Lewis Sperry Chafer

Part 1 out of 3






Foreword, by Dr. C. I. Scofield

Author's Introduction

I. The Career of Satan
II. The Ages
III. The Course of This Age
IV. This Age and the Satanic System
V. The Satanic Host
VI. Satan's Motive
VII. Satan's Methods
VIII. The Man of Sin
IX. The Fatal Omission
X. Modern Devices
XI. The Believer's Present Position
XII. The Believer's Present Victory


If any word of mine shall add to the number of the readers of this book
I shall be glad to have written it; and I sincerely wish that all
believers, and especially all ministers and Christian workers, might in
some way be led to read it.

The subject is vital to any right understanding of the age in which we
live, and of the personal conflict which we wage; for the existence,
personality, and power of Satan are awful facts and of immense present

We walk in the midst of his snares, hear on every hand his doctrines
proclaimed by men of blameless lives "transformed as the ministers of
righteousness," and are allured by the pleasure, place and power of his
perfectly organized world-system.

I know of no other book on Satan in which the dispensational aspects of
the subject are so clearly stated, nor any other so severely Biblical.

C. I. Scofield.


The world has been willing to comply with the wishes and projects of
Satan to the extent of ceasing to believe that he really exists; this
unbelief being most advantageous to his present undertakings. Yet the
opinions of men have never changed the facts of revelation, and,
according to Scripture, Satan exists; still possessed with great power
and influence over the affairs of men--a power and influence to be
increasingly dreaded as this present age advances.

The teachings of Scripture on this important subject are but little
understood by Christians and seem to be entirely outside the thought of
the world. It is, therefore, to be expected that any attempt to present
this truth will seem, to many, mere folly and fiction.

The name Satan has by no means been lost. It has, however, been
associated with a most unscriptural fancy. Without reference to
revelation, the world has imagined a grotesque being, fitted with
strange trappings, who has been made the central character in theatrical
performances; and by this relation to the unreality of the theatre, the
real character of Satan has come to be only one of the myths of a bygone

Scripture reveals a detailed description of the person and career of
Satan; beginning with his creation; his original condition; his fall,
and on to his kingdom with all its developments, and his final defeat
and banishment. It presents a personage so mighty and so prominent in
the world to-day that the Christian heart would fail, were it not for
faith in the One who has triumphed over all principalities and powers.

This attempt to outline the Scripture teaching on this character will be
undertaken under certain general conditions:

First--The authority of the Scriptures of both the Old and the New
Testaments will be accepted without question.

Second--Evidence will be drawn from the Word of God alone, since no
final light can be found on this subject other than it has pleased God
to reveal in the Bible.

Third--There will be no discussion as to the actual existence of Satan;
this being both assumed and taught from Genesis to Revelation.

These pages are prepared especially for believers; knowing that this
body of truth will be wholly unnoticed or rejected by the Satan-blinded
world (2 Cor. 4:4).

There has also been a deep sense of the seriousness of the undertaking:
both because Satan, by his present direct power, would, if possible,
hinder any larger understanding of his projects and purposes; and
because so great a warning has fallen from the lips of Christ against
the sin of ascribing to Satan the things which are really of God (Matt.
12:22-32). The work has, therefore, been undertaken with some degree of
reliance upon the keeping and guiding power of the Spirit of God, and is
presented with the prayer that believers may have a clearer
understanding of this important body of truth and be able to say with
Paul, "We are not ignorant of his devices." It is also desired that
some clearer vision of this mighty foe may be had which will cause the
child of God to realize the overwhelming power of his adversary and be
constrained to "be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might;"
that greater victory may be had in the realization of the whole will of

Chapter I.

The Career of Satan

This chapter is a brief outline of the past, present and future of
Satan, which is taken up at this point both that the following chapters
may be more easily studied and because of the fact that those passages
which deal most directly with his earliest condition are closely
interwoven with predictions of his future and final defeat.

Revelation in regard to Satan begins with that dateless period between
the perfect creation of the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1) and the
desolating judgment which ended that period, when the earth became waste
and empty (Gen. 1:2; Isa. 24:1; Jer. 4:23-26). One passage, Ezek.
28:11-19, deals at length with Satan and his relation to that age. In
this Scripture Satan is evidently described under the title of "The King
of Tyrus." Like the Messianic Psalms,--wherein the Psalmist is
apparently referring to himself, though statements are made and
conditions described that could only be connected with the Messiah, the
Son of God,--so, here, that which is addressed to "The King of Tyrus"
is, by its character, seen to be a direct reference to the person of
Satan; for no similar person to whom this description could apply is
revealed in Scripture. In the previous as well as the following chapters
the final judgment of Jehovah is pronounced upon the enemies of His
chosen people. Satan is distinctly numbered among these enemies in I
Chron. 21:1; and his record and judgment naturally appear in this list.

Every sentence of this extended passage is a distinct revelation and is
worthy of long and careful study. Only a passing reference can be made
to it here. The passage is as follows:

"Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up
a lamentation upon the King of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the
Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in
beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone
was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the
onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle and
gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in
thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub
that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain
of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day thou wast created, till
iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they
have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned:
therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I
will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of
fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast
corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to
the ground, I will lay thee before Kings, that they may behold thee.
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thy iniquities,
by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from
the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes
upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that
know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a
terror, and never shalt thou be any more."

This passage describes much of the early and latter career of Satan.
Twice is his creation referred to. In verse fifteen it is stated that he
was created perfect, and in verse thirteen that perfection is set forth
in detail by the suggestive symbols of precious gems. He was also "full
of wisdom," "perfect in beauty," filling up the sum of perfection. In
verse fourteen he is called the "anointed cherub that covereth." By this
the purpose of the Creator is revealed. The general interpretation of
this verse is that Satan was created as a guard or protector to the
throne of the Most High. This is reasonable. Like the golden cherubim,
covering the visible mercy seat in the Holy of Holies of the earthly
tabernacle, he was created a guard and covering cherub to the heavenly
center of Glory. It is expressly stated that he was located by the Most
High upon the holy mountain of God, the mountain of God being a symbol
of the center of God's power, government, and eternal throne (Ps. 48:1;
68:15; Isa. 2:2). Over this exalted throne Satan was set as a covering
cherub. He is also said to have been in "Eden, the garden of God," which
is evidently another Eden than that in which Satan appeared as a
serpent. It is probably a reference to the primitive creation, and the
whole passage suggests a position of great authority for which he was
created and anointed; a position from which he fell, drawing with him a
host of beings over whom he had governing influence and power.

Again, it is stated that Satan was perfect in all his ways from the day
he was created. It is important to notice both that he was created, and
that he was created perfect. Since he was created, he is not
self-existent, and never can be free from his dependence upon the
Creator. He may vainly propose to become independent, and even be
permitted for a time to act under that delusion; but that would only
delay the inevitable judgment that awaits him. He was created perfect,
or was a perfect fulfilment of the Creator's intention. Satan was a free
moral agent; capable of choosing evil, but not obliged to do so. That he
chose evil must ever be his own condemnation; for the Creator had
surrounded him with sufficient motives to choose the good.

The crime of Satan is partly revealed in verse sixteen and this is
followed by an exact description of his final judgment as it is
predicted in the book of Revelation.

The important teaching of this passage is of Satan's first position and
power--a power and wisdom sufficient to guard the throne of God from
every possible enemy, and a glory and beauty that would become the
highest officer in the Court of Heaven. By this revelation his present
position and power may be estimated.

The revelation next in importance is that of his crime; this is clearly
set forth in Isa. 14:12-20. Before reading this passage it should be
noticed that the prophet's vision of Satan, here recorded, is from the
time of his final judgment, and the prophet is looking backward over
Satan's whole career. Much that is still future is, therefore, referred
to as though it were past. The passage is as follows:

"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art
thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou
hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my
throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the
congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights
of the clouds; I will be like the Most High. Yet thou shalt be brought
down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly
look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the
earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a
wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house
of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in
glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave
like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain,
thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a
carcass trodden under feet."

Here Satan appears under a different title. When he is seen in the
primal glory, as described in Ezekiel 28:11-19, he bears the earthly
title of "The King of Tyrus" and when fallen from that sphere, he bears
the heavenly title of "Lucifer, Son of the Morning." It is as though,
being out of harmony with the Creator by his sin, he is out of harmony
with every sphere in which he may appear. This glorious heavenly title,
"Lucifer, Son of the Morning," speaks of his first place in the
celestial sphere, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons
of God shouted for joy (Job 38:7). It would indicate a position near to
the unsurpassed glory of "The Bright and Morning Star," "The Sun of
Righteousness" who shall yet arise with healing in His wings.

Satan is here again said to be fallen from heaven. Of this fall Jesus
speaks in Luke 10:18, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven."

The reference in both of these passages is not to Satan's moral
degeneration but rather to a great event when he was, because of his
sin, driven from his place in glory and made to inhabit the earth and
air (Eph. 2:2; 6:12; I Pet. 5:8). Yet he was granted the privilege of
access to the presence of God (Job 1:6; Rev. 12:10).

Referring to these texts: In the first two chapters of the book of Job,
Satan is seen appearing in the midst of other heavenly beings, before
the presence of Jehovah; and there seems to be nothing unusual in the
presence of Satan in this celestial company. To the question of Jehovah,
"Whence cometh thou?" he replies, "from going to and fro in the earth
and from walking up and down in it." From this revelation the important
information is given that Satan, while inhabiting the earth and air, is
free to appear in the presence of God. His occupation of the earth and
air is also taught in Eph. 6:11, 12. Here believers are addressed as
follows: "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" (R.V.). Another injunction to believers is
contained in I Pet. 5:8, 9: "Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the
devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
whom withstand steadfast in your faith."

These two latter passages, taken together, restate with greater emphasis
the revelation in regard to the present abode of Satan. That the earth
and the air are his present abode must be accepted on the testimony of
Scripture: in spite of the almost universal impression that he is now in

In addition to this statement in regard to Satan's fall, the passage in
Isaiah, which is under consideration, reveals two aspects of his present
activity. He is first seen seeking to establish a throne for himself,
and then as the promoter of confusion and terror in the Divine purpose
in the world. This is followed with another statement of the certainty
of his final judgment and banishment.

The crime of Satan is concisely stated in the fourteenth verse as being
a purpose in his heart to become _like_ the Most High. His heart was
lifted up because of his beauty; he who was created and placed as the
"Covering Cherub," with the high honor of guarding the throne of God,
has corrupted his wisdom by reason of his brightness; he has struck at
the throne he was set to protect. It was a purpose in his heart which
would require the time of the ages to wholly destroy. There could be
but one Most High, and the purpose of Satan to become like him could,
naturally, be nothing less than an attempt to dethrone the Almighty.

The secret purpose in his heart reveals his method to be, not a violent
attack upon the throne: but, like Absalom's, to steal the hearts of the
unfaithful in the kingdom, and, through subtlety, to gain a government.
He would thus become an object of worship, and attract attention from
other beings to himself. To accomplish this, a hindering attitude must
be assumed toward the purpose and projects of the Most High. No adequate
appreciation can be formed of Satan's present projects and devices, and
the motive that prompts them, without a clear understanding of his
age-abiding attitude toward the Person of God.

There are two prominent events revealed in the history of Satan, falling
within the period of time when he proposed in his heart to become like
the Most High, and his yet future banishment and execution. The first of
these was his meeting with and triumph over the first Adam; when he
wrested the scepter of authority from man, by securing man's loyal
obedience to his own suggestion and counsel. This earthly scepter Satan
held by the full right of conquest, seemingly without challenge from
Jehovah, until the first advent of the Second Adam; this meeting of the
Second Adam, Christ, with Satan being the second great event which is
revealed during this period in his career. Only the unfolding of the
coming ages can reveal the magnitude of this terrible conflict. A
glimpse is revealed from time to time of the unceasing effort of Satan
to triumph over the Second Adam, as he had done over the first. He met
Him in the wilderness, offering Him all he had gained from the first
Adam, even the kingdom of this world; if only he might become like the
Most High, and receive the obedient worship and adoration of the Second
Adam, the Son of God. Again he is seen voicing his attempt to dissuade
the Christ from His sacrificial death, through the impetuous Peter; and
still again in the crushing attack upon the very life of Jesus in the
Garden, when, it would seem, Satan attempted to take that life before it
could be offered for the sins of the world.

However victorious Satan may have been over the first Adam, it is
certain that he met a complete and final judgment and sentence in the
Second Adam; and that bruising of the serpent's head was realized which
was a part of the Adamic covenant. Referring to His Cross, Jesus said,
"Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the prince of this world
be cast out" (Jno. 12:31). And again in Jno. 16:11, "Of judgment because
the prince of this world is judged." Still another Scriptural testimony
to this great defeat of Satan is recorded in Col. 2:13-15: "Having
forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances
that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the
way, nailing it to the cross; and having spoiled principalities and
powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it." It
is, therefore, clear that, though Satan may have triumphed over the
first Adam and thereby become the god and prince of this world; he
himself was perfectly and finally triumphed over and judged by the
second Adam in the Cross.

It is quite possible, however, that a sentence may be pronounced and
made known some time before that sentence is actually executed. During
such an interval a criminal is said to be under sentence awaiting his
execution, which some higher authority has decreed. This period of
sentence is that in which Satan appears in the present age; which age
had its beginning with the Cross. Execution of this sentence would have
banished him forever. That he is not banished is revealed in the fact
that he, even after his judgment in the Cross, is referred to in
Scripture as still being in authority over this world.

An illustration of Satan's present relation to this world may be taken
from the history of Saul and David. It is natural that David, the first
to occupy the Davidic throne, should be a type of Christ, the last and
most glorious occupant of that throne (Luke 1:31-33). As there was a
period between the anointing of David and the final banishment of Saul,
in which Saul reigned as a usurper, though under Divine sentence and
David was the God-appointed king: in like manner there is now a similar
period in which Satan rules as a usurper, though under sentence; and the
actual occupation of the throne by Christ is still future. In this
period Satan, the rejected monarch, still rules; hunting to the death
all those who have allied themselves with Christ, the God-anointed King.

Why Satan is thus allowed to continue his reign is perhaps but partly
revealed. The real Church which is the Bride of Christ, is to sit with
Him upon His throne (Rev. 3:21; I Cor. 6:2, 3; Matt. 19:28), and the
present age must continue until that glorious heavenly people are
gathered out from the world by regeneration. Again, it seems the course
of Divine wisdom to make a sufficient and final trial of every claim of
His adversaries; and when this age, with all its developments, shall
have passed by, every mouth will be stopped, and the whole world and
Satan will know their own failure and sin before God. They will stand
self-condemned; and nothing could accomplish this but the testing, by
actual trial, of all the self-sufficient claims of Satan and man. The
sin of man has brought him under sentence too; and grace alone withholds
his immediate execution (Jno. 3:18; Rom. 5:18, 19). Though the day of
execution is, in the purpose of God delayed; it is, nevertheless, sure;
and the time is fast approaching when an awful destruction of
self-enthroned beings will be executed; and He alone shall reign, whose
right it is to reign; "for He must reign until He hath put all enemies
under His feet" (I Cor. 15:25). The Kingly Son shall yet arise and claim
the nations of the earth and "break them with a rod of iron, and dash
them in pieces as a potter's vessel" (Ps. 2:9).

It would seem that Satan cherishes the expectation of actually
accomplishing his purpose until near the end of his career (though the
demon testimony of Matt. 8:29 is suggestive on this point). Preceding
his banishment to the pit, he is violently cast out of heaven and into
the earth, according to Rev. 12:7-12; and his activity, from that time
on is limited to that sphere. He is no longer granted access to God. The
passage is as follows:

"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the
dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither
was there place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast
out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the
whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast
out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come
salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His
Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accuseth
them before God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the
Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives
unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in
them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil
is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he
hath but a short time."

Here Satan is pictured as being in great wrath as he is banished from
heaven into the earth, "knowing that he has but a short time." After
this short time, which is a terrible tribulation in the earth, Satan is
bound and cast into a pit; this being an event in the glorious return of
Christ to the earth, where He will reign on the throne of His Father
David for a thousand years. Satan is confined to the pit during the same
period, at the end of which he is released for "a little season." He
then gathers an army for a last and terrible attack upon the government
and people of God, which ends in his being banished to the lake of fire,
where he meets his final and long predicted doom. These events are
clearly stated in their order in the nineteenth and twentieth chapters
of Revelation.

Satan is thus revealed as having been first created perfect in all his
ways, mighty in power, and full of beauty and wisdom. While thus
privileged, he proposed a stupendous project in his heart--himself to
become like the Most High. Though cast down and yet having access to
God, he is seen wresting the world scepter from man; and ruling as the
god of this world, until the judgment of the Cross; and after that he
still rules as a usurper. At the end of the age he is cast out of his
access to heaven, into the earth; from thence to the pit; and, finally,
is banished to the lake of fire forever.

This review of the career of Satan is made at this point in order to
call attention to the direct and mighty influence he exerts upon the
affairs of this world according to his varying positions and freedom.

After Satan rebelled, humanity, too, was thrown into an abnormal and
almost universal attitude of independence toward God; and this continues
beyond the Cross with increasing confusion and darkness, to the end of
the age. The only exception to this rebellion is the little company of
believers; and how terribly real is the tendency to the self-governed
life of the old nature, even among these! When Satan is cast out of
heaven and limited to the earth, there is tribulation upon the earth of
which Jesus speaks in Matt. 24:21, and which is also referred to in Dan.
12:1. When Satan is bound and put in the pit, and the promised Kingdom
of Christ has come, there is peace covering the earth as waters cover
the face of the deep.

Can it be doubted that this mighty being is a living power, acting
directly over the affairs of men, even in this self-glorying age?

Chapter II.

The Ages.

It is a conspicuous fact that the comparatively few errors and
inconsistencies in translation, found in the English Authorized Version
of the New Testament, serve to hinder, directly or indirectly, any clear
understanding of the teachings of Scripture in regard to the conditions
and relationships of the world at the present time. Even the revision
did not greatly relieve this confusion beyond the addition of some
helpful marginal renderings. It would seem, if it were possible, that
Satan, the author of confusion and the only one advantaged by it, had
been able in some subtle way to keep in darkness that which would
otherwise be light; thus preventing a revelation of his own projects.

The continuation of these misleading translations is most evident in the
unqualified use of the English word "world." The word which, in common
usage, has a limited meaning is used, by the translators, as the one
English rendering for at least four widely differing ideas in the
original. So that, if the truth contained in this important body of
Scripture is to be understood, the student must not only know the
various meanings which are expressed by the one word, but also be able
to determine the correct use of the word in any single instance. This
necessary effort to understand the real meaning of many passages has,
therefore, placed the simple truth they contain beyond the average
reader of the Bible.

The English word "world" as used in the New Testament may mean a
distinct period of time, commonly known as an age (as its original is a
few times translated); or it may refer to the things created: the earth,
its inhabitants, or their institutions. Two of these original meanings
are used in connection with this present time. First, as to an age, or
period of time:

The ages are often referred to in Scripture, and the study of the exact
conditions and purposes of each of them is not fanciful: but is rather
the only adequate foundation for any true knowledge of the Bible. Not
all the ages can be taken up in this Chapter, but only such as may be
confused with the present one.

The age of law, which began with the giving of the law at Mount Sinai
and ended, approximately, with the death of Christ, is mentioned by
Zacharias in his prophecy at the birth of John: "As he spake by the
mouth of his holy prophets which have been since the _age_ began" (Lu.
1:70). The same period is referred to by Peter in Acts 3:21: "Whom the
heavens must receive until the restitution of all things, which God hath
spoken by the mouth of all his prophets since the _age_ began." These
references, it will be seen, are not to the creation of the world, as
the English rendering would indicate; but to the beginning of that
particular period in which the prophets spake.

The present age of grace, in which the grace of God has had its
appearing unto salvation, began where the age of law ended, or with the
death of Christ; and will continue until He comes again. The duration of
this age is suggested by the communion table, which, being peculiar to
this age, will continue to its end. Of this sacrament it is said: "As
oft as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's
death till he come" (I Cor. 11:26).

As a distinct period of time this age is mentioned by the word "world"
no less than forty times in the New Testament. A few of these passages
follow: "And whosoever speaketh a word against the son of man, it shall
be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it
shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world (age), neither in the
world (age) to come" (Matt. 12:32). "And as he sat upon the Mount of
Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall
these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the
end of the world (age)?" (Matt. 24:3). "The field is the world (men);
the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the
children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the
harvest is the end of the world (age); and the reapers are the angels"
(Matt. 13:38, 39). "And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of
the world (age)" (Matt. 28:20). "For the children of this world (age)
are in their generation wiser than the children of light" (Lu. 16:8).
"And set him at his own right hand in the heavenlies, far above all
principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is
named, not only in this world (age), but that which is to come" (Eph.
1:20, 21). "We should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this
present world (age)" (Titus 2:12). By these and many other passages, it
may be seen that the present age is a particular limited period of time
in which special conditions are to prevail, and definite purposes are to
be realized.

Judging from the mass of Christian writings and from utterances in
public address and prayer, this age is assumed by many, without
question, to be the Kingdom of Christ; though no Scripture is found to
warrant that conclusion.

There is a kingdom of God which embraces the entire universe, over which
God is enthroned, and to this kingdom every enemy must finally be
brought back to original subjection and adjustment, or be banished
forever. This final victory is described in I Cor. 15:24, 25: "Then
cometh the end, when He (Christ) shall have delivered up the kingdom to
God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all
authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies
under His feet."

There is a still more extensive body of Scripture which anticipates a
literal kingdom of righteousness and peace upon the earth; this theme
being the burden of the Old Testament prophets, and was announced by
John Baptist, by Christ and His disciples. This announcement was simple
and plain: "The kingdom is at hand." The expression "at hand" here used
is significant; indicating not necessarily the immediate future, though
the kingdom was definitely offered to that generation; but that the
earthly kingdom was the next event which had been clearly announced by
the prophets. When the Messiah had been positively rejected by the Jews,
He began, alone, without even the sympathy of His disciples, to unfold
this forthcoming mystery-age, which had been kept secret in the councils
of God, and which was more perfectly revealed to Paul, the first
messenger to the Gentiles. Of this revelation of a hitherto unknown age,
Paul writes in Eph. 3:1-11: "For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of
Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if ye have heard of the dispensation of
the grace of God which is given to me to you-ward: how that by
revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few
words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the
mystery of Christ) which in other ages was not made known unto the sons
of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the
Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body,
and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel: whereof I was made
a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by
the effectual working of His power. Unto me, who am less than the least
of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the
Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what
is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world
hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the
intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly _places_
might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to
the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord."

The same truth is emphasized in Rom. 16:25: "Now to him that is of power
to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus
Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept
secret since the world began."

This new age of the Gentiles was also to have its hope centered in Jesus
Christ, but in His sacrificial death rather than His kingly reign. It
was to be an age in which the Gentiles were to be visited and a people
called out from them for His own Person (Acts 15:14); and these people,
who are the real Church, were to be built together upon a rock (Matt.
16:18); their glorious salvation and final heavenly perfection were to
rest only on His perfect and finished work for them. By this Divine
transformation, He would secure, out of all nations, both Gentiles and
Jews, a heavenly people; wholly fitted in quality to be His own body,
His heavenly bride, and a kingdom of priests unto God.

All this, though not revealed in past ages, was known in the councils of
God (Acts 15:18) and is parenthetical in the history of the Jew. It is a
delay of their earthly kingdom and in no way its fulfillment or

Want of knowledge of the right divisions of truth is also evident in the
general impression that God has cast off His people, the Jews, and that
the Gentiles are their rightful successors and the recipients of the
blessings of their unfulfilled prophecies. This confusion is due to a
failure to distinguish between this and the following age.

Two distinct lines of seed were promised to Abraham. One, an earthly
seed, to be like the dust of the earth, without number (Gen. 13:16),
centered wholly in the earth by a relationship of physical generation:
the other seed were likened to the stars of heaven, without number
(Gen. 15:5), centered wholly in the heavenlies by a relationship of
Spirit regeneration, which is the present answer of God to all true
Abrahamic faith (Rom. 4:1-5). The earthly people found their origin in
the physical fatherhood of Abraham: while the heavenly people find
theirs in the shed blood of Christ. One had an earthly history from
Abraham to their dispersion among the Gentiles--a history which will yet
be resumed and the everlasting covenants fulfilled in the faithfulness
of God: the other has a transient earthly pilgrimage from the Cross to
their completion; when they will be caught up to meet and marry their
Bridegroom, and be forever with the Lord (I Thes. 4:13-17).

To one, Christ is the coming glorious Messiah, who will actually sit
upon the throne of His father, David (Lu. 1:31-33), in a literal earthly
kingdom (else all Scripture language fails): to the other, He is the
glorious Head of the Body, and coming Bridegroom. One of these lines of
seed are the favored subjects in the earthly kingdom: while the other is
to be in His bosom as a bride, and be associated with Him in His reign
(I Cor. 6:2; Rev. 3:21).

As these two lines of seed are everywhere distinct, there must be at
least two separate ages for the accomplishment of these ends. What,
then, are these ages?

If it is believed that an earthly kingdom, with Messiah as King, is
promised the Jew, it must also be admitted that the Jew is not now
enjoying that kingdom; nor has he had any semblance of a kingdom in all
the centuries since his dispersion among the Gentiles. This age cannot,
therefore, be the predicted earthly kingdom of Christ. Turning to Acts
15:13-18, a description of the present age and that which will follow is
found. The passage is here given: "And after they had held their peace,
James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath
declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of
them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets;
as it is written, after this I will return, and will build again the
tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the
ruins thereof, and I will set it up; that the residue of men might seek
after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith
the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all His works
from the beginning of the world."

It is recorded that, after His resurrection, Jesus was seen for forty
days by His apostles whom He had chosen; and during this time He was
speaking to them concerning the _Kingdom_. It was natural, therefore,
for them to inquire, at the end of those days, "Lord, wilt Thou at this
time restore again the kingdom unto Israel?" (Acts 1:6) and they had
full warrant from the prophets to expect that great event when their
Messiah came. They had not, however, grasped the meaning of the then
dawning age of the gathering out of the Bride, and in this passage they
are seen adjusting themselves to the newly revealed Divine program, and
recognizing the God-appointed delay in the predicted earthly kingdom.

In Acts 15: just referred to, the purpose and order of two distinct
ages is set forth. The first age is described as the "visiting of the
Gentiles," that from among them a heavenly people may be called out, and
is a description of this present age, which had its beginning in the
very generation in which this passage was written; for no previous age
could meet these conditions. The second age, here described, is that of
a distinct rebuilding of the Davidic order, which is clearly separated
from the former age by the return of Christ. This same order of events
is also carefully maintained wherever these events are referred to in
Scripture, and any confusion of the order is a positive violence to the
truth. The revealed consummation of this Gentile age is always the
return of Christ, who comes first to receive His own; and then to render
judgment upon all the nations and to bind the enemy and place him in the
pit. The same return of Christ is the necessary preliminary event before
any kingdom of righteousness and peace can be realized upon the earth.
No amount of enlightened sentiment can establish a kingdom without a
king; and no universal blessedness can be experienced in this world
until the enemy is dethroned and banished. Sadly has the world failed to
include these two necessary Divine movements, in its vain dream and
godless attempt at a perfected universe!

The purpose of this age is then clearly defined as the visiting of the
Gentiles to call out of them a people for His name; the called out
people being the true Church (as that word signifies), which is made up
of all the saved ones who have been saved since the Day of Pentecost, at
which time the Spirit came to unite them into one body and to indwell
them. They are the heavenly people, regenerate and complete in Christ,
their Bridegroom and living Head.

When this age is considered as the Kingdom of Christ it is usually
thought of as in a state of development. This is a necessary conclusion
in view of the presence of sin and failure in the world. But the setting
up of the earthly kingdom is never described as the result of a process.
Scripture deals conclusively with this question.

In Dan. 2:34-35, an image is described, which is defined as being a
symbol of the then dawning Gentile world power (which is still
continuing, Lu. 21:24). The image is here made to represent both the
development of world rule and its terrible and final ending. The image
is seen to be gradually developing from one world government to another
until the form of the image is wholly completed. Its ending is then
precipitated by a shattering blow from a Stone, "cut out without hands."
By the same inspired interpretation, the "Stone" becomes both a symbol
of superhuman power, being "cut out without hands;" and a type of
Christ, the Ancient of Days, in His coming to the earth as a resistless
Monarch; banishing all rule and authority. A portion of the whole
passage reads thus: "Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without
hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay,
and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the
silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the
chaff of the summer threshing-floor; and the wind carried them away,
that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image
became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth" (Dan. 2:34-35).

This being a Divinely interpreted prophecy as to the extent and ending
of the present Gentile age, it should be noted that the Stone (Christ)
strikes the image (the world power) with one destructive blow, and at
the time when it has become fully developed. The blow is struck on the
part of the image which is last formed. The great image is thus
instantly and violently broken to pieces and is even blown away "like
the chaff of the summer threshing-floor." In like manner, according to
this prophecy, the whole Gentile rule will suddenly be broken and will

It should also be noted from these symbols that the Stone does not
"become a mountain and fill the whole earth" until the great image has
been scattered to dust. From this it is certain that there can be no
development of the Kingdom of Christ on the earth before the final
breaking of the kingdoms of the earth. This same order is recognized
throughout all prophecy. The king suddenly returns as lightning shining
from one part of heaven to the other; Satan is violently seized and cast
into prison; and a nation is born at once. The second Psalm connects the
kingly reign of Christ--the time when He is set upon the holy hill of
Zion--with the time when He shall claim the nations of the earth and
"break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces as a potter's
vessel." Also in Matt. 25:31, "when He sits on the throne of His glory"
the "blessed of the Father" are called to enter the kingdom prepared for
them from the foundation of the world. And in Rev. 12:7-12, where Satan
is cast out into the earth and the execution of his sentence is begun,
the announcement is made by a great voice in heaven, "Now is come
salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of
His Christ." There is no evidence of a gradual process here; all is
sudden and decisive.

Again, this age is not the coming earthly kingdom for nowhere are the
promised conditions of that kingdom now to be found. The Old Testament
prophecies contain long and detailed descriptions of that glorious time;
God's ancient people shall become the chosen nation, restored to their
own land; the enemy shall be banished; the earth shall be purified, and
blossom as a rose. "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the
leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and
the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow
and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together, and
the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play
on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the
cockatrice den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain:
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters
cover the sea" (Isa. 11:6-9). "And in that day will I make a covenant
for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and
with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the
sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down
safely" (Hos. 2:18). "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the
mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk,
and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain
shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of
Shittim" (Joel 3:18). "Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I
come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many
nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people:
and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord
of hosts hath sent me unto thee" (Zech. 2:10, 11). "Thus saith the Lord
of hosts; in those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take
hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the
skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have
heard that God is with you" (Zech. 8:23). "For behold, I create new
heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor
come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I
create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a
joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the
voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that
hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old;
but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they
shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards,
and eat the fruit of them" (Isa. 65:17-21). "Then the eyes of the blind
shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall
the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in
the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert" (Isa.
35:5, 6). "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the
house of Israel. After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in
their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God
and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his
neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they
shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them,
saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember
their sins no more" (Jer. 31: 33, 34). "For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder:
and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The
everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His
government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David,
and upon the kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and
with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts
will perform this" (Isa. 9:6, 7). "He shall be great, and shall be
called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the
throne of His Father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob
forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end" (Lu. 1:32, 33). "And
He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the
outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the
four corners of the earth" (Isa. 11:12). "And He shall judge among many
people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their
swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation
shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war
any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig
tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of
hosts hath spoken it" (Micah 4:3,4).

Though blessings abound in the individual heart where Christ is
enthroned, yet not one trace of this glorious transformed earth can be
found in the present Gentile age.

Chapter III.

The Course of This Age.

It is necessary to distinguish between rightly dividing the word of
truth, and a critical attitude toward that word; the former being an
important duty in the believer's life, according to II Tim. 2:15, while
the latter may easily become a wicked and misleading display of unbelief
and the wisdom of this world (I Cor. 1:19).

Personal interest in the Word of God usually begins with the first
understanding of its real divisions; and no one is prepared to
understand the providence of God who does not first come to know
something of the purpose of God as marked off by these great divisions.
Especially is this necessary, as has been stated, for any clear
understanding of the present age.

Again, the power and force of the whole body of Scripture must depend,
in a large measure, upon a belief in unfulfilled prophecy. Such a belief
is not general, even among Christians. They believe that Christ camp in
the flesh, suffered, died, and rose again, because that is all now a
matter of history; but that belief is not greatly influenced by the fact
that this was all exactly foretold by the prophets. Let those who are
free to condemn the pious Jew for not recognizing the fulfillment of
prophecy in the first advent of Christ, beware lest they fail to rightly
interpret the signs of these times, or look with positive unbelief upon
the stupendous events that, according to prophecy, are imminent to-day.
It seems a sore test of faith to believe that which is predicted for the
present age, though those predictions are being fulfilled in every
particular. This prevailing attitude of unbelief usually arises from one
of two errors; either Satan has been so estimated that it seems
impossible for him to be the promoter of anything that is moral or good
(of this error more will be said in the following chapters): or the
exact meaning and purpose of this age has been disbelieved or
misunderstood; and because of these conditions many enthusiastic
Christians are found to be, not only working toward unscriptural and
hopeless ends, but are actually contributing to the confusion and
darkness that is prevalent to-day.

The purpose and course of this age are not matters of prediction alone.
Almost two thousand years of history may be considered in the light of
these predictions; and while the age is not yet complete, and much that
is reserved for the last days is still future, enough of prophecy has
now been fulfilled to indicate the certain fulfillment of all.

Since there has been no universal conversion of men in even the most
favored locality, it is evident that, thus far, there has been a
separating and calling out of a few from the many; and the Divine
purpose, as revealed in Scripture, which is to gather out a people from
the Gentiles for His own name, has been verified. The blessing of God
has been upon world-wide evangelism: rather than upon any fruitless
attempts at world-wide conversion; for the individual or church that
has become self-centered has, to that degree, sacrificed the power and
blessing of the presence of Christ which was promised in Matt. 28:20:
"Go ye therefore, and disciple all nations"--"Lo, I am with you alway,
even unto the end of the age."

Again, the formation of the Kingdom has not been discernible in the
present age. The Jews, to whom alone the promises of an earthly kingdom
belong, have continued a separate people under the unseen hand of God,
without a country, or a vestige of national life. Certainly none of the
predicted and necessary events accompanying the establishment of their
kingdom have been experienced, nor is there any trace of its promised
blessings. The fact that some Jews are now organizing and looking toward
their native land, argues nothing for this age, more than that its end
is very near, and that the way for their coming Messiah and national
glory is being prepared. Just so, the conspicuous fact that all the
marvelous present development of the resources of the earth has been
limited to about the last eightieth of the present history of the age is
evidence that the earth's return to her former glory is already in

Belief in the revealed course of this age is, therefore, based upon
history as well as the predictions of Scripture.

The present age is different from all others by reason of the admixture
of opposing classes of people; there being two distinct divisions (not
including the Jew as a nation) living and acting together, who are,
nevertheless, removed from each other by a degree that is immeasurable.
This fact necessitates many careful distinctions and special
injunctions which are peculiar to the age.

The fact that these two widely differing classes are present together,
and are to continue so to the end of the age, is the teaching of the
seven parables in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew. Very much,
therefore, depends upon the correct interpretation of these parables.
Their meaning has been somewhat hidden by the use of the word "world"
where reference is made to this period of time; and the fact that the
conditions described are true of this age only, has not been generally

These seven parables are but a description of the unfolding and
development of these mixed elements to be found in Christendom
throughout this age. The same program is again proclaimed by Christ,
from the Glory, in the messages to the seven churches of Asia (Rev. 2
and 3). Here are seven letters to organized existing churches; yet these
messages also reveal an exact outline of the history of Christendom for
this entire age; and there is perfect agreement in order and detail
between the parables of Matthew 13 and the letters of Revelation 2 and
3. The first two parables are interpreted by Christ Himself, and the
interpretation of these sheds light on all that remains.

Christ is the sower in both the first and second of these parables, and
the sowing is continued by His messengers throughout this age. The field
is the world of men, which reveals a marked change from the
responsibility of the Jewish age that was then closing; and the results
of the sowing are most definite: not all the good seed sown comes to
fruitage; and the wheat and the tares grow _together_ until the end of
the age. This interpretation is not fanciful, for it is given by Christ
Himself; and the following parables must necessarily agree with these.
The third and fourth are of the mustard seed and the measure of meal.
Though commonly interpreted to mean the world-wide development of the
Church and the permeating influence of the Gospel, in the light of the
interpretation of the previous parables they can mean only the mixture
of evil with that which began as small as a mustard seed and as pure as
meal. The fifth parable is of a treasure hid in a field, which pictures
the earthly people in the world; while their real relation to Christ is
covered until the accomplishment of that which is revealed in the sixth.
Here the same man, the Lord Jesus Christ, sells all that He hath to
purchase the Church, the pearl of great price, for He "loved the Church,
and gave Himself for it" (Eph. 5:25); the pearl, by its formation and
its power to reflect the light, being a wonderful type of the Church in
her present formation and future place in glory. Both the treasure and
the pearl are found in the world, but do not include all of the world.
The last parable but restates the truth that the mixture of the good and
the evil is to continue to the end of the age.

The highest ambition of the great missionary, Paul, was to be all things
to all men that he might save _some_, not _all_. He found that his
preaching was a savor of "death unto death" as well as of "life unto
life" (II Cor. 2:15, 16), and he clearly states in II Tim. 3:13, "And
evil men shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived."
Christ also predicted that the end of this age should be marked by such
sin as provoked the judgment of the flood: "But as the days of Noe were,
so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that
were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving
in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not
until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming
of the Son of man be" (Matt. 24:37-39).

This truth is often rejected as being pessimistic and disloyal to the
progress of the world: yet has not the history of the age verified the
teaching? And is not the coming glory nearer and more certain when
depending upon His promised return in resistless power and splendor,
than when depending upon any human progress the world has ever known?
One is the majestic movement of the Divine program in fulfillment of
every covenant: while the other is the vain dream of the world in its
ignorance and disregard of the testimony of God.

Because of the presence of these two classes in the world in this age,
there are two very distinct lines of Scripture descriptive of them. One
body of Scripture directly applies to and governs the "wheat" or
heavenly people, and one applies to the "tares," the "children of the
evil one." The marvelous revelation of the believer's relation to Christ
and the heavenlies, and his deliverance from any actual identification
with this age, though in it, will be the subject of another chapter.
Only the relation of the unregenerate to this world and to Satan will be
continued here.

As it has pleased Satan to hide himself and all his projects from the
unbelieving world, that which God has revealed in all faithfulness will
be received only by those who have unquestioning confidence in His Word.

According to Scripture, the relation of the unbelieving to Satan is far
more vital than a mere pleasure-seeking allegiance. On two occasions
Jesus spoke of the unsaved as the "children of Satan" (Matt. 13:38; Jno.
8:44), and Paul so addressed Elymas, the sorcerer, according to Acts
13:10. The same class is also twice called the "children of
disobedience" (Eph. 2:2; Col. 3:6), and once it is called the "children
of wrath" (Eph. 2:3).

It is evident that these are descriptions of the same class of people,
since both terms are employed together in Eph. 5:6: "Let no man deceive
you: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the
children of disobedience." The exact cause of that wrath is stated in
Rom. 1:18 (R.V.): "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against
all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in
unrighteousness;" the word "hinder" being the same as is used in II
Thes. 2:7, where the Holy Spirit is said to be restraining the working
of lawlessness in this age. Therefore, the willing neglect and disregard
for the testimony of God by the world, has allied them with Satan, and
placed them under the wrath of God, which must find its righteous
execution in due time if grace is not accepted.

Again, Satan is revealed as directing and empowering the children of
disobedience: "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses
and sins; wherein in times past ye walked according to the course of
this age, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit
that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Eph. 2:1, 2). The
real force of this passage, also, is dependent upon the meaning of one
word; the word "worketh" being the same as is used in Phil. 2:13, where
God is said to impart His wisdom and strength to the believer: "For it
is God that _worketh_ in you both to will and to _do_ of his good
pleasure." Additional light may be had as to the reality of this
relationship from the following passages in which the same original word
is used: "And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same
God that _worketh_ all in all" (I Cor. 12:6); "But all these (gifts)
_worketh_ that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man
severally as he will" (I Cor. 12:11); "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"
(Eph. 1:19-20); "For He that _wrought effectually_ in Peter to the
apostleship of the circumcision, the same was _mighty_ in me toward the
Gentiles" (Gal. 2:8); "Whereunto I also labor, striving according to His
working, which _worketh_ in me mightily" (Col. 1:29); "Now unto Him that
is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to his power that _worketh_ in us" (Eph. 3:20). It is also
said in regard to the energizing power of Satan, using the same original
word: "For the mystery of iniquity doth already _work_" (II Thes. 2:7);
"For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the
law, did _work_ in our members to bring forth fruit unto death" (Rom.
7:5). In the last two passages quoted, the meaning is, like the
preceding passages, of an imparted energy, and is, therefore, most

It may then be concluded from the testimony of Scripture that Satan
imparts his wisdom and strength to the unbelieving in the same manner as
the power of God is imparted to the believer by the Holy Spirit. There
is, however, no revelation as to the comparative degree of strength
imparted by each. It should be further noted in this connection that
this impartation of energizing power from Satan is not toward a limited
few who might be said, because of some strange conduct, to be possessed
of a demon; but is the common condition of all who are yet unsaved, and
are, therefore, still in the "power of darkness."

The relation between the unregenerate and Satan is still more vital,
according to the original from which I Jno. 5:19 is translated. The
Revised Version renders it, with marginal note, as follows: "We know
that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in the evil one." In this
passage there are two startling revelations in regard to this
relationship. First: the word "in" is the same as is used everywhere of
the believer when he is said to be _in_ Christ, and in the case of the
believer it signifies an organic union to Christ--as a branch is _in_
the vine, so the believer is _in_ Christ. Though the word, when used of
the unregenerate, probably cannot mean the same degree of organic
life-relationship as exists between Christ and the believer, yet it
does denote a deep relationship; and Satan is the light, inspiration,
and power, of all those whom he energizes.

The second revelation in the passage is found in the word "lieth"--"The
whole world lieth in the evil one." It might as well be translated
"lieth asleep;" for its condition is not only a fixed position _in_ the
evil one, but is also a condition of unconsciousness. The saved ones are
said to be in the Father's hand where no created thing can pluck them
out (Jno. 10:29), and underneath are the everlasting arms: so the great
mass of unsaved humanity is in the arms of Satan; and by his subtlety
they are all unconscious of their position and relation. This is not at
all strange. Even the believer has no present power to discern his
glorious position and security in the Father's hand, apart from the
assurance of the written Word. Much less, then, can the unbeliever come
to realize his own position in the arms of Satan, when, under the
direction of Satan, he gives no heed to the testimony of God.

Still another passage should be noted in this connection. In II Cor.
4:3, 4, Satan is described as the god of this world, blinding the minds
of the unbelieving. The whole passage is as follows: "And if our gospel
is veiled, it is veiled in them that perish: in whom the god of this age
hath blinded the thoughts of the unbelieving that the light of the
gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God should not dawn
upon them" (R.V. with margin). In this passage the unconscious condition
is said to be the direct result of the power of Satan, and the blindness
of their thoughts, it is stated, is along one particular line. To them
the _gospel_ is veiled; and the gospel here referred to is not the whole
life story of Jesus, nor is it the "Gospel of the Kingdom;" but the
message of good news or favor; the exact terms of Salvation by grace
alone. This Paul here calls "our gospel," for to him it was first
unfolded in its completeness.

The unregenerate are, then, unconscious of their position in the arms of
Satan, and blind in their thoughts toward the gospel of mercy and
favor,--their only hope for time or eternity. Satan, like a fond mother,
is bending over those in his arms, breathing into their minds the
quieting balm of a "universal fatherhood of God" and a "universal
brotherhood of man;" suggesting their worthiness before God on the
ground of their own moral character and physical generation; feeding
their tendency to imitate the true faith by great humanitarian
undertakings and schemes for the reformation of individuals and the
betterment of the social order. God's necessary requirements of
regeneration are carefully set aside, and the blinded souls go on
without hope, "having the understanding darkened, being alienated from
the life of God through the ignorance that is in there, because of the
blindness of their heart" (Eph. 5:18). How important, as a preparation
for salvation, is the illuminating work of the Spirit in conviction, by
which He lifts the veil and opens the mind to a new vision of the
redemption and glory that is in Christ! Without this God-given vision
there can be no understanding of the way of life, nor any intelligent
decision for Christ.

Chapter IV.

This Age and the Satanic System.

It may also be concluded from the study of the ages that God has not
been pleased to meet the presumptuous claims of Satan or of man by a
simple denial of those claims; He has chosen, rather, to bring
everything to an experimental test. One advantage of this method is
obvious: every mouth will be stopped, and the entire universe of beings
will see clearly the utter folly of that which might have been
arbitrarily denied. Man can no longer claim that his conscience is
sufficient to guide him to his highest destiny; since the whole race,
when standing on that basis before God, so utterly failed that their
destruction, by a flood, was necessary: in like manner, by the history
of a most favored people in the age preceding the first advent of
Christ, man has demonstrated his own inability to do right or to keep
the law. In the present age, man proves his separation from his Creator
by his spirit of self-sufficiency and positive rejection of God. The
present issue between God and man is one of whether man will accept
God's estimate of him, abandon his hopeless self-struggle, and cast
himself only on God who alone is sufficient to accomplish his needed
transformation. All Divine love, wisdom, and power have wrought to make
these conditions open to man; and when this last and supreme effort of
God has been rejected, the final pleading with man must be forever
past, and the long delayed judgment upon sin be executed in

It has already been pointed out that Satan purposed in his heart to
attempt all the functions of God; and, according to Scripture, that
which he purposed is being permitted, to the extent of his ability,
throughout the course of this age. Though his failure and defeat have
been predicted from the beginning, yet it has pleased God to permit the
Satanic ambition to come to its own destruction, and to demonstrate its
own weakness and wicked folly. No other solution is given of the present
power of Satan and the terrible manifestations of his increasing
authority yet to be experienced in the closing scenes of this age.

His present authority is by no means complete. In II Thes. 2:7 it is
stated: "The mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only there is one
that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way." This is a
description of the work of the Holy Spirit as He restrains and hinders
the development of the power of evil. Nor can Satan direct the affairs
of that part of humanity who have been delivered from the power of
darkness and are now united to Christ (unless they yield to his wishes);
though they are in the world and their earth lives are mingled in much
of its history. These saved ones are the antiseptic salt, hindering,
like the Spirit who indwells them, the untimely dissolution of humanity.
Again, Satan's dominion is limited in that "there is no power but of
God: and the powers that be are ordained of God" (Rom. 13:1). In this
Scripture it is revealed that Satan, though in authority, is not wholly
free from his Creator, and that any direction of the governments of the
world which he exercises is by permission from God. Therefore, the
efforts of Satan and man are not supreme, but must come to their
predicted end when the eternal purpose of God has had its realization in
the gathering out from the Gentiles of the heavenly people for His own

A few tremble in the face of the social and industrial problems of the
day; while the vast majority are confident that the sagacity of man is
not only controlling iniquity, but is gradually developing an improved
social order. Thus, man, in his vanity, assigns to himself that which is
of God alone, for all the elements of corruption and tribulation are
latent in the world to-day, and the mighty effort of God is required to
stay its bursting into flame until the appointed time. Tribulation will,
therefore, instantly begin when the hand of God is removed from the
unregenerate and Satan-ruled humanity.

Though under the restraining hand of God, Satan, according to Scripture,
is now in authority over the unregenerate world, and the unsaved are
unconsciously organized and federated under his leading. The fact that
there is such a federation, although stated in Scripture, is obscured in
translation. In at least thirty important passages the English word
"world" is again used without qualification. In these passages reference
is made to a great evil system or order over which Satan is in
authority, the word "world" referring to the world of men, their evil
undertakings, ideals and federation. This federation includes all of
the unsaved and fallen humanity; it has the co-operation of the fallen
spirits, and is but the union of all who are living and acting in
independence of God. This Satanic system has its own ideals and
principles which are in sharp contrast to the ideals and principles
given the redeemed: yet these two classes must mingle together as
closely as the ties of human life can come.

The whole truth concerning this federation is contained in those
passages wherein the Satanic system is mentioned.

First, Satan is its governing head. Three times Jesus referred to Satan
as the prince of the Satanic system: "Now is the judgment of this world:
Now shall the prince of this world (_Satanic system_) be cast out" (Jno.
12:31). "Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this
world (_Satanic system_) cometh, and hath nothing in me" (Jno. 14:30).
"Of judgment, because the prince of this world (_Satanic system_) is
judged" (Jno. 16:11). Paul also refers to Satan as the "prince of the
power of the air" (Eph. 2:2), and again as the "god of this age" (II
Cor. 4:4). In the latter passage, mention is made of the age or period
of time only, as in Eph. 6:12: "For our wrestling is not against flesh
and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against
the age rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of
wickedness in the heavenlies" (R.V.).

From these Scriptures it must be conceded that the offer, which Satan
made to Christ, of the then inhabited earth, was very real. The
Scripture is as follows: "And the devil, taking Him up into an high
mountain, showed Him the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And
the devil said unto Him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory
of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give
it. If Thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be Thine" (Lu. 4:5-7).
It has sometimes been held that the claim of possession of the earth was
a lie, this being asserted on the ground that Satan is exposed in
Scripture as a liar. Such a conclusion is impossible for at least two
reasons. It would have been no temptation had he not possessed the
kingdoms he offered; and any such false claim would have been
immediately branded as a lie by the Son of God. He is still further
revealed as the recognized head of this world system in two additional
passages: "Because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the
world (_Satanic system_)" (I Jno. 4:4). "And we know that we are of God,
and the whole world (_Satanic system_) lieth in the wicked one" (I Jno.

Returning to Isaiah 14:12-19, wherein Satan is described as "Lucifer,
the son of the morning," and where the prophet in vision sees the whole
career of Satan in retrospect, it will be seen that Satan holds a mighty
grip upon the world. Here it is said of him that he was the one who
"didst weaken the nations" and who "made the earth to tremble, that did
shake kingdoms, that made the world as a wilderness and destroyed the
cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners." Every
phrase in this remarkable passage is a revelation. Undoubtedly there is
reference here both to the fall of man and to the authority of Satan in
the earth, as well as to his attitude of resistance toward salvation
which is by the grace of God, since it is said of Satan that he "made
the world as a wilderness; he opened not the house of his, prisoners."

Second, the Satanic system, according to Scripture, is wholly evil. This
is a hard saying; and is usually denied by those who do not realize that
all Scripture estimates are made from the standard of the holiness of
God; and that the Satanic system, of itself and apart from the influence
of God and His people, has never improved their own moral condition, but
that they are individually under condemnation before God (Jno. 3:18);
their borrowed interest in morality and charity being a poor
commendation, in view of their fallen and Christ-rejecting attitude
before God. They are also incapable of comprehending the standards of
God, whose thoughts and ways are above their thoughts and ways as the
heavens are higher than the earth (Isa. 55:8,9). The quality and
incapacity of the fallen race is accurately described in Rom. 3:10-18;
this description of them being as they appear before the holiness of
God, stripped of all externals: "As it is written, There is none
righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none
that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are
together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not
one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have
used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full
of cursing and bitterness: their feet are swift to shed blood:
destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace have they
not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes." So, fallen
humanity, federated under Satan, will appear and act when the
restraining hand of God is removed. Though the unsaved are moral,
educated, refined, or religious, they are not _righteous_ in God's
sight; for the charge here brought against them is that "there is none
righteous, no, not one;" and "_all_ have sinned and come short of the
glory of God." The following Scriptures which directly refer to the
character of the Satanic system are, therefore, the estimate of God upon
those conditions which the world holds to be ideal: "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 (Satanic system)" (II Pet. I:4). "For if after they have
escaped the pollution of the world (_Satanic system_) through the
knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled
therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the
beginning" (II Pet. 2:20). "Pure religion and undefiled before God and
the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their
affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world (_Satanic
system_)" (Jas. 1:27). "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that
the friendship of the world (Satanic system) is enmity with God?
Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world (_Satanic system_) is
the enemy of God" (Jas. 4:4). "For whosoever is born of God overcometh
the world (_Satanic system_)" (I Jno. 5:4). "Hereafter I will not talk
much with you: for the prince of this world (_Satanic system_) cometh,
and hath nothing in me" (Jno. 14:30). "And every spirit that confesseth
not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is
that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come;
and even now already is it in the world (_Satanic system_)" (I Jno.
4:3). In like manner the believer is said to have been "delivered from
the present evil age" (Gal. 114) and "delivered from the power of
darkness" (Col. 1:13) and is not to be conformed to this age (Rom.

These judgments are made from the view-point of the purity and holiness
of God. In His sight the highest moral, educational, and religious
ideals that the unregenerate world can comprehend are but a part of the
confusion and darkness of this age when coupled with a rejection of His
testimony in regard to His Son as their atoning Saviour.

Thus, it is presented from the Scripture that the present age and its
great federation is, in God's sight, most unholy.

Third, Satan is also set forth as having direct control of the physical
well-being of his subjects, and at the same time as being able, by
special permission, to gain access to the people of God: "For as much
then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He (Christ) also
Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might
destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Heb. 2:
14). "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with
power: who went about doing good, and healing all them that were
oppressed of the devil; for God was with him" (Acts 10:38). "And ought
not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo,
these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?" (Lu.
13: 16). "And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for
naught? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and
about all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his
hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine
hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy
face. And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy
power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand" (Job. 1:9-12).
"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have you, that he might sift you
as wheat: but I have made supplication for thee, that thy faith fail
not; and do thou, when once thou hast turned again, establish thy
brethren" (Lu. 22:31, 32 R.V.). "And lest I should be exalted above
measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me
a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should
be exalted above measure" (II Cor. 12:7).

By these passages, the emphasis of Scripture on the power and authority
of Satan in this age may be seen. And though the exact limits of his
power under the restraining hand of God are not revealed, it would be
unreasonable to deny that he is the god of this age, the head of the
great world system; and, though all unknown to them, the director of the
affairs of unregenerate men.

Fourth, The works of the Satanic order are clearly outlined in several
descriptive passages which also present that which is highest in ideal,
and deepest in motive in the Satan energized mass of humanity. One
passage, alone, contains the entire revelation: "For all that is in the
world (_Satanic system_), 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
(Satanic system)" (I Jno. 2:16). The satisfaction of these same cravings
was the temptation placed before Eve in the Garden: "And when the woman
saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the
eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit
thereof, and did give also unto her husband with her; and he did eat"
(Gen. 3:6). The real nature of these cravings is easily recognized as
wholly self-centered and without thought of God or of any true

All "wars and fightings" among men are only a natural result of the evil
qualities of this great federation. Jesus said to Pilate: "My kingdom is
not of this world (_Satanic system_): if my kingdom were of this world
(_Satanic system_), then would my servants fight, that I should not be
delivered unto the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence" (Jno.
18:36). It is a noticeable fact that the governments of the world depend
upon physical power and a display of armament to maintain their position
and authority, and the superior law of love does not seem to be adapted
to, or understood by, the elements that make up the Satanic order.

Fifth, All earthly property is of the Satanic order, which property the
believer may use, but must not abuse: "But whoso hath this world's good
(Satanic system), and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his
bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" (I
Jno. 3:17). "And the cares of this age, and the deceitfulness of riches,
and the lust of other things entering in, choke the word, and it
becometh unfruitful" (Mark 4:19). "But this I say, brethren, the time is
short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they
had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that
rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and those that buy, as though they
possessed not; and they that use this world (_Satanic system_), as not
abusing it" (I Cor. 7:29-31).

Sixth, The same world that crucified the Christ will also hate the saved
one in whom He dwells: "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world (_Satanic
system_) hate you" (I Jno. 3:13).

Seventh, The impotency and limitations of the world order are most
evident. Its leader, though mighty, is inferior to Christ: "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 (_Satanic system_)" (I Jno.
4:4). Its knowledge and understanding are limited: "Behold what manner
of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called
children of God; and such we are. For this cause the world (_Satanic
system_) knoweth us not, because it knew him not" (I Jno. 3:1 R.V.).
"Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for
they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are
spiritually judged. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, and He
Himself is judged of no man" (I Cor. 2:14, 15, R.V.).

"There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after
God" (Rom. 3:11). "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled in
them that perish: in whom the god of this age hath blinded the minds of
the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,
who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them" (II Cor. 4:3, 4,
R.V.). "They are of this world (_Satanic system_): therefore speak they
as of the world, and the world (_Satanic system_) heareth them" (I Jno.
4:5, R.V.). All the sorrow of this order is without hope: "For godly
sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, a repentance which bringeth no
regret: But the sorrow of the world (_Satanic system_) worketh death"
(II Cor. 7:10, R.V.). And, finally, the whole order is temporal and
passing: "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in
the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the
elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth also and the works
that are therein shall be burned up" (II Pet. 3:10). "And the world
(_Satanic system_) passeth away and the lust thereof: but he that doeth
the will of God abideth forever" (I Jno. 2:17).

Chapter V.

The Satanic Host.

Christ inferred, in one of His controversies with the Pharisees (Matt.
12:22-30), that Satan is a King; and as such is in authority over a
kingdom. This particular discussion was in regard to the fact that
Christ had healed one "possessed with a demon, blind and dumb." The
Pharisees claimed that the demon had been cast out by Beelzebub the
prince of demons, or the one whom Jesus, later in the narrative, calls
Satan. The passage is as follows: "Then was brought unto Him one
possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb; and He healed him, insomuch
that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were
amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees
heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by
Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and
said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to
desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not
stand: and if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how
shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by
whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your
judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom
of God has come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man's
house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and
then he will spoil his house. He that is not with me is against me; and
he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad."

By this Scripture it may be seen that the kingdom of Satan is a host of
bodiless spirits. Although their origin cannot be definitely traced, it
is probable that they were created as subjects of Satan in the primal
glory, as he, also, was created as their prince and king. Satan, being
in authority over these beings, doubtless drew them after him in his
sinful attempt to thrust himself into the place of God.

It would seem that Satan is in authority over two distinct orders of
beings--the Satanic order of the earth, and the Satanic host of the air.
It is clear that he secured the scepter of government in the earth from
Adam, by right of conquest: while his authority over the Satanic host
is, undoubtedly, that which he has been permitted to retain from his
creation. If Satan has thus kept his authority over these spirits from
the beginning, it follows that they are in full sympathy with him and
render him willing service. The following Scriptures emphasize the
authority of Satan over these beings: "And if Satan cast out Satan, how
then shall his kingdom stand?" (Matt. 12:26). "Then shall he say also
unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting
fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:41).

The reality and personality of this host of evil spirits is taught in
Scripture; and a careful study of the numerous passages in which they
are mentioned will reveal how God has provided complete instruction in
His Word concerning this theme on which so much of the believer's
welfare depends.

These spirits are usually referred to in both the Authorized and Revised
Versions of the New Testament as "devils," but the word might better
have been translated "demons."

In considering the service these beings render to Satan, it is important
to distinguish between demon possession or control, and demon influence.
In the one case the body is entered and a dominating control is gained:
while in the other case a warfare from without is carried on by
suggestion, temptation, and influence.

Investigation of the Scriptures in regard to demon possession reveals:

First: That this host is made up of bodiless spirits only. The following
Scripture verifies this statement: "When the unclean spirit is gone out
of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and
when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth
he, and tak'eth with himself seven other spirits more wicked than
himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that
man is worse than the first" (Matt. 12:43-45). "And all the devils
besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into
them" (Mark 5:12).

Second: They are, however, not only seeking to enter the bodies of
either mortals or beasts (for their power seems to be in some measure
dependent upon such embodiment); but they are constantly seen to be
thus embodied, according to the New Testament. A few of these passages
are given here: "When the even was come, they brought unto him many that
were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word,
and healed all that were sick" (Matt. 8:16). "As they went out, behold,
they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the
devil was cast out, the dumb spake" (Matt. 9:32, 33). "And the people
with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing
and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with
loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many
taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed" (Acts 8:6,7). "And
it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a
spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by
soothsaying" (Acts 16:16). "And they came over unto the other side of
the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of
the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs, a man with an
unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could
bind him, no, not with chains: because that he had been often bound with
fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and
the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And
always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs,
crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off,
he ran and worshipped him, and cried with a loud voice, and said, What
have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure
thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out
of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And
he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought
him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there
was nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the
devils besought him, saying, send us into the swine, that we may enter
into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits
went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a
steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were
choked in the sea" (Mark 5:1-13).

Third: They are wicked, unclean, and vicious. Many passages might be
quoted in proof of this statement: "And when he was come to the other
side of the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with
devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might
pass by that way" (Matt. 8:28). "And when he had called unto him his
twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast
them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease"
(Matt. 10:1). "There met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean
spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him,
no, not with chains: because that he had been often bound with fetters
and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the
fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always,
night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and
cutting himself with stones" (Mark 5:2-5). "And they brought him unto
him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell
on the ground, and wallowed foaming" (Mark 9:20).

It might be added that there seem to be degrees of wickedness
represented by these spirits: for it is stated in Matt. 12:43-45 that
the demon, returning to his house, "taketh with himself seven other
spirits more wicked than himself."

The question is often raised whether demon possession obtains at the
present time. Although the authentic records of such control are almost
wholly limited to the three years of the public ministry of Jesus, it is
incredible that demon possession did not exist before that time, or has
not existed since. In this connection it should be remembered that these
beings are not only intelligent themselves, but that they are directly
governed and ordered by Satan, whose wisdom and cunning are so clearly
set forth in the Scriptures. It is reasonable to conclude that they,
like their monarch, are adapting the manner of their activity to the
enlightenment of the age and locality. It is evident that they are not
now less inclined than before to enter and dominate a body. Demon
possession in the present time is probably often unsuspected because of
the unrecognized fact that demons are capable of inspiring a moral and
exemplary life, as well as of appearing as the dominating spirit of a
spiritist medium, or through the grosser manifestations that are
recorded by missionaries from heathen lands. These demons, too, like
their king, will appear as "angels of light" as well as "roaring lions,"
when by the former impersonation they can more perfectly further the
stupendous undertakings of Satan in his warfare against the work of God.

Demon influence, like the activity of Satan, is prompted by two motives:
both to hinder the purpose of God for humanity, and to extend the
authority of Satan. They, therefore, at the command of their king,
willingly co-operate in all his God-dishonoring undertakings. Their
influence is exercised both to mislead the unsaved and to wage an
unceasing warfare against the believer (Eph. 6:12).

Their motive is suggested in what is revealed by their knowledge of the
authority and deity of Christ, as well as by what they know of their
eternal doom. The following passages are important in this connection:
"And behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee,
Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the
time?" (Matt. 8:29). "And there was in their synagogue a man with an
unclean spirit; and he cried out, saying, Let us alone; what have we to
do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? I
know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him,
saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him" (Mark 1:23-25). "And the
evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who
are ye?" (Acts 19:15). "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest
well: the devils also believe, and tremble" (Jas. 2:19).

Of the methods of demons in the latter days of the age, the Scriptures
bear special testimony. They will cover their lies with the empty form
of religion, and by every means make them to appear as the truth, that
they may draw both the saved and the unsaved from their hope in Christ:
"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). A departure from the true faith is thus
predicted to be the evidence of the influence of demons in the last
days. This is none other than the great apostasy that must precede the
"Day of the Lord" according to II Thes. 2:2, 3.

The believer's security in this unceasing warfare is treated at length
in another chapter. It may be noted here, however, that the
God-appointed means for this victory are prayer and bodily control,
"Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting" (Matt.
17:21); and in the appropriation of the Person of Christ as the
believer's sufficiency, as He is set forth in His saving power by the
various parts of the "whole armour" of Eph. 6:13-18.

Satan, though proposing to supersede the Almighty, is not Omnipotent:
but his power, and the extent of his activity are immeasurably increased
by the co-operation of his host of demons. Satan is not Omniscient: yet
his knowledge is greatly extended by the combined wisdom and observation
of his sympathetic subjects. Satan is not Omnipresent: but he is able to
keep up an unceasing activity in every locality by the loyal obedience
of the Satanic host, who are so numerous as to be called "Legion."

Chapter VI.

Satan's Motive.

According to Scripture, the supreme motive of Satan is his purpose to
become like the Most High and, though that purpose was formed even
before the age of man, it has been his constant actuating motive from
that time until now. It is also the teaching of Scripture that this
present period of time is that in which Satan is in especial authority;
he being permitted the exercise of his own power in order that he, and
all his followers, may make their own final demonstration to the whole
universe of the utter folly of their claims and of their abject
helplessness when wholly independent of their Creator. This is
definitely predicted in II Tim. 3:9 as the final outcome of the
atttitude of the world in its independence toward God: "They shall
proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest to all men."

It has also been stated that the unsurpassed tribulation only awaits the
withdrawal of the restraining hand of God, for all the required elements
for such a condition are latent in the unregenerate heart (Rom. 3:9-18).
In this terrible period of tribulation the greatest power of Satan will
be exercised, and the wickedness of man will be revealed in his attempt
to live in whole separation from God.

Even fallen humanity would not, at first, acknowledge Satan as its
object of worship and federal head; and such a condition of society
wherein Satan will be received as supreme (as he will be in the person
of the first Beast of Rev. 13), must, therefore, be developed by
generations of increasing irreverence and lawlessness toward God. Thus
it has been necessary for Satan to conceal his person and projects from
the very people over whom he is in authority and in whom he is the
energizing power. For this reason this class of humanity believes least
in his reality, and ignorantly rejects its real leader as a mystical
person. When he is worshipped it is through some idol as a medium, or
through his own impersonation of Jehovah; and when he rules it is by
what seems to be the voice of a King or the voice of the people.
However, the appalling irreverence of the world to-day is the sure
preparation of the forthcoming direct manifestation of Satan, as
predicted in Dan. 11, II Thes. 2 and Rev. 13.

Satan's policy of deception is described as extending to all the
nations, and to the whole world: "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" (II Thes.
2:9, 10). "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, which is
the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world" (Rev. 12:9). "And
he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and
Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless
pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive
the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and
after that he must be loosed a little season" (Rev. 20:2, 3). "And when
the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters
of the earth" (Rev. 20: 7, 8). He who was the measure of perfection,
full of beauty and wisdom; he who made the earth to tremble; who shook
kingdoms; has been willing to be ridiculed by the world as a being
without reality, that he might, in the end, realize his own deepest

Again, his own subjects have strangely neglected the plain teachings of
Scripture on his real power and authority. To them he has been an
imaginary fiend, delighting only in the torment of unfortunate souls;
making his home in hell, and himself the impersonation of all that is
cruel and vile: when, on the contrary, he is real, and is the very
embodiment of the highest ideals the unregenerate world has received;
for he is the inspirer of all those ideals. With his own he is not at
enmity, and he, like the most refined of the world, is in no sympathy
with the grosser forms of their sin. He would hinder those
manifestations of evil if he could. And certainly he does not prompt
them; for they are the natural fruit of an unrestrained fallen nature,
according to James 1:14, 15: "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn
away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it
bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."
"For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts,
adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness,
deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all
these evil things come from within, and defile the man" (Mk. 7:21-23).
The dying drunkard, the fallen woman, and the suffering of the innocent
are the evidences of Satan's failure rather than the realization of his

His own terrible sin before God would not be condemned in the eyes of
the world, for it is that which they most idealize and praise. In his
sin he aspired to that which is highest, and proposed to realize his
ideal by his own self-sufficiency and strength. True, he has lowered his
Creator, in his own mind, to a level where he supposes himself to be in
legitimate competition with Him, both for authority over other beings
and for their worship. Yet this unholy ambition and disregard for the
Creator is a most commendable thing according to the standards of the
Satanic order. In the language of the world, Satan is simply "self made"
and every element of his attitude toward his Creator is, as a principle
of life, both commended and practiced by the world.

Though hiding himself, Satan has had the satisfaction, under
limitations, of governing the affairs of men; and the delight, to a
large extent, of receiving their worship. The greatest care was taken in
the law governing God's ancient people that they should not offer their
sacrifices unto devils, which was the practice of surrounding nations
(Lev. 17:7; Deut. 32:17). In violation of these special laws, Rehoboam
instituted special priests for the devils (II Chron. 11:15), while the
worship of devils, according to the New Testament, is to continue
throughout the age: "But this 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 the table of devils" (I Cor. 10:20, 21). "And the rest of the
men that were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works
of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold,
and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see,
nor hear, nor walk" (Rev. 9:20).

Again: Satan's ambition is leading him to make this age of his special
opportunity as near perfect as his wisdom and power will permit. And in
this connection it may be noted that Satan's ambition was not to become
a fiend, but rather to become _like_ the Most High. He will, therefore,
strive for all that is moral and good: yet at the same time do all in
his power to draw men from their natural reverence of God, that, in due
time, they may acknowledge himself without fear. The Satanic ideal of
this age is, then, an improved social order, a moral and cultured
people, who are devout worshippers of himself, though for the present
they may imagine they are worshipping Jehovah through their empty
religious forms and ceremonies, while they are really in a state of
God-dishonoring unbelief, and all their thoughts are energized by Satan
alone. The Satanic message for this age will be reformation and
self-development, while the message of God is regeneration by the power
of the Spirit.

Satan, in his imitation of the Most High, is also working toward a
universal kingdom of morality and peace upon earth, which will be
temporarily realized under the reign of the Beast (Rev. 13). The
difference between Satan's ideal and the purpose of God, apart from the
utter folly of the one and the glorious certainty of the other, is of
both method and time. According to the Satanic program, the present
order of society, with himself on the throne, is to be developed into an
ideal brotherhood, in which all men will practice that which is moral
and good. According to the program of God, this is an evil age of
darkness and pollution, in which the folly of Satan and man is to be
proven, and out of which He is to gather the heavenly people for His own
name. The kingdom of righteousness is then to follow, being ushered in
by Christ-enthroning and Satan-dethroning events. There will then be a
perfect humanity and social order for "all shall know the Lord from the
least unto the greatest" and "righteousness and peace shall cover the
earth as the waters cover the face of the deep."

The master passion of Satan leads him, not only to strive for the
success of his own projects, but also to wage an unceasing warfare
against Jehovah. These two lines of activity are inseparable; for he
cannot establish and develop his own kingdom, and, at the same time,
permit his subjects to be translated out of his kingdom into another,
especially when they remain in the midst as a living power and testimony
against him. Nor can he reasonably allow the accomplishment of any of
the projects of God; for it is predicted that at the completion of these
his own doom will be at hand. The present time is, therefore, to Satan,
the struggle for his own existence, as well as the realization of all
that has been his ambition in the ages past. The warfare is no mere
passing amusement for him, for he, in desperation, is facing a terrible
and awful judgment if he cannot succeed in his purpose.

The spectacle now presented to all enlightened beings of the universe,
is that of a mighty celestial being, the god of the earth, who is by
creation the full measure of perfection, both in wisdom and beauty,
making his last and most desperate warfare, both to realize his own
ambition and to thwart every movement of the Most High; knowing that in
failure there is no ground for mercy, but only the terrible destruction
that has been so long predicted. He knew when he formed this
God-dishonoring purpose that it must either wholly succeed or he himself
fall into terrible judgment. On the other side of the conflict there is
perfect calmness and certainty as to the end, for the judgment and
sentence are past; yet every true believer is implored to be instant in
season and out of season in the present projects of grace, that the
sufferings and separations of earth may be cut short in righteousness.

Well may believers study their own motives in service in view of these
vastly differing programs; and question whether there is in them a
humble willingness to co-operate in the present purpose of God in
preparing the Bride for the returning King: or whether they have
carelessly fallen in with the Satanic ideal, which rejects the coming
Kingdom of Christ by an unholy attempt to establish the present kingdom
of Satan.

The program of Satan, which the world calls "optimistic" rests on the
Satanic purpose of a reformed society: the program of God, which is
called "pessimistic" in that it discredits this age, rests upon the
infinite wisdom, love and power of God; and is so certain and near that
the believer is taught to watch, wait, and be ready for the first Divine
movement toward this glorious end.

Chapter VII.

Satan's Methods.

The two great activities of Satan, already mentioned, are referred to in
II Thes. 2:4 in connection with the Man of sin, who will be Satan's last
and greatest manifestation. This being is spoken of as he "who
_opposeth_ and _exalteth_ himself above all that is called God, or that
is worshipped." These two activities are inseparable in that, while
Satan is seeking to exalt himself above all that is called God or that
is worshipped, he can keep his subjects or prolong his own existence
only by an unceasing warfare in which he opposes himself against God.
Whether Satan now believes that he may yet succeed in spite of the
decree of the Cross and the evident superior power of God, is not

It is still further revealed that the enmity of Satan is not only toward
the person of God, from whom he has everything to fear, but also toward
every true child of God. Too much emphasis cannot be placed on this
fact. Satan has no controversy or warfare with his own unregenerate
people, but there is abundant Scripture to prove that he makes unceasing
effort to mar the life and service of believers. The motive for this
effort is all-sufficient: they have "partaken of the Divine nature" (II
Pet. 1:4), and afford, therefore, a possible opportunity for Satan to
thrust his fiery darts at the Divine Person. Thus the believer becomes
a medium of connection between the Divine Person and the Satanic Order;
for God literally loves the unsaved through the believer (Rom. 5:5): and
on the other hand, the prince of the Satanic system, as well as many of
his subjects, is seeking an opportunity for a thrust at the person of
God. Several important passages on the latter point may here be noted:
"These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In
the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have
overcome the world" (Jno. 16:33). "Yea, and all that will live godly in
Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (II Tim. 3:12). "Marvel not, my
brethren, if the world hate you" (I Jno. 3:13). "Casting all your care
upon him; for he careth for you. 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, knowing that the same
afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world" (I
Pet. 5:7-9). "Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his
might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand
against the wiles (literally, artifices) of the devil. For our wrestling
is not against flesh and blood, but again the principalities, against
the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the
spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:10-12

The teaching of these passages clearly indicates the Satanic enmity
toward the believer, and the believer's utter helplessness apart from
the Divine sufficiency. They also reveal a degree of enmity which would
result in the believer's life being crushed out, were it not for the
evident answer to the prayer of Jesus: "I pray not that thou shouldest
take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the
evil one" (Jno. 17:15). Certainly there is abundant reason for the
believer to expect the fiercest opposition from the Satanic host in all
his life and service; and faith alone insures his victory over the

The believer is also the object of the Satanic attack because of the
great fact that unto him is committed the great ministry of
reconciliation; that by his testimony both in life and word, and by his
prayers, the facts of redemption may be given to the world; and if Satan
can but cripple the believer's service, he accomplishes much in
resisting the present purpose of God. No other explanation is adequate
for the dark ages of Church history, the appalling failure of the Church
in world-wide evangelism, or her present sectarian divisions and selfish

This blighting Satanic opposition can be detected in every effort for
the salvation of the lost. It may be seen in the fact that no personal
appeal is ever made to the vast majority even in this favored land; or,
when an appeal is made, it is easily distracted or diverted into the
discussion of unimportant themes. The faithful pastor or evangelist is
most sorely assailed, every device of Satan being used to distort the
one all-important message of Grace into something that is not vital. The
evangelist's call for decisions is often cumbered with that which is
misleading or is a positive misstatement of the terms of Salvation; thus
the appeal is lost and the whole effort fails. The action of Satan may
also be detected in that a humble messenger who is loyal to Christ and
His Salvation by grace alone, will be almost unheeded at the present
time: while the vast throng will be found supporting that which is
religious only in its externals, but which is, in reality, a gospel of
morality and subtle denial of the redemption that is in Christ.

Again, the opposing power of Satan may be seen in the matter of
Christian giving. Millions are given without solicitation for education,
culture, and humanity's physical comfort, but real world-wide
evangelization must ever drag on with its shameful limitations and
debts. This warfare of Satan is even more noticeable in the believer's
prayer life; this being his place of greatest usefulness and power, is
subject to the greatest conflict. In this connection it may be stated
safely that there is comparatively no prevailing prayer to-day; yet the
way is open and the promises are sure. Then, also, if the believer
cannot be beguiled into indifference or a denial of Christ, he is
tempted to place an undue emphasis upon some minor truth, and, in
partial blindness, to sacrifice his whole influence for good through the
apparent unbalance of his testimony.

Satan's warfare against the purpose of God is still more evident in his
direct hindering of the unsaved. Not only are they constantly blinded to
the Gospel, but, when the Spirit would draw them, their minds are often
filled with strange fears and distorted visions. Their inability to cast
themselves upon Christ is a mystery to themselves, and nothing but the
direct illuminating power of the Spirit in conviction can open their
eyes and deliver them from their gross darkness.

Satan has always adapted his methods to the times and conditions. If
attention has been gained, a complete denial of the truth has been made;
or, when some recognition of the truth is demanded, it has been granted
on the condition that that which is vital in redemption should be

This partial recognition of the truth is required by the world to-day,
for, while the direct result of the believer's testimony to the Satanic
system has been toward the gathering out of the Bride, there has been an
indirect influence of this testimony upon the world which has led them
to see that all that is good in their own ideals has been already stated
in the Bible and exemplified in the life of Jesus, and that every
principle of humanitarian sympathy or righteous government has been
revealed in the Scriptures of truth. Thus there has grown a more or less
popular appreciation of the value of these moral precepts of Scripture
and of the example of Christ. This condition has prevailed to such a
degree that any new system or doctrine which secures a hearing to-day
must base its claim upon Scripture, and include, to some extent, the
person and teachings of Jesus. The fact that the world has thus partly
acknowledged the value of the Scriptures is taken by many to be a
glorious victory for God; while, on the contrary, it cannot be proven
that fallen humanity is any more inclined to accept God's terms of
salvation than in the generations past.

It is evident that this partial concession of the world to the testimony
of God has opened the way for counterfeit systems of truth, which,
according to prophecy, are the last and most to be dreaded methods in
the Satanic warfare. In this connection it must be conceded that Satan
has really granted nothing from his own position, even though he be
forced to acknowledge every principle of truth save that upon which
salvation depends. Rather is he advantaged by such a concession; for the
value and delusion of a counterfeit lies in its greatest likeness to the
real. By advocating much truth, in the form of a counterfeit system of
truth, Satan can satisfy all the external religious cravings of the
world, and yet accomplish his own end by withholding that on which man's
only hope depends. It is, therefore, no longer safe to blindly subscribe
to that which promises general good, simply because it is good, and is
garnished with the teachings of Scripture; for good has ceased to be all
on one side and evil all on the other. In fact, that which is evil in
purpose has gradually appropriated the good until but one issue
distinguishes them. Part-truth-ism has come into terrible and final
conflict with whole-truth-ism, and woe to the soul that does not discern


Back to Full Books