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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Cross, The Church, and The Kingdom # 21

The Kingdom of satan and Its Overthrow (continued)

Sin Essential to satan's kingdom

Well, the issue - it is a kingdom. That is where we started. What is the kingdom of satan? Something out there, remote, objective? Are you proposing to gird on armour and to go out and attack the kingdom of satan - something at a distance, in India, in China, in the slums of London? No, the kingdom of satan is first of all within you. Until something has been done within, satan is not dethroned, his kingdom is not overthrown; it is there. His strength is in the nature that he has bitten into the race as poison, by man's permission and agreement. That is the dark and terrible side, but it is essential that we apprehend the fact and nature of that kingdom. Until you see that clearly, you have not come near to seeing either the meaning of the Cross or the kingdom of the heavens, for the Cross comes right in there, to say NO - fully, finally, for ever. NO - to that fallen creation; and, thank God, it not only says NO, but accomplishes it also. We are in the hands of God if we are the Lord's people. We know - and if we do not know there is something wrong somewhere, there is a hindrance somewhere that has got to be looked into - we know, or we ought to know, by the Spirit's witness within us, whenever self asserts itself in any form. Oh, is that not the explanation of those many secret battles and experiences when we have had to get away alone, and have dealings with the Lord? We have said or done something that was not fitting; or our manner, if not the substance of our words, has been wrong; or we have had a self-important bearing, we have been talking about ourselves, and we have been bringing all the tinsel of this life and of this world into view and making something of what belongs to the old creation; and we are miserable afterward, we are wretched about it. "Oh, was not that all death? Why did I get caught like that?" The only thing to do is to get away into the presence of the Lord and get readjusted. We know a lot about that. We are in the school when that is going on.

I think we must stop there, with just this rounding off. This, dear friends, is the nature of the kingdom that we are called to destroy. This is the nature of the warfare. It is not primarily a matter of dealing with satan and demons personally, but of dealing with the ground upon which that kingdom is founded and which supports their power. That ground is sin, and sin is this inborn rebellion and perversity. Therefore the overthrow of satan's kingdom is at the Cross of the Lord Jesus where the background of everything was dealt with, and satan was cast out - not just personally: do not get pictures of satan as a person being thrown out - satan cast out in this sense, that his moral ground of strength was taken from him. He was confronted with another nature in which there was no perversity, and that nature was too strong for him; and there are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises whereby we may become partakers of that same Divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). It is along that line that satan loses his power.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 22 - (The Kingdom of God)

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