ECHOES from EDEN, PART 32
END-TIME PROPHECY – TRUTH REVEALED
BY: J. PRESTON EBY
KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
THE SERPENT, (continued)
The Serpent’s Meat
Upon your Belly you shall Go
The Seed of the Serpent
The Serpent Destroyed
THE SERPENT’S MEAT
“Now the SERPENT was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made... and the SERPENT said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die... and the Lord God said unto the SERPENT, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt eat all the days of thy life: and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Gen. 3:1, 4, 14-15)
More and more we are becoming aware of the wonderful fact that the book of Genesis deals largely in typical representations; that is, figures of spiritual realities, brought forth in the language and form of the physical world, but pointing to that which is higher and grander, the verities of the spiritual world. One cannot read Paul’s epistles under the illuminating light of the Spirit without perceiving that he saw far more in Genesis than the mere letter. The creation with him is the figure of another work, which God accomplishes in every man who experiences the redeeming, transforming power of Christ. Says Paul, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, HATH SHINED IN OUR HEARTS, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (II Cor. 4:6) And again, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a NEW CREATION: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Cor. 5:17)
Adam, in the image and likeness of God, ruling all creatures and all things, is the type of man in Christ, as God makes him. Man in Christ, man in God’s image given power and dominion, is God’s government in the Kingdom of God. Was not this magnificent purpose burning in the heart of the Most High when on the sixth creative day He proclaimed the wonderful decree: “Let us make man in our image... and LET THEM HAVE DOMINION over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (Gen. 1:26) In this shadowy type we behold a vivid portrait of God’s purpose for man, that when man comes fully into GOD’S IMAGE he shall be, first, the ruler of things beneath, the lowest realms of the bottomless, typified by the fish swarming in the depths of the seas, and the creeping things; next, the things upon the earth, typified by the cattle, and all the earth; and lastly, the things of the heavens also, typified by the fowl of the air. One may find it difficult to embrace so great a truth from so small and insignificant a type, but it was upon this very Edenic type, as reiterated by the prophet David in the eight Psalm, that the writer of the book of Hebrews enlarged when by the Spirit he wrote, “For unto the angels hath He not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What IS man, that Thou art mindful of him? Thou madest him (man) a little lower (Gr: for a little while lower) than the angels; Thou CROWNEST HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR, and didst set him OVER THE WORKS OF THY HANDS: Thou hast put A-L-L-T-H-I-N-G-S in subjection under his feet. For in that He put A-L-L in subjection under him, He left N-O-T-H-I-N-G that is NOT put under him!” (Heb. 2:5-8)
Genesis, like all the other books of the Bible, has its own unique purpose in the revealing of God’s plan. Its first and foremost object is to show us GOD’S ORIGINAL THOUGHT AND PURPOSE in creation. In the letter we show a physical man given dominion over the physical earth. In the Spirit we see a spiritual man given dominion over the spiritual world. And so it is written: “Who (Christ) is the image of the invisible God... by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers... and ye are complete IN HIM WHICH IS THE HEAD OF A-L-L PRINCIPALITY AND POWER.” (Col. 1:15-17; 2:9-10) All who come to God’s image in Christ are destined to share that awesome dominion, seated together WITH HIM, far above all principality and power. But – “We see not yet all things put under him (man). But we see Jesus... CROWNED WITH GLORY AND HONOR.” (Heb. 2:8-9) Verse ten shows that Jesus is the Captain, the Leader, the One who goes before leading the way – bringing many sons to the very same glory that God has crowned Him with!
Can it not be seen by this that in the beginning God committed to Adam the wisdom, power, and responsibility to RULE over the kingdoms around him? Before him lay the whole earth, the seas, the heavens, all filled and swarming with creatures, myriad life forms, each declaring by type and shadow that man was to exercise dominion over every realm BENEATH AND ABOVE that God had created, and as creation bowed to his godly mind, and the dominion in his spirit, that glorious reign of wonder and peace under the direction of a son in the image of God was but a prefiguring of the day when a whole FIRSTFRUIT COMPANY OF SONS IN GOD’S IMAGE would reign over THE REGIONS BENEATH, and over ALL THE EARTH, and over THE HEAVENS ABOVE until everything everywhere, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, would be in submission to their godly minds and wills.
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion...” (Gen. 1:26) That man would bear the image of God and have dominion over all things is the first announcement of God’s intention regarding man and the first announcement of His purpose; and locked up in that wonderful declaration is a universe of meaning that does not reach the eye and that the mind has never understood. Furthermore, after God announced that man should have dominion over all realms, He then commanded the man, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply (reproduce the image of God), and replenish the earth and SUBDUE it.” (Gen. 1:28)
The word “subdue” here is the Hebrew word KABASH meaning “to tread down; conquer; subjugate; bring into bondage.” Allow me to stir up your pure minds to think for a moment – what was there in the earth that needed to be TREADED DOWN, CONQUERED, SUBJUGATED, and BROUGHT INTO BONDAGE to Adam? When the Lord gave Adam this command to TREAD DOWN and CONQUER, sin had not yet entered into man’s experience, nor any of sin’s results. There was no sin, sickness, trouble, sorrow nor limitation. There was no death. What, then, was there for Adam to conquer? Now, notice further the responsibility laid upon Adam in Gen. 2:15: “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” The word “keep” here is the Hebrew word SHAMAR which means “to guard,” as you can see in chapter 3:24 where this same word is used of the Cherubim which God placed at the east of the Garden to guard it from man’s presumptuous entrance after he sinned. “So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword, which turned every way, to KEEP (or guard) the way of the tree of life.”
It seems to me that if Adam was to guard the Garden against something, there surely must have been things that were not in harmony with man in God’s image! Would not divine sense, or human sense, or common sense indicate that if Adam was to tread down and conquer and subjugate things upon earth, they were things that were overtly hostile to him. It should be crystal clear that we have had a false notion if we have been among those who assume that in the beginning EVERYTHING WAS HARMONIOUS in God’s creation. How could they have been when we read of one, that ancient Serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, who was already in the earth in the beginning, of whom it is written, “The devil sinneth from the beginning... he was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When be speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (Jn. 3:8; Jn. 8:44, Amplified Bible)
I must confess that I used to believe, as many folks do, that in the beginning Adam walked upon earth surrounded by the beasts of the field – the lions, tigers, dinosaurs, cattle, dogs, snakes, scorpions, and creeping things – and that these were so naturally peaceful and docile that Adam was able to romp and tussle playfully with them all, without hostility or fear. Not so! These are but typical representations, figures of spiritual things, but the principles in the earthly things must correspond in nature to the spiritual things, Adam was told to subdue the animal kingdom, to conquer and subjugate the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, and everything that moves upon the earth! If the tigers just naturally ambled up to Adam, wagging their friendly tails, affectionately licking his face, what need would there have been to subdue them? If the serpents were not poisonous nor the scorpions dangerous, why would it have been necessary for Adam to guard against them or tread them down? If the lions were not wild or ravenous, how could Adam conquer and tame them? If the dogs were not ferocious, why the command to subjugate them?
And beyond all this, it is evident that in nature all creatures are not savage by nature. But even the domestic animals must be trained and guided. Proofs abound on every hand that God’s creation needs rule, like “the horse, or the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.” (Ps. 32:9) Good as the ox is to labor, he needs a lord; man, therefore, is given to subdue and guide him. Dogs, tame and friendly as they may be, need a leash and the restraining hand and command of man. Have weak children never been knocked down and injured by friendly dogs? Can it not be seen by this that God committed to Adam the wisdom, power, and responsibility to RULE over the kingdoms around him? Before him lay the whole earth, the seas, the heavens, all swarming with creatures, myriad life forms, each declaring by type and shadow that man was to exercise dominion over every realm BENEATH AND ABOVE that God had created, and as creation bowed in obedience to his godly mind, and the dominion in his spirit, that glorious reign of wonder and peace under the direction of a Son in the image of God was but a prefiguring of the day when a whole FIRST-FRUIT COMPANY OF SONS IN GOD’S IMAGE would reign over THE REGIONS BENEATH, and over ALL THE EARTH, and over THE HEAVENS ABOVE until everything everywhere, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, would be in submission to their godly minds and omnipotent wills.
Ah! let us meditate deeply upon the power and authority that God has given to the body of Christ. I make no apology for declaring to you the truth that each and every creature of earth typifies a reality in the realm of SPIRIT – good or bad, positive or negative. This can be seen dearly in the words of Jesus when He says in Lk. 10:17-19, ‘And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name. And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give you power to TREAD ON SERPENTS AND SCORPIONS, and over all the power of the enemy.’
Spake He of the serpents and scorpions of the fields? Nay, my brother, He spake rather of SPIRITS possessing the nature typified by serpents and scorpions, hidden and cunning, slithering about in the lowest realms of man’s earthiness, in the thoughts and desires and ambitions of the carnal mind, full of deadly venom. There is a revelation in all nature, in light and darkness, summer and winter, rain and drought, in fruits and harvest, in storms and sunshine. There is a revelation in the lives of men, yea, even in beasts and birds and creeping things, each saying something to us, and of us. Every law and wonder of nature speaks to our souls of other higher things, and as the growth of seeds was to the spiritual eye of Paul a witness of the development of the CHRIST LIFE WITHIN US, so the serpents and scorpions and beasts and birds of earth and heaven above witnessed of higher things to Jesus, all figuring some of the countless forms of NATURES.
The dove is the well known figure of meekness, purity, perception, love and constancy, and so was a fit symbol for the HOLY SPIRIT who at Christ’s baptism came ‘like a dove’ and abode upon Him. The other fowls of heaven, as the Law of Moses shows us, clean and unclean, each bespeak a kind or quality of nature, expressing those characteristics that originate in the spirit realm. Hence, in scripture unclean birds are a type of evil natures, as John the Revelator shows in Rev. 18:2, ‘And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of DEVILS, and the hold of every FOUL SPIRIT, and a cage of every UNCLEAN AND HATEFUL BIRD.’ I know the Lamb, the meek and sacrificial nature of the Son of God, which is oppressed and afflicted, and yet openeth not its mouth; but I have known also the nature of the beast, wild and ravenous, that spirit, so obvious in the world, which stomps and rends and breaks in pieces and devours, of whom Peter warns us, saying, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (I Pet. 5:8)
Man was created for the Holy Spirit to indwell, to bear the image of God, but not all spirit is Holy Spirit, and all these unclean spirits--the spirit of the Devil and the myriad spirits which characterize the kingdom of darkness find expression in man as he FAILS TO EXERCISE DOMINION OVER THEM. There is one more thought that should be mentioned here. The birds of heaven represent those spirits which have to do with the UNDERSTANDING, the mind of man. ‘If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not…’ (II Cor. 4:3-4) The beasts of the earth are those spirits affecting the WILL of man. Serpents, scorpions, and the creeping things of earth represent those spirits connected with the EMOTIONS of man. ‘And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My name they shall cast out devils... they shall take up serpents.’ (Mk. 16:21-23) Then follows the lowest realm of all – the dragons, fish, and sea creatures, those spirits finding lodging and expression in the BODIES of men.
All these, hostile to the image of God in man, Adam was commanded to SUBDUE, TREAD DOWN, CONQUER AND SUBJUGATE! The Spirit today is teaching us that when the Bible speaks of something being ‘under our feet,’ this is a symbolic phrase meaning that the thing had been put in subjection to us, we rule over it, it does not rule over us. We find that there have been so many attitudes and dispositions which have ruled within us – and as His Kingdom takes its rightful place in our lives, these are subdued and brought to naught in the soul-realm we have the dominant spirit of self-will, impulses of evil which rise up out of the heart, emotions of fear, anger, hostility, bitterness, hurt, pride, etc. which usurp unlawful sway over our lives. In the body realm we have the fleshly appetites and desires, carnal passions. And then there are those religious spirits of ironclad dogmas and creeds, traditions, sectarianism, and commandments of men.
“Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Lk. 10:19) The promise belongs to YOU and to ME, for it is the Kingdom of God that the Lord has given authority and power over the power of Satan’s kingdom. It is a wonderful day for the believer when he becomes conscious that God NOW GIVES HIM DOMINION in Jesus Christ that he may become an overcomer over ALL!
I pointed out in a previous article on this subject that the original serpent in Eden was the Devil and Satan. The preachers are always telling us that the serpent in the Garden was one of these long, slender reptiles that have backbones and ribs and scale on the outside of their bodies. Numerous pictures have been sketched of the snake dangling from a tree limb, conversing with Eve. But the inspired Word of the omniscient Creator contradicts the uninspired word of the tradition-ridden theologians! John the Revelator stood transfixed in the visions of God on Patmos and beheld by the splendor of the scene which unfolded before his wondering eyes as “the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, WHICH IS THE DEVIL, AND SATAN, and bound him a thousand years.” (Rev. 12:9; 20:1-2)
Here Satan is called “that old serpent.” The word “old,” as we have noted, is from the Greek word archaios which means ORIGINAL or PRIMEVAL. “Primeval” means FROM THE FIRST AGE OR AGES. Phillip’s translation reads, “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key of the pit and huge chain in his hand. He seized the dragon, the SERPENT OF ANCIENT DAYS, who IS both the Devil and Satan...” Another version states, “And he seized the dragon, the ORIGINAL SERPENT, WHO IS the Devil and Satan.” The Amplified Bible says, “And he gripped and overpowered the dragon, that OLD SERPENT OF PRIMEVAL TIMES, WHO IS the Devil and Satan.” MAN says that a fallen angel, Satan, somehow got into the serpent and spoken through its mouth, but GOD declares that THAT ORIGINAL SERPENT I-S T-H-E D-E-V-I-L A-N-D S-A-T-A-N!
THE SERPENT’S MEAT
The ancient Serpent, having beguiled Eve, became the recipient of the first curse in history. Most students of the Word know that man was cursed, the woman was cursed, the ground was cursed, the earth was cursed, but few remember that before all this the Serpent was cursed. The curse is first mentioned in Gen. 3:14. “And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, THOU ART CURSED above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shall thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.”
It will prove most instructive to note God’s order of speaking, and then the judgment or sentence passed. The Lord called unto the man, inquiring, “Where are thou?” And Adam answered that they had hidden themselves, because of their shame as they realized they were naked. Then God said to the woman, “What is this that thou hast done?” And Eve replied that the serpent had beguiled her, and she did eat of the forbidden fruit. Then God spoke to the serpent, and said at once, “Because thou hast done this, THOU ART CURSED. Most of us have thought that he was cursed long before this! In the passing of the judgment-sentence, God began with the serpent, then to the woman, and ended with the man, reversing the order from when He first spoke to them. In the curse to the serpent, He said, “Upon thy belly shall thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” The serpent, being called before the tribunal of the Almighty, received a two-fold curse, recorded here in strong figures of speech which sternly emphasize the power of the judgment: UPON YOUR BELLY SHALL YOU GO and DUST YOU SHALL EAT.
Science will tell you that snakes which crawl upon the ground do not eat dust. They eat frogs, insects, rats, birds, rabbits, fish and eggs. When God inspired Moses to write Genesis the latter certainly knew that snakes do not eat dust. These terms are symbolic and spiritual. This is not speaking of a literal snake dangling from a tree limb in some ancient paradise. The serpent in Eden had not only the faculty of speech, but reasoned upon matters relating to God and man; he speaks of good and evil as though possessed of a thorough knowledge of the laws of the Kingdom of God; he argues against the divine prohibition; steals upon the woman with the most alluring subterfuge, and finally persuades her to disobey the commandment of the Lord. No mere animal, it is evident, could be capable of what is here attributed to the serpent! Furthermore, loss of speech was not part of the curse; if the serpent in Eden were a literal snake his descendants crawling around on this planet today should be able to talk!
This is a symbol and the Deceiver, Satan that old Serpent, the Devil, has to eat dust! What is the dust? Not the dirt of the ground. Not even the dust of the frogs, rabbits, field mice, etc. In the passing of the judgment-sentence, God began with the Serpent and said, “DUST shalt thou eat.” Then to the man, God said, “In the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for DUST THOU ART, and UNTO DUST shalt thou return.” (Gen. 3:19) So that first Adam, fleshly, sinning, and cursed is declared by the counsel of the Lord God to BE DUST. Said the wise man, “For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.” (Ps. 103:14) That we are DUST! Not very flattering, not very complimentary, is it? This great gob of mud called man, strutting his superior know-it-all attitude even in the face of the Almighty! Dust! Our FRAME! DUST! What for value is a frame of dust? HE remembers that we are dust whether we do or not.
Words are helpless, hopeless, and inadequate when necessity demands that we explain the things pertaining to the spiritual realm. Only in spirit can we understand the incomprehensible. The spirit of wisdom and revelation from God must enlighten the eyes of our understanding. Here we have a word picture describing the relationship which exists between “that old Serpent the Devil” and the realm of death. Just as “dust” speaks of a waterless soil, so the realm of the Serpent is separated from the realm of the Holy Spirit. Adam was formed of the dust of the ground, of the physical, carnal, earthly sense-realm, and as such, became the rightful food for the Serpent. This means that the Serpent – the negative spirit realm – now finds its base of operation and fulfillment of its nature, desires, and purposes in and through mankind. By the very nature of things, when the Serpent eats, he seeks to SATISFY HIS APPETITE and GRATIFY HIS DESIRES. Originally he found pleasure and purpose in higher things and had access to higher realms (of spirit), but the curse of “eating dust” limits the object of his devouring. Today, the sphere of Satan’s activity is earth, and the object of his devouring is the man of the earth. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.” (I Pet. 5:8) As the creatures of the forest are constantly alert lest some other animal of prey catch them unawares and devour them, so are we admonished to be sober and vigilant – for as sure as the snake swallows the rabbit, so certain is it that Satan seeks to DEVOUR YOU! Your dust, your earthiness, your flesh, your carnal Adam-man-nature is the Serpent’s meat! By feeding upon the dust-man who loves earthly things, Satan devours him – makes him part of himself It means your whole being swallowed up into the negative spirit-realm, captive to and expressing the negative energy of that realm. This gives fresh and dear meaning to the statement of the apostle, “The whole world lieth in the Wicked One.” (I Jn. 5:19) The whole world has been consumed – is captive to and living out of the NEGATIVE REALM! Who can deny it?
The message is clear Adam and those belonging to him are of the earth, earthy. The Holy Spirit bears witness: “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that they are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” (I Cor. 15:45-49) The Amplified Bible reads, ‘The first man was from out of the earth, made of dust earth-minded; the second man is the Lord from out of heaven. Now those who are made of the dust are like him who was first made of the dust – earth-minded; and as is the Man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven – heaven-minded. And just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, so shall we and so let us bear also the image of the Man of heaven.’
Ray Prinzing has aptly written: “The curse was on the serpent, for deceiving, and the seed of the serpent still carries that curse, and the nature of the deception that caused it. There are two seeds which are spoken of, the woman’s seed, and the serpent’s seed. One bespeaks of the positive realm, the other bespeaks of the negative. However, it is to be pointed out that if the woman’s seed has a literal fulfillment, personified in a man, and a people, so also the serpent’s seed has to be literally fulfilled in a man, and a people. A seed line that is evidenced in those ‘after his own kind.’ That the serpent’s seed was also expressed through people is evident when we read that Cain ‘was of that wicked one.’ (I Jn. 3:12) This is more explicit in the Greek text, where the word ‘of ‘ is ‘ek’, literally OUT OF the wicked one. Then Jesus spoke of some, saying, ‘Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.’ (Jn. 8:44) If they are of the same spirit, then they will do the lusts of that spirit realm. Obviously Cain, who was OUT OF the wicked one, received the curse reaffirmed on him, for he slew the truth and propagated a false system. Righteous Abel fell victim to the cursed one, for a time, but there is One, whose blood now speaketh better things than the blood of Abel, and through Him victory comes.
“It is not the creature, but the negative spirit force motivating the creature, against whom we take dominion. When the ‘spirit of the world’ is now energizing to disobedience, there is an immediate conflict between that spirit, and the Spirit of God dwelling within us. In some this is but a small thing, and the ‘contrary spirit’ is held in control by their normal, congenial disposition. But in others, this serpent spirit is so aggressive, that when you walk into their presence, or they come into yours, there is an immediate clash without either one saying a word. Our warfare is not with the various races on earth today, nor yet with men of our own lineage, but we do contest the spirit of the deceiver that motivates them. It is not the man or woman – but there are natures, spirits, curses that remain in the earth today, that the CALLED-OUT-OF-THE-LORD are facing in this conflict of the ages. That is why we need to be filled with the Spirit of God, lest we become carnal and start fighting flesh on a carnal realm.” – end quote.
Whenever we live in the earthly life of Adam, we are earthly and also on earth and fall into the sphere of Satan’s activity, becoming the object of his devouring, drawn deeper and deeper into that negative realm. Dear saints, you wonder why Satan tempts you, pressures you, torments you, and you have constant battles with that realm? It is because you are still bearing at least a portion of that image of the first Adam, the man of dust. And dust is the Serpent’s meat. He has the power to eat on you as long as you have that nature of Adam in you. On the other hand, whenever we live in the heavenly life of Christ, the identity of the image of God, we are heavenly and in heaven. Thus, we TRANSCEND SATAN’S SPHERE of activity and are no longer subject to his devouring. This is the son realm where no dragon abides, for he is cast out of this heaven where the manchild reigns! Would you, dear reader, like to starve that old Serpent, the Devil? Then get rid of the dust! Stop bearing the image of Adam, renounce that mistaken identity, and as Paul exhorts, “Let us bear the image of the Man of heaven.” When you have been completely transformed into the image of Jesus Christ, then you will have nothing in you for Satan to feed upon, nothing to satisfy his appetite or gratify his desires. And it is there that death will be conquered! As a brother once wrote: “I can tell you, beloved, that already Satan is finding short rations and skimpy meals in some of God’s sons that are pressing on to the High Calling. Victory after victory they are gaining, because they are crucifying that earthy nature. They are letting the Christ come forth in His fullness in their lives, and beginning to bear more and more of His blessed image. They have no fear of Satan or of his weapons. They could walk through the midst of hell itself, and no devil could touch them. Thieves, murderers, drunkards, gamblers, and harlots cannot contaminate them. Filthy lucre cannot tempt them, apostate religion cannot attract them, nor fleshly methods or soulish ministry ensnare them. They are Overcomers, witnessing to the world of the image and power of the Living Christ! This is the purpose of God for His sons! It is for you, beloved... believe, and enter in!” – end quote.
Can we not see that the more we live and walk in the Spirit, the less we are disturbed by the agitations of the soulish realm, or the shenanigans of the flesh? Caught in the lowlands of the flesh, one is an easy prey for the serpents and scorpions and creeping things which inhabit that low realm. Rising up to walk in the Holy Spirit a new perspective is found, flesh is both seen and recognized for what it is, and left behind, while the horizons of the Spirit beckon onward, and upward, in the realm of the heavenly where no dragon dwells. So many of God’s precious people dwell in the dust realm, and, as someone has said, there is no need to describe at length the “dust storms.” We have all faced them far too often – the jealousies, the envyings, the back-bitings, gossipings, anger, agitations, lusts, fears, bitterness, strivings, and all the other expressions of the carnal nature, the realm where the Serpent dwells and eats to the full!
UPON YOUR BELLY YOU SHALL GO...
It’s not news to any of us that we are in the midst of a war between two kingdoms: the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. Neither is it news to us that WE are the battleground! More particularly, the major focal point of the battle is our mind. There the battle rages at its greatest intensity, because the war is a struggle for our hearts and loyalties – the very souls and lives and beings of men. This fact is highly relevant to the subject I am dealing with in this message – the Serpent that dwells within us. It is that force within us that opposes the ways of God in our lives and tries to keep us from seeking those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God.
This brings us back to the curse laid upon the Serpent in the beginning: “Upon your belly shall you go.” This judgment speaks of infinitely more than a literal snake slithering along upon his literal belly, just as the word “heel” speaks of infinitely more than a location on the foot, and the word “head” speaks of something greater far than a mere physical head in the words of the next verse: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; and it shall bruise thy HEAD, and thou shall bruise His HEEL.” (Gen. 3:15) So, “upon your belly you shall go,” paints for the eyes of our understanding the picture of the Serpent crawling in humiliation, prostration, limitation, and subjection upon the ground. The Psalmist uses a similar expression in Ps. 44:25, “For our soul is bowed down to the dust our belly cleaveth unto the earth.” Such denotes a prolonged prostration and a depth of subjection as could never be conveyed or expressed in normal terms.
The very fact that God states that the Serpent was now to crawl upon his belly, which obviously he had not done before, reveals that there was a descending from one realm to another, from a greater to a lesser, from a higher to a lower. Moving on his belly limits the sphere of the Serpent’s activity, now he can only creep along the ground. Previously he had access to loftier realms, his sphere of activity extended to higher domains – exalted realms of pure spirit expression – but he is now lowered into the dust-realm, into the world of man, and confined to the earthy, restricted to action upon and expression through THE MAN OF THE DUST How truly this accounts for the words of the apostle in Eph. 2:2, “And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, THE S-P-I-R-I-T THAT N-O-W WORKETH I-N THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE.”
Ah, yes, this evil spirit is IN MAN! When the serpent was lowered into the dust realm, man became the base of operation for his activity. I do not hesitate to declare to you, my beloved that you will find Satan operative in NO OTHER REALM in the whole universe! You do not meet the Devil in rocks, trees, fish, mountains, rivers, clouds, birds, nor on far-away planets, in distant galaxies, in flying saucers, nor in any other object or location outside of man. You don’t have to worry about the Devil stealing the keys to your car and driving off with it! But you may have to worry about the devil in men doing so! You need not fear the Devil walking into your living room with a shot gun and blowing your brains out, but the devil in men has done so tens of thousands of times! The Devil as an invisible spirit or a hideous creature in a funny red suit will never try to seduce your wife, but the devil in some man may surely attempt it. I must tell you frankly that I have not had any problem with that Devil out there someplace, but I have had a great deal of difficulty with that Devil whose countenance I behold when I look in the mirror!
Can we not see that under the curse God limited Satan to the dust of the earth, to the realm of the First Adam – the man of dust? Many have seen the connection between Satan and the carnal mind and, not understanding by revelation the origins of these things, have assumed that the carnal mind is Satan. The truth, however, runs deeper than that – it goes to the spirit of the mind. Through the curse Satan became one with man, the energy force of human nature, the spirit of the carnal mind, slithering about in the lowest realms of man’s earthiness, in the crooked thoughts, selfish desires, distorted emotions, in the illusions and delusions of the sense-realm of the world of appearances, and in all the corrupt motions of the flesh. May God graciously give us enlightenment to see that included with Satan is the kingdom of Satan; therefore, since Satan is in man, the kingdom of Satan is also in man. Satan is the prince of this world, so the world too is included in the kingdom of Satan and is also in man. Man is the very center of the OLD CREATION in every aspect. If one would meet Satan, there is no need for him to go to any special place – by going to man he will meet Satan. If he desires to find the kingdom of Satan, there is no need to go to some distant planet, nor to some far-away hell by going to man he will encounter the kingdom of Satan. It is the same with the world. Within man there is world, sin, Satan, death, flesh, the carnal mind – all that pertains to the negative realm, the kingdom of darkness. The first Adam is not a small man! On the contrary, he is a big, all-inclusive man! The whole vast realm of reality, positive and negative, is CENTRALIZED AND PERSONIFIED IN MAN.
The reason why so many fail when it comes to the wiles of the Devil is that they don’t really want to resist him. You see, Satan never appears as a monster with horns and a forked tail, carrying a pitchfork. HE COMES IN YOUR THOUGHTS! HE APPEARS IN YOUR DESIRES! HE COMES IN YOUR IMAGINATIONS AND REASONINGS! Some people are always saying, “I hate the Devil.” Well, you may as well say, “I hate myself.” One day I asked God, “God, why don’t you just kill the Devil and let it be over with?” You will never guess the answer I received. The Lord said, “If I kill the Devil, YOU WILL DIE? And verily I say unto you, Except a man hate his own life, and will count all things but loss, and reckon himself indeed to be crucified with Christ, he will never know victory over the Wicked One.”
You will find men and women who claim to hate the Devil and all he stands for, but no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it. In so doing he gives place to the Devil. It is the flesh that lusts against the Spirit! The flesh unceasingly wars against the King and His Kingdom that is within you. Just as the religious leaders of the Jews cried, ‘We will not have this man to rule over us,” so the flesh, your flesh, and my flesh, desperately striving to perpetuate the corrupt nature of Adam within, would push Christ from the throne of the heart and reign in his stead. The energy force and motivating power of the flesh is the ancient Serpent of Eden. Multitudes do not understand this mystery, and few will proclaim this truth. The sacred mysteries of God are revealed only by the Holy Spirit of Truth. This is one of those mysteries which I unfold before you today. It is never our striving against the evils of the world, the flesh and the Devil that gains any victory at all; the almighty Christ within us would destroy them all in one smashing defeat; but we have the wretched habit of refusing to yield our hearts to the King. Christ alone can put the adversary under foot and forever bruise his head! Our responsibility is to resist the Devil and YIELD OURSELVES UNTO GOD THAT HE MAY REIGN.
Praise God! The heavens declare that God has a man – ORPHIUCHUS the serpent crusher HERCULES the strong man, the mighty man, the valiant champion who slays the three-headed monster and crushes the head of the dragon. It is a glorious thing to see that in the unchanging stars of the heavens and the shining Signs placed by God in the night sky, we have a gallery of divine truth, a portrait of God’s TRIUMPHANT CORPORATE MAN, THE CHRIST OF GOD. Ah, He’s a wonder – this CHRIST WITHIN! Just as surely as Satan is incarnated in mankind, so is the living Christ of God enthroned within the saints! The greater, grander, transcendent truth is, beloved, that THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU! The Christ that we preach is nigh at hand. ‘He is not far from every one of us,’ the apostle Paul says. ‘Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead.) But what saith it: The Word (Christ is NIGH THEE, EVEN IN THY MOUTH, AND IN THY HEART.’ (Rom. 10:6-8) ‘Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today, and forever.’ Unless we are sure that He is unchanged and unchangeable, that He is right here WITHIN US in every turn of life as really as He was in the body of Jesus of Nazareth, unless we live daily in the power of this, our life will never be pure, we will never see His works, we will never know His quickening, we will never conquer sin and death, and he brought to the Father. Therefore, why strain your eyes to pierce the clouds? The cloud that hides Christ from us is in ourselves, in our love of serf, in our blind adherence to traditions, in our devotion to the outer world of appearances. Let us ask God to send the living wind of His Spirit from the innermost part of our being that bloweth where it listeth, to sweep it aside, and then we will see Christ as our life at every step of the journey. You can never overcome your seducing enemy by your own wisdom or strength. Christ alone can put him under foot and forever braise his head. AND CHRIST IS YOUR LIFE! Arise, O ye mighty ones, and conquer – for the MIGHTY ONE I-S W-I-T-H-I-N Y-O-U!
In Genesis 3:1 we read, “Now the serpent was more subtel than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” The word serpent in our language comes from the Latin serpo meaning “to creep,” but the Hebrew term has no relation to the form or motion of any external attribute of a serpent. The word used here for serpent is the Hebrew word NACHASH which is a primitive root meaning “to hiss or whisper.” It, furthermore, means “to search or scrutinize closely, to find out by experiment, to practice divination, augury, incantation or enchantment.” According to Webster incantation means “the chanting of special words or a formula in magic spells or rites,” Incantation may speak in addition of hypnotism. The Serpent, then, is a HISSER, a WHISPERER, a DIVINER, an EXPERIMENTER, an ENCHANTER, a MAGICIAN, and a HYPNOTIST! And, I might add, so is the carnal mind!
In Isaiah 8:19 the Holy Spirit has recorded for our learning a most significant exhortation. “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? For the living to the dead?” The same inspired prophet penned a prophecy concerning Jerusalem under the prophetic term “Ariel,” saying, “Thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall blow out of the dust, and thy voice shall be... out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.” (Isa. 29:4) Here we read of spirits that “peep and mutter,” which speak “out of the ground” and “whisper out of the dust.” Is this not reminiscent of the Serpent in Eden, the hisser and whisperer, calling to Eve and speaking hypnotically from the dust realm?
Whisperings out of the dust – there is something sinister in the thought, but beyond the evil that is suggested, there is also the thought of subtle suggestion – a whispered temptation – something so subtle one could wonder from whence it comes, a word so low and so whispered as to be almost imperceptible —or is it a thought, a desire, a command from an inner nature? These whisperings ARISE FROM THE DUST OF THE CARNAL MIND, OUT OF THE GROUND OF THE ADAM NATURE where lies the Serpent! It is significant to note that “the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” (Gen. 3:1) The contrast is drawn between the Garden and the field. Adam lived and walked in the Garden, and his responsibility was to “dress and keep it.” Garden is from the Hebrew GAN, meaning a fenced or protected area. It was, furthermore, cultivated and tended. Field is from the Hebrew SADEH, indicating that which is spread out; flat land; wild farm or wilderness. The field where the Serpent dwelt was an unfenced and uncultivated area. This field bespeaks of the mind of the flesh – the unbroken, unharnessed, unbridled, untended, unplowed, unprocessed, undisciplined, unprotected sphere from whence the Serpent “whispered out of the dust” – the subtle voice whispering enticingly from the unexplored wild lands of the FLESH! This whisper, this tantalizing hiss is communicated through the thoughts, reasoning, desires, passions, plans, hopes, fantasies and cravings of the CARNAL MIND! In the first age of Adam’s creation, God used the Serpent to reveal what lay dormant, undiscovered and uncultivated within man’s innermost being – a CUNNING NATURE – EGO – SELFHOOD independent of God. If by the grace of God you can see the truth of this, you will then plainly discern in all the propensities of the carnal mind the CREEPING, SLITHERING, WHISPERING, DIVINING, ENCHANTING, HYPNOTIZING SERPENT OF EDEN!
Before pursuing this thought, we do well to consider also the word translated “subtle” in this passage. “Now the serpent was more subtel than any beast of the field.” The Hebrew word for “naked” in Gen. 2:25 is AROM. The English word that describes the Serpent’s nature in Gen. 3:1 is “subtel,” and the Hebrew word here is ARUM. Both AROM and ARUM are derived from ARAM which means “to be bare, to be cunning” Hebrew scholars say that originally these three words were the same word – ARAM. Now, why should the expression “naked” and the term “cunning” be the same word? What is the connection? We can answer with only one word: SEDUCTIVE. By way of illustration, a naked woman may be a seductive woman. There is a close connection between the two. The ideas of naked and cunning come together in the word SEDUCTIVE or SEDUCE. Can we not see by this that the Serpent was actually more seductive than anything in the bestial realm? Ah! the mind of the flesh is, in truth, the most seductive thing in the world!
In this connection a friend has written, “There was a tree set in the midst of the garden called the Tree of Life. God had given man the right to eat of that tree and in eating of it, man would enter into eternal life. The tragedy that we have seen is, however, that man did indeed eat of that tree – for if one will read carefully he will find that the Tree of Knowledge of which man ate was also in the midst of the garden, which can only mean that the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge are ONE AND THE SELFSAME TREE. The Tree of Life, however, is the essence of the truth and the Tree of Knowledge is the form of truth!” Here is the key – form vs. essence. It is just the difference between the letter of the Word and the spirit of the Word; between law and grace, between ritual and reality, between doctrine and life, between shadow and substance, between facts and truth. And vast multitudes of Adam’s descendants today have not learned the difference between these two trees, or between the voice of the Lord God in the Garden and the hissing of the Serpent from the field. So many of the Lord’s people have not to this day discerned between flesh and spirit, between the letter that killeth and the spirit that giveth life, between the external ritual and the internal reality, between the outward shadow and the inward substance, between facts and truth, or between form and essence. Jesus never said, “Ye shall know the facts and the facts shall make you free.” He stated, rather, “Ye shall know the TRUTH!” And what a difference there is! Facts are merely the FORM OF TRUTH, the husk of the kernel, truth held by the carnal mind in the intellect as dead-letter doctrines, laws, creeds, forms, rituals, ceremonies, ordinances, works, activities, etc. – all figures representing or standing for truth and reality, but within themselves containing NO LIFE. “The letter killeth,” the apostle assures us. “The spirit giveth life.” “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life,” saith the Lord. Jesus proclaimed, “I am the truth, I am the life” The Serpent said, “God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened!” That was a fact – and “ye shall be as GODS, knowing good and evil” was also a fact, for after Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree, the Lord God Himself verified the Serpent’s statement as being a fact. “Behold, the man is become AS ONE OF US to know good and evil,” God said. (Gen. 3:22)
Again a friend has aptly written, “In form, then, the serpent had the truth. He had, in fact, drawn on the very Word of God itself to tempt Eve, for the Lord had said, “I will create man in My own image.‘ What the serpent failed to reveal, however, was the essence of the form which is that INDEPENDENTLY OF GOD man can never be a partaker of the divine nature! This should have been a self-evident truth, but man failed to see it. He was deceived by the very form of truth – taking the Word of God which had promised to make him in the image of God, receiving it as a doctrine rather than a revelation, as form rather than life, and was thereby brought to ruin, cheated out of the very thing he sought. Man became a god, alright, in the eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – but he became a god in the wrong realm, for at the same time that God acknowledged man’s ‘deity’ He also CAST HIM FROM THE GARDEN – cast him from the heavenly realm – and set him in the earth ‘to till the ground’ from which he was taken. Musing upon this incident years later, the prophet David wrote, ‘What is man that Thou art mindful of him. . . for Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands...‘ It was as a god that man had dominion, but a further reading of this passage reveals that the works of the hands of God over which man was given dominion under the first covenant was limited to the earth realm. Thus, we find that Adam truly became a ‘god’ – as the serpent promised and the Lord confirmed – but he was not an heavenly god. He became, rather, the ‘god of this world’ (1 Cor. 4:4)” – end quote.
The Serpent did not preach truth, he preached facts. Form apart from essence. Dead doctrine about God instead of participation through union with God. Man came into knowledge, but he lost his life. In fact, man became a partaker of that wisdom possessed by the Serpent, the wisdom of this world. It is significant to find that in the contrast of the wisdom of the world, as over against the wisdom of God, James says, “This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” (James 3:15) This is always the Serpent’s approach to us. EARTHY – that which appeals to the flesh, the natural senses. SENSUAL – literally, soulish, that which appeals to the ego and the mind. DEVILISH – that which touches the human spirit realm to defile with the negative spirit of the world. But, thank God! there is also “the wisdom that is from above” which is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17)
THE SEED OF THE SERPENT
“The course of bad men leads through darkness dim; they cannot see what makes them stumble. The course of good men, like a ray of dawn, shines on and on to the full light of day.” (Prov. 4:18-19, Moffatt) The burning truth that lies hidden in these words of inspiration is borne home to our hearts with ever increasing power as we see the lengthening shadows falling ominously about us heralding the end of the age. It is not without purpose that the Holy Spirit has been directing our thoughts and bending our inmost nature toward the seeking of those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God, an inward drive none can know or understand but those elect saints who have been BORN FROM ABOVE. All about us we see the paths of wicked men leading them into ever increasing darkness while on the other hand the path of the just, shining more and more with the revealing light of truth, inspires our hearts to sing that gladsome song, “The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek Him: your heart shall live forever. All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee. For the kingdom is the Lord’s: and He is the governor among the nations. All they that be fat upon the earth shall eat and worship: ALL THEY THAT GO DOWN TO THE DUST shall bow before Him. A SEED shall serve Him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. THEY shall come, and shall DECLARE HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS unto a people that shall be born.” (Ps. 22:26-31)
Several important truths are revealed in these verses of Scripture. The Holy Spirit witnesses that “A-L-L the ends of the world shall remember (their former estate) and turn unto the Lord,” also, “A-L-L they that go down into the DUST shall bow before Him,” and then the means by which this marvelous work shall be brought to pass, “a SEED shall serve Him... and THEY SHALL DECLARE HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
This thought of “the seed” carries us back to the beginning, when the Lord announced to the fallen man and woman, and to the serpent, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.” (Gen. 3:15) “Between thy seed and her seed” – that is between thy posterity and her posterity, for seed, as used here, means children or offspring. There are two seeds spoken of, the woman’s seed, and the serpent’s seed. By the seed of the woman is meant the positive realm, and the seed of the serpent bespeaks the negative. The great soul-gripping truth is that as the woman’s seed has a literal fulfillment personified in a MAN and a PEOPLE, so also the serpent’s seed must be literally fulfilled in a man and a people. The law has been from the beginning that every living thing reproduces “after his kind.”
In the Bible one can trace a whole line of righteous men from Abel to Christ, and our Lord came into the world of that linage. That the serpent’s seed was also expressed through people is evident when we read in I Jn. 3:12, “Not as Cain, who WAS OF that wicked one, and slew his brother.” This is more explicit in the Greek text, where the word “of” is “ek,” literally OUT OF the wicked one. The Spirit has provided abundant evidence of the serpent’s seed in the Word of God. Jesus told a group of self-righteous Pharisees, “YE are of YOUR FATHER THE DEVIL, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, HE SPEAKETH OF HIS OWN: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (Jn. 8:44)
In Genesis chapter four we find the story of how Cain, after his offering was rejected by the Lord, said to his brother, “Let us go out to the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother, and killed him. And the Lord said to Cain, Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.” Cain told his lie because it was his nature to do so, “he speaketh of his own,” it came out of himself. No one told him to lie, indeed, no one TAUGHT him to lie. No one tricked him so that he would have to tell a lie, “for FROM WITHIN, OUT OF THE HEART OF MEN, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these things come FROM WITHIN and defile the man.” (Mk. 7:21-23), and Cain spoke out of his own state of being which he inherited from the wicked one. Cain WAS OF that wicked one. The seed of the serpent was in him, and he manifested after his kind. “In this the children of God are manifest, and THE CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL: Whosoever doeth not righteousness IS NOT OF GOD (that is, IS of the Devil), neither he that loveth not his brother.” (I Jn. 3:10) Every day we are learning that the natural man has no power to resist evil. Man himself is inherently evil, born in sin and shapen in iniquity, the seed of the serpent lies within.
The story is told of an aged learned minister of the Gospel in a certain town. One morning, while taking his usual walk by the side of a river, a young man who had been far away attending a distant university, where he had become an atheist, who used to sit under this good man’s ministry, and knew his habits thought he would have some fun with the “Preacher” as he called him. At the university he had imbibed the teachings of some Ingersoll or some similar child of the devil, and he came back full of his infidelity. Meeting the Preacher, he said, “Good morning, Preacher.” “Good morning, son,” said the minister. “Preacher I have just had bad news,” said the young man. “Well, what is it?” asked the Preacher. “One of your great friends is dead,” replied the youth. “Oh, and who is he?” asked the old man. “It is the Devil,” and he laughed long and loudly. But there was no laugh on the face of the Preacher. Putting his hands upon the young man’s shoulder and looking straight into his face he said, “Poor fatherless child, what will become of you now that your father is dead?”
Ah, there may be a bit of humor in the quick wit of the old Preacher, but the truth is unmistakable. The serpent’s seed! The world is full of them. When John the Baptist called the Pharisees and Sadducees a “generation of vipers,” he was calling them little serpents issuing out of the belly of the great Serpent – sons of the Devil! Being of the same mother carries its importance, imparts of her traits, etc. But being of the same father brings in the nature of the blood line.
This is what got Jesus in so much trouble with the Jews, when He said, “I and My Father are one.” (Jn. 10:30) They realized that if He claimed that God was His Father, then He also had a DIVINE NATURE, and WAS GOD. For God to bring forth after His own kind would be the begetting of gods! Jesus plainly said, “I speak that which I have seen with My Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto Him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, IF ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.” (Jn. 8:38-39) He then went on to mention how they sought to kill Him, and this was not the way of Abraham. They were doing the deed of their father – a murderer from the beginning. They then protested, “We have one Father, God,” but Jesus again pointed out to them that they were not manifesting the nature of God, but were doing the lusts of their father, the Devil.
“If ye know that HE is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness IS BORN OF HIM.” (I Jn. 2:29) Or, “the lusts (desires) of your father ye will do.” (Jn. 8:44) Thus, OUR DESIRES, and the works that spring forth from our inner being, give a strong indication of WHO our father is. When we are “delighting ourselves also in the Lord; then HE SHALL GIVE THEE THE DESIRES OF THINE HEART.” (Ps. 37:4) But if we are walking in OUR OWN DESIRES, then we are fulfilling those things planted within by the wicked one. Sons of God! may OUR FATHER ever be the One to GIVE US, IMPLANT WITHIN OUR HEART H-I-S DESIRES so that we do only those things which please the Father, “God working within us both to will (give the desire) and to do (bring to fulfillment) of HIS good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13) Both potentialities lie within each of us.
Now it was in the midst of the Garden that man first encountered the ancient Serpent. It’s not news to any of us that we are in the midst of a war between two kingdoms: the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. Neither is it news to us that WE are the battle ground! More particularly, the major focal point of the battle is our mind. There the battle rages at its greatest intensity, because the war is a struggle for our hearts and loyalties – the very souls and lives and beings of men. This fact is highly relevant to the subject I am dealing with in this message – the Serpent that dwells within us. It is that force within us that opposes the ways of God in our lives and tries to keep us from seeking those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God.
This brings us back to the curse laid upon the Serpent in the beginning; “Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” (Gen. 3:14) These terms are symbolic and spiritual. This is not speaking of a literal snake dangling from a tree limb in some historic paradise. This is a symbol and the Deceiver, Satan, that ancient Serpent, the Devil, has to eat dust! He was cursed to this low realm of eating dust because that is exactly what he was doing when he tempted mother Eve. Adam was formed of the dust of the ground and bore the image of the earthy – and as such became the rightful food for the Serpent. The Serpent – the negative spirit realm – now finds its base of operation and the fulfillment of its nature, desires, activities and purposes IN AND THROUGH MANKIND. By the very nature of things, when the Serpent eats, he seeks to SATISFY HIS APPETITE AND GRATIFY HIS DESIRES. Today, as in Eden, the sphere of Satan’s activity is earth, and the object of his devouring is the man of earth – the carnal nature. Whenever we live in the earthly life of Adam, we are earthly and also on earth and fall into the sphere of Satan’s activity, becoming the object of his devouring, drawn deeper and deeper into that negative realm.
The very fact that the Serpent was now to crawl upon his belly reveals that there was a descending from one realm to another, and man, with the Serpent in him, now grovels in the dust, trapped in the humiliating quagmire of trouble, pain, sorrow, sin, sickness, limitation, fear and death. Moving upon his belly limits the sphere of the Serpent’s activity, now he can only creep along the ground, lowered into the dust-realm, confined to the lowlands of the earthy and material, restricted to expression through THE MAN OF DUST. Truly he is “the S-P-I-R-I-T that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” (Eph. 2:2) Because of this remarkable curse you will find Satan operative in NO OTHER REALM in God’s vast universe! Satan is one with man, the energy force of human nature, the spirit of the carnal mind, slithering about in the lowest realms of man’s earthiness, in the crooked thoughts, perverted desires, depraved emotions, in the illusions and delusions of the outer world of appearances, and in all the corrupt motions of the flesh.
I want to tell you where everything is – everything is right there where you are – WITHIN YOU. Everything. On the positive side – God is in you, Christ is in you, your hope of glory, the Word of Christ dwells in your heart by faith, your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, the glory of God has come upon you and is arising upon you from within, the wonderful mind of Christ is in your mind and the Kingdom of God is within you. On the negative side – the spirit of antichrist is in you, the man of sin sits in the temple of God which is your body, the beast rages in the ravenous emotions of your soul, the image of the beast is seen in you by your outer actions, the nature of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters (peoples) is in you, and that ancient Serpent, the Devil, and Satan is within you, the spirit that now worketh IN the sons of disobedience (Eph. 2:2).
Men dream of a Devil – a hideous and obscene monster in human form; a short, skinny elf in a red body suit, with impish face, horns, pointed ears, a spade beard, thin mustache, having a long forked tail and a pitchfork in his hand. If you ask one thousand church-going professing Christians to describe for you, the Devil, would not all of them describe him in the fashion portrayed above? Or would they describe him to you as a snake. Millions of professing Christians suppose they would recognize the Devil instantly. But would they, really? I do not hesitate to tell you that the Devil of Christianity is a myth. The famous preacher, Charles H. Spurgeon, was once correcting the sermons of a class of preacher boys. One young man waxed eloquent on the subject: “Putting on the whole armor of God”, and dramatized each piece put on. Then when the armor was on, he cried out: “Now where is the Devil!” Mr. Spurgeon cooped both hands around his mouth, and whispered: “inside the armor.” Let me illustrate. The following story has been chronicled by another. The year was 1941. Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and they began to conquer in Southeast Asia. The British were told, “Be careful. The Japanese are going to conquer Singapore, too.” But the British said, “No need to worry. There is absolutely no danger of that happening. Look at all the cannons we have.” Singapore, you know, is a nation at the end of the Malaysian peninsula. If you look at your hand and think of your thumb as the Malaysian peninsula, at the top of the digit, where the fingernail is, that would be Singapore. And from the hand to that first little digit, that’s jungle. At the top of the thumb, Singapore is cleared of jungle. Civilized. It was well defended with guns pointed out to sea so that no ship could possibly invade. Nobody could ever attack them without running right into the British guns. That’s why the British weren’t worried on Dec. 7, 1941, as the smoke rose from Pearl Harbor, when they heard that the Japanese would be hitting Singapore next the British only laughed. They felt secure. Then came February. Out of the jungle, from the hand up through the thumb came the Japanese. And when, suddenly, on Feb. 24, 1942, the British heard the crack of rifles, they turned around and saw the Japanese coming from their rear. In only ten days, Singapore fell into the hands of the Japanese. Why? Because the guns were pointing in the wrong direction. All of their guns were pointed to the sea. They were defenseless. And let me assure you, precious friend of mine, there are vast multitudes of the Lord’s people in this hour, maybe even you, whose guns are pointed in the wrong direction! The guns are pointed on that hideous, monster Devil roaming about that world out there. In our minds he belongs to the Garden of Eden, spoiling life for Adam and Eve; to the plains of the East, wreaking havoc upon poor old Job; to the Judean Wilderness, tempting Jesus; to Berlin during the thirties and early forties, possessing Adolf Hitler; to the prisons and mental hospitals, possessing the criminals and mentally insane; walking up and down the isles of the church building, trying to hinder the meeting; he is always on the outside of us or possessing someone else!
But go with me now into that long ago when Jesus walked the dusty trails with His disciples. He had asked the twelve disciples who they thought He was. Peter promptly answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!” Then Jesus said to him, “Peter, flesh and blood did not reveal this unto you, but My Father which is in heaven.” In other words, “This understanding didn’t come from your fleshly mind. You didn’t think this up by yourself. This is not the product of your own nature, or the result of your reasoning and logic; this came to you from My Father.” So remarkable was this revelation to Peter that the Lord said to him, “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona!” So here we have an instance of the Father working in Peter, imparting His thoughts and understanding to Peter.
Only minutes later Jesus began to introduce to His disciples the subject of His coming suffering and death on the cross. The possibility of the death of their beloved Lord was a prospect so foreign to the thinking of the disciples that they were hardly able to comprehend His presentation of this unspeakable fate. Was He not the Messiah? Was He not the Son of God? Did He not come to establish a great Kingdom? Were not they, the disciples, to reign with Him in that Kingdom? With these questions in mind, they could hardly endure the dark foreboding which grew in their minds as Christ talked about the future. Then Peter, who had just been pronounced blessed, took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee!” Ah, when Jesus mentioned the cross and dying, Peter began to rebuke Him. Where did he find the senseless courage that would dare to rebuke the Lord? The answer is disturbingly evident – far, far too clear to be a comfort to any of us! The Lord Himself gives us the answer, for. He turned and said unto Peter, “Get thee behind Me, SATAN! thou art an offence unto Me; for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” What a shocking way to talk to the great apostle Peter, the one possessing the revelation of the Christ’s identity, the one called blessed, the one to whom the Lord had just given the keys to the Kingdom Heaven! Atrocious to say to this man of deep revelation and keen perception, “Thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men!” Indeed, “Get thee behind Me, S-A-T-A-N!” How unthinkable!
Hearing Peter’s entreaty to the Lord, which of us would not have said that this was the language of genuine affection, tender solicitude, and loving concern? No doubt we would have chimed in and said, “How kind! How true! How good! Amen!” But Jesus replies, “Get thee behind Me – SATAN!” And our Lord was not merely on a name-calling spree when He uttered these words, either. He never uttered words in vain, without a definite meaning. Jesus did not speak merely to Satan in Peter, neither did He say, “Peter.” Furthermore, He did not tell Peter that his words sounded like the words of Satan. He simply addressed Peter AS SATAN. Peter as Satan – on what basis? That he was demented, insane? That he was a medium, bringing spirits out of the supernatural sphere? No – merely that he SPOKE AS A MAN!!! “Get thee behind Me, Satan, you who think and speak like a man!” Is this not also what James was saying when he described the wisdom of man in these words: “If ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. THIS WISDOM descendeth not from above, but is EARTHLY, SENSUAL and D-E-V-I-L-I-S-H!” (James 3:14-15) Here we see that that which is earthly and sensual is that which is considered by the Spirit of God, DEVILISH!
On the surface there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with what Peter said. It was a good thought, a kindly thought He didn’t want to see His Lord and Master suffer and die, and he said so. What was wrong with that? Wasn’t that a good sentiment for him to have? What was wrong with it was that it was the product of Self, it emanated from human sympathy and not from the heart of God. Anything that proceeds from Self, by the very nature of things, is bound to be opposed to the mind and will of God, for if His thoughts, and His ways, are as far from being like ours as the heavens are above the earth, there can be no unity in them at all. Self and Satan despise and hate the cross. They will scamper wildly in any direction to avoid it. They will turn their backs upon it, dig under it, try to go around it or climb over it, but they will never embrace it. The cross is the death knell of Self, and Self is the arch enemy of the cross. The friendly sympathy of Self is the cunning mind of the Serpent
Again in Jn. 6:70 we read, “Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you I-S A D-E-V-I-L?” Here our Lord of course referred to Judas. In the scriptures we have some very plain statements to the effect that certain men WERE SATAN or DEVILS. Please, let us not forget that we are still studying the fully inspired Word of God, and not some infamous fairy tale. The Devil, about whom we are studying, hates above all else to have his real identity and location made known. The only way he can carry on his business is to deceive men and women into thinking he is what he is not. As long as we think he is some funny little man with horns and a pitchfork we can never be deceived by him! I fearlessly declare, beloved that Satan and the carnal mind are so ONE that you cannot have one without the other! Satan and Self are so ONE that they are indivisible! Satan and human nature are so ONE that they cannot be separated! Is it any wonder, then, that the friendly hand of Self, yea, the friendly hand of Satan, was so quickly extended to prevent our Lord from going to the cross? “This shall not be done unto Thee,” exclaimed Peter. “You must not talk that way, Lord. You are the Christ, you can never go to the cross! You must save yourself. Don’t go to Jerusalem. Don’t let them lay their hands on you. We shall fight against it with the sword, if necessary, or you can call twelve legions of angels to save yourself from the cross.” Save yourself, save your-SELF is the eternal cry! Escape the cross! Turn aside! Turn back! Ah, what voice is this? Truly it is the voice of Satan. But never forget for one moment, my beloved, that it is also the voice of the carnal mind. Oh yes, there must be a death to Self, that brash, ego-centric devil that would and does usurp the throne of Christ’s Kingdom within. He no more wants you to go to the cross than he wanted Jesus to go.
And now we uncover some other startling facts. The Greek word DIABOLOS is the Greek word for “devil” In all the Greek New Testament it is never used for anything or anyone else. But in three appearances of the word in the New Testament, the men who were supposed to translate that original, instead of translating it in harmony with every other use of the word rendered it in such a way as to mystify and hide the truth. When translated in harmony with the rest of the scriptures, here is what I Tim. 3:11 actually says. It is talking about deacons. And it says this, “Even so must their wives be grave, NOT DEVILS (diabolos), sober, faithful in all things.” Just imagine a deacon marrying a funny black thing with horns, a pointed tail and cloven hoofs! In Titus 2:1-3 Paul is giving some instructions concerning the churches and the believers in those churches. And here is what he writes to Titus: “The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, NOT DEVILS (diabolos), not given to much wine, teachers of good things.” In II Tim. 3:1-5 we read this: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, DEVILS (diabolos), incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” What an indictment against human nature, and against modern religion! “In the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be ... DEVILS... having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.”
Jesus, on many occasions, drew this analogy of men as serpents – devils. In my mind when Jesus uttered the following parabolic phrase, He was revealing one of the most important and foundational truths of all times. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Mat. 23:25, 33) John the Baptist used the same terminology. “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee the wrath to come?” (Mat. 3:7) Various translations render this passage...”Ye generation of vipers,” “Ye offspring of vipers,” “Ye broods of snakes,” “Ye serpent’s brood,” etc. You see, Christ and John were well aware of who and what and where the Enemy was and ever shall be.
As in Christ’s day, so today, the churches are, indeed, full of devils’ And they have no more desire to go to the cross than Peter did. Well does this enemy of God, enthroned in the human heart, this adversary of redemption and of all mankind, know that, in the blessed hour when the “I” is crucified and brought to death, all his power and all his authority and sway in that life is broken forever. His appetite is denied, his desires are rejected, his base of operation is destroyed, and his work is abolished in every life that has become identified with Christ in the cross. Once a man has embraced fully the cross of Christ and Self has become forever dead with Him, then it is with him even as the firstborn Son in triumph declared: “I will not talk with you much more, for the prince (evil genius, ruler) of the world is coming. And he has no claim on Me, there is nothing in Me that belongs to him, he has no power over Me.” (Jn. 14:30, Amplified) Satan has no power at all when SELF is gone. Then he has no more power in your life or mine than he had in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. How unspeakably wonderful the hour for any man when Satan shall find nothing in him upon which he can feed or lay hold, nothing upon which he can satisfy his evil desires or his corrupt nature, nothing that responds or corresponds to him! When Self is crucified with Christ the lust of the flesh is mortified, the lust of the eyes is dead, and the pride of life is nailed to the cross. The man of dust exists no more and from then on it is NOT I, BUT CHRIST!
Because of the inborn weakness of the flesh, all who cherish the blessed hope of sonship must learn never to trust in themselves or to lean upon the failing arm of flesh, but to find their overcoming power in the omnipotent Spirit. Our constant failures and our proneness to yield to the ever present overpowering lusts of the flesh should be incentive enough to cast off the tattered garments of our self-righteousness and self-confidence that we may make the INDWELLING LORD our strength, our righteousness, our shield, and the lifter of our heads. Only Christ, dwelling within, can make us stand. HE is our victory. Our help cometh from the LORD!
THE SERPENT DESTROYED
Man’s body as originally created by God was something very good, but it has now become “the flesh.” The body was pure, since it was created good, but when the body was corrupted by the serpent, it became flesh. Paul said, “...in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth NO GOOD THING” (Rom. 7:18) Through the fall Satan came to dwell in our members, causing our body to become flesh – i.e., a damaged, ruined body.
Since Satan and man became one through the fall, Satan is no longer outside of man, but IN man. But God, shut out from the consciousness of man, declared, “I will also become incarnated. If Satan wrought himself into man, then let Me enter into man and put man upon Myself.” Do you see? GOD put on this man through incarnation. When God became incarnated as a man, the kind of man He put on was a man corrupted by Satan. “God, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.” (Rom. 8:3) “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself took part of the same... wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren.” (Heb. 2:14, 17) After God became a man and put that man with Satan within him upon Himself, HE BROUGHT THAT MAN TO THE CROSS. Satan thought he had succeeded, but he only gave the Lord an easy way to destroy him!
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself 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) The word “destroy” does not mean to kill or annihilate, for we know God did not kill the Devil or annihilate him! Destroy, in the original, means “to bring to naught; render powerless; or make of no effect.” So – through death – the Lord Jesus BROUGHT SATAN TO NOUGHT, RENDERED HIM POWERLESS AND MADE HIM OF NO EFFECT.
The following illustration, shared by another, beautifully illustrates how this was accomplished. If a mouse is loose in a house, it is rather difficult for the owner to catch it. But if he sets a trap with a little bait, the mouse will then be tempted to catch the bait. The mouse at first will think he has succeeded in getting the bait, but will not realize that in fact he has been trapped by the owner of the house. Then, since he is trapped, it is so easy for the owner of the house to come and put him to death. Similarly, Adam became a trap to catch Satan! When Satan came to possess man, it appeared he was successful, but he did not realize that he fell into a trap. Satan thought man was his home, but did not know that man was a trap. He thought man was his food, but man was only the bait. By taking man, he was caught and imprisoned in man.
Then – in one single act – God pulled the rug out from under Satan! The Lord came and put upon Himself “the flesh,” the “body of sin,” the “body of death,” the “dust realm,” the “man of earth,” and BROUGHT IT TO THE CROSS that “through DEATH (of the man of dust) He might bring to naught him that had the power of death, that is, the Devil.” When the flesh is crucified, when the dust of the carnal nature, when the man of the earth is put to death on the cross SATAN’’S GROUND IS DESTROYED BENEATH HIM, his sphere of activity is removed, his base of operation is cancelled, so that he is rendered completely powerless and ineffective. Thus, it is by this death on the cross that Christ destroyed the Devil!
Jesus Christ was truly “tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin.” Though He were a Son, yet “learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” It became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many Sons unto glory, to “make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” And being “made perfect” He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.
When the Son of God came into the world, when He had been tested on every point and had overcome the adversary in all things, He uttered these significant words: “I will not walk with you much more, for the prince (evil genius, ruler) of the world is coming. And he has no claim on Me – he has nothing in common with Me, THERE IS NOTHING IN ME THAT BELONGS TO HIM, he has no power over Me!” (Jn. 14:30, Amplified) Ah, this is the glory of SONSHIP – nothing in common with Satan! None of the nature of Adam that belongs to Satan. So mighty was the indwelling life of the Father within Jesus that Satan had no power over Him. And, beloved, when you have died completely to that Adamic life, when there is none of the dust of Adam in you, SATAN HAS NO POWER OVER YOU. When YOUR FLESH is fully brought to the CROSS, crucified with Christ, Satan’s base of operation has been destroyed, his sphere of activity removed. God destroys Satan by destroying YOUR FLESH.
I can tell you, dear ones, that already Satan is finding very little “ground” to creep upon in many of God’s Sons who are pressing on to the High Calling of God in Christ. The old serpent is finding short rations and skimpy meals in God’s chosen ones who are putting off the dust of the carnal mind and putting on THE MIND OF CHRIST. Victory upon victory they are gaining, for they have taken up THEIR CROSS and the cross has become the giant X that marks out the dust nature forever. These elect sons of God are beginning to walk in newness of life as NEW CREATION BEINGS. For them THE CURSE IS LIFTED, Satan is conquered, and the Christ is arising in glory and splendor in their lives. They are bearing more and more of His blessed image. They have no fear of Satan or his weapons. They could march right through the bastions of hell itself, and in the presence of all its hosts no evil could overtake them. The bestial spirit of this world cannot contaminate them. Filthy lucre cannot tempt them. Fame and power cannot entice them. Lust and sensuality cannot draw them. They are overcomers, even THE SEED that serve the Lord! They shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation, they are an entirely new ethnic group, the body of the Man from heaven, Sons of the Most High; they shall come, and SHALL DECLARE HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (II Cor. 4:3-4) “But even unto this day... the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it (the heart) shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.” (II Cor. 3:15-16) Can we not see by reading these instructive statements that if we can effectively express outwardly the reality of the indwelling Christ, the world will see God. The Christ is unveiled in and through the members of the Christ body. The good news we are proclaiming is in each one veiled, waiting to be manifested and displayed. If the good news of the reconciliation of God, if the good news of the glory of God, if the good news of immortality and life in Christ Jesus, if the good news of the Kingdom of God is veiled today, my beloved, it is veiled IN YOU! If you will turn your heart to the Lord, the Spirit, you will see Him. As you turn to the life of the Spirit within the veil begins to be rent, the mind begins to open, the mind-set that has been locked in spiritual ignorance and unbelief at once begins to be unlocked. “If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, IN WHOM the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them.” The word “lost” is from the Greek APOLLUMI meaning to die or perish. The good news is hid or veiled to those who are still dying or perishing. Are you perishing? Is it not because the good news is yet veiled to you – is not living and energetic in your experience? A few verses further on the apostle explains, “But though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” (II Cor. 4:16)
It is now time that the prince of this world be cast out, the spirit of blindness in men’s minds, which veils the glory of the Christ within. It is time for the Son of man to be glorified. Turn, O man, and behold the Lord! See the Lord as He is in His temple! The god of this age doesn’t want this for any man. The god of this age is old Adam, the outer man, the man of your first birth, the man of flesh, who minds earthly things. It is your manhood, your humanity that does not want to fully see Christ, because for you to really see Christ is to give up all the reasonings, preconceptions, understanding, knowledge, decisions and the pursuits of the flesh to find that life-source which is the antithesis of SELF. The Adamic mind of selfhood will seek to keep you looking away from the tree of life by every means at its disposal. Contrary to what some teach, Self is not the Spirit, for except a man deny Himself and take up his cross he cannot be the disciple of the Christ. Self will blind you so that you will not turn to the Lord. Why must the prince of this world be cast out? So that the light of the glory of God, who is the very IMAGE (GK: CHARACTER) of God, may shine to men!” The character is in you, it is in the Christ, in your spirit. When you behold this Christ within the glory of Christ begins to shine and the veil is done away; the character of God is seen by all about.
The one thing that terrifies the forces of darkness is the fear that some day those who believe in Christ will wake up to the dynamic potential in the life of the Spirit within them and begin to live fully out of that realm. When this happens, the great problems that plague mankind will disappear. Ignorance will go; sin will go; disease will go; limitation will go; Satan will go; death will go; bondage of every sort will fade away and the Kingdom of God will be demonstrated in men. What a hope! What a day! And the wonder of it all is that this day is even now breaking in the hearts and lives of God’s elect! I proclaim to you that the crisis hour in the history of the world has come, and God’s people must now arise and shine and courageously take hold of life and bring deliverance to the whole world. Truly, we have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this!
Through the triumph of the Christ life within them the whole creation shall be delivered from its bondage to corruption, for the Lord of hosts will destroy the face of the covering (the flesh) cast over all people, and the veil (carnal mind) that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, and will be glad and rejoice in His salvation! (Isa. 25:7-9). Hallelujah!