Is The Lake Of Fire In Hell, Real And Literal Fire – Spiritual Reading

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Is The Lake Of Fire In Hell, Real And Literal Fire – Spiritual Reading.


This is not so vital a question as the question, is there a literal hell, but nevertheless it is an important question, and I believe the question is plainly answered in the Bible, and plainly answered by Jesus Christ Himself. 


To turn again to the passage already referred to, Matt. 5:22, we read: “But I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the hell of fire.” 


These are Christ’s own words. He not only speaks of hell, but a “hell of fire,” and this too is from the Sermon on the Mount. In Matt. 18:9 the Lord Jesus says again, “And if thine eye cause thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee; it is good for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the hell of fire.” 


And again in Mark 9:43-49, the passage read a few moments ago, we read, “And if thy hand cause thee to stumble, cut it off; it is good for thee to enter into life maimed, rather than having thy two hands to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire. And if thy foot cause thee to stumble, cut it off; it is good for thee to enter into life halt, rather than having thy two feet to be cast into hell. And if thine eye cause thee to stumble, cast it out; it is good for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” 


Here again some may say the fire is figurative. Turn to Matt. 13:30, 41, 42, we read these words: “Let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, gather up first [the tares, and bind them in bundles to barn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.” 


Now here is a parable and we have figures and there would be warrant, if this were all that we had, for saying that the fire was figurative, as other things in the verse are figurative; but in the 41st and 42nd verses of the same chapter we read, “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and they that do iniquity, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be the weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 


Here we have the interpretation of the parable. Now in parables, as already said, we have figures, but in the interpretation of parables we have the literal facts which the figures represent, but we see clearly that here in the interpretation as well as in the parable, we have fire.


Everything else in the parable is explained, every item in the parable except the fire, but that remains fire in the interpretation of the parable as well as in the parable itself. We find the same thing in another parable in verses 47 to 50, the parable of the net cast into the sea. Here, also, in the interpretation of the parable as well as in the parable itself we have fire.


Every other figure of the parable is explained by the literal fact that it represents, but in the interpretation of the parable we have “fire.” In the light of these facts we cannot deny the literal fire of hell without doing violence to every reasonable law of interpretation.


Furthermore [still, we read in Rev. 20:15 that at the judgment of the great white throne, “and if any was not found written in the Book of Life, he was cast into the lake of fire.”There is nothing in the whole context that suggests a figure. And in the 21st chapter and the 8th verse we read: “But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.”


Remember furthermore that the wicked in the eternal world are not mere disembodied spirits. This is plain both from the Old Testament and the New. We read in Dan. 12:2: “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”


Now this says “them that sleep in the dust of the earth.” The soul departs into Hades. It is the body that crumbles into dust, and it is the body that is to be raised. In the New Testament, in John 5:28, 29, our Lord is recorded as saying: “Marvel not at this; for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.”


Now it is not the souls of men that are in the tombs, it is the bodies of men, and this passage teaches the resurrection of the bodies, both of the good and of the wicked. In I Cor 15:22 we read, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” What Paul is talking about in this entire chapter is the resurrection of the body, not merely the immortality of the soul, and we are here distinctly told that every child of Adam gets resurrection of his body in Christ.


Furthermore, in Matt. 5:30 Jesus says: “If thy right hand causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body go into hell.” Here in the plainest possible terms the body is spoken of as going into hell, and in a similar way in Matt. 10:28, the Lord Jesus says: “Be not afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” 


From these plain and definite words of our Lord it is plain as day that in the future life we are to have bodies, and that the bodies of the lost are to have a place in a literal physical hell of fire. While the bodily torments of hell fire are not the most appalling feature of hell, while the mental agony, the agony of remorse, the agony of shame, and the agony of despair, is worse, immeasurably worse; nevertheless, physical suffering, a physical suffering to which no pain on earth is anything in comparison, is a feature of hell.


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.


Tikva

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Is The Devil Real And Does He Exist – Spiritual Reading.



The first point to make clear is that there is a Devil. This is plain from our first text, John 8:44: “The Devil. . . .is.” The whole verse reads: “Ye are of your father, the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do: He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof.” 


These are the words of Jesus Christ. With any one who has any right to call himself a Christian, the words of Jesus Christ have infinitely more weight than the words of Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy or any one else, or all others together, and Jesus here says, “The Devil. . . .is.” But this is not the only passage by any means in which our Lord Jesus asserts in the most emphatic and most unmistakable terms the existence of the Devil.


Turn to Matt. 13:19, and you will read these words: “When any one heareth the word of God, and understandeth it not, then cometh the evil one and snatcheth away that which has been sown in his heart.” These words are found in the interpretation of a parable—the Parable of the Sower.


It is impossible to say that these words are figurative. In parables we have figures, in the explanation of the parables we have the literal facts that the figures symbolise, and these words are not taken from the parable, but from our Lord’s own explanation of the parable, and here we are distinctly told that there is a person, who is here called “The Evil One,” whose business it is to snatch away the Word of God when it has been sown in hearts that do not understand and heed it.


If evil is only impersonal and our Lord had only referred to impersonal influences, or human influences, as taking away the Word out of the hearts where it had been sown, these words of His would be utterly without meaning. That Jesus Christ believed that there was a person of whom He here speaks as “The Evil One” and of whom He elsewhere speaks, as we shall see directly, as “The Devil,” admits of no doubt if we grant that the Lord Jesus was an honest man. 


We must, therefore, if we believe in the Lord Jesus, believe that there is a Devil. We can deny his existence only by questioning either the honesty or the intelligence of our Lord. He certainly taught that there was a Devil. It would be easy to show from the teachings of Peter (1 Pet. 5:8, 9; Acts 5:3) and from the teachings of John (John 13:2) and from the teachings of Paul (Eph. 6:10-12) also that there is a Devil; but that is unnecessary for any one who has any right to call himself a Christian, for if the Lord says so, that settles it, and the Lord Jesus does say “The devil. . . .is.” If there is no Devil, then our Lord Jesus was either a fool or a fraud.


The question of believing in the personality of the Devil involves the honour of our Lord Jesus. If His teaching is not to be trusted on this point, it is not to be trusted on any other point, and the denial of a personal Devil involves the trustworthiness of the Lord Jesus as a Teacher and a Saviour at every point. So we see that the question of the existence of the Devil is fundamental and of vital importance.


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.



Tikva



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1. First of all, the Bible teaches us that the [Devil is a person.


This comes out in our second text, 1 John 3:8: “The devil sinneth.” Only a person can sin. When we say that the Devil is a person we do not mean that necessarily he has a body, certainly not such a body as he is pictured as having in various paintings and engravings that are supposed to represent the Devil. A person is any being who knows and feels and wills. When we say that the Devil is a person we mean that he is a being who has intelligence, feeling and will, that he is not a mere principle of evil.


The personality of the Devil is taught over and over again in the Bible. Just a few illustrations in addition to our texts. Turn again to Matt. 13:19: “When any one heareth the word of God, and understandeth it not, then cometh the evil one, and snatcheth away that which hath been sown in his heart.” 


The representation of this passage is the representation of a person. He is called “The Evil One,” not merely “evil,” but “The Evil One,” which of course is the representation of a person. If evil is only impersonal, or if it only works through human beings, these words of our Lord Jesus would be without meaning.


The personality of the Devil comes out again very clearly and very forcibly in Eph. 6:10-12: “Finally, brethren, be strong in the Lord and the strength of his might. (11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (12) For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” 


Here Paul distinctly tells us that the great reason why we need to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might and why we need to put on the whole armour of God, is because there is a being of great cunning, subtlety and power, a person named “The Devil,” and that this being has under him a multitude of other personalities of such dignity and power as to be called by the titles: “principalities,” “powers,” “world rulers,” “spiritual hosts of wickedness.”


Beyond a question our Lord Jesus, and the Apostle Peter and the Apostle John and the Apostle Paul believed in and taught the existence of a personal Devil. If there is not a personal Devil we may as well give up our Bible, for in that case it is a book that is full of folly and of fraud. If there is not a personal Devil we must give up our belief in the inspired authority of the Apostle Paul, the Apostle Peter, the Apostle John, and we must give up our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.


No intelligent student of the Bible can retain his faith in the inspiration and authority of that Book, or his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, if he gives up belief in the existence of a personal Devil. As intelligent men and women, we must take our choice between believing in the existence of a personal Devil or giving up our faith in Jesus Christ and Christianity. Any system of doctrine that denies the existence of a personal Devil is radically unchristian whatever name it may arrogate to itself.


2. The second thing that the Bible teaches as to the nature of the Devil, is that, the Devil is a being of very great power and authority.


This comes out in the verses we have just read, Eph. 6:10, 11: “Finally be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” These words make it clear that the Devil is so mighty that the people of God cannot resist his cunning wiles without having on the whole armour of God, and it is also evident from the 10th verse that we cannot resist his power unless we are strengthened with the strength of God.


And this is not all: in the 12th verse we read: (12) “For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” 


These are tremendous words. If they mean anything, they certainly mean that there are beings of great authority and dignity who are under the leadership of the one supreme being of evil, the Devil. The conflict that we have on hand as believers in Christ is terrific. The conflict that the Allies have on hand with the mighty military forces of the Kaiser is nothing to the battle we have on hand with the Devil and his hosts.


We are fools if we underestimate the battle. On the other hand, we must not over-estimate it. While our conflict is with the Devil, and while our wrestling is against “the principalities,” against “the powers,” against “the world-rulers,” against “the spiritual hosts of wickedness,” nevertheless He that is for us is far mightier than they. The Devil is mighty but our Saviour is almighty.


It is quite possible for one to become morbid over this subject of the Devil, and to become utterly discouraged and even deranged. That is entirely unnecessary and unwarranted. While our conflict is with the Devil and his mighty hosts, God has provided for us a strength and an armour whereby we may “be able to quench all the fiery darts of the Evil One” and to “withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand” (v. 13).


3. The third thing that the Bible teaches us as to the Nature of the Devil is that, the Devil is a being of great majesty and dignity of position.


Turn to Jude 8, 9: “Yet in like manner these also in their dreamings defile the flesh, and set at nought dominion, and rail at dignities (the literal translation of the Greek word rendered dignities is “glories“). (9) But Michael the Archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing judgment, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”


From these words it is evident that the position of the Devil was so exalted that even Michael the archangel did not dare to bring a railing judgment against him. The context seems to imply that the position of the Devil was more exalted than that of Michael the archangel himself. The Devil of the Bible is not at all the Devil of common thought. He is not a being hideous in appearance, with hoofs and horns and tail. He is not even the being pictured by Milton or Bunyan.


He is a being of very great original majesty and dignity, a being of great wisdom and power. When people talk lightly and contemptuously about the Devil they display gross ignorance of what the Bible teaches about him. It is true that he is evil in character and therefore called “The Evil One” (John 5:19, R. V.). It is true he is a liar and a murderer (John 8:44), it is true that he is full of malignity (II Cor. 4:4): but he is a being of great dignity and majesty, so that even Michael the archangel durst not bring against him a railing accusation.


4. The Bible teaches furthermore that the Devil is “the prince of this world.” 


Our Lord Jesus Himself taught this. He says in John 12:31: “Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” The Greek word translated “world” in this passage is kosmos, and the thought is of the present world order, and our Lord’s teaching is that the Devil is the prince of this present world order.


We have the same teaching of our Lord in John 14:30, where we read: “I will no more speak much with you, for the prince of the world cometh: and he hath nothing in me.” These words of our Lord [are found in what many regard as the most precious chapter in the Bible, the 14th chapter of John, and if we give up this teaching of our Lord regarding Satan we must give up, not merely the Bible as a whole, but this most precious chapter in the Bible. We find the Lord teaching the same thing again on that same night, the night before His crucifixion, in John 16:11 where he says: “The prince of this world is judged”—the evident reference being to Satan.


How the Devil came to be Prince of this world it may be impossible for us to say, but that he is so admits of no question, if we are to accept the teaching of Jesus Christ, and any one who will study the ruling principles of commercial life, of political life, of social life, and above all of international relations, to such an one it will become perfectly evident that the Devil is the one who is master of the present order of things.


If we ever doubted before that there was a Devil, and just such a Devil as the Bible pictures, we can scarcely doubt it now, when we consider the action of the rulers of the earth in this present mad world war. How could beings so intelligent in matters of science and philosophy and economics as the present rulers of Germany are, ever be guilty of plunging the nations of the earth into this mad war?


There is but one reasonable answer: because there is a Devil who rules the present Kosmos, or world order, and he controls the Kaisers and the Reichstags of the world and will until the true Prince comes, the Prince of Peace, our Lord Jesus Christ.


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.



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1 John 3:8: “The Devil Sinneth.” The Bible doctrine concerning the Devil, his Existence, Nature, Character, Work and Destiny is a fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith, and is of vital importance. The teaching of the Bible on this subject is not a mere matter of theory or dogma. It is a matter of most practical every day importance.


Experience shows that if men are in error in regard to this subject, they are pretty sure to be in error on other questions that are fundamental. When men and women begin to question the existence of a personal Devil it is pretty sure that before long they will be questioning a good many other things regarding which a true child of God should have no questions. Doubt of the existence of a personal Devil is widespread to-day.


Many preachers in supposedly orthodox pulpits do not hesitate to say, “I do not believe in the existence of a personal Devil.” Denial of the existence of a personal Devil is one of the main points in the system which is so widespread to-day, and which is doing so much evil, that with considerable reason it has been called “The Devil’s Masterpiece”—Christian Science.


A well-known and popular pastor in this city some months ago proclaimed to his people that he was going to preach to them a gospel “without an atonement of blood, without an infallible Bible, without hell, and without a personal Devil.” If he does preach to them a system of doctrine without any of these he will preach some other system of doctrine than that which is contained in the book, which our Lord Jesus Christ has endorsed as the Word of God, i.e., the Bible.


He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 

1 John 3:8

You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 

John 8:44

Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.



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Is There A Real And Literal Hell – Spiritual Reading.



There is to be a literal Hell.


The Bible says so, Jesus says in Matt. 5:22, “But I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger [of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the hell of fire.” 


In the 29th verse of the same chapter the Lord Jesus says: “And if thy right eye causeth thee to stumble pluck it out, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” 


And in the 30th verse He says: “And if thy right hand causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” 


We read again what our Lord Jesus said in Mark 9:45-48, “and if thy foot causeth thee to stumble, cut it off; it is good for thee to enter into life halt, rather than having thy two feet to be cast into hell. And if thine eye causeth thee to stumble, cast it out; it is good for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell; where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” 


Some one may say that these words of our Lord are figurative. There is not the slightest suggestion that they are figurative. The whole context is against their being taken figuratively. It is indeed wrong to interpret figurative language as if it were literal, but it is just as unwarranted and just as wrong to interpret literal language as if it were figurative.


Of course, the word “Gehenna,” which is translated “Hell” is derived from the valley of Hinnom, where in ancient times human sacrifices were offered, but the use of the word is literal throughout the New Testament, though its derivation is figurative.


Many words that are figurative in their derivation are literal in their use, and the meaning of words is never determined by derivation, but by usage. For example, our word “eclipse” is a figure of speech. According to the figure it is a leaving or failing or fainting of the moon or sun, whichever it may be that is eclipsed. But though it is figurative in its derivation, the ordinary usage of it is literal.


The universal use in the New Testament of “Gehenna” or “Hell” is literal. The word here translated “Hell” is found twelve times in the New Testament, eleven of these twelve times it is used by our Lord Jesus Himself, and He uniformly uses it, as in the passages which I have just read, of a literal hell. If there is no literal hell, then our Lord Jesus was either a fool or a fraud. He certainly meant to convey the impression that there was a literal hell.


There can be no doubt of that, if we go to His words to find out what is the natural meaning of them. If there is no literal hell then either Jesus thought there was one when there was not, in which case He was a fool; or else He knew that there was not, but tried to make men think that there was, in which case He was a fraud.


There is no other alternative but either to believe that there is a literal hell or else to believe that Jesus of Nazareth, our Lord and Saviour, was a fool or a fraud. I know that Jesus was not a fool. I know that He was the only begotten Son of God, that in Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, that He and the Father are one, that all men should honour the Son even as they honour the Father.


I know that He spoke the very words of God, therefore I know that there is a literal hell, for He said so. It is worthy of note, furthermore, that most of these words about hell that I have read you to-night are taken from the Sermon on the Mount, the one part of the Bible that pretty much all men claim to believe.


There are many who say they do not know about the Bible as a whole, but they do accept the Sermon on the Mount. Well, these passages are for the most part from the Sermon on the Mount. Either accept this part of the Sermon on the Mount or else throw the whole thing overboard as the utterance of a fool or a fraud. There is no other ground possible for any man who is willing to think things through.


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey. 


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The Devil’s Destiny:


Turn in the first place to Rev. 20:1-3: “And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the keys of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and cast him into the abyss, and shut it, and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years should be finished: After this he must be loosed for a little time.” 


We are here taught that at the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ Satan shall be bound with a great chain and cast into the abyss for a thousand years. The abyss, or as it is translated in the Authorised Version, “bottomless pit,” does not mean hell. Satan, as we shall see further on, shall be cast into hell later.



Turn now to Rev. 20:7, 8: “And when the thousand years are finished, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall come forth to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war: The number of whom is as the sand of the sea.”


We are here taught that at the end of the Millennium, the thousand years, Satan shall be loosed for a little season from the abyss into which he has been cast chained, and that he shall [come forth to deceive the nations. But the time of his power then will be very brief.


In Rev. 20:10 we find the ultimate destiny of the Devil: “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are also the beast and the false prophet; and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” 


Here is one of the points at which the theories of the “Reconciliation” people and “Universalists” generally break down. The argument of the Reconciliationists and Universalists, by which they attempt to prove that all men must ultimately be saved, carried to its logical issue, if it proved anything, would prove the salvation of Satan also, and this many of them do teach.


They say plainly that the Devil will ultimately be brought to repentance and saved. Indeed that is what I believed and taught in my early ministry. But this passage which we have just read shows the impossibility of this being true. “The lake of fire” was “prepared for the Devil and his angels.”


Our Lord Himself says in Matt.25:41 that when He comes back to judge this world He will say to those on His left hand: “Depart from me, ye cursed into the eternal fire, which is prepared for the devil and his angels.” 


Hell was not prepared for men, but for the Devil and his angels. If any man goes there it will be because he has chosen to cast in his lot with the Devil rather than with God. Therefore they go where the Devil goes. Every one who rejects Jesus Christ is throwing in his lot with the Devil.


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey. 


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What Is The Character Of The Devil/Satan – Spiritual Reading.


The Character Of The Devil.


As to the character of the Devil, the Bible teaches us that he is a being absolutely wicked. In Matt. 13:19 he is called, “The Wicked One.” That is to say, he is one who is the personal embodiment of absolute wickedness. In I John 5:19 R. V. also he is called “The Wicked One.” God is “The Holy One,” that is to say the One who is the personal embodiment of perfect holiness. The Devil is just His opposite, the personal embodiment of consummate wickedness.


The Devil is to evil what God is to good. In I John 3:8, we read: “He that doeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. To this end was the son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” This does not mean that the Devil sinned from the very origin of all things and that he was created sinful, for we learn from Ezek. 28:15 that the Devil was created upright. The verse does mean, however, that Satan is the original sinner.


The expression “from the beginning” is characteristic of the epistle from which these words are taken and does not necessarily mean from the origin of things (see for example verse 11). In a similar way we are told in one of our texts—John 8:44—that the Devil was a murderer from the beginning and [274]that he is “A liar and the father of it.” There is absolutely “no truth in him.” So much for the nature and character of the Devil.


You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

John 8:44


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey. 


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 The Work of the Devil.


In the first place we are taught that the Devil tempts men to sin. We have a most striking illustration of this in his temptation of our Lord. We have in the Bible three accounts of this temptation.


We will look at Matthew’s account. Matt. 4:1-9: “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. (2) And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he afterward hungered. (3) And the tempter came and said unto him, If thou art the son of God, command that these stones become bread. (4) But he answered and said, It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (5) Then the devil taketh him into the Holy City; and he set him on the pinnacle of the temple. (6) And saith unto Him, If thou art the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, he shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and, on their hands they shall bear thee up, lest haply thou dash thy foot against a stone. (7) Jesus said unto him, Again it is written, thou shalt not make trial of [the Lord thy God. (8) Again, the devil taketh him unto an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; (9) And He said unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” 


Of course we have not time this morning to go into the whole question of our Lord’s temptation, but this much is certainly plain, that the Devil is represented as the tempter, tempting our Lord. If there is no personal Devil, as so many would have us believe, or if he is not the tempter, there would be absolutely no reason for bringing him into this account.


As the Devil tempted our Lord, so he tempts us to-day. And it is to be noticed that he does not tempt us merely to gross animal lusts and vile sins, but with subtle spiritual temptations, and above all he tempts us to doubt God’s Word.


It was with this form of temptation that he first assaulted our Lord. God had just said to the Lord Jesus at His baptism, “Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22), and Satan came insinuating doubt of God’s Word by beginning his temptation with these words: “If thou art the Son of God,” and again further down in the temptation, he repeats the doubt, saying to the Lord Jesus again: “If thou art the Son of God.” 


In just the same way Satan began his assault upon Eve in the Garden of Eden, by insinuating a doubt of God’s Word and of God’s goodness. He began by saying: “Yea, hath God said. . . .?” (Gen. 3:2), and further on when Eve stated exactly what God had said, the Devil flatly contradicted and said: “Ye shall not surely die”(literally, Dying, thou shalt not die) when God had said: “Thou shalt surely die” (Dying, thou shalt die).


This is Satan’s favourite method of attack to-day. He gets us to doubt God’s Word. Satan’s most effective mode of work is by leading men into doubt and into error on fundamental points. The saloons and the gambling hells and the brothels are not the chief spheres of Satan’s activities, but the schools and colleges and theological seminaries where he is inducing men and women, and callow youths and maidens, to doubt the truth of God’s Word, and to reject the fundamental truths of God’s word and accept Satan’s errors in their place. Satan knows well; that, if he can get men to doubting God’s Word, it is easy to lead them into the vilest sins. False doctrine has been a more prolific source of the vilest sins than even the saloons.


But Satan not merely tempts men to sin by insinuating doubts of God’s Word, he also has his synagogues and ministers among men to do his work. Turn to Rev. 3:9: “Behold, I give of the synagogue of Satan, of them that say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” 


What I wish you to notice here are the words, “The synagogue of Satan.” In this case it was a Jewish synagogue, but now-a-days, it is often a so-called Christian church. In II Cor. 11:14, 15 we have an even more remarkable passage: “For even Satan fashioneth himself into an angel of light. (15) It is no great thing therefore if his ministers also fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 


Here we are told that Satan has his ministers. They do not advertise themselves as ministers of Satan, oftentimes they are not even conscious that they are; but they put themselves forward as “ministers of righteousness.” They advocate “ethical culture,” a system of salvation without atoning blood.


They are frequently men of very attractive personality and great intellectual brilliance and ability, but they are doing the Devil’s work. Satan is never so dangerous as when he “Fashioneth himself into an angel of light,” and no other ministers of his are so dangerous as the men and women of attractive personality and brilliant intellectual gifts who are undermining the faith of God’s children, or who are teaching various forms of seductive and alluring error, “Christian Science,” “New Thought,” “Theosophy,” “Occultism” (Spiritualism), and all that species of cults.


We have not time to speak here of Satan’s work as the author of sickness (Acts 10:38; Luke 13:16), and as the one who has the power of death (Heb. 2:14).


But we must also speak of another work of the Devil. It is set forth in II Cor. 4:3, 4, R. V.“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled in them that perish: (4) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God should not dawn upon them.” 


We read here that it is the work of Satan to blind the minds of unbelievers in order “That the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them.” It is evident then that the Devil is the author of false views, especially false views of the person of Christ. He is the author of Unitarianism, and the denial of the Deity of our Lord in all its forms. He so blinds the minds of men who submit to his blinding that the Divine “Glory of Christ,” “who is the very image of God,” is hidden from them.


This explains why it is that Unitarianism in all its various forms persists even after its folly has been so often exposed. Satan’s work along this line is to culminate at the appearing of the Anti-Christ, “Even he, whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power, and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (II Thess. 2:9, 10, R. V.)


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey. 


Tikva


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