Friday, August 4, 2017

Man’s Soul and Satan in the Last Days

I came to place in one of my articles recently wherein I found myself making this statement: “Adhering to the idea of the evolution of man (an unfounded theory), rather than to the devolution of man (an established fact), is the delusion of our time.”  At the backdrop of this statement is man stubbornly, rebelliously and mightily fighting a losing battle against, as Dylan Thomas put it, “The dying of the light.”  But no matter how vigorously man fights death, “It is appointed and destined for all men to die once and after this [comes certain] judgment” (Hebrews 9:27 AMP).  This apparent hopelessness, however, is remedied by the fuller statement made in context: “And just as it is appointed and destined for all men to die once and after this [comes certain] judgment, so Christ, having been offered once and once for all to bear [as a burden] the sins of many, will appear a second time [when he returns to earth], not to deal with sin, but to bring salvation to those who are eagerly and confidently waiting for Him” (Hebrews 9:27-28).

Regrettably, however, most are not “Eagerly and confidently waiting for Him,” but are rather, in futility, trying to evolve their dying light. Movies and television shows—a reflection of society’s belief—glorifying “heroes” and “supermen” and those with “evolved powers” dominate the imagination today like never before.  It is of no surprise that man, made in God’s image, desires to express that divine and powerful image, but the Fall of Mankind forever destroyed any chance of that happening without the overhauling effect of redemption.  Ignorantly, many strive to realize the image of God in their souls without spiritual reformation.  This is a deception undoubtedly foisted on humankind by the enemy of our soul, Satan. 
When we look into the etymology of the word “hero,” for instance, we discover an insidious and pervasive error concerning humankind and their inherent powers.  The word “hero” means severally a “man of superhuman strength or physical courage, a demi-god, or an illustrious man.”  Undoubtedly, God has bestowed upon some powers beyond the ability of normal humanity; their exploits are mentioned throughout Scripture (and specifically in the 11th chapter of the book of Hebrews).  But from what source did their power to do these exploits originate?  The apostle Peter, after lifting a lame man to his feet while declaring in the name of Jesus Christ that he walk, did not think for a minute that he did anything special.  In fact, he redirected the people’s wonder and amazement off of himself and onto Jesus Christ.  He asked the crowd, “Why are you amazed at this? Why are you staring at us as if we made him walk by our own power or piety?” (Acts 3:12 CEB).  And herein is the rub!  HUMANKIND’S POWER AND PIETY IS NONEXISTENT!!!  Supermen, heroes, and demigods are FICTION.  The divine spark left over in the wake of the Fall of Mankind exists only to see God’s “True Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man” (John 1:9).  It is not there to be stoked into a conflagration, to be one’s own private and selfish inner light; no, it is not there to inflame people to be the best version of themselves.  That is all fool’s gold!  The only “hope of glory” is Christ in us; vain is the glory of man (whether an illustrious or common man—it makes no difference).

In his book, “The Latent Power of the Soul,” Watchman Nee teaches us how great Adam was before the fall, being extraordinarily endowed with soul power beyond anything we see expressed by man today.  Nee’s conclusion—in regards to expressing soul power—is that post-fall humankind is blocked or entombed by flesh.  Man has “latent” soul power beyond his imagination, but is unable, except by extraordinary effort and satanic inspiration, to express it.  In Nee’s words, “Today in each and every person who lives on earth lies this Adamic power, though it is confined in him and is not able to freely express itself. Yet such power is in every man’s soul just as it was in Adam’s soul at the beginning. Since today’s soul is under siege by the flesh, this power is likewise confined by the flesh. The work of the devil nowadays is to stir up man’s soul and to release this latent power within it as a deception for spiritual power. The reason for my mentioning these things is to warn ourselves of the special relationship between MAN’S SOUL AND SATAN IN THE LAST DAYS [emphasis mine].”

In the very beginning of his book, Nee cites these verses of Scripture: “And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, for no man buys their merchandise anymore; merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stone, and pearls . . . and cattle, and sheep, and merchandise of horses and chariots and slaves (Gr. bodies); and souls of men (Revelation 18:11-13); “So also it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. Howbeit that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; then that which is spiritual” (1 Corinthians 15: 45-46); “And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).  Later Nee said, “In Revelation 18 things are mentioned which shall come to pass in the last days. I indicated at the very beginning how man’s soul will become a commodity in Babylon—that which can be sold and bought. But why is man’s soul treated as a commodity? Because Satan and his puppet the Antichrist wish to use the human soul as an instrument for their activities at the end of this age.” 

As was mentioned previously, soul power will be used “as a deception for spiritual power,” and even now, in many ways and forms, this is occurring regularly in many churches and ministries.  Most ministers of the gospel—and especially those on television—operate as psychics or mediums rather than men or women of God; they operate deeply from their soul powers energized by demonic suggestion rather than humbly from their spirits energized by the Holy Spirit’s divine presence.  The Apostle Paul gloried in weakness; these “Super Apostles” glory in their strength.  Soul power expressed and uncrucified is man deifying himself.  True ministry is grounded on brokenness not wholeness.  As G. H. Pember put it (in his excellent book “Earth’s Earliest Ages”):

“It is to be observed that God has never, since the fall of man, revealed anything to gratify a mere thirst for knowledge; but only such matters as may sufficiently illustrate His everlasting power and Godhead, our own fallen condition with its remedy of unfathomable love, and the promise of a speedy deliverance from sin, a complete restoration to His favor, and a never-ending life of perfect obedience and perfect joy. 
“Knowledge in this life is a gift fraught with peril: for our great task here is to learn the lesson of absolute dependence upon God, and entire submission to His will.  HIS DEALINGS WITH US NOW ARE TO THE END THAT HE MAY WITHDRAW US FROM OUR OWN PURPOSE, AND HIDE PRIDE FROM US [emphasis mine] (Job xxxiii. 17).  But knowledge, unless it is accompanied by a mighty outpouring of grace, causes undue elation.  It was the vision of knowledge which filled the beast of our first parent with IMPIOUS ASPIRATIONS [emphasis mine], and made her listen to the Tempter when he bade her hope to be as God.  And it is an ominous fact, that, after the fall, the first inventers of the arts and sciences were the descendants, not of the believing Seth, but of the deist and murderer Cain. 

“So in our own days [1876 when he said this.....and still true in our day] the leaders of science are too often the leaders of infidelity, the despisers of God and of prayer.  Except by special grace, man seems incapable of bearing even the slightest weight of power upon his shoulders without losing his balance. 

“And hence the Scriptures take up just the attitude we should expect.  They altogether, as in the verses before us, avoid contact with the science of men.  God does not forbid us to search so far as we can into the laws of His universe; but He utterly refuses to aid or accelerate our studies by revelation.  For the present He would have us rather attentive to the moral renovation of ourselves and our fellow-creatures: but after a short season He will open vast stores of His wisdom to those who love and trust Him, and delight their souls with the secrets of His creative power.”

Today—almost certainly one of the very last days—IMPIOUS ASPIRATIONS rule the airwaves and the minds of many, even wrong-headed believers who succumbed to the lie that they could have their best days now.  We are to esteem God not ourselves; thus SELF-ESTEEM is the root cause of this confusion (specifically a confusion about the way to get and remain right with God).  Those who esteem themselves rather than lose themselves (as God commands) enslave themselves to the tyranny of the king of Babylon (Satan).  The great confusion concerning the gate of God (the meaning of Babylon) is to mistake soul power for spiritual power.

In the end, you see two people doing exactly the same thing, but one is right and the other is wrong.  How do you discern the difference?  You can’t!  But God can (and those genuinely married to Him, having the mind of Christ).  Indeed, “The Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).  Thankfully, MAN’S SOUL AND SATAN IN THE LAST DAYS is no match for man’s spirit and God ruling in the midst of the genuinely born-again believer.  Nonetheless, the war is escalating to Armageddon intensity, “And they who are wise and understanding among the people shall instruct many and make them understand, though some [of them and their followers] shall fall by the sword and flame, by captivity and plunder, for many days.  Now when they fall, they shall receive a little help. Many shall join themselves to them with flatteries and hypocrisies.  And some of those who are wise, prudent, and understanding shall be weakened and fall, [thus, then, the insincere among the people will lose courage and become deserters. It will be a test] to refine, to purify, and to make those among [God’s people] white, even to the time of the end” (Daniel 11:33-35 AMPC).  The end is practically here.