Lk. 4:11 π Jn 8:44 π Rom. 8:2 π 1 Cor. 15:26 π Phlp. 1:23 π Phlp. 1:24-25 π Heb. 2: 14 π Rev. 1:18
VICTORY OVER THE DEVIL AS A MURDERER ( Jn 8:44; top ): Satan as the prince of death watches every occasion to take the life of the servants of God, if in any wise he can get them to fulfil conditions which enable him to do so.
1) By their willful insistence on going into danger without being sent of God;
2) by trapping them into danger through visions, or supernatural guidance, drawing them into actions which enable him to work behind the laws of nature for destroying their lives.
This is what Satan tried to do with Christ in the wilderness temptation: "Throw Thyself down," he said; then quoting Scripture to show that the Lord had Scriptural warrant for believing that angel hands would bear Him up ( Lk. 4:11; top ), and not allow Him to fall. But the Son of God recognized the Tempter and the Murderer. He knew that His life would end as a Man, were He to give occasion to the malignant hate of Satan, by one step out of God's will; and that the Deceiver would not propose anything, however apparently innocent, or seemingly for God's glory, unless some great scheme for his own ends was deeply hidden in his proposition.
Christ now holds the "keys of death and of Hades" ( Rev. 1:18 ), and "him that hath the power of death, that is, the devil" ( Heb. 2: 14 , R.V., m.), cannot exercise his power WITHOUT PERMISSION, but when the children of God, knowingly or unknowingly, fulfil the conditions which give Satan ground to attack their physical lives, the Lord with "the keys of death" works according to law, and does not save them, UNLESS BY THE WEAPON OF PRAYER they enable God to interpose, and give them victory over the law of death, as well as the law of sin, through "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." ( Rom. 8:2; top )
"The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." ( 1 Cor. 15:26 ) Death is therefore an enemy; to be recognized as an enemy; and to be resisted as an enemy. The believer may lawfully "desire to depart and be with Christ" ( Phlp. 1:23 ), but never to desire death merely as an end of "trouble," or to allow the lawful desire to be "with Christ," make him YIELD TO DEATH WHEN HE IS NEEDED FOR THE SERVICE OF THE CHURCH OF GOD. "To abide in the flesh is needful for you," wrote the Apostle to the Philippians, therefore "I know that I shall abide." ( Phlp. 1:24-25; top )
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