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Monday, October 29, 2012

A Job Experience # 14

In chapters 38-41 of Job, where God is revealing Himself to Job as the Lord of All, as The Eternal One, as the Only One upon Whom Job can depend, we find that the words in the last part of chapter 41 have much more than a surface meaning behind them, as God speaks of "the leviathan." We do not doubt that God is speaking of an earthly creature at the beginning, but in verses 13-34 there is much more than an earthly creature being described. The symbolic language in the following phrases can only be speaking of that old serpent, called the devil and satan: "Who can strip off  his outer armor? ... his scales (his rows of shields) are his pride ... his breath kindles coal, and a flame goes forth from his mouth. In his neck ledges strength, and dismay goes before him. His heart is as hard as a stone ... he regards iron as straw, bronze as rotten wood ... he looks on everything that is high; he is king over all the sons of pride" (Job 41:13-34).

Hence, we find God revealing "the leviathan," the evil one who is "king over all the sons of pride"; and by interpreting scripture with scripture, we shall see that God is speaking of that old serpent, called the devil and satan. In Psalm 74, one of the greatest conflicts of the ages was fought at the Red Sea as God's people were being delivered out of the hands of the Egyptians and into the hand of God. But we have to understand the symbolic language of Psalm 74 in order to realize the full implication of the battle at the Red Sea: for this battle was between God and "the leviathan," between God and that old serpent, called the devil and satan.

Thou didst divide the sea (the Red Sea) by Thy strength:
Thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.
Thou brakest the heads of Leviathan in pieces,
and gave him to be meat to the people
inhabiting the wilderness (Psalm 74;13, 14). 
(The account of the Red Sea: Exodus 12:12; 14, 15)

And in Isaiah 27:1, we are told more about this "leviathan."

In that day the Lord will punish Leviathan, the fleeing serpent,
Wish His fierce and great and mighty sword,
Even Leviathan the twisted serpent;
And He will kill the dragon who lives in the sea

Then in Revelation 12:9 and 10, we are told exactly who "the leviathan," the twisted serpent, the dragon is:

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil and satan, which deceiveth the whole world ... the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before out God day and night.

Now, we have said that one of the primary deceptions of "the leviathan" is that he becomes religious; and he uses the religious nature of the old, adamic man. One of the very first deceptive things that he said to Eve was, "Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" - gods want worship, gods want the preeminence. Also, in Revelation 13, as this ancient serpent's evil power of deception comes to full expression, we find him giving his power, his throne, and his authority to all that is antichrist, and those who are deceived worship the dragon, "that old serpent, called the devil and satan." Yes! "the leviathan" is very religious, and we shall see that one of his greatest strategies is to use the religious nature in the old man.

We have said before that in Revelation, chapters two and three, the Holy Spirit has summed up five-of-the-most-subtle-evil-strategies that satan uses against the churches. And they are: 1. the synagogue of satan (2:9); 2. where satan's seat (throne) is (2:13; 3. where satan dwelleth (2:13); 4. the depths of satan (2:24); and 5. the synagogue of satan (3:9). And it is vital that we understand why this evil list begins and ends with "the synagogue of satan," for this means that the other three cannot gain the ground needed to be effective if this first and last strategy is triumphed over. "The synagogue of satan" beings and sums up this evil list; and in both instances, the Word explains what this evil is - it is those "which say they are Jews and are not." In Romans 2:28 and 29, the Holy Spirit through Paul explains what this means:

"For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God."

Then Paul tells us in Philippians 3:3 -

"For we [Christians] are the true circumcision, who worship God in spirit and by the Spirit of God, and exult and glory and pride ourselves in Jesus Christ, and put no confidence or dependence [on what we are] in the flesh and on outward privileges and physical advantages and external appearance."

No wonder at the end of Paul's life, we find this brother crying that he "may [actually] be found and known as in Him [in Christ], not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own ..." (Phil. 3:9). Paul understood the great threat of "the synagogue of satan," - those which say they are Jews, and are not. He understood that the religious nature of the old man could be used by the enemy to stop Christ from becoming a living reality in the lives of God's people. Paul understood that only that which is the actual reality of Christ in our lives can be of eternal value unto God.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 15)

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