Gen. 3:14-15 π Gen. 6:7 π Job 1:7 π Psa. 110:1 π Mt. 2:16 π Mt. 7:15 π Mt. 16:16-17 π Mt. 16:22 π Mt. 20:28 π Mt. 24:14 π Mt. 25:41 π Mt. 26:74 π Mk. 3:11 π Mk. 16:17 π Mk. 16:20 π Lk. 3:21-22 π Lk. 4:1-13 π Lk. 4:13 π Lk. 4:33-34 π Lk. 4:36 π Lk. 4:41 π Lk. 8:28-30 π Lk. 10:19 π Lk. 16:31 π Lk. 22:31 π Lk. 22:53 π Jn. 6:45 π Jn. 12:27 π Jn. 12:31 π Jn. 12:31-33 π Jn. 13:27 π Jn. 16:8-11 π Jn. 16:11 π Acts 2:1-4 π Acts 2:24 π Acts 2:33 π Acts 7:7 π Acts 16:16-18 π Acts 19:13-16 π Acts 26:16-18 π Rom. 6:3-4 π Rom. 13:11-12 π 1 Cor. 1:25 π 2 Cor. 13:4 π Gal. 4:4-5 π Eph. 1:20 π Phlp. 2:6-7 π Col. 1:13 π Col. 2:15; 2nd π Heb. 2:14 π 1 Pet. 2:9 π 1 Pet. 3:18 π 1 Jn. 1:5 π Rev. 20:1-3
Let us now see how God planned to deliver the earth from the power of the fallen archangel. The first promise of deliverance was made in Eden, after Satan had beguiled the woman, and brought about the downfall of the human race. The Lord God pronounced a curse upon the serpent, and then promised to the woman a Seed which should bruise his head. ( Gen. 3:14-15; top )
The Seed was the Son of God, for "when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that He might redeem them which were under the law." ( Gal. 4:4-5 ) Yea, "being in the form of God, (He) counted it not a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself...becoming in the likeness of men" ( Phlp. 2:6-7; top ), so that as the second Adam He might perfectly obey God, and finally offer Himself as a propitiation for the sins of the fallen race. As the Representative Man He would die on the Cross of Calvary, bring to an end the fallen race in His own person, and create in Himself - born out of His death on the Cross - a new race of sons of God, a "new creation" after His own likeness. Thus He would bring to nought the devil, and deliver his ruined subjects by the weapon of death - the very result of sin.
That all hell was moved over His incarnation we may be sure, and the prince of darkness incited Herod the king to slay innocent little ones ( Mt. 2:16; top ), in the hope of destroying Him Who had come to earth to bring the prince of the world to an end of his reign.
When the God-Man reached the age of thirty, He came forth from His retirement to carry out the plan devised in the far-back ages of eternity for the redemption of the world. He at once identifies Himself, sinless Being though He be, with the sinners He had come to save. He enters the Jordan where they are baptized confessing their sins, and then, anointed with the Spirit of God, and acknowledged by His Father in a voice from heaven, ( Lk. 3:21-22 ), He is led of the Spirit into the wilderness to meet His foe in direct attack. Analogous to the garden where the first Adam fell, the second Adam is for forty days alone in the midst of wild beasts. The prince of darkness pressed upon Him, and sought by every means to persuade Him to listen to his voice. He seeks to tempt Him through His human nature and its hunger, but the Lord will not supply His own need before His Father's time; he gives Him a vision of the world, and offers it to Him for one act of submission; he urges upon Him the presumptuous testing of His Father's protection, but to all the God-Man makes reply, "It is written." Eve listened to the devil's "Has God said?" but the second Adam refused all temptation with the words, "God has said," and thus foiled the foe. "And when the devil had completed every tempted, he departed from Him for a season." (See Lk. 4:1-13; top )
From the wilderness the Son of God came forth victorious to find the Adversary meeting Him again, but this time by his wicked spirits in possession of men. He went to Galilee, and there in the synagogue itself was a man with "the spirit of an unclean demon." But quickly the demon recognized the Christ, and cried out "I know who You are - the Holy One of God!" ( Lk. 4:33-34 ) The Prince of the demons had been conquered in the long conflict in the wilderness, so now "with authority and power" ( Lk. 4:36 ) the Son of God commanded the unclean spirits as He met them, and they obeyed Him, and "Whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, 'You are the Son of God.'" ( Mk. 3:11 ) A legion of demons - some six thousand - held one poor soul, as he cried out, "What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!" ( Lk. 8:28-30; top )
The wicked spirits knew Him, and bore witness to Him as the Son of God, but "rebuking them, He suffered them not to speak, because they knew that He was the Christ." ( Lk. 4:41 ) He would not have the witness of evil spirits to enforce His claim upon men. The works which He did, and the words of life which He spoke, by the indwelling Presence of the Father, and the sealing of the Holy Spirit, were sufficient to reveal to prepared hearts whence He came, and Who He was. He knew that all who would be taught of God would come to Him ( Jn. 6:45 ), and acknowledge Him in truth to be the Christ, the Son of the living God. ( Mt. 16:16-17; top )
Many are today seeking to know the spirit-world through channels forbidden of God; excusing themselves by saying that they desire to know the truth concerning the resurrection of the dead, and the existence of another world, but we need to remember the attitude of the Lord to the witness of evil spirits, for He expressly said if men received not the testimony of "Moses and the prophets" - the written Scriptures, even of the Old Testament - neither would they be persuaded by an miracle, even if one rose from the dead. ( Lk. 16:31; top ) What need, O soul, of any proof of spiritual verities save the witness of the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures? Ah, the trouble is this! The Holy Spirit reveals only to those who desire to part with sin, whilst the evil spirits reveal so as to keep in sin all who thus venture on forbidden ground in defiance of God's commands.
We have seen that the demons recognized the Christ, and always acknowledged Him as having authority over them, but Satan, the Prince of the demons, did not end his attacks all the way to the Cross of Calvary. He left Him after the victory in the wilderness, but only "for a season." ( Lk. 4:13 ) He approached Him again through His impulsive, but devoted disciple Peter, who when he was told of the cross awaiting his Master, prayed Him to pity Himself and turn from such a path. ( Mt. 16:22 ) And this was not the only time that the Adversary made use of Peter to grieve the Lord! Peter in his self-confidence gave advantage to the foe, who surely rejoiced over his fall into the denial of the Lord with curses and lies. (See Mt. 26:74 ) "Satan obtained him," to "sift him as wheat" ( Lk. 22:31 ), and used him to bring about part of the very suffering of the path to the Cross, which he had prayed the Lord to shun. Again the Adversary obtained an instrument in Judas through covetousness, and through him caused the Son of God untold sorrow and pain, until at last the Prince of darkness was able to enter into him, and use him as his tool to betray the Lord, and bring about the Cross. ( Jn. 13:27; top ) The devil had at first offered the kingdom of the world to the Christ without a cross; then he sought to turn Him from it by the lips of one of His disciples, and finally he entered into one of them (Note: We only read once of Satan himself entering a man, and this was Judas, for the work of betraying the Lord was too important to trust to any but himself. - Dr. Pierson.) to lead him to the Cross, seeming to believing in his arrogance and pride that he could destroy by death the Son of the Eternal God.
"This is your hour, and the power of darkness" said the Lord Christ as He was seized in the garden of Gethsemane, and led away to death. ( Lk. 22:53 ) But He knew what Calvary would mean! "For this purpose I came to this hour," He said to His disciples on the eve of His Cross and Passion. ( Jn. 12:27 ) "'Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself,' This He said, signifying by what death He would die." ( Jn. 12:31-33 ) Lifted up from the earth on the Cross of shame, in the very hour and power of darkness, the prince of this world would be judged, and by the wondrous power of the love manifested on Calvary's Cross, men would be drawn unto the Son of God, won from allegiance to the arch-enemy of God, and thus be translated into the Kingdom of the Son of His love. (See Col. 1:13; top )
In His farewell words to His loved disciples, the Lord also told them that on His return to the Father, He would send them the Spirit of Truth, Who would bear co-witness with them, and convict the world of its sin of unbelief; of the gift of righteousness obtained for sinners, and of the judgment of the prince of the world. ( Jn. 16:8-11 ) "Now the prince of this world will be cast out," He said, as He went to the Cross ( Jn. 12:31 ), but after the Cross the Spirit would testify "the Prince of this world has been judged." ( Jn. 16:11; top ) The place of victory over the fallen archangel was therefore the
Crucified on the Cross, through the malignant hatred of the prince of darkness, working through those who were under his power, the very Cross by which the devil meant to end the life of the Son of God, was his own undoing. On the Cross the Prince of Life "stripped off from Himself principalities and powers," and "made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it." ( Col. 2:15 - Dr. Waller.) Yea, "the hostile princes and rulers He shook off from Himself, and boldly displayed them as His conquests when by the Cross He triumphed over them." (Weymouth) Oh the wisdom of God! The "weakness of God is stronger than men." ( 1 Cor. 1:25 ) The Christ was "crucified through weakness" ( 2 Cor. 13:4 ), and yet the Prince of darkness putting Him to open shame before a mocking world, was himself, with all his principalities and powers, put to open shame before the heavenly hosts of God. The powers of darkness were "spoiled" and robbed of their prey, and triumphed over ( Col. 2:15; top ), in the very hour which they planned to be the hour of their own victory!
The work was accomplished! The disobedience of the first Adam was met by the obedience of the second - the Lord from heaven. The sin upon which must come the wages of death, had been atoned for by death, for the punishment of death was carried out upon the sinless One Who took upon Him the sins of the world, and died as the Representative Man. The fallen race of Adam which God said must be "blotted out" because, "every imagination of the thoughts of the heart was only evil continually" ( Gen. 6:7 ), was nailed to the Cross in the person of the Second Adam, and by the Cross the Lord from heaven triumphed over the Prince of darkness. "Through death" - the very result of sin, "through death" - the very weapon by which the evil one held his subjects in bondage; through death - drinking the cup of death to its dregs for the whole world; through death - the Prince of destroyed "him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." ( Heb. 2:14; top ) Satan had fallen from heaven. He is "cast out," his power destroyed, his kingdom shaken, at the place called Calvary.
The work accomplished on the Cross, "being put to death in the flesh," the Christ was "made alive by the Spirit." ( 1 Pet. 3:18 ) God raised Him up "having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it" ( Acts 2:24 ), and afterwards He ascended into heaven, and sat down in triumph at His Father's right hand. (See Eph. 1:20 ) As the Psalmist foretold "The Lord said unto my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool.'" ( Psa. 110:1 ) "Being therefore exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out" the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost ( Acts 2:33; top ), to anoint and equip His afore-prepared disciples for the express purpose of witnessing to Him as the Risen Saviour, and proclaiming to the whole world lying in the evil one, the victory of Calvary.
The work accomplished on the Cross was a finished and full redemption. Atonement was made for the sins of the whole world; and the prince of the world "cast out" from his legal sovereignty over the world. But now the captives of sin and Satan, must one by one, of their own free choice, accept the deliverance won for them on Calvary, for the sons of men retain by heritage the freedom of will given to their ancestors in the Garden of Eden.
The Son of God could but come, and give His life as a Ransom ( Mt. 20:28 ), and conquer their spiritual foe. As ascended Lord, He could but send the Eternal Spirit to convince the captives of their need, and the way of victory. On their part they must choose whom they would now serve! They must of their own free will elect to enter the Kingdom of their Redeemer, and leave the sphere, and the service of their captor. And choosing the rule of the Conqueror of Calvary, by simple faith in Him they would be united, or grafted, into Him in His death on the Cross, and be delivered out of the power of darkness, and translated into the realm of their Deliverer. ( Rom. 6:3-4 ) The Cross would thus be a gate, through which they passed in spirit out of the sphere of darkness, into the sphere of the marvelous light of God, for God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all. ( 1 Pet. 2:9 , 1 Jn. 1:5; top )
But men - being men - the Holy Spirit must embody Himself in men, to have men as His voices, men as His instruments, men as His object lessons, to win the sons of men. The proclamation of the conquest of the evil one, and liberty from his dominion, must be made by heralds all through his realm. On the day of Pentecost, the souls prepared by Christ Himself, were gathered together with one accord waiting for the promised equipment from on high, ere going forth as heralds of the Cross. And suddenly He came! The Eternal Spirit of the Father! The gift of the Son! And He filled the waiting souls, through whom He would convince fallen men of the finished redemption at Calvary. All who obeyed His command, and waited for the promise of the Father, were sealed with fire from heaven, and equipped with the power of the Spirit upon them ( Acts 2:1-4 ), to wield the all-prevailing name of the Conqueror from Calvary. Yea, the Glorified Lord Himself by His Spirit worked with them "confirming the word by the signs that followed." ( Mk. 16:20; top )
Their commission was foreshadowed by the Christ when He said to the seventy, "I saw Satan fall like a lightning-flash out of Heaven. See I have given you power to tread serpents and scorpions underfoot, and to trample on all the power of the enemy: and in no case shall anything do you harm," ( Lk. 10:19 - Weymouth), and confirmed by Him after His resurrection in the interval ere He ascended into heaven, when He said "These signs shall follow them that believe: in My name shall they cast out demons..." ( Mk. 16:17 ); also in the direct message from heaven out of the ascended Lord when He afterwards appeared to His herald Paul, and said, "I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness...I now send you to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God." ( Acts 26:16-18; top )
In the account of the working of the Eternal Spirit through the Apostles in the early days after Pentecost, we see how actually authority over the power of darkness was exercised by men equipped by the Holy Spirit, for under the ministry of Philip "unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them." ( Acts 7:7 ) On another occasion the Apostle Paul was beset by a demon possessing a woman, who followed after the Apostles of Christ, crying out that they were servants of the Most High God, proclaiming the way of salvation. Like the Lord, Paul did not want the testimony of evil spirits, so in calm assurance of the power of the name of the Conqueror, he speaks the word, "'I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.' And he came out that very hour." ( Acts 16:16-18 ) But the necessary condition of knowing the victory of Calvary experimentally ere the name of Jesus could have power over the Adversary, was solemnly exampled when certain Jews, being exorcists, "took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, 'We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.' ...and the evil spirit answered and said, 'Jesus I know, and Paul I know: but who are you?' Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded." ( Acts 19:13-16; top ) The all-conquering name of the Victor of Calvary needs the Holy Spirit Himself to wield it through men possessed by Him!
But the prince of this world has not been disposed to give up the kingdoms of the world without a struggle. We have seen how the history of the Church of Christ down through two thousand years, since the day of Pentecost, tells of the bitter fight of the conquered prince, and shows that although he was indeed judge at the Cross, he is yet in possession of multitudes of men throughout the inhabited earth. But his time is getting short! Although he is still at large, "going to and fro on the earth and walking back and forth on it" ( Job 1:7; top ), holding men in his power, and resisting to the utmost their obtaining knowledge of the victory won on Calvary's Cross, his overthrow, and eventual casting into the bottomless pit, only awaits the gathering out from the world of the last member of the heavenly Body of Christ.
The Most High God has set a limit to the "day of grace," during which dispensation, the tidings of the victory of Calvary, had to be proclaimed throughout the earth. Alas, alas, the enemy has hindered sorely the fulfillment of the commission committed to the Church of God. The Adversary, disguised in men, whom the Lord foretold to be "wolves in sheep clothing" ( Mt. 7:15; top ), has entered the flock. To cause divisions within the Church, and deadly apathy, has been his successful aim, with the sad result that men who knew the story of Calvary, have slept, and realm after realm of the enemy's dominion still lies in darkness, and the shadow of death; whilst all the centuries down to this present time, the One Who died for sinners, has been waiting to see the travail of His soul, and be satisfied; waiting to be given the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession; yea, waiting for His inheritance in His saints.
But the King never changes from His purposes. Though the enemy has hindered, and the Lord's children slept, the word has been passed, "These good tidings of the Kingdom shall be preached in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony unto all the nations; and then shall the end come!" ( Mt. 24:14 ) With patient love the Lord has borne with His people, and in the latter days has awakened many of them to their commission, to quickly send the message of His Cross throughout the world. "The time is short," He cries by His Spirit, to His people. "It is high time for you to awake out of sleep: for...the night is far spent, and the day is at hand." ( Rom. 13:11-12; top )
Meanwhile the attacks of the Adversary upon the redeemed, are turned by the All-wise Lord into the training and fitting of them, for their great destiny in the coming reign of the Conqueror. The Victor of Calvary calls into one life with Himself all who accept His redemption, His Cross, His Kingship, and complete control, and in the wondrous purpose of the grace of God, the new race of overcomers will reign with Him, and in the fullness of time, take the place of Satan and his angels, in the government of the earth.
The Adversary is well aware of this purpose of the Most High God, hence his bitter fight, for he knows the end that awaits him, when the angel of God comes down from heaven, "having the key of the Abyss, and a great chain in his hand," then he will lay hold on "Dragon, the old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan," and bind him for a thousand years, casting him into the Abyss, shutting it, and sealing it over him ( Rev. 20:1-3 ), finally afterwards to go into the "eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels." ( Mt. 25:41; top )
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