« PreviousContinue »
in human hearts and lives. The controversy is still between Christ and Satan, and man's salvation or destruction is the aim of the contending forces.
There is no neutral ground. Every soul must choose as to which side he will yield allegiance. In this choice lies his eternal destiny.
"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" Rom. 6: 16.
Therefore the Lord pleads with men, "Choose life." Every soul that chooses life has the promise of it, for Christ "is able . . . to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him." Heb. 7:25.
The Judgment upon Satan
From the time of Satan's rebellion it was assured, by the very omnipotence of God, that there would come a last judgment when evil would be destroyed from the universe. This execution of judgment upon the fallen angels is thus referred to by Jude:
"The angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day" Verse 6.
The evil spirits themselves know that this day is coming. When Christ was about to cast certain of them out of one who was possessed, they cried out, "Art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?" Matt. 8:29.
Though the judgment of that last day was originally set for Satan and his angels, unrepentant men will have a part in it, because they have joined Satan in his lawless rebellion. To the wicked it will be said:
"Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." Matt. 25:41.
Satan sees that the day is hastening; and the shorter the time in which to work, the greater his fury in seeking to draw souls to perdition.
The warning comes to us in these last days:
"Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." Rev. 12: 12.
Christ's second coming ends the reign of Satan in this world. The wicked are slain by the consuming glory of Christ's coming (2 Thess. 2:8); and the righteous are taken to heaven, beyond the reach of Satan's arts (1 Thess. 4: 16, 17). The archenemy and his angels are thus left upon an earth devoid of human beings. Here he is chained for a thousand years, in this pit of desolation (Rev. 20:2, 5), his only companions the angels who fell with him, his only occupation the contemplation of the ruin he has wrought and the destruction that still awaits him.
By the second resurrection that of the wicked dead, after the thousand years - Satan is again set free to ply his arts upon his subjects. As the holy city comes down out of heaven from God, with all the saints, Satan gathers his angels and all the forces of the lost of all the ages, to make an assault upon the city. The result was shown to the prophet in vision:
"They went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceiveth them was cast into the lake of fire." Rev. 20:9, 10.
That is the fate awaiting the author of sin. In the account of Satan's pride and self-exaltation, uttered by the prophet in the message to Tyre, there occurs also this prophecy of the utter destruction that awaits him, when he shall bring his forces against the city of God in that last conflict:
"I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more." Eze. 28: 18, 19.
This is the final victory of Christ over evil, in the great controversy that began in heaven. Satan exalted himself and lost. Christ humbled Himself, even unto the deathand won the eternal triumph.
JESUS BY THE SEA
"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise 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.
SPIRITUALISM: ANCIENT AND MODERN
THE essential claim of Spiritualism is its assertion of power to hold communication with the spirits of the dead; or rather, it claims to have demonstrated that really there is no death.
"There is no death;
What seems so is transition."
The late Prof. Alfred Russel Wallace, the English scientist, said of Spiritualism:
"It demonstrates, as completely as the fact can be demonstrated, that the so-called dead are still alive."-"On Miracles and Modern Spiritualism" (London, 1875), p. 212.
First Declaration of the Doctrine
In the very first book of the Bible is a similar claim: "Ye shall not surely die." Gen. 3:4.
But this declaration, while recorded in the Scriptures, is not the word of God. The Lord had declared to man that disobedience would bring death. But Satan, as the tempter in Eden, caused the woman to doubt the word of God: "The