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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Manual and the Garden, continued
It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified: What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet. In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. (Hebrews 2:5-8—NIV)
Because man is destined to be the eternal Throne of God, a destiny that infuriates Satan and the wicked archons of the heavens who rebelled with him, and because no human being can be the Throne of God until Christ is formed in him, Satan and the other high-ranking dignitaries of the spirit realm work constantly to keep Christ from being formed in the believers.
Satan is not primarily concerned about our church activities, and perhaps not as anxious about the work of evangelism as we might suppose. The big problem from Satan's point of view is the forming of Christ in the believers. It is only as Christ is formed in us that Satan's kingdom is in real jeopardy.
Since the work of redemption ceases when the believer is not keeping God's commandments, one of Satan's chief tactics has been to deceive the Christians into believing that keeping the commandments is not necessary now that we are under "grace." This tactic has been unbelievably successful.
With all that has been written in the Bible about the necessity for obeying God, it is nothing short of miraculous that devout Christian leaders could be deceived into believing Christians need not obey God's Word.
Since Satan views the earth as his proper domain, he also has convinced the Church leaders that the goal of redemption is to bring the believers to the spirit realm, to make their eternal home there.
If Satan had his way every believer on earth would be forced up into the spirit realm and kept there for eternity. Then Satan could govern the earth and enjoy himself by debasing the peoples of the nations.
Perhaps Satan brought Gnosticism into existence at the time he did knowing that it would prove useful in corrupting whatever God was about to do. Make no mistake—the early Gnostic influence was exceedingly powerful, corrupting many of the first-century assemblies. There is evidence that some of the early Christian leaders began to believe Jesus Christ had not really come in the flesh but only appeared to do so.
The Gnostic influence of today, the concept that we are saved by faith alone (antinomianism—a belief related to Gnosticism), and that the spirit Paradise is our eternal destination, pervades Evangelical teaching. Dispensationalism, with its "dispensation of grace," blends readily with Gnostic thinking.
The result has been the destruction of the moral strength of numerous churches to the extent that in America, at least, the Christian witness of good works, the only witness the secular community recognizes, is seriously lacking. When a person declares himself or herself to be a Christian the community does not expect to behold a person demonstrating utmost integrity, honesty, moral purity, or the blameless handling of money.
To be continued.