« ForrigeFortsæt »
he gives special oversight to field operations, conducts personally great campaigns, retreats here, advances there, charges yonder-but his real aim is to get this world back under his own control; he would put himself in God's place-drive Him out, dethrone Him, kill Him off, that he might take it all to himself, and rule supremely.
However, he is king, and as such he is raised above the rank of leadership and commander. We are already familiar with his rank, but the purpose of this chapter is to show, specifically, that as a king his kingship has a much wider range than the bottomless pit. It is threefold. First, as angel of the bottomless pit, he is king of the underworld, the land of shadows, gloom, utter darkness; the land of eternal despair. We must depend upon the Infernos, evolved from a burning imagination, in order to get any conception of that region. Fearful as the scenes are, a close reading of the Scriptures will reveal a condition of things so terrible that the things seen by Dante and Virgil are not overdrawn. Over this land of woe and suffering Satan is the unlimited monarch.
Second, he is king of the upper world. This statement sounds very strange ; it would appear that God is entirely ruled out of His creation. But observe the language : " prince of the power of the air." Just what this means in its fullness no one should dare to be dogmatic, but certainly the language cannot be meaningless words. We can but conclude that Satan, in some measure, controls the forces of the physical world: storms, cyclones, cloud bursts, tidal waves, lightning bolts, earthquakes, etc. Cer
tainly, as a destroyer, he uses the agencies of destruction; his business is to fill the world with doubt, fear, distress and suffering.
A man has a little child killed by lightning, and he curses God. Does this not look as if a diabolical schemer was manipulating the affair some way? We must admit his power is permitted, and that proposition forces another to the front. Why does God allow or permit his ravages? We have no answer; the ravages go on. We might ask with just as much reason: Why doesn't God kill the Devil ?" He certainly is able to do it, or at least stop his progress. But He does not; Satan is evidently running at large, filling the world with broken hearts and all the accompanying evils which, otherwise, would not occur.
That we may be able to strengthen our opinion as to the prerogatives of this “prince of the power of the air," let us remember the circumstances of Job's calamities. This case is undoubtedly authentic, and the record says that Satan actually controlled the powers of the air. The servant of Job thought God rained fire on the sheep and burned them, but the whole affair had been turned over to the tormentor. The visitations sent on the faithful man of Uz were not from the hand of God; they were manipulated by his satanic lordship—the Devil. Then a great wind came-possibly a tornado or cyclone-and blew the house down wherein Job's children were enjoying themselves.
Concerning Satan's relation-controlling and directing the forces of nature—we shall not conture a dogmatic position. The definite statements
a and incidents from the inspired record are significant indeed. Strange things occur : a great vessel loaded with Sunday revellers goes down with scarcely a moment's warning; a tidal wave destroys thousands; an earthquake leaves a city in ruins with fearful loss of life. Does the loving, compassionate Father send these calamities? Would it not be a terrible indictment? But the Bible gives incidents where He did send death-dealing visitations upon the people. Certainly. Many believe that God uses Satan, in his vicious administration, to visit His wrath upon places and people. However, God has given him the title of “prince of the power of the air"-the “ wickedness in high places.
The third realm of his kingship is terrestrial ; in this he is given a stronger title than prince or king; “ The god of this world.” Besides, he is the prince of darkness," and the “ prince of this world." So real are his presence and power manifested here that Paul declares the contest is like a wrestling boute. This figure, examined closely, will open up a great continent of truth concerning our enemy, of whom we must meet in hand to hand conflict. See the wrestlers writhe and strain; agony is depicted on their faces; the muscles contract into hard knots, perspiration bursting from every pore. All the strength of every nerve and muscle, wrought up to their full capacity, is exerted. “We wrestle,” he
. declares, and not with fresh and blood; but “ against principalities and against powers," “ rulers of the darkness of this world."
The great religious reformers since Paul's day have left a similar testimony concerning this terrestrial enemy; his personality has never been questioned by men who were positive powers in the realm of spiritual warfare. After Martin Luther had produced a nation-wide reformation, having been delivered from the bondage of a Benedictine monk by a revelation to his own soul that the “just shall live by faith,” he declared : “ Satan semper mehi dixit falsum dogma." Shall we deny the oft told story that Luther threw his inkstand at them (demons) when they actually appeared unto him in person ? Is it unreasonable? They were alarmed at his triumphs, and wanted to terrify him. The kingship of Satan in the under world and upper world are Bible statements; his kingship in the world about us is a Bible fact confirmed by human testimony.
THE DEVIL'S HANDMAIDEN “ Be not drunk on wine wherein is excess, but be ye filled with the Spirit."-Ephesians v. 18.
7706 • No drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of God.”—1 Corinthians
THE fallen Lucifer knew from the beginning that his work must necessarily be in competition with the Son of God; therefore he has invested his genius to originate a duplicate for all that Christ has done for us. Knowing that the letter killeth, but the spirit maketh alive, he seeks to furnish all the appearances, and as far as possible duplicate experiences : Reformation without repentance; conviction without conversion; conversion without regeneration; membership without adoption; baptism with water without the baptism of the Holy Ghost; physical and emotional pleasure without the “joy of salvation.”
The prophet Isaiah exhorts the people to say: “ Praise the Lord,” and, “ with joy draw water out of the wells of salvation," and, “ Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion, etc.” The Psalmist, also, gives out a continuous stream of joyous praise. In all ages people have at sundry times and places shouted out the joy of the Lord. This emotional expression is by no means the only test of experimental salvation, as nothing honours God so much as simple, unemotional faith; but there are times of