Scripture: yet if the curtain could be
lifted, their "angel of light" would be found to be Satan; working
through them to resist the purpose of God; and themselves the ministers
of Satan; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared as
with a hot iron, daring in their exalted position to devitalize the
Gospel of its power unto salvation, and dragging immortal souls after
them into hell.

It is not strange that there is resentment against the mystery of the
Cross which does not exist against any other inexplicable fact in the
world. It is not strange that the ministers of Satan, appearing as the
apostles of Christ and ministers of righteousness, should fortify their
lies and hypocrisies by contending for every phase of revealed truth;
grounding their authority so positively in the Scriptures of truth: yet
subtly omitting, or violently denying, the one and only point upon which
the interests of God and Satan divide. It is not strange that there is a
wide call for a "restatement of the truth," which usually proposes to
omit the new birth and substitute self-effort to be good, and character
building, in its place. It is not strange that the wise and cultured of
this world feel their aesthetic natures shocked by the blood of the
Cross, yet entertain no sense of their own abhorrent pollution in the
sight of the infinitely holy One. It is not strange that the world
assumes to have advanced beyond that which is repeatedly said to be the
manifestation of the wisdom of God; branding as bigots, insincere, or
ignorant, all who still hold to the whole testimony of God. It is not
strange that the atonement by blood is omitted, for it is Satan's hour
and the power of darkness, and the true child of God must patiently bear
the ever-increasing reproaches of his crucified Lord, until the glory
dawns and the shadows flee away.

Chapter X

Modern Devices.

It has been the privilege and duty of the Church throughout her history
to be looking for the return of the One to whom she has been espoused.
Had her eyes never wandered from that expectant gaze, she would have
been saved much sorrow and shame at His coming, for she has lost her
Scriptural character and much of her witnessing power whenever she has
said "My Lord delayeth his coming." It is then that she has fallen to
beating the manservants and the maidservants, and has become drunken
with the wine of this world.

True devotion to Christ must naturally issue in a deep desire to be with
Him and to see Him face to face; and though it is quite possible to have
been misled or untaught in regard to the conditions of His coming, the
contemplation of such a promise from Him can but kindle a glowing hope
in a truly devoted heart. It is a direct contradiction to claim supreme
affection for Him, and yet be careless of His promised return, or wholly
contented while separated from Him. The world, that cannot comprehend
such devotion to Christ, will easily chide the believer, and denounce
him for what they now call his "other worldness" when his affections are
set on things above, "where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God,"
and when his heart rejoices in the certain hope that "when Christ, who
is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in

It was necessary for Satan to rob the Church, to a great extent, of her
"blessed hope" of Christ's return, before he could attract attention to
his own attempts at world improvement, and establish his own authority
as ruler over this age. Expectation along the God-appointed lines must
be abandoned, for the most part, before humanity can be federated, and
religious institutions be made to co-operate in the Satanic program.

This vital key-truth of the imminent return of Christ was, therefore,
first discredited, and then followed by an attack upon the deity of the
Son of God and His sacrificial death; which attack is ever increasing,
and must increase to the very end. The body of truth concerning the
Lord's return is so extensive that there have always been some humble
and devout souls who have dared to believe His promises, and thus the
real Church, to some extent, her watch has been keeping.

The mighty tool in Satan's hands for the destroying of the hope of
Christ's coming has been a simple one: zealous souls have been found
who, ignoring the statements of Scripture, would attempt to fix the day
of His coming. Then, as their prophecy failed, the world and many in the
Church have laughed them to scorn. Unfortunately they came to laugh also
at the very promise of God, saying, "Where is the promise of his
coming?" and in so doing they have fulfilled some of the very things
that are predicted for the end of the age: "Knowing this first, that
there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own
lusts (desires), and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for
since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the
beginning of creation" (II Pet. 3:3, 4). Thus Satan's authority is being

The exact time of Christ's return has not been revealed; nor will it be
announced by a prophet. Nevertheless, the "children of light and the
children of the day" "are not in darkness that that day should overtake
them as a thief" (I Thes. 5:4,5). It is their privilege to rejoice in
every promise of His coming, and to recognize every new indication of
His nearness, as eagerly as the betrothed awaits her beloved. The true
believer's glory, as well as his union with loved ones in Christ, is
imminent, and by faith he can look beyond the days of the earth's
greatest anguish, and, seeing the triumph of all blessedness, he can
rejoice in the hope of His Lord's coming, and be praying, "Even so,
come, Lord Jesus."

It is, therefore, impossible to know how much of time yet remains for
the gathering out of the Bride and the development of Satan's rule; yet
it is evident that within the last generation the exact fulfillment of
those things which are predicted for the last days has begun, and is
even now developing faster than the mind can comprehend.

Not all the signs of the times have a place in these pages, but only
such as are directly connected with the working of Satan.

Since the blood redemption of the Cross is the central truth and value
of the true faith, it being the "power of God unto salvation" (Rom.
1:16; I Cor. 1:23, 24), any counterfeit system of doctrine which would
omit this essential, must force some secondary truth into the place of
prominence. Any of the great Scriptural subjects which are of universal
interest to humanity, such as physical health, immortality, morality, or
religious forms, may be substituted in the false systems, for that which
is vital. And while those subjects are all found in their proper
relations and importance in the true faith, the fact that people are
universally inclined to give attention to them furnishes an opportunity
for Satan to make a strong appeal to humanity through them; using these
subjects as central truths in his false and counterfeit systems. Many
are easily led to fix their attention upon the secondary things, and to
neglect wholly the one primary thing; especially is this true since the
secondary things are tangible and seen: while the one essential thing is
spiritual and unseen; and Satan has blinded their eyes toward that which
is of eternal value.

A system of doctrine may, then, be formed which includes every truth of
Scripture save one; exalting the _Person_ of Christ, but not His atoning
_work_, and emphasizing some secondary truth as its central value. This
system will be readily accepted by blinded humanity, though the real
power of God unto salvation has been carefully withdrawn.

Naturally it would be supposed that such Satan-inspired systems would
have no value or power, since there could be no Divine favor upon them.
Such a supposition would be possible only because of the prevailing
misunderstanding as to the real power of Satan. If the description given
of him in Scripture is accepted, he will be seen to be possessed with
miraculous power; able to perform such marvels that the whole world is
led to wonder and then to worship. He is free also to bestow this
miraculous power upon others (Rev. 13:2). So it is no marvel if his
ministers, who appear as the ministers of righteousness, are able to
exert superhuman power when it is directly in the interest of the
Satanic projects.

The great power of Satan has doubtless been active along these lines
during all the ages past; for it is impossible that humanity should have
worshipped other gods blindly without some recompense, and it is Satan
himself who has been thus worshipped (Lev. 17:7; II Chron. 11:15; Rev.

It is not final evidence, therefore, that a system of doctrine is of God
simply because there are accompanying manifestations of superhuman
power; nor is it final evidence that the Almighty has responded, simply
because any form of supplication has been answered. The Divine movements
are, of necessity, limited by the laws of His own holiness, and access
into His presence is by the blood of Jesus alone; by a new and living
Way which was consecrated for us through His flesh (Heb. 10:19, 20).
Assuming to come before God in prayer, but ignoring this truth, is but
to insult, with pollution, Him who is infinitely Holy and pure. Satan,
who is aspiring to the place of the Almighty, may answer the prayer of
his own subjects, even though that prayer is blindly addressed to the
Supreme Being. Surely the Satan-ruled world does not come before God by
the blood of Jesus.

Though false systems of doctrine have always existed, counterfeits in
hypocrisy are a distinct characteristic of the last days of the present
age. And it is a most significant fact that within the last generation
such systems have appeared and are rapidly multiplying: systems that
borrow every phase of the true faith, but one, and are conspicuous in
that they emphasize some secondary truth with what seems, at times, to
be miraculous power. Multitudes are being won to these creeds, both
because of their apparent religious aspect, and by the actual results
they accomplish.

There is probably no subject of more universal interest than that of
physical health; and but recently "Christian Science" has appeared,
which chiefly emphasizes physical health. While it gathers into itself
some elements that are foreign both to Christianity and to Science, and
appropriates much from the field of psychology, it assumes to be an
infallible interpretation of Scripture, and makes Jesus its highest
exponent and teacher. Yet it positively denies even the reality of sin
and the need of Christ's atoning sacrifice. Its followers are won and
held by these religious claims, and by the actual physical and mental
transformations that are secured. Nothing but ignorance will attempt to
deny that, to some extent, its claims are real. That it has assemblies,
ministers, and mysteries deep and profound, and that it is able to
demonstrate its claims of physical transformation, does not lift it
above the level of Satan's power. That it denies even the need of the
blood of the Cross, separates it, in spite of its claims, from the God
of the Scriptures, and brands it with every characteristic of Satan's

Another subject, already mentioned, which is of common interest to
humanity, is immortality. How persistently man has sought to see beyond
the veil! And yet how little of fact has been discovered, beyond that
which it has pleased God to reveal in His Word! How strong is the desire
of the heart to follow the departed into the great unseen! And how
subtle is "Spiritism" in its election of a phase of the immortality
question as its bait to beguile sorrow-crushed souls into a disregard of
their only hope in the blood of Christ.

This system has existed from the earliest ages and has the unqualified
condemnation of Scripture; yet in the last half-century it has taken new
interest and dignity to itself under the modern title of "Psychical
Research." With boldest assumption it claims to be the only safe
exponent of truth, and to be working in the interests of science;
changing science being accepted as more trustworthy than revelation. It
offers as final evidence for its assumptions, what are represented to be
the statements of deceased people.

Less is made of the Scriptures in this system: yet here, as might be
expected, there is violent opposition to the doctrine of Regeneration.

It cannot possibly be denied that there is an intelligent response to
the human appeal from the Unseen; and messages are being received and
mysterious acts are being performed with increasing frequency. It
cannot, however, be proven that this response is from the spirit of the
person named, for a lying spirit could easily know enough of any
person's life to represent him in every detail. That the whole system
could be of Satan is evident, and since it denies man's only hope of
redemption, it is no part of the real truth of God. It, too, bears all
the marks of the workings of Satan.

Another system of thought called "New," but which is as old as human
philosophy, appropriates every phase of metaphysical belief. The central
idea of the "New Thought" is the complete development of man,--body,
soul, and spirit. Every possible human power is utilized; there is
recognition of the Creator; the Word of God is appropriated in
convenient texts; and Christ is claimed by its followers to be the
complete example and embodiment of all their ideals. Newly stated
theories of psychology are included in this system, and the whole
teaching stands as the embodiment of all the ideals of the one who first
suggested to humanity that they, by their own efforts, become as God.
The system wholly denies Scriptural regeneration, both as to its
necessity and as a fact; and is a veritable worship of self, as
predicted for the last days (II Tim. 3:2). It substitutes the
development of the will as a power for victory in the life, in place of
the God-provided victory over sin by the Spirit. Its followers seem to
be utterly blind to the plainest truths of the Scriptures, and are
marvelling at what they suppose to be a discovery; when, perchance, they
are able to comprehend some secondary truth of the Word of God. This
system, like "Christian Science," numbers its followers by the hundreds
of thousands. They support many periodicals, and their teachings are
read and accepted throughout the world.

In all these doctrines there is included much of the precious truth of
God, but this is employed only as a bait to cover the relentless hook of
Satan, by which he seeks to draw human souls away from God and into
perdition. Not one positive word is said of the future state of man, or
of his fitness to meet his God, and any belief in immortality is
borrowed from the revelation of God; for the systems themselves are
given over to distracting and diverting man from the thought of his need
of a Divinely wrought preparation for eternity. It is commonly stated by
the followers of these systems that it is of little importance what one
believes, for it is the _life_ that counts. Thus the great and necessary
fact that any true character as well as any eternal blessedness depends
upon what one believes, rather than on the life, is discredited.

These systems are mentioned only as examples of the almost innumerable
doctrines that are sweeping the world to-day. They often reappear under
new and misleading titles. The truth they acknowledge, and many forces
they employ, are God's gracious provision for His saints; yet when these
truths and forces are used alone, where the real purpose of God is
skillfully omitted, they become only the hypocrisy that covers and
garnishes a lie.

Again, many are deluded by the emphasis upon the mere outward forms of
the visible Church. When these forms are analyzed, they appear to
represent a church ministered to by a recognized ordained minister who
depends upon his own personality for his power; and who preaches ethics
and morality drawn from Scripture texts and other ethical writings.
Prayers are offered, imploring the Almighty to aid humanity in its
attempts to commend itself to Him by a more or less faithful practice of
religion. The pleasures of music as an art are provided at fabulous
cost, in place of the praise that is inspired by the Spirit of God.
Social gatherings are held, to take the place of the unity of the Spirit
and the love of the brethren. Humanitarian appeals for the betterment of
the world are made, in place of the evangelical regeneration by the
Cross; and not one reference to the real Gospel is made from one year to
the next, unless it be in a covered denial. The sleeping congregations
are seemingly satisfied with a mockery of the truth, and are content
with a doctrine that proposes to educate souls into hell, and which
encourages them to make a few efforts toward self-development while on
their certain road to perdition. It is no longer good form in society to
be without some church relations, yet the one and only true basis for
salvation may never have been comprehended or accepted by a multitude of
these members. Truly the god of this world is accomplishing his end, and
his blinded followers are coming to be numbered with the faithful. The
evil birds are flocking to the mustard tree, and the corrupting leaven
is permeating the measures of meal.

The last development of the earth history of the visible Church is
predicted to be a condition in which the Church is saying, "I am rich,
and increased in goods, and have need of nothing." The passage
continues, "and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and
poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in
the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest
be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and
anoint thy eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love,
I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand
at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I
will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Rev.
3:17-20). If Scripture language and figure mean anything, this is a
description of an unregenerate Church over which the Lord is pleading.
It is from this Church that He has withdrawn; and is seen outside,
standing and knocking. His hope is not centered upon reforming the whole
mass of professing members; for his offer is to the individual "any man"
with whom He will then have personal communion and fellowship.

Sad is the spectacle of these churches; meeting week after week to be
beguiled by the philosophy of men, and raising no voice in protest
against the denial of their only foundation as a church, and of their
only hope for time and eternity! Far more honorable were the infidels of
the past generation than these ministers. They were wholly outside the
Church. But now, behold the inconsistency! Men who are covered by the
vesture of the Church, ministering its sacraments, and supported by its
benevolence, are making an open attack upon that wisdom of God which
made Christ Jesus the only ground for all righteousness, sanctification,
and redemption. The predictions for the last days are thus not only
being fulfilled by false systems and doctrines, but they are found in
the visible Church itself. "For the time will come when they will not
endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to
themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their
ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (II Tim. 4:3, 4).

Great religious activities are possible without coming into
complications with saving faith. It is possible to be more concerned
over the untimely death of one hundred thousand drunkards than with the
Christ-less death of twenty million human beings; or to be wholly
concerned with the educational and physical needs of the heathen, and to
neglect their greatest need in regeneration. Thus Satan may gain his own
ends, even through some so-called missionary undertakings, for in this
manner he can beguile untaught saints to limit their work to the lines
of his highest ideals. It is possible to fight against sin and not
present the Saviour; or to urge the highest Scriptural ideals and yet
offer no reasonable way of attainment.

There is a strange fascination about these undertakings which are
humanitarian, and are religious only in form and title. And there is a
strange attraction in the leader who announces that he is not concerned
with the doctrines of Scripture, because the helping of humanity is his
one passion and care: yet all his passion is lost and his care is to no
real end unless coupled with a very positive message of a particular way
of Salvation, the true understanding of which demands a series of most
careful distinctions.

Recently the word "pragmatism" has been brought into popular use to
denote the test by which the pragmatists measure all systems, theories
and doctrines. The pragmatic inquiry when applied to any system, theory,
or doctrine may be understood to mean, "does it meet its claims in
practice?" Although much is being made of this phase of pragmatism, the
test is as old as the race, and verified by Scripture, for Jesus said,
"By their fruits ye shall know them." However, the burden of testing
claims has never before been so great, for the world was never so filled
with new and strange theories as now. And these modern systems that deny
true salvation in Christ are growing mightily under this test. They
offer comparatively little and are usually able to meet their claims.
"Christian Science" does, to some extent, change the condition of mind
and body. "Spiritism" offers a demonstration from the invisible, and the
demonstrations appear. "New Thought" proposes a development of the whole
natural man, and thrives by the practical test of "pragmatism." The same
is true of all other similar systems and doctrines, and will be true of
those that may yet appear, since it is the very program of Satan as it
is revealed in his last blasphemous counterfeit of the Son of God; for
it is written in Rev. 13:3, 4 that they first wondered at the miracles
of the Man of Sin, and then worshipped. Woe to the untaught soul who
stands wondering to-day at the marvels of this evil age, if he be
without a sense of the importance and value of the priceless blood of
the Cross! The step is not far, for such an one, to the place where he
falls in worship: worship of a being who is supposed to have forgotten
abhorrence of sin and abandoned all eternal covenants of mercy by blood
alone; a being who is supposed to be glad that the world has outgrown
the old unbearable estimates of sin and redemption, and into whose
presence the worshipper is supposed to be free to come on the ground of
his fallen human nature, or the "universal fatherhood of God and the
brotherhood of man."

Who can be the god of these systems? the energizing power in these
people? and the answerer of their prayers? Surely not the God of the
Scriptures, who cannot deny himself, and whose word cannot be made to
pass away! Revelation sets forth but one other being who is capable of
these undertakings; and it not; only assigns to this being a great and
sufficient motive for all such activity, but clearly predicts that he
will thus "oppose" and "exalt himself" in this very day and age.

Much of the secondary truth is the present inheritance of the child of
God: yet, if there is a choice to be made, the deepest wisdom will
perceive that all the combined secondary values that Satan can offer are
but for a fleeting time; and are not worthy to be compared with the
eternal riches of grace in Christ Jesus.

Chapter XI.

The Believer's Present Position.

Since the Bible contains God's message to the people of the ages, it
must be rightly divided if the body of truth concerning any particular
age or people is to be clearly understood. There are, undoubtedly, many
things in common in the various ages, and, because of that fact, the
superficial use of the Scriptures has been to treat the entire book as a
direct message to all people of all time. This method, as has been
stated, has resulted in great confusion as to the Divine program.

When that portion of Scripture which directly applies to the present age
has been discovered, that, too, must be divided; for the present time is
a period of mixture among the people of the earth--the saints of God
tenting among the citizens of the Satanic system, and having nothing in
common with them beyond the ordinary things of this earth life.

Again, that particular body of truth which applies to the child of God
in this age may be divided, and a portion be called "Positional Truth"
in that it unfolds the believer's present relation to the Godhead, the
heavenlies, and the present world; while another may be known as "Life
Truth" in that it is a particular statement of his present
responsibility in conduct and service, and also includes the provisions
of God whereby he may fully accomplish the whole will of God. A partial
study of Life Truth is reserved for the next and last chapter; while
this chapter is to be devoted to the believer's present position and
separation from the world.

The importance of Positional Truth is suggested by the fact that, in the
context of Scripture, it precedes the statement of Life Truth; forming
the basis of its appeal. As an illustration of this it may be seen that
the order of the doctrinal Epistles is first, to state a great
Positional Truth, which is then followed by an appeal for a life
consistent with the truth revealed. The first great section of the book
of Romans (Chapters 1-8), sets forth the fact of a great and full
salvation; this is followed (omitting the dispensational parenthesis of
Chapters 9-11) by the closing section (Chapters 12-16), which is a
detailed description of the life a saved person should live, and which
opens with this appeal: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the
mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,
acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not
conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your
minds, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect,
will of God." So, in the first section of the letter to the Ephesians
(Chapters 1-3), the believer's position is unfolded, and this is
followed by a section (Chapters 4-6), which is a series of injunctions
for a heavenly walk; this section opens as follows: "I therefore, the
prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation
wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long
suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity
of the Spirit in the bond of peace." No appeal for faithfulness in the
Christian life will be found to be adequate or effective that does not
follow this same order, or that is not based upon some great revealed
fact of the new life in Christ. It is probable that the present neglect
and disregard for Positional Truth has, in spite of moral exhortation,
borne its legitimate fruit in a time-serving worldly Church.

It is a beautiful example of the harmony of the Scriptures that, while
the evil of the present age is so-clearly described, the true child of
God is most carefully separated from its relationships, and is seen to
be in a position so independent of all the authority of the world, that
he can walk with the Lord in unbroken communion and fellowship, even
while surrounded by this spiritual darkness. And, though the Scriptural
statements as to the ever increasing darkness of this age be rejected,
no meaning can be given to these passages that separate the believer
from this world, without the recognition of the black background of the
failure and sinfulness of this age. It is noticeable that the modern
systems take no notice of the difference between the saved and the
unsaved, as they also make little of the future state. This is in
accordance with the fact that both of these truths are wholly dependent
upon regeneration; and that is the one truth these systems are
originated by Satan to resist.

The believer's position is set forth in at least seven positive
revelations, three of which concern his change from the darkness of
Satan to the light of God; two concern his relationship to the heavenly
sphere; and two concern his relationship to the Satanic order. A careful
study of these important passages will reveal the great reality of

The first Divine movement for the salvation of an individual, after the
prayer of intercession by the Spirit, is illumination by the Spirit.
This same work is also mentioned as the "convicting" or "convincing" of
the Spirit. In this part of the Divine undertaking, the blinding by
Satan is temporarily removed and the soul beholds, by Divine vision, the
Lord of glory and the way into eternal life through Him: but woe to the
soul thus favored, who repeatedly turns from that vision in rejection!
Of such it is written: "For it is impossible for those who were once
enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made
partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and
the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them
again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God
afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in
the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them
by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessings from God: but that which
beareth thorns and briars is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose
end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of
you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak" (Heb.
6:4-9). Here there is pronounced a permanent return to the awful
blindness of Satan for the one who rejects the illumination of the
Spirit; but there is also offered an ever-widening of vision and glory
to the one who accepts the Lord as He is revealed by the Spirit, for he
then comes into possession of the "things that accompany salvation."

This illuminating work of the Spirit is mentioned by Paul in his words
to King Agrippa, wherein he describes his own commission to service. He
claimed to have been appointed by the Lord who spoke to him from the
Glory. He relates that by this commission he was sent "to open their
eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of
Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and
inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me"
(Acts 26:18). This is the exact order of the Divine movements in
redemption; the illumination of the Spirit is placed before everything
else. There is probably no more neglected truth in modern evangelism
than this preliminary work of the Spirit: yet it is the Divine
preparation for the intelligent action of the human will; and if the
right choice is made, it unveils the eyes for all the coming ages.

This important illuminating work of the Spirit is completely described
in Jno. 16:8-11 as being a revelation of the judgment, by the Cross, of
all sin and condemnation; the vision of the glorious righteous Christ,
now in heaven; and the realization of the sin of rejecting Him. The
passage is here given: "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is
expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter
will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And
when he is come, he will convince the world of sin, and of
righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me;
of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of
judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." The true child of
God is, then, one in whom the Spirit has wrought in lifting the blinding
by Satan and revealing to some extent, even now, the surpassing glory of
Christ. Sin, too, has become a terrible reality, and the Cross and the
precious blood have become the basis of his confidence toward his God.

Another revelation of the present position of the believer is that he
has partaken of the Divine nature through regeneration by the Spirit.
This truth is stated in many passages, a few of which are here given:
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons
of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of
blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God"
(Jno. I:12, 13). "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into
the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that
which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee,
Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou
hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and
whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit" (Jno.
3:5-8). "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have
it more abundantly" (Jno. 10:10). "For in Christ Jesus neither
circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature"
(Gal. 6:15). "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and
renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5). "Therefore if any man be in
Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold, all
things have become new" (II Cor. 5:17). "Whereby are given unto us
exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be
partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in
the world through lust" (II Pet. 1:4).

The reality of this mighty transformation is in no way evident in
present visible things, but must be accepted by faith. It is no less
than a translation from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of Christ,
"who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us
into the kingdom of his dear Son" (Col. 1:13). And by it one is said to
be delivered from this present evil age: "Who gave himself for our sins,
that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the
will of God and our Father" (Gal. 1:4), and, also, according to the
above passage, "to have escaped the corruption that is in the world"
(Satanic system).

The new life that is thus imparted is none other than the very life of
Christ: "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of
his" (Rom. 8:9). "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the
glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the
hope of glory" (Col. 1:27). "I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me"
(Gal. 2:20). "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your
own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in
you, except ye be reprobates?" (II Cor. 13:5).

The third great fact of the believer's present position in separation
from this world is that the Holy Spirit is given unto him, at the moment
of his regeneration, to indwell him, in place of the energizing power of
Satan who "worketh" with energy in the children of disobedience: "The
love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit that is
given unto us" (Rom. 5:5). "Now we have received not the spirit of the
world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things
that are freely given to us of God" (I Cor. 2:12). "What? know ye not
that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye
have of God, and ye are not your own?" (I Cor. 6:19).

Another phase of the believer's position is revealed in the fact that he
is said to be a citizen of heaven; his home center or citizenship having
been moved there from the earth. His name would, therefore, appear only
among the celestial beings, in any true census of the universe. The
reality of this unseen relationship is brought out in several passages:
"For our citizenship is in heaven; from whence also we wait for a
Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall fashion anew the body of our
humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of His glory,
according to the working whereby He is able even to subject all things
unto Himself" (Phil. 3:20 R.V.). "For ye know that if our earthly house
of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house
not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan,
earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from
heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we
that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we
would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed
up of life. Now He that hath wrought us for the self-same thing is God,
Who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are
always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we
are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) we are
confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to
be present with the Lord" (II Cor. 5:1-8).

Again, as to the believer's position in that which is termed in
Ephesians "the heavenly _places_,"--though the supplying of the word
"places" is very misleading. The meaning of the word "heavenly" here is
not so much of locality as of experience: as is indicated by the use of
the same word in other passages where the believer is said to be
"heavenly" in standing and relationship (Heb. 3:1; Eph. 2:6. See also
Matt. 18:35; Jno. 3:12; I Cor. 15:48).

Dr. C. I. Scofield makes the following statement on this important phase
of the believer's position:

"The Christian is 'heavenly' by calling (Heb. 3:1), by citizenship
(Phil. 3:20), by inheritance (I Pet. 1:4) and by resurrection life (Eph.
2:6), as a member of that body of which the Head is actually in heaven.
The heavenly (or 'in heavenly _places_,') therefore, is the sphere of
the believer's present association with Christ. This is shown by the
constant context, 'in Christ Jesus.' The believer is now associated
with Christ in life (Col. 3:4; I Jno. 5:11, 12), position (Eph. 2:6),
suffering (Rom. 8:18; II Tim. 2:11, 12; Col. 1:24; Phil. 1:29); service,
(Jno. 17:18; Matt. 28:18-20), and betrothal (II Cor. 11:1-3).

"The believer is to be associated with Christ in Glory (Jno. 17:22; Rom.
8:18; Col. 3:4), inheritance (Rom. 8:17), authority (Matt. 19:28; Rev.
3:21), and marriage (Eph. 5:22, 33; Rev. 19:1-9).

"The believer's 'spiritual blessings' (Eph. 1:3), therefore, are to be
possessed or experienced only as he lives in the sphere of his joint
life, joint position, joint suffering, joint service and joint marriage
pledge with Christ. In so far as he lives as a natural man whose
interests are earthly, and avoids the path of co-service and (if need
be) co-suffering, he will know nothing experimentally of the exalted
blessings of Ephesians. 'It is sufficient that the servant be as his
Master.' Christ took account of Himself as a heavenly Being come down to
earth to do His Father's will." (Scofield Bible Correspondence Course,
Book 2; page 288.)

Thus it may be seen that the believer is not only a citizen of heaven,
but that he has also been brought into a position where many privileges
of the heavenly experience are open to him.

In like manner, the believer's position in relation to this world is not
only a separation from the world by nature and purpose; but he is also
said to be a stranger and a pilgrim among the inhabitants of this dark
age. "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy
nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him
who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: which in
times past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had
not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I
beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which
war against the soul; having your conversation honest among the
Gentiles" (I Pet. 2:9-12). The same expression of "strangers and
pilgrims" is used, also, in regard to the faith descendants of Abraham:
"these all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having
seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and
confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims upon the earth" (Heb.
11:13). This same wide difference between the people of this world and
the people of God is also stated in passages where the world is
understood to be the system over which Satan now rules: "He that loveth
his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world
(Satanic system) shall keep it unto life eternal" (Jno. 12:25). "Ye
adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the
world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore who will be a friend of
the world (Satanic system) is the enemy of God" (Jas. 4:4). Love not the
world (Satanic system), neither the things that are in the world. "If any
man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that
is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and
the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the
world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of
God abideth forever" (I Jno. 2:15-17).

The word "lust," constantly used in description of the Satanic system,
has a much larger meaning in the Scripture than its present popular use,
where it refers only to that which is sensual. In these passages quoted,
it refers to the whole Satan-inspired ambition of humanity, and includes
their principle of self-help, and their struggle for all that, to them,
is highest and best. It is unlawful, in that it disregards the truth of
God; and it is related to that which is physical, because it magnifies
the finite being and its resources.

Two other striking passages concerning the relation of the believer to
the world are here given: "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may
have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in
this world (Satanic system)" (I Jno. 4:17). "As thou hast sent me into
the world (Satanic system), even so have I also sent them into the world
(Satanic system)" (Jno. 17:18).

The last revelation of the believer's position to be mentioned here, is
in regard to his service for the world. The unbounded love of God has
called him into fellowship with Christ in the great work of this age;
and in that connection he is under commission to evangelize, by a
process of witnessing, to the uttermost parts of the world. In this
undertaking he is promised the immediate presence of Christ, to whom all
power, both in heaven and in earth, has been given (Matt. 28:18-20). The
language of the inspired Book describes such witnesses as "Ambassadors
for Christ": "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did
beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to
God" (II Cor. 5:20). And the ambassador's message is also given in the
next verse of the same passage: "For He hath made Him to be sin for us,
who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him"
(we who knew no righteousness).

Nowhere does the saint need more direct teaching of the Spirit than in
regard to the relatioin he sustains to this world. In spite of the
similarity of his earth life to that of the world's people, he must
reckon himself to be dead in Christ and raised to newness of life.
Expecting the world to misunderstand him and even to hate him, he must
"wisely walk before them who are without." He is called upon to "use
this world but not to abuse it;" and that which is of itself pure and
good may become undesirable to him at times, because its use would
further the interests of Satan.

Some have taken the extreme position of assigning to Satan the material
universe and everything that is in the world to-day; not recognizing the
fact that no material or physical thing is evil of itself. God created
all things good. Satan has created nothing, and his present relation to
the world is only as a permitted usurper who appropriates and devastates
the things of God in the interests of his own ambition. He is the
file-leader in a great and terrible rebellion against the government of
God: but the natural universe, like all the powers of the human mind and
will, belongs primarily to God, the Creator; and by title of
inheritance, they belong also, to the child of God: "therefore let no
man glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or
Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to
come; all are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's" (I Cor.
3:21-23). Yet, since Satan is making use of many good things to cover
his evil purpose, the child of God must, for the present, discern the
hidden evil and, in loyalty to his Lord, reject everything that may
further the workings of Satan. The Scripture is very clear on this
point, and discusses one issue as an example of all similar issues. This
discussion in Scripture is of food which of itself is perfectly good,
but may be a means of great harm when associated with the purposes of
evil. The passages are as follows: "Let us not therefore judge one
another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling
block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. I know, and am
persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself:
but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not
charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not
then your good be evil spoken of: for the kingdom of God is not meat and
drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he
that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved
of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace,
and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the
work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who
eateth with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine,
nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made
weak" (Rom. 14: 13-21). "What say I then? that the idol is anything, or
that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is anything? But I say, that
the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils and
not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.
Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be
partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke
the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than He? All things are lawful for
me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but
all things edify not. Let no man seek his own, but every man another's
wealth. Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question
for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness
thereof. If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be
disposed to go; whatsover is set before you, eat, asking no question for
conscience sake. But if any man say unto you, This is offered in
sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for
conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof:
conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my
liberty judged of another man's conscience? For if I by grace be a
partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the
glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the
Gentiles, nor to the church of God: even as I please all men in all
things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they
may be saved" (I Cor. 10:19-33).

The question becomes a practical one, in view of the present progress
in discovery, science, and psychology. A theory must not be rejected
because it is new or mysterious; for the marvelous inventions of the age
are often as useful in spreading the Gospel as in furthering the
interests of Satan. The newly acquired knowledge of the universe may be
as valuable to the progress of good as to the advancement of evil.

There can be but one final test as to what shall be accepted and what
shall be rejected, and that must be made by the individual alone before
God (Rom. 14:22). In connection with any such question we may ask, "Is
the real work of redemption hindered, or its true basis rejected? Is
this a direct denial of the truth, by which souls will be hindered, or
is it a counterfeit which may decoy them away from their only hope in
the priceless blood of the Cross?" Beyond this, a child of God may
safely be "all things to all men that he may save some."

The Christian can see more of beauty in the world, make larger use of
its learning, and more fully appreciate its good, than can the children
of this age: yet he must now, above all things else, be content with his
limited commission, and be jealous of the interests of his Lord and
King. Much of his present perplexity would be relieved if he could but
realize that he is temporarily tenting where an enemy rules, and where
he is the object of that enemy's fiery darts, yet hedged about by the
omnipotence of God; called to bear the one message of redemption by the
Cross, in the capacity and hidden dignity of an ambassador from the
throne of the Most High; even now possessing a glory which shall soon
be unveiled in the presence of his Lord; waiting that morning when his
Lord shall come again and receive him unto Himself.

Chapter XII.

The Believer's Present Victory.

An exalted position is usually accompanied with great responsibility.
This is certainly true, according to Scripture, in the case of the
believer in his heavenly position. For when he is seen as a citizen of
heaven, and a partaker of those associations, he is also required, both
by Scripture and by reason, to "walk worthy of the calling wherewith he
is called." The statement of these heavenly demands upon the child of
God forms a distinct body of truth, and there are at least three such
bodies of truth in Scripture, each appearing as a rule of conduct for
some special people in some particular time. The Mosaic Law was given
primarily to God's ancient people through Moses; but it has a message
still, as it reflects the holiness of God and prepares for the salvation
which is in Christ. So the "Sermon on the Mount," with the injunctions
of John Baptist, and the early teachings of Christ were given with the
coming kingdom age in view and, therefore, form an important revelation
in regard to that time when "all shall know the Lord from the least unto
the greatest." Though there are some common principles running through
all these separate teachings, that Scripture which applies directly to
the people of this parenthetical age of the Church will be found only in
portions of the Gospels and in the Epistles of the New Testament.

No appreciation of the provisions of God for a victorious life can be
had until the demands which the believer's position imposes are
realized. These demands are in no way the standards of the world, for
the believer is not only a citizen of heaven in position, but is called
upon even now to fulfil all the standards of that sphere. As an
illustration of this fact, a very few of these heavenly ideals and
injunctions are given here: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the
mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,
acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service" (Rom. 12:1).
"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for
this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." "Abstain from
all appearance of evil" (I Thes. 5:16-18, 22). "But the fruit of the
Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" (Gal. 5:22, 23). "I
therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of
the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness,
with long suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep
the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:1-3). "And grieve
not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of
redemption" (Eph. 4:30). "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding
what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is
excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms
and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart
to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph. 5:17-20). "Wherefore take
unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the
evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Eph. 6:13). "If ye then be
risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ
sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above,
not on things on the earth" (Col. 3:1, 2).

These requirements are evidently heavenly in character, and demand
nothing less than that which is becoming to that sphere. They are,
therefore, beyond human strength; for what human power is able to "give
thanks always for all things"? Or to avoid grieving the Holy Spirit? Who
can be filled with the Spirit, or rejoice in tribulation? In fact, these
demands are often treated as impractical ideals, rather than present
requirements; while in reality they are binding on every child of God.
To fail in them at any point, will not unsave one (Ps. 130:3; Rom. 4:5);
but that failure will profane the heavenly citizenship, dishonor God in
whose grace he is standing (Rom. 5:2), and give the enemy occasion to
accuse the brethren before God; for Satan judges the Christian on the
basis of the heavenly ideals rather than the standards of earth. No one
can contemplate these impossible responsibilities without a sense of
utter helplessness and insufficiency.

Again, the believer must not only meet the impossible demands of a
heavenly position, but he is called upon to face a world-ruling foe,
who, with all his kingdom and power, is seeking to break and mar that
life into which the Divine nature has been received. The revelation
that Satan is going about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour,
presents a truth that should disarm the believer of all self-confidence
and cause him to dread, above all things else, the subtle devices of
this foe. In this connection Eph. 6:10-12 may well be restated:
"Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put
on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the
wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood,
but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world
rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual host of wickedness in the
heavenlies." In view of this opposition of Satan, it is still more
evident that the requirements of the Christian life are beyond any human

So, also, there is a fallen human nature within the child of God, which
is prone to dishonor God, and is itself beyond the control of the human
will. This important and much misunderstood truth is taken up at length
in Rom. 7:14-25: "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am
carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I
would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that
which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it
is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in
me (that is, in my flesh), dwelleth no good thing: for to will is
present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For
the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I
do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin
that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good,
evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the
inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law
of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in
my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body
of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with
the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of

This battle between the old nature and the new is, then, never gained
for God by human power or by religious exercise: but through Christ

Thus the believer is confronted with a threefold impossibility as he
contemplates his heavenly responsibility. First: The heavenly position
demands a manner of life that is beyond any human possibility. Second:
The enemy is stronger than he, and can thwart every resolution. Third:
His own fallen nature entices him to do positive evil when he would do
good. Notwithstanding this threefold impossibility, there is a clear
call to a victorious life, wherein every thought is brought into
captivity to the obedience of Jesus Christ (II Cor. 10:5), and if he
fails by one degree, he will dishonor the God who has called him.

Where, then, is the relief from this dilemma? It is found only in the
power of God. He has provided a complete salvation from the dominion and
power of evil, which is a real victory--the only victory for the
believer in this present life and conflict. It is a second form or tense
of salvation, for it is possible to be saved from the condemnation and
penalty of sin, and still for a time to be under its dominion and power.
Salvation from the power of the world, the flesh, and the devil, may be
secured as freely and completely as the salvation from the penalty of
sin, and on the same terms; yet its terms and conditions are so unlike
the methods of the world that often it seems unreal, even to Christians.

No instructed person expects to be free from condemnation, or justified
before God, by virtue of his moral character; nor can there be freedom
from the power of sin by virtue of the resolutions of the human will.
Though the Christian life is impossible to human strength, it is within
the power of God; and He offers to supply all that He requires, even to
a completely victorious life. Since it is necessarily a Divine
undertaking, the human part can be no more than an attitude of
expectation or faith toward God,--an attitude which reckons self to be
helpless, and God alone to be sufficient. It is a perpetual realization
of the principle of faith and, therefore, at every point, contradicts
Satan's principle of self-help.

Here, as in every human effort to be God-like, Satan's ideals and
methods are so thrust upon the world that the natural dependence of the
creature upon the Creator is made to seem a weak and unreasonable thing.
This worldly mind has found a place in the Church and to a large extent,
in spite of the teachings of Scripture; and it is often as difficult to
inspire true expectation toward God in the Christian mind in the matter
of daily victory, as it is to move the self-righteous and
self-sufficient sinner to believe on Christ for regeneration.

True dependence upon the sufficiency of God is thus born of a vision of
the utter inability of the natural man to meet the demands of the
heavenly citizenship. The world citizen may wrestle against flesh and
blood to realize his moral ideals: but he has no heavenly standards to
fulfill; no mighty foe to face; and no conflict of natures. Therefore,
his low ideals may often be reached by virtue of his own resolution and
will. Especially will this method be adequate for the unregenerate, as
the energizing power of Satan is working in him to cause him both to
will and to do the purpose of Satan (Eph. 2:2): but the faith principle
is the only possible way to victory for the child of God; and it must be
faith alone.

As the soul may be eternally lost, while calling upon God to help him
save himself: so the saint who only seeks the assistance of God in the
exercise of his own power toward a correct manner of life, may be a
dishonor to God constantly. The principles of faith and of works can no
more be mixed in the one case than in the other. They both present human
impossibilities and, therefore, demand the power of God. The Scriptures
are clear on this point, both in precept and example:

First: The power of God is the believer's sufficiency in meeting the
heavenly demands: "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and
to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13). "Not that we are sufficient of
ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of
God" (II Cor. 3:5). "But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his
grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more
abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was
with me" (I Cor. 15:10). "Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit,
are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" (Gal. 3:3). "Finally my brethren,
be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might" (Eph. 6:10). The
latter passage is but the natural culmination of the whole revelation of
the believer's citizenship and its responsibilities. Therefore, the
final counsel is to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Second: The conflict with the enemy can be a victory only by the power
of God. A remarkable revelation is given in the Scriptures of the
attitude of the angels toward Satan, and this attitude can well be
considered by fallen man. In Jude 9, Michael, the archangel, is seen in
controversy with Satan over the body of Moses. There is no revelation as
to the time or the occasion of this controversy. It is stated that Moses
was buried in secret and was later seen in his transfigured and
glorified body, so that it is possible that the removal of the body of
Moses from the domain of Satan was the occasion here referred to. The
passage is as follows: "But Michael, the archangel, when contending with
the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against
him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." In like
manner in II Pet. 2:10, the false teachers of the end of this age are
said to disregard the heavenly powers (evidently evil) which angels dare
not do. "But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of
uncleanness, and despise dominion. Presumptuous are they, self willed,
they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which
are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against
them before the Lord." There is probably a just regard, on the part of
the angelic beings, for the fact that Satan is the "anointed" of God
(Ezek. 28:14). As David would not lift up his hand against Saul because
he was the "Lord's anointed" (I Sam. 24:6). Christ is said to be
anointed (Ps. 2:2); so also is the believer (I Jno. 2:27). But it is
also shown here that the superior wisdom and strength of even Michael,
the archangel, and all other celestial beings, is never lifted in
conflict with Satan. They rely only upon the same power that is promised
the believer, and well may the believer be instructed by their example.

There are two passages where the child of God is directed to resist the
devil. The context, however, in both passages warns him that it must be
in utter dependence upon the power of God. He must be wholly submitted
to God and it must be done through a steadfastness of faith. The
passages are as follows: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the
devil, and he will flee from you" (Jas. 4:7). "Be sober, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about,
seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith" (I Pet.
5:8, 9). And the faith principle is mentioned among the believer's armor
in Eph. 6:16 as the "shield of faith" by which all the fiery darts of
the enemy are to be quenched.

Third: True character may be realized by the power of God, in spite of
the tendency of the fallen nature. This character, however, is that
which is directly promised by the power of God: "But the fruit of the
Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness,
faith, meekness, self control" (Gal. 5:22, 23). "For the fruit of the
Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth" (Eph. 5:9). "Ye
are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is
he that is in you, than he that is in the world" (I Jno. 4:4). Thus the
true God-honoring character is seen to be the result of the power of
God, and it is only possible to the one who has "ceased from his own
labors and has entered into rest." "This is the victory that overcomes
the world, even our faith" (I Jno. 5:4). This victory demands a constant
exercise of faith. Faith is never finished here, and any true progress
in the Christian life is "from faith to faith," and it is also said of
the one whom God has constituted just, that he shall "live by faith."

The same objection is often raised against the application of the faith
principle as a means to the consummation of a victorious life, as is
raised against the same principle for regeneration. In this objection it
is inferred that when this method is adopted, there is no adequate
incentive or motive left for the individual. Such objections arise from
a misunderstanding of this truth.

It is useless to undertake the impossible in any case; and in the matter
of salvation from the penalty of sin, the only work which it is possible
for God to accept as the ground of redemption is that which is already
undertaken and fully completed by Christ on the Cross. By this finished
work the believer is provided with a perfect standing before God, and is
raised to the exalted position of an ambassador for Christ. That
privilege of service does not affect the grounds of his salvation, but
opens to him the glorious possibility of rewards (I Cor. 3:9-15). In the
matter of salvation from the power of sin, the human will may be
employed as an instrument through which the power of God may be
manifested. The following passages reveal how directly He proposes to be
the real power in the believer's life: "For it is God which worketh in
you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13). "For
though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: for the
weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the
pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high
thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing
into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Cor.
10:3-5). "I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me"
(Phil 4:13). "For apart from me ye can do nothing" (Jno. 15:5).

It is assumed that the believer has recognized the perfectness of the
will of God and has thrown his whole being open to His power and
guidance. As a little child may avail himself of the wisdom and
experience of his parents through obedience, so the believer has become
willing to do whatever the infinite wisdom and love of God may choose
for him. When thus committed to the will of God, and in true faith
depending on Him, the mighty power of the Spirit will work in him and
through him to the glory of God. "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit,
and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Gal. 5:16). "For the
law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law
of sin and death" (Rom. 8:2). Salvation in any form is, therefore, "not
of works, lest any man should boast."

It remains to be seen, in view of the perilous position of the believer
in the enemy's land, that God has not only provided every needed force
for conquest and victory, but has given positive promises for the
security of the one He has received on the ground of the shed blood of
Christ, "Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and
about all that he hath on every side?" (Job 1:10). "My Father, which
gave them me, is greater than all; and no man (nothing), is able to
pluck them out of my Father's hand" (Jno. 10:29). "There hath no
temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful,
who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will

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