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¬ďNow shall the prince of this world be cast out And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me¬Ē (John 12:31,32).
¬ďNow is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God, and the power (authority) of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down. 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¬Ē (Rev. 12:10,11).
There can be no permanent victory in the lives of God¬ís children until they see and appropriate the fact that Satan was defeated at Calvary. The Church of God as a whole will not be able to face the satanic flood tide by which it is confronted except as it learns to wield the power and victory that Calvary gives, in a clear and ringing testimony to the defeat of the devil.
The Church of God is in its last battle, and this means a final conflict with Satan. To approach this conflict from any other viewpoint than Calvary is to court disaster. Hence the need of the clearest possible understanding of the extent to which the child of God can wield that victory over satanic invasion as it is manifested today. All around we see the flood of satanic power rising, threatening to carry everything before it. We see it in the unrest of nations. Cosmopolitan affairs are out of hand, and men are growing perplexed and are wondering what is going to happen.
In the religious world we see the same threatening rise of a tide of power that is endangering the very foundation of our faith. Meantime, God is preparing a company of overcomers who will be the instruments in the hands of the Holy Spirit of stemming this flood tide of satanic power which is pouring into the world in these last days.
The Standard Lifted Up
¬ďWhen the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him¬Ē (Isa. 59:19). When the flood tide threatens to overwhelm, then God intervenes. How does He stem the tide? And what are the means He uses to do it?
In 2 Thessalonians 2:7,8 we read: ¬ďThe mystery of lawlessness doth already work; only there is One that restraineth now, until He be taken out of the way. And then shall be revealed the lawless one whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of His mouth, and bring to naught by the manifestation of His coming.¬Ē
Who is the restraining One who is keeping this evil power in check but the Holy Spirit? But what is the ¬ďstandard¬Ē that the Holy Spirit will lift up in thus checking the enemy? Calvary. The fact of Satan¬ís defeat at Calvary must be understood, appropriated, and boldly proclaimed. There is a considerable amount of vagueness in the minds of many of God¬ís children regarding this most important fact.
If the standard of the Cross as the instrument of Satan¬ís defeat is to be raised, we shall need to be very clear in our minds regarding it. Let us look into God¬ís Word and see what it tells us of the conquest of Satan at Calvary.
In Hebrews 2:14,15 we see that the Cross has destroyed Satan¬ís power over man. ¬ďThat through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil.¬Ē ¬ďDestroy him¬Ē--can you have anything stronger than that? The Greek word means ¬ďrendered powerless, put out of action.¬Ē The Cross has put the devil out of action.
Then why is Satan so active? Because the saints have not yet appropriated the fact and applied it to the need. Jesus Christ has potentially delivered every soul from Satan¬ís power, but that fact needs to be proclaimed and put into exercise by a living faith. What a responsibility rests upon us!
Satan - An Usurper
Since Calvary, Satan has been an usurper. He has no rights whatever. Do we fully realize what this means? If he has no rights, then whatever position he holds, he maintains it as an usurper--an outlaw. And because he is an usurper, he can be resisted wherever his power is felt and manifest. He has no right to any life, to any place, to any organization.
Not only so, but it is our duty to oppose him. For to leave him unchallenged is to rob Jesus of that for which he died on the Cross. To withhold the proclamation of the devil¬ís defeat is also to rob men of the opportunity of throwing off an allegiance to Satan which they may be longing to get rid of.
The fact that this truth is not seen clearly is accountable for much of the deadness and lack of true aggressive labor for the winning of souls. It is also the cause of much of the passivity amongst many spiritually minded believers regarding the evils that exist in the world.
If Calvary stands for Satan¬ís overthrow, why are we not practically applying it to those evils? If Satan has been stripped of his power at the Cross, why is it that he is allowed to make such strides in the false teachings and the counterfeits that are flourishing today?
Satan fears this aspect of the Cross more than any other. He knows that once the saints enter into and thoroughly understand the extent to which the Cross has robbed him of his power, from that hour his downfall will be certain and rapid. Hence he has done everything possible to hide the real significance of Calvary by counterfeiting it, by ridiculing it, by every means within his grasp in order to hinder the Church entering into its true spiritual meaning.
If he cannot keep the truth from the believer, he will cause him to hold it in the mind instead of entering experimentally into it in the full power of the Spirit. Doctrine about the Cross he fears not; but its reality he fears....
Christ came down into Satan¬ís sphere, which is this world system, and overcame him there so that he though this system might have no further hold on us. Have we claimed this aspect of the cross yet? Believers must be delivered from all alliance with him through the world system.
Sink deep into Christ¬ís grave if you would keep free from Satan¬ís entanglements. Satan is a defeated foe, but there is only one place where that fact can be a permanent reality in the believer¬ís life, and that place is Christ¬ís death. ¬ďBuried with Him¬Ē--the devil cannot follow you there. He loses you forever. The Cross cuts you off from all the material he needs to work upon in order to possess you or yours.