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Monday, October 22, 2012

A Job Experience # 6

Brethren, as we search into these scriptures about the unseen realm, there are many things that are difficult to understand. We can understand the angels of God coming before Him, but what is satan doing there? - satan whose very name means: the adversary of God and of God's Purpose in Christ! - the opposer of God and of God's Purpose in Christ! - the withstander of God and of God's Purpose in Christ! - the withstander of God and of God's Purpose in Christ! What is satan, the source of all evil, doing there?

Now we know that satan does not have free access into the Sovereign Presence of God, because satan is not, nor ever shall be, covered with the Blood of the Lamb. Job had access into God's Presence (Romans 5:2; Eph. 2:18; 3:12); Job could come boldly to the Throne of Grace because the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:18-20). All who have been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb have free access unto God; they can come boldly unto the Throne of Grace (Hebrews 4:16); and Job lived in the good of the Blood of the Lamb, and he could pray and cry and say with assurance: "I know that my Redeemer liveth ..." (Job 19:25). Oh, beloved, because of the Blood of the Lamb, we have access! We have access! We can come boldly to the Throne of Grace!

But satan did not, nor  ever will have, free access into the Presence of God. No! satan did not dare, nor will he ever dare, to come boldly into the Sovereign Presence of God. In God's Plan, the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world, before anything was created, before there ever was a satan; therefore, from the beginning, satan has been a defeated foe because of the Blood of the Lamb.

So what does the Word of God mean when it says that the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and satan also came among them? There can be only one answer - satan is there because he has been Sovereignly summoned by the Almighty God, and satan must, however unwillingly, subject himself and give account of himself to God.

The Lord's Own Words point this out when He says: "Whence comest thou?" Our All-Knowing God knew where and what satan had been doing; but now satan must give an account of himself before God. The fact that satan cannot tempt or test or touch Job, or his family, without permission declares satan's absolute subjection unto God.

We must always remember that God is never the source of evil; and if the Lord allows evil to afflict us, He will also cause it to ultimately bring forth that which He Purposed in Christ - God will cause it to bring forth that which is a measure of the Fullness of Christ; and every time there is an increase of the Fullness of Christ, satan again suffers a resounding defeat.

The Battle Begins

So the battle begins, and the Lord takes the offensive and puts satan on the defensive by asking him two questions which he must answer; and these two questions are designed by God to reveal the evil depths, intents, and character of the satanic being. Remember, God knows that in His appointed timing this great spiritual conflict will be recorded in His Word; and the Lord is allowing this unseen realm to be revealed so that His people may be prepared and equipped and instructed for the unseen, spiritual warfare which takes place, throughout the ages, until all things are consummated in Christ.

Therefore, when the Lord said to satan, "Whence comest thou?" He was commanding satan to give an account of himself and of his evil doings. And because satan had no choice, he answered: "From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it" (Job 1:7).

In 1 Peter 5;8 we find a graphic explanation of what it means when satan, the adversary, is going to and fro ... walking up and down ... in the earth. Listen as Peter, who well knew what it meant to be a target of satan, listen as he issues a solemn warning: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour [seeking someone to seize upon and devour]. And what is satan's evil intent, what is satan, the adversary, the devil seeking to devour?? - he is out to devour that which God purposed in the life of His people! satan is out to stop an increase of Christ's fullness!

The Lord knows satan's evil intent; hence, He asks him: "Hast thou considered My servant Job? ..." (Job 1:8). The Hebrew Interlinear gives us the most accurate account of this scripture: "And Jehovah said to satan, 'Have you set your heart on My servant Job? ...'" And in the next few verses satan makes it clear that he has set his iniquitous heart upon Job; consequently, we see what motivates satan's evil heart, for the adversary of God is always seeking out those whose life is an expression of the Fullness of Christ - satan is always considering ways, setting his evil heart upon ways, of devouring the faithful in Christ. Job is one of the first upon whom satan "set his heart"; and throughout the ages, satan, the devourer, has continued his furious assault against God's own until, in the Book of Revelation, we find him turning all his devouring rage against the Church, which is the Body of Christ.

In Revelation, five times the Holy Spirit warns the churches of every age, of this evil adversary. Five times satan is singled out as the one who would stop the churches from becoming the Fullness of Christ. And before we go on, we must always remember that Revelation 12:9-12 tells us that the old serpent, called the devil and satan, is overcome because of the Blood of the Lamb. And in this group of scriptures, we are again shown God's Absolute Sovereignty over satan because Revelation 12:12 declares that satan knows he only has a short time; and this means satan only has a short time because God has sovereignty placed a limit upon the time that satan can do his evil.

~. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 7 - "Thus Job Did Continually")

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